2016-2017 8. Corporate services

Corporate services at the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) provides strategic and corporate leadership for planning and reporting, human resources and financial management, security and administrative services, information management and technology, and internal audit and evaluation.

The support provided by corporate services is integral for program delivery. The corporate services team continued in 2016–2017 to ensure sound stewardship of the OIC’s resources and to provide efficient operations.

Workplace mental health and well-being

In fall 2016 a healthy workplace initiative was launched with a focus on the workplace mental health, safety, and well-being of employees.

A Workplace Mental Health Committee was established, made up of employees from various levels and branches. This committee has organized a number of activities aimed at raising awareness of workplace wellness-related issues and at sustaining a healthy workplace.

Promoting excellence

Training program

All investigators go through the OIC’s intensive three-week training program. This training ensures investigators have the tools they need early on to conduct high-quality investigations.

Career development

The OIC has a specialised career development program for investigators that was reviewed in 2016–2017.

For employees in the human resources and financial management categories, the talent management programs developed by central agencies were reviewed and adapted as appropriate.

Internal HR Services

In 2016–2017, the Human Resources team had three priorities: responding promptly to employees’ Phoenix Pay System-related problems, fulfilling staffing actions in response to the OIC’s temporary increase in funding, and updating staffing policies, internal business processes, systems and tools as a result of a new staffing direction for the federal public service.

Open Government Implementation Plan

In 2016–2017, the OIC’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) began to be put in place. The OIC’s OGIP sets out the activities and deliverables it will achieve to meet the requirements of the government-wide Directive on Open Government.Footnote 1

An inaugural meeting of the Open Government Steering Committee was held, and the terms of reference of the steering committee were addressed.

Identification of information for a data inventory is currently underway. Once this inventory is complete, the steering committee will identify what datasets can be published openly. These datasets will complement the existing proactive disclosure initiatives the OIC already has in place.Footnote 2

Information technology at the OIC

Improving case management

The OIC’s case management system, InTrac, was upgraded in 2016–2017 to increase its robustness and interoperability.Footnote 3 Since the upgrade, the IM/IT group hosted representatives from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to share knowledge on the capabilities of the improved system.

Fortifying IT security

In 2016–2017, an independent audit of the OIC’s information technology (IT) security infrastructure was completed. The purpose of this audit was to assess the OIC’s IT security posture.Footnote 4

Recommendations from the audit included improvements to the IT security governance and policy framework. In response, a new governance model and policy framework for IT security was developed. Additionally, new key performance indicators were identified to better measure and report on the performance of the IT security program.

Reducing the OIC’s energy footprint

In 2016–2017, the IM/IT group launched a datacenter consolidation initiative, which saw the organization leverage hyper-converged technology to significantly reduce the IT infrastructure’s footprint and energy consumption.

Audit and Evaluation

The OIC’s Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC) meets four times a year to discuss the OIC’s finances, caseload, litigation before the court, and human resources. The AEC provides the Commissioner with independent and objective advice, guidance and recommendations on the adequacy of the OIC's control and accountability processes, as well as the use of evaluation within the OIC, in order to support management practices, decision-making and program performance.

In 2016–2017, the AEC reviewed the results of the IT security audit (see “Fortifying IT security”). The AEC will continue to follow up on this audit to ensure all of the recommendations are implemented.

The AEC also closely monitored the financial situation of the OIC, with a special emphasis on the temporary funding, as well as the over and underpayments caused by the Phoenix Pay System.

Access to information and privacy

For information on the OIC’s access to information and privacy activities in 2016–2017, consult its annual reports to Parliament on these topics on the OIC’s website.Footnote 5

Appendix D (page X) contains the annual report of the Information Commissioner ad hoc, who investigates complaints about the Office of the Information Commissioner’s handling of access requests.


Footnote 1

Background: “The Office of the Information Commissioner’s Open Government Implementation Plan”, Annual Report 2015–2016.

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Footnote 2

The OIC already proactively posts monthly complaints data; data about extension notices (section 9(2) of the Act); observations on the health of the access to information regime; correspondence with designated officials; and submissions to parliamentary committees.

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Footnote 3

Background: “An enabling IM/IT infrastructure”, Annual Report 2011-2011.

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Footnote 4

Background: “Audit of the information technology security infrastructure”, Annual Report 2015–2016.

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Footnote 5

Annual Reports.

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