Privacy Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-21)

Act current to 2014-09-29 and last amended on 2014-07-01. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Written complaint

 A complaint under this Act shall be made to the Privacy Commissioner in writing unless the Commissioner authorizes otherwise.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “30”.

INVESTIGATIONS

Marginal note:Notice of intention to investigate

 Before commencing an investigation of a complaint under this Act, the Privacy Commissioner shall notify the head of the government institution concerned of the intention to carry out the investigation and shall inform the head of the institution of the substance of the complaint.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “31”.
Marginal note:Regulation of procedure

 Subject to this Act, the Privacy Commissioner may determine the procedure to be followed in the performance of any duty or function of the Commissioner under this Act.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “32”.
Marginal note:Investigations in private
  •  (1) Every investigation of a complaint under this Act by the Privacy Commissioner shall be conducted in private.

  • Marginal note:Right to make representation

    (2) In the course of an investigation of a complaint under this Act by the Privacy Commissioner, the person who made the complaint and the head of the government institution concerned shall be given an opportunity to make representations to the Commissioner, but no one is entitled as of right to be present during, to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Commissioner by any other person.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “33”.
Marginal note:Powers of Privacy Commissioner in carrying out investigations
  •  (1) The Privacy Commissioner has, in relation to the carrying out of the investigation of any complaint under this Act, power

    • (a) to summon and enforce the appearance of persons before the Privacy Commissioner and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce such documents and things as the Commissioner deems requisite to the full investigation and consideration of the complaint, in the same manner and to the same extent as a superior court of record;

    • (b) to administer oaths;

    • (c) to receive and accept such evidence and other information, whether on oath or by affidavit or otherwise, as the Privacy Commissioner sees fit, whether or not the evidence or information is or would be admissible in a court of law;

    • (d) to enter any premises occupied by any government institution on satisfying any security requirements of the institution relating to the premises;

    • (e) to converse in private with any person in any premises entered pursuant to paragraph (d) and otherwise carry out therein such inquiries within the authority of the Privacy Commissioner under this Act as the Commissioner sees fit; and

    • (f) to examine or obtain copies of or extracts from books or other records found in any premises entered pursuant to paragraph (d) containing any matter relevant to the investigation.

  • Marginal note:Access to information

    (2) Notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament or any privilege under the law of evidence, the Privacy Commissioner may, during the investigation of any complaint under this Act, examine any information recorded in any form under the control of a government institution, other than a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to which subsection 70(1) applies, and no information that the Commissioner may examine under this subsection may be withheld from the Commissioner on any grounds.

  • Marginal note:Evidence in other proceedings

    (3) Except in a prosecution of a person for an offence under section 131 of the Criminal Code (perjury) in respect of a statement made under this Act, in a prosecution for an offence under this Act or in a review before the Court under this Act or an appeal therefrom, evidence given by a person in proceedings under this Act and evidence of the existence of the proceedings is inadmissible against that person in a court or in any other proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Witness fees

    (4) Any person summoned to appear before the Privacy Commissioner pursuant to this section is entitled in the discretion of the Commissioner to receive the like fees and allowances for so doing as if summoned to attend before the Federal Court.

  • Marginal note:Return of documents, etc.

    (5) Any document or thing produced pursuant to this section by any person or government institution shall be returned by the Privacy Commissioner within ten days after a request is made to the Commissioner by that person or government institution, but nothing in this subsection precludes the Commissioner from again requiring its production in accordance with this section.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 34;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 187.