Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information

Table of Contents

  1. General Information
  2. Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities
  3. Additional Information

General Information

Info Source

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Actand to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The Introduction and an index of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Background

On February 6, 2006, the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists (ORL) was transferred from the Department of Industry Canada to the Treasury Board portfolio as an independent department for purposes of the Financial Administration Act. Bill C-2, the Federal Accountability Act (FedAA), was introduced in Parliament on April 11, 2006, and received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006. The FedAA amended numerous statutes, including the previous Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA) that was renamed the Lobbying Act, which came into effect on July 2, 2008.

The position of Commissioner of Lobbying was created, replacing that of the Registrar of Lobbyists. The Commissioner of Lobbying is an independent Agent of Parliament.

Responsibilities

The Commissioner of Lobbying is responsible for developing and maintaining the Registry of Lobbyists and keeping it up-to-date. The Registry contains the information about all registered lobbyists as well as their activities. This information is available to the public on the OCL's website. The Commissioner issues advisory opinions and interpretation bulletins pertaining to the Act. The Commissioner is also responsible for the development of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct (the Code) as well as ensuring compliance with the Code. The Act provides the Commissioner with the authority to investigate alleged breaches of the Act and the Code and to issue reports, which are required to be tabled before Parliament. The Commissioner also reviews applications for exemptions to the five-year prohibition on lobbying for former designated public office holders and publishes the names of those granted, as well as the reasons for the exemptions.

Information related to the Commissioner of Lobbying's mandate and responsibilities is available at: The Commissioner of Lobbying: Mandate

Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying (OCL) has a complement of 28 staff grouped around the following four core programs: Registry of Lobbyists, Compliance and Enforcement, Education and Outreach, as well as Internal Services. Each of these programs and activities are described below.

Outreach and Education

The OCL undertakes research to inform the development and delivery of its education and outreach products and activities. Outreach activities raise awareness about the requirements of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct. Outreach audiences include but are not limited to lobbyists, their clients and public office holders.

Advisory Opinions and Interpretation Bulletins

Description: Official information provided by the Commissioner of Lobbying to help registrants understand the application of the Act and/or the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct, such as: Registry of Lobbyists, legislation, regulations, policies, procedures, administration and studies.

Document Types: Policy documents regarding the interpretation of the Lobbying Act and Regulations.

Record Number: OCL EDAR 010

Lobbyists' Code of Conduct

Description: Information on the rules of ethics governing lobbyists such as: integrity and honesty, openness, professionalism, transparency, confidentiality and conflict of interest.

Document Types: Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct

Record Number: OCL EDAR 025

Policies, Standards and Practices

Description: Planning, descriptive and analytical material pertaining to the registration, monitoring, investigation and reporting responsibilities of the Commissioner of Lobbying. Miscellaneous subjects directly related to the Commissioner of Lobbying statutory and executive functions.

Document Types: Information concerning the daily administration of the OCL, including records of decisions, reports and committee recommendations.

Record Number: OCL EDAR 035

National and International Issues

Description: Provincial and international lobbyist registration regimes. Information concerning Canadian and international lobbying registration regimes and lobbying issues.

Document Types: Information relating to disclosure requirements, best practices, ethics, conflict of interest and other related issues.

Record Number: OCL EDAR 030

Registry of Lobbyists

The OCL maintains an online Registry that makes information about lobbying activities public, including which designated public office holders were lobbied and on what subjects. The Registry is easy to use, searchable and downloadable. The OCL reviews and approves lobbyists’ registrations. It also provides advice and technical support related to the Registry, the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct.

Registration

Description: Information concerning the registration of lobbyists.

Document Types: Completed electronic registration forms of lobbyists, information systems, legislation, regulation, policies and procedures, administration and studies.

Record Number: OCL ROL 005

Lobbyist Registry
 – Personal Information Bank

Description: The database contains the names of registrants and individual lobbyists carrying out lobbying activities, as well as the names, business addresses, business e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of their firms (Consultant lobbyists), and employers (In-house Corporation and Organization lobbyists). It also contains the names of the government institution(s) they are communicating with, as well as the subject matter of the lobbying activities they are required to report under the Lobbying Act (the Act) and the Lobbyists Registration Regulations. In the case of former public office holders, the database contains information related to past positions they occupied within the federal government. The Registry was modified in July of 2008, in accordance with the Act, to accommodate and include prescribed information regarding lobbyists' communications with designated public office holders. Additionally, the Registry includes information regarding the five-year restriction on lobbying by former designated public office holders, as well as effective dates, exemptions and other relevant data.

Class of Individuals: Registrants, lobbyists, clients, employers.

Purpose: The information is collected in the Registry of Lobbyists for publication on the OCL's website pursuant to the reporting requirements of the Act and Regulations.

Consistent Uses: The information submitted pursuant to the Act and Regulations is maintained in an electronic database accessible to the public in the Registry of Lobbyists available on the OCL's website. The data submitted by registrants are subject to review and verification and may be audited for accuracy. The OCL also has administrative paper files on each registration, containing the signed electronic agreements of registrants and other transactional documents.

Retention and Disposal Standards: Records are retained for a period of 20 years after files are closed. They are then transfered to Library and Archives Canada as Information Resources of Enduring Value (records of archival or historical value).

RDA Number: 2012/006

Related Record Number: OCL ROL 005

TBS Registration: 009943

Bank Number: OCL PPU 039

Designated Public Office Holder Regulations

Description: Regulations to identify which public office holder positions are designated and are subject to the 5-year prohibition on lobbying, once they leave public office and with whom oral and arranged communications must be reported monthly by lobbyists.

Document Types: Legislative regulations.

Record Number: OCL ROL 010

Guides to Registration

Description: Information for registrants and lobbyists concerning the procedures to follow with respect to the registration of lobbyists.

Document Types: Registration of lobbyists, information systems, forms, legislation, regulations, policies, procedures and administration.

Record Number: OCL ROL 020

Lobbyists Registration Regulations

Description: Regulations affecting the filing of disclosures and returns with respect to the registration of lobbyists, such as: Deadline dates for filing returns, content of returns, completion or termination of undertakings, changes to the information provided in returns, disclosures, amendments, changes, terminations and clarification of information.

Document Types: Regulations, legislation on the Registry of Lobbyists.

Record Number: OCL ROL 035

Compliance and Enforcement

The OCL conducts monitoring and compliance verification activities to ensure that registrable lobbying activity is properly reported, and information provided by lobbyists is thorough, accurate and complete. Suspected and alleged non-compliance with the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct is reviewed and, where appropriate, formal investigations are undertaken to ensure that lobbying activities are ethical and transparent. The Commissioner reports findings and conclusions in Reports on Investigation submitted for tabling in Parliament. The OCL also reviews applications for exemption from the five-year post-employment prohibition on lobbying to ensure that exemptions are granted only when to do so would be consistent with the purposes of the Act.

Performance is measured by indicators such as the number of administrative reviews and investigations opened and closed, and the length of time to review an exemption request to the five-year prohibition on lobbying for former designated public office holders.

Compliance

Description: Information concerning compliance verification activities, reviews and investigations of alleged breaches of the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct and/or the Lobbying Act and information on requests for exemptions from the five-year ban on lobbying by former designated public office holders (DPOH).

Document Types: Paper or electronic versions of reports, correspondence and memoranda as well as information obtained during interviews, requests for information and research of publicly available records.

Record Number: OCL RAIN 040

Reviews and Investigations
 – Personal Information Bank

Description: This bank describes personal information used to administer the compliance and enforcement program. Some personal information pertains to alleged breaches of the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct and/or the Lobbying Act. Personal information may also relate to compliance verification activities, such as verifications of the accuracy of monthly communication reports submitted by registrants concerning oral and arranged communications with designated public office holders; and reviews of applications received for exemptions to the five-year prohibition on lobbying. Such personal information may include names, contact information, biographical information, registrants' identification numbers, complaints or inquiries from individuals, contracts, signed affidavits and other evidence, correspondence, notes related to interviews with the subject under investigation, or various witness statements. Other information may include copies of media articles, research findings and recommendations.

Class of Individuals: General public, registrants, lobbyists, clients, employers, current and former public office holders, including designated public office holders.

Purpose: Personal information is used to administer the compliance and enforcement program activity and to determine eligibility for exemptions to the five-year prohibition on lobbying. Personal information is collected pursuant to the Lobbying Act, the Lobbyists Registration Regulations, and the Designated Public Office Holder Regulations. The information collected related to persons under a review or investigation or who request an exemption to the five-year prohibition on lobbying is subject to verification by authorized personnel in the Investigations Directorate.

Consistent Uses: Information may be used or disclosed for the following purposes: enforcement of the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (the Code) and/or the Lobbying Act (the Act), monitoring and verification of compliance by registrants and evaluation of information submitted by former designated public office holders to assess their eligibility for an exemption to the five-year prohibition on lobbying. Once an investigation under the Code is complete, the results are submitted in individual reports to both Houses of Parliament. Subsequent to tabling, each of these reports are published on the OCL's website. The names of former designated public office holders who receive an exemption from the five-year prohibition on lobbying, as well as the reasons for the decisions, are also published on the OCL's website. In accordance with the Act, all reviews and investigations are conducted in private, and therefore the OCL will not confirm or deny whether a review or an investigation concerning a particular individual is under way and will not disclose any information until the results of the investigation is made public. Note on disclosure: Files may be referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) if the Commissioner of Lobbying believes on reasonable grounds that an offence under the Act, or any other applicable legislation may have occurred. Once the file is transferred, the Commissioner must suspend the investigation. The files are held by the RCMP in Operational Case Records in PIB RCMP PPU 005. Should the file be returned to the OCL, the investigation may resume under the Code.

Retention and Disposal Standards: Records are retained for a period of 25 years after the files are closed. They are then transferred to Library and Archives Canada as Information Resources of Enduring Value (records of archival or historical value).

RDA Number: 2012/006

Related Record Number: OCL RAIN 040

TBS Registration: 20110256

Bank Number: OCL PPU 040

Notes: Personal information described in this bank is held in the OCL's electronic case management system database, as well as in paper files. While a review or investigation is underway, the personal information and information related to the investigation process in each file is protected from disclosure under the Lobbying Act.

Internal Services

Internal services constitute groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are management and oversight services, communications services, legal services, human resources management services, financial management services, information management services, information technology services, real property services, materiel services, acquisition services, and travel and other administrative services. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Acquisition Services

Acquisition services involve activities undertaken to acquire a good or service to fulfill a properly completed request (including a complete and accurate definition of requirements and certification that funds are available) until entering into or amending a contract.

Communications Services

Communications services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. The communications management function ensures that the public—internal or external—receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Financial Management Services

Financial management services involve activities undertaken to ensure the prudent use of public resources, including planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

Human Resources Management Services

Human resources management services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, allocating resources among services and processes, as well as activities relating to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies and plans.

Information Management Services

Information management services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

Information Technology Services

Information technology services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity, and to enhance services to the public.

Legal services

Legal services involve activities undertaken to enable government departments and agencies to pursue policy, program and service delivery priorities and objectives within a legally sound framework.

Management and Oversight Services

Management and oversight services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction and allocating resources among services and processes, as well as those activities related to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies or plans.

Materiel Services

Materiel services involve activities undertaken to ensure that materiel can be managed by departments in a sustainable and financially responsible manner that supports the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Real Property Services

Real property services involve activities undertaken to ensure that real property is managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner, throughout its life cycle, to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Travel and Other Administrative Services

Travel and other administrative services include Government of Canada travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories.

Manuals

  • Administrative Review Process and Investigation Process Manual 2006

Additional Information

The Government of Canada encourages the release of information through requests outside of the Access to Information and the Privacy Act (ATIP) process. You may wish to consult Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s completed Access to Information (ATI) summaries.

To make an informal request, contact:

Josée Cousineau, ATIP Agent
410 Laurier Avenue West, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B7
Telephone: 613-957-2760
Facsimile: 613-957-3078
atip-aiprp@ocl-cal.gc.ca

Please see the Introduction to this publication for information on formal access procedures under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The following outlines how to make a formal ATIP request:

Mail your letter or Access to Information Request Form (Access to Information Act) or Personal Information Request Form (Privacy Act), along with any necessary documents (such as consent or the $5.00 application fee for a request under the Access to Information Act) to the following address:

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying
François Bertrand, ATIP Coordinator
410 Laurier Avenue West, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B7
Telephone: 613-957-2760
Facsimile: 613-957-3078

Please note: Each request made to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying under the Access to Information Act must be accompanied by an application fee of $5.00, cheque or money order made payable to the Receiver General for Canada.

For additional information about the programs and activities of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, please contact:

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying
François Bertrand
410 Laurier Avenue West, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B7
Telephone: 613-957-2760
Facsimile: 613-957-3078

The OCL conducts Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) to ensure that privacy implications will be appropriately identified, assessed and resolved before a new or substantially modified program or activity involving personal information is implemented. Summaries of completed PISs are available:

Reading Room

In accordance with the Access to Information and Privacy Act, an area on the premises of this institution has been designated as a public reading room. The address is:

410 Laurier Avenue West, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B7