Quality Assurance Framework
The Corporate Environment

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A. Quality commitment

Description

Trust in the integrity of a national statistical office (NSO) is essential. A crucial element of this trust is belief that the NSO’s choices are based on sound criteria and are motivated by statistical considerations, and that the NSO is insulated from undue influence of data users, funding partners and other stakeholders.

The term quality commitment is used to describe values, policies, decisions and practices consistent with the ideals and culture described above. Realizing quality goals requires a combination of NSO-wide and program-specific initiatives. Effective management of quality strikes an appropriate balance between the resources available to the NSO and the information needs of its data users and stakeholders. Many of the forces that threaten the ability of an NSO to maintain its quality commitment are beyond its control. The economy and society to which official statistics pertain are changing at an unprecedented pace, and the demand for information about them, both in breadth and depth, is growing as well. Meanwhile, in a continuing long-term trend, households and businesses are becoming less inclined to participate in surveys. Advancements in technology and changes in behaviour, combined with the availability of alternate sources of statistical information, contribute to the expectation of greater efficiency and expediency. Additionally, the emergence of new priorities demanding public funds have increasingly required NSOs to fund improvements and new initiatives through savings harvested internally. It is therefore incumbent upon the Agency to be continuously looking for innovative methods and new data sources to allow it to fulfill its mandate. In spite of all these pressures, an NSO must be managed such that the institutional environment entrenches drivers of quality. In this way, the NSO can continue to uphold and sustain its quality commitment.

Assessment

Statistics Canada’s adherence to its quality commitment is assessed by evaluating the extent to which the Agency:

  1. ensures its employees function to the highest professional standards in terms of both competencies and ethics
  2. promotes transparency, impartiality, objectivity and professional independence through its business practices and organizational structure
  3. bases its programs on sound methods and scientific principles, and ensures they are consistent with recognized standards and best practices and are supported by a statistical methods group
  4. follows through on its quality commitment operationally, throughout the statistical process
  5. ensures that exogenous factors and other unanticipated changes do not hinder its capacity to meet its quality commitment
  6. utilizes objective and transparent criteria to evaluate and monitor the degree to which it fulfills its quality-related commitments in its programs and outputs.

Implementation

Statistics Canada undertakes a broad range of specific initiatives to stand behind and follow through on its quality commitment in its statistical programs. Below is a list of such initiatives, in groups that correspond to the items under Assessment.

A.1 Statistics Canada ensures its employees function to the highest professional standards in terms of both competencies and ethics

  • Provide guidance to all staff on their responsibilities and obligations and on expectations of them as Statistics Canada employees, especially pertaining to confidentiality, privacy and security. Related management initiatives include: overarching policies and codes; a binding commitment through oath; training and certification on confidentiality, privacy and security; and guidelines for proper use of electronic networks.
  • Coordinate recruitment campaigns to identify and attract professionally competent and motivated candidates from the relevant academic disciplines. The processes include national recruitment teams and campaigns for professional groups including mathematical statisticians (methodologists), computer scientists, economists and social scientists.
    • Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan
  • Staff vacancies through objective and fair selection processes, to benefit both employees and the Agency. Statistics Canada: utilizes generic competitions at regular intervals; sets out objective criteria to assess knowledge, abilities and personal suitability and to assign successful candidates to openings; and ensures the participation of senior managers on selection committees that evaluate candidates.
  • Foster the professional and personal development of staff through learning opportunities, performance feedback and developmental opportunities. Statistics Canada’s policies outline its commitment to continuous learning. Learning is promoted through development programs for new recruits, a vast catalogue of courses delivered in-house (including a set of required courses) and by the Canada School of Public Service, access to courses at local universities and colleges and support for completion of degree programs. Further, guidance on professional development is provided through regular performance review, mentoring and support activities. Opportunities for employees to expand their professional experience are available through deployment, special assignments and exchanges.
  • Maintain collaboration and exchanges with the scientific, academic and business communities through participation of employees in professional associations and other peer gatherings.
  • Stimulate creativity, innovation and the promotion of professionalism, particularly at the “grassroots” level.
    • Innovation Channel
  • Build a positive, exciting and healthy workplace through employee wellness programs.

A.2 Statistics Canada promotes transparency, impartiality, objectivity and professional independence through its business practices and organizational structure

  • Convey information regarding the Agency’s priorities, initiatives and progress to the public, stakeholders and employees. Various reports are listed on its website, including its report to Parliament, the Corporate Business Plan and internal audit reports.
  • Commit to providing all Canadians with equitable and timely access to Statistics Canada’s data products and information releases. The Agency publishes release dates well in advance. The pre-planned release schedule is publicly available and any pre-release access is communicated transparently. Procedures exist for cases where data are released prematurely. Further, it is required that all releases pass through a uniform dissemination service, where The Daily is Statistics Canada’s official release bulletin. Policies ensure that communications are effectively managed and are responsive to information needs of the public.
  • Produce and disseminate standard methodological documentation. Statistics Canada policies describe the procedures for communicating data quality information. These guidelines translate into the development of an integrated metadata repository where definitions, data sources and methods for each survey and statistical program are published. As well, user guides accompany a data release to provide background details on the data and methods. Additionally, technical reports explain procedures used in the creation of the statistics.

A.3 Statistics Canada bases its programs on sound methods and scientific principles, and ensures they are consistent with recognized standards and best practices and are supported by a statistical methods group

  • Base choices of information sources and statistical methods and decisions regarding dissemination on sound criteria motivated by statistical considerations.
  • Foster innovation through a statistical methods research and development program that is centrally funded.
    • Methodology Research Block Fund
  • Share expertise within the Agency and externally to evaluate and improve new methods, using accepted scientific principles. This sharing is facilitated through committees that confer on matters relating to the utilization of efficient statistical methods, peer review of papers and presentations and publication of an Agency journal on statistical methods.
    • Advisory Committee on Statistical Methods
    • Policy on Peer and Institutional Review
    • Survey Methodology Journal
  • Put in place policies and procedures to ensure that standard concepts, definitions and classifications are consistently applied throughout the Agency. For example, an Agency-level committee advises on the development and application of statistical standards and metadata.
  • Provide expertise and leadership on design and implementation of sound statistical and survey methods. At Statistics Canada, such services are provided to statistical program areas by a core statistical methods group that is centrally located within the Agency. The Methodology Branch consists of a group of mathematical statisticians (methodologists) with education and experience in relevant disciplines. In addition to guidance on statistical and survey methods, the Methodology Branch also plays a leading role in promoting and supporting quality assurance within the Agency.

A.4 Statistics Canada follows through on its quality commitment operationally, throughout the statistical process

  • Provide tools and support to foster building quality into all aspects of statistical programs and to ensure all employees are aware of and fulfill their responsibilities regarding the quality of processes and products.
    • Quality Guidelines
    • Quality Assurance Framework
    • Directive and Guidelines for the Validation of Statistical Outputs
    • Quality Secretariat
  • Assist statistical program areas in the implementation of sound methods through the statistical methods group. This group plays a leadership role in promoting common methodologies and generalized solutions. The group guides program areas in the proper integration of new methods through adherence to recognized procedures such as pilot tests and parallel runs. Members of the statistical methods group form part of multidisciplinary project teams. As well, centres of expertise, or resource centres, exist for assisting with specific issues (e.g., Time Series Research and Analysis Centre).
    • Generalized Systems Resource Centre
    • Resource and support centres

A.5 Statistics Canada ensures that exogenous factors and other unanticipated changes do not hinder its capacity to meet its quality commitment

  • Establish a consistent process for submission, evaluation and funding allocation of proposals. The planning process considers a long-term horizon. It works on an annual planning cycle and covers all stages of planning where financial, human resources and informatics needs are all considered together. It includes a review of corporate priorities and integrates risk management, investment planning, and evaluation into the planning process.
    • Integrated Strategic Planning Process
    • Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan
    • Information Technology Plan
  • Forecast regular and strategic investments necessary to preserve the quality and continuity of statistical programs over time. This forecast covers an extended horizon (10 years) and considers the cyclical nature of specific statistical programs (e.g., five-year Census cycle, 10-year redesign cycle for certain surveys) when planning redesigns and other program modifications or enhancements. A separate fund exists for initiatives that cannot be covered by program area base budgets.
    • Continuity and Quality Maintenance Investment Plan
    • Continuity and Quality Management Fund
    • Investment Proposals
  • Create corporate initiatives to assure quality in light of changing environments. Corporate committees evaluate impending changes and decide on a course of action. As well, program areas document Business Continuity Plans for use in case of a business interruption.
    • Human Resources Committee
    • Information Technology Architecture Committee
    • Security Coordination Committee
  • Implement effective project management by providing tools and guidelines. A centralized office provides support in the development of common processes and tools to improve the timely delivery of projects in a cost effective fashion while adhering to quality standards and meeting client needs. As a result, a set of standard project management processes, templates and tools is in place.
    • Departmental Project Management Office
    • Departmental Project Management Framework

A.6 Statistics Canada utilizes objective and transparent criteria to evaluate and monitor the degree to which it fulfills its quality-related commitments in its programs and outputs

  • Evaluate statistical program areas regularly through internal audits, quality reviews and other techniques. Through the reviews, strengths and weaknesses are identified and current best methods are shared corporately. As well, feedback from data users and stakeholders is solicited and used to guide program areas. As a result, risk mitigation strategies are strengthened. External audits of statistical programs and benchmarking to external indicators are conducted as required.
    • Audit and Evaluation Plan
  • Ensure measures of quality are made available to data users.
  • Use objective measures to track differences between quality targets and realized values, such as producing corporate performance indicators and monitoring of corrections to data releases.

B. Sound implementation of statistical methods

Description

Sound implementation of statistical methods means that the design is carried out as specified, errors are avoided and proper verification and documentation are completed. Sound implementation of statistical methods also requires alignment with current best methods and standards. The resulting coherence and consistency enhance relevance and utility.

Statistics Canada develops mandatory rules and guidelines that govern the acquisition, production and dissemination of statistical information. These rules and guidelines are referred to as “statistical standards”, and their purpose is to ensure uniformity across statistical programs. The Agency also encourages the use of common tools, approved methods and other current best methods in order to improve coherence and comparability, reduce the cost of design and production, and increase robustness and simplicity.

Assessment

Statistics Canada?s sound implementation of statistical methods, as well as the use of statistical standards and current best practices, are assessed by evaluating the extent to which the Agency:

  1. ensures correct implementation of survey designs and of mitigation of risks to quality
  2. promotes and supports the use of statistical standards by program areas
  3. contributes to the development and use of conceptual frameworks, standard names and definitions, and best practices
  4. promotes and supports the use of consistent data acquisition, processing and dissemination methods across its statistical programs
  5. effectively manages and communicates information regarding redesigns and other changes to statistical methods.

Implementation

Statistics Canada undertakes a broad range of specific initiatives to ensure sound implementation of statistical methods and to promote the use of statistical standards and current best practices in its statistical programs. Below is a list of such initiatives, in groups that correspond to the items under Assessment.

B.1 Statistics Canada ensures correct implementation of survey designs and of mitigation of risks to quality

  • Implement a comprehensive “matrix” approach to quality management by considering quality assurance at all phases of the statistical process and by considering the multi-dimensional nature of quality. For example, program areas identify and verify that changes in variable definitions, international standards, parameter values and other inputs are correctly incorporated into operations and systems at the beginning of each processing cycle. They monitor collection and processing operations, by using process control and other methods, and make adjustments as required. Moreover, they reconcile estimates and outputs with other comparable statistical and administrative sources on similar subjects, including previous estimates from the same statistical program, and conduct comprehensive post-release program review and analysis.
  • Implement effective project management by providing tools and guidelines. A centralized office provides support in the development of common processes and tools to improve the timely delivery of projects in a cost-effective fashion while adhering to quality standards and meeting client needs. As a result, a set of standard project management processes, templates and tools is in place.
    • Departmental Project Management Office
    • Departmental Project Management Framework
  • Use a multidisciplinary team approach to ensure expertise in all areas, effective exchange of ideas and balanced decision-making. Typically, subject-matter experts are responsible for content, stakeholder needs and relevance. Mathematical statisticians (methodologists) contribute a solid foundation in statistical methods and expertise in accuracy and its relation to other dimensions of quality. Operations personnel have experience in collection and processing methods, and bring knowledge of field work, respondent relations and cost. Systems experts ensure informatics considerations are represented and bring specialist knowledge of technology standards and tools.
  • Identify and thoroughly understand potential sources of error and of breach in quality. Risk mitigation strategies are integrated into survey design and implementation. Mitigation of risks to quality is assessed and reported periodically.

B.2 Statistics Canada promotes and supports the use of statistical standards by program areas

  • Develop and maintain a protocol for statistical standards. Promote and monitor the adoption of statistical standards uniformly across statistical programs. Statistical standards apply to concepts, definitions, frameworks, units, variables, classification systems, protocols and target populations. Exceptions to statistical standards are justified and documented.
  • Develop, maintain and disseminate statistical metadata in a corporate repository. The elements in the repository are updated, changes are tracked and users are informed.
  • Support statistical standards with administrative and governance structures and tools. A corporate committee assists and advises on the development, approval and application of statistical standards and metadata within the Agency’s programs. A specific division is responsible for all the classifications and standards - including industry, product, occupation and education classifications, geography and economic accounts - used by Statistics Canada.
  • Provide guidance on the interpretation of statistical standards. If appropriate, define classes of standards that differ by the degree of obligation to adhere to them (i.e., compulsory Statistics Canada standards, recommended standards and program-specific standards).

B.3 Statistics Canada contributes to the development and use of conceptual frameworks, standard names and definitions, and best practices

  • Participate in the development of national and international standards and other frameworks, and encourage consistency with them. Statistics Canada participates in numerous development groups, such as those of the United Nations Statistics Division and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The Agency is also involved in groups developing standard classification systems such as the North American Industrial Classification System and the National Occupational Classification-Statistics.
  • Participate in various external fora, such as working groups or subject-matter expert groups, to work with other national statistical offices in recognizing and promoting national and international best practices and cutting-edge methods.
  • Set up internal cross-program committees to ensure that quantities being estimated bear relation to each other through use of consistent terminology, commonly formulated questions and comparable variable definitions. In particular, maximize consistency both within (e.g., between quarterly and annual estimates, and between preliminary and final estimates) and across statistical programs.
    • Policy on Standards
    • Policy on the Review and Testing of Questionnaires
    • Questionnaire Design Resource Centre
  • Ensure that program areas periodically assess compliance with standards and frameworks as well as consistency and comparability with related administrative data, other estimates from Statistics Canada and estimates from elsewhere.

B.4 Statistics Canada promotes and supports the use of consistent data acquisition, processing and dissemination methods across its statistical programs

  • Use standardized frameworks and systems to support process management.
  • Develop and use common frames and processing environments. Examples of these are the Business Register, Household Survey Frame Service, Social Survey Processing Environment and the Integrated Business Statistics Program.
  • Optimize the use of generalized systems, resource centres and centralized services.
    • Generalized Systems Resource Centre
    • Resource and support centres
  • Ensure internal consistency of outputs during operations. In particular, ensure that arithmetic or accounting operations do not lead to discrepancies (e.g., rounding) and that outputs of complementary processes are integrated properly.
  • Implement an appropriate structure for approval and testing when developing and implementing new software applications and other processing tools. Develop appropriate guidelines and other oversight tools and structures, as needed.
  • Ensure consistency of message and convenient user access through a corporate dissemination framework and access tools. Examples of such tools are The Daily and tables from the Agency’s socioeconomic database CANSIM.
    • Statistics Canada Dissemination Model
    • Directive on Media Relations
    • Directive on Corrections to Daily Releases and Statistical Products
    • The Daily
    • CANSIM
  • Require that program areas collect and store data required for post-release program review and analysis.

B.5 Statistics Canada effectively manages and communicates information regarding redesigns and other changes to statistical methods

  • Produce quality reports and other supporting methodological information needed for users to make meaningful comparisons over time and with other sources of information. Program areas provide users with information on changes to concepts, definitions, classifications and methods, as well as deviations from international standards and other practices.
  • For redesigns and other significant changes in survey methodology or international standards, explain breaks in series and develop methods for reconciliation. Produce historical revisions when deemed appropriate. For example, a data series is updated when a classification framework is revised.
  • Solicit feedback from users, in particular their experience in producing historical series, comparing estimates between statistical programs, and comparing the Agency’s outputs with those of other sources. Identify inadequacies and issues.

C. Assurance of confidentiality, privacy and security

Description

A national statistical office (NSO) is entrusted with the authority to compel individuals, businesses and institutions to provide information. Implicit in this provision are certain obligations regarding the NSO’s “stewardship”Note 1 of information provided to it. The NSO must justify the benefits of obtaining information and minimize the burden that its collection imposes, in terms of both invasion of privacy and demands on respondent time and effort. The NSO must also safeguard its data holdings, in particular information attributable to individual respondents, from unauthorized disclosure, access or use.

Three important concepts in data stewardship are confidentiality, privacy and security. Confidentiality is the protection of information attributable to an identifiable unitNote 2 from unauthorized disclosure. Privacy, in the statistical context, is the protection of respondents from intrusive enquiries and the provision that individuals have some access to and control over information about themselves. Security refers to the policies and practices NSOs use to prevent confidential information from being improperly disclosed, accessed or used. Disclosure control refers to the development and implementation of measures that identify and address data items that could expose confidential information in outputs such as data tabulations and public-use microdata files. Examples of disclosure control measures include cell suppression and data perturbation.

The Statistics Act enshrines the authority of Statistics Canada to collect, process and publish statistical information. It also prescribes the responsibilities of the Agency to protect the confidentiality of identifiable individual responses. The Statistics Act gives Statistics Canada authority to obtain information from citizens and businesses through mandatory surveys, and also guarantees the Agency access to records maintained by organizations. The Statistics Act also provides the Agency with discretion to authorize the release, by executive order, of data that would otherwise be protected.

Other federal laws, primarily the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, establish the responsibilities of all federal departments regarding personal information held in government records. The Privacy Act requires that individuals be informed of the authority under which data are collected and the intended uses of the information. Information collected by Statistics Canada is for statistical purposes, defined as description or analysis of characteristics of a population to which the individual belongs. As the Privacy Act also recognizes statistical purposes as a legitimate secondary use of information, Statistics Canada is able to additionally obtain information collected elsewhere for other purposes. In particular, the Agency is able to obtain information collected for administrativeNote 3 purposes. However the Privacy Act dictates that information collected for statistical purposes must not be used for administrative purposes. The Access to Information Act ensures that respondents have the right to obtain information they provided to Statistics Canada and other federal departments.

Assessment

Statistics Canada?s efforts pertaining to confidentiality, privacy and security are assessed by evaluating the extent to which the Agency:

  1. develops and implements policies and practices to fulfill the obligations of the Statistics Act, the Privacy Act, the Access to Information Act and any other statutes
  2. minimizes the intrusiveness of data collection through use of alternate sources of information and effective design of data collection instruments
  3. facilitates response by informing respondents of their rights and obligations, the importance of responding and the protection their data will be afforded
  4. implements organizational, physical and technological measures to protect the confidentiality and ensure the security of statistical data
  5. provides training and other measures to instill a culture that promotes awareness of issues and obligations related to confidentiality, privacy and security
  6. implements effective disclosure control measures, in particular through extensive verification of outputs.

Implementation

Statistics Canada undertakes a broad range of specific initiatives to protect confidentiality, minimize the impact on privacy and provide data security in its statistical programs. Below is a list of such initiatives, in groups that correspond to the items under Assessment.

C.1 Statistics Canada develops and implements policies and practices to fulfill the obligations of the Statistics Act, the Privacy Act, the Access to Information Act and any other statutes

  • Develop policies to ensure the Agency carries out its responsibilities and obligations, as a federal institution, regarding privacy, confidentiality and security.
  • Define directives regarding the release of identifiable information by executive order (discretionary release), as provided in the Statistics Act. One justification for discretionary release is permission provided by respondents to release data about themselves (waivers).
    • Directive on Discretionary Disclosure
    • Obtaining a Discretionary Disclosure: Guidelines
    • Directive on Informing Survey Respondents

C.2 Statistics Canada minimizes the intrusiveness of data collection through use of alternate sources of information and effective design of data collection instruments

  • Before undertaking any new collection, determine if equivalent data are available from other sources.
    • Directive on Obtaining Administrative Data under the Statistics Act
  • Reduce response burden through data collection and processing initiatives such as record linkage, data sharing or joint data collection activities (where surveys that collect similar or related data are integrated or combined). Study and implement innovative methods, for example electronic collection, satellite imaging and scanner data.
  • Assess impact on privacy prior to commencing any new data collection initiative.
    • Directive on Conducting Privacy Impact Assessments
  • Use focus groups and questionnaire testing to uncover factors that will impact data collection. Identify sensitive questions and subjects and evaluate the impact of the mode of collection on the provision of such information. Ensure response is not inhibited by characteristics such as excessively long or onerous questionnaires.
    • Policy on the Review and Testing of Questionnaires
    • Questionnaire Design Resource Centre

C.3 Statistics Canada facilitates response by informing respondents of their rights and obligations, the importance of responding and the protection their data will be afforded

  • Provide respondents with information on Statistics Canada and the survey in which they have been asked to participate. Explain to respondents the benefits of official statistics and the importance of their participation.
  • Inform respondents of any planned or possible record linkage of their survey responses to data from other surveys or administrative files. If required, obtain permission for linkage.
    • Directive on Microdata Linkage
  • For longitudinal surveys, inform respondents of the repeated nature of data collection and that their information will be combined with that collected in past or future cycles, as applicable.
  • Inform respondents of any data sharing or joint-collection agreements to which their data are subject. When applicable, allow survey respondents to opt out of such use of their data.
  • Convey to respondents the importance of using recommended mechanisms to return questionnaire data, the risks associated with other means of transmission and the importance of providing data by the specified deadline.
    • Directive on the Transmission of Protected Information

C.4 Statistics Canada implements organizational, physical and technological measures to protect the confidentiality and ensure the security of statistical data

  • Specify the characteristics of information to which “sensitive statistical information” provisions apply and develop appropriate policies and practices to safeguard such information. Some examples of sensitive statistical information are: information attributable to specific respondents (e.g., completed questionnaires, printouts of individual survey records); information which could be exploited for financial or other gain (i.e., information not yet released to the public); and human resources management and other personal information of employees.
    • Directive on the Security of Sensitive Statistical Information
  • Address issues related to confidentiality, privacy and security in risk management and contingency planning.
  • Elaborate a reporting and management structure for assurance of confidentiality, privacy and security and promotion of the importance of these issues. At Statistics Canada, a corporate committee on microdata access provides direction about matters pertaining to access to information, privacy and confidentiality obligations, with other specific responsibilities accorded to certain senior manager positions.
    • Microdata Access Management Committee
    • Policy on Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Define corporate approval, monitoring and documentation processes for all record linkage initiatives.
    • Directive on Microdata Linkage
  • Define guidelines for retention and documentation of statistical information.
    • Policy on Document Management
    • Policy on Information Management
    • Directive on the Management of Aggregate Statistics
  • Implement secure electronic storage and transmission of information, including controlled network access.
    • Information Technology Security Policy
    • Directive on Management of Information Technology
    • Directive on the Transmission of Protected Information
  • Limit internal access to sensitive information to only those who require it (“need to know”). Review and update such permissions regularly through a centralized system.
    • Corporate Access Request System
  • Control access to premises. Statistics Canada restricts access and entry to buildings, requires that access (identification) cards be worn by staff members and visitors, and requires specific approval through a centralized system for after-hours access.
    • Security Practices Manual
    • Corporate Access Request System
  • Apply strict protocols regarding external user access to statistical microdata for research purposes. These protocols apply to external researchers working at Statistics Canada’s offices and at its Research Data Centres. They also cover the use of microdata accessed externally via universities, or through remote access.

C.5 Statistics Canada provides training and other measures to instill a culture that promotes awareness of issues and obligations related to confidentiality, privacy and security

  • Provide a range of training on confidentiality, privacy and security. Address these themes in the orientation course for all new employees and in flagship courses. Develop and implement new training initiatives. Provide employees with tips and best practices.
  • Require all staff (both regular and deemed employees) to sign a legal confidentiality commitment prior to accessing any work materials. Currently a new employee’s director administers an oath on the first day of work.
  • Require all staff to refresh their confidentiality commitment at regular intervals. Currently employees complete an online course as part of renewing their building access card.
  • Require all staff to review and accept a policy outlining responsibilities and obligations of Statistics Canada employees. The policy includes post-employment requirements. Currently review and acceptance of this policy is required annually, as part of employee performance review.
  • Require all staff to review and accept a policy outlining proper use of Agency electronic networks. Currently acceptance of this policy is required every 90 days to maintain an active user account.
    • Policy on the Use of Electronic Networks
    • Network Use Policy
    • Network Use Policy Agreement
  • Ensure employees are aware of the potential penalties for wilful breaches of statistical confidentiality and of the procedures to be followed if they become aware of a breach of statistical confidentiality.

C.6 Statistics Canada implements effective disclosure control measures, in particular through extensive verification of outputs

  • Develop and maintain expertise in disclosure control and make it available to all statistical program areas. Continue research efforts in identifying new types of risks, measuring disclosure risk and protecting statistical data confidentiality.
    • Disclosure Control Resource Centre
  • Remove names, personal or business identification numbers and other unique identifiers from internal databases and data files, when not required for statistical purposes.
    • Directive on the Management of Statistical Microdata Files
  • Promote and use standardized methods, software and other tools for confidentiality protection such as that for confidentiality (G-Confid), and for tabulations (G-Tab). These methods and tools are reviewed through corporate committees responsible for methods and standards, and for microdata access.
    • Methods and Standards Committee
    • Microdata Access Management Committee
  • Implement approval procedures, drawing upon the expertise of Agency specialists in the corporate committee on microdata release, prior to release of statistical microdata files and of aggregated data.
    • Microdata Release Committee
    • Policy on Microdata Release
    • Guidelines for the Release of Microdata Files
  • Ensure appropriate measures (e.g., anonymization, physical security) are in place for researcher access to microdata files. Properly vet outputs, including those that are generated using complex survey analysis and other statistical techniques.
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