3.1 Statement and Purpose
Sources respects and uphold an individual's right to privacy and to protection of his or her personal information. Sources is committed to ensuring compliance with applicable privacy legislation.
3.2 Personal Information
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual, but does not include the name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.
Sources is accountable for the personal donor, client, member, employee, and volunteer information under its control. This includes personal information that is transferred to third parties for processing, storage or other purposes. Sources has appointed a Privacy Officer who, in cooperation with the Director of Professional Services, is responsible for the organization's compliance with this Policy.
3.4 Purposes for Collection, Use and Disclosure
Sources collects and uses personal information about donors, clients, members, employees and volunteers for a variety of purposes, as specified below. Purposed for colle Close ction are identified before or at the time the information is collected.
3.4.1 Employees and Applicants
Employee and applicant information is collected and used for contact purposes as well as to administer compensation, benefits, and pension programs. Information collected is also used to make decisions with respect to hiring, dismissal and performance evaluation.
Information collected on volunteers is used for contacting the volunteer, to make decisions regarding assignment and dismissal, and to complete performance reviews.
Information about clients is collected and used to determine eligibility for services, deliver services, assess progress, promote safety of the individual, other clients and/or staff and to contact the client.
3.4.4 Board and Society Members
Information collected from board and Society members is used only for the purpose of contacting the individual.
The collection of donor information is limited and used only for the purpose of processing donations to the Society.
3.5 Disclosure of Information to Third Parties
The only circumstances under which personal information may be disclosed to third parties is for the fulfillment of any purposes identified above, or as required by law. All release of information is done in accordance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. (Revised 2005) Prior to releasing personal information to a third party, Sources obtains written consent from the client, employee or volunteer or his/her parent or guardian. If the person served is a minor in the care of the Ministry for Children and Family Development, the child's social worker must give consent. In the case of an adult with a developmental disability who cannot understand the consent, a family member or advocate who knows the client well or the client's social worker must assist. Plain language is to be used, the consent read aloud or an interpreter used where understanding is compromised. (1999) Consent indicates what information is to be sent, to whom it goes, and the reason for the disclosure. Consent is obtained each time information is to be released and indicates the expiry date of the consent. (Revised 2002) The client maintains the right to revoke consent at any time. (Revised 2002) This policy is not in effect in the case of a court order to release of information. In the case of a court order to release information, Sources will consult their lawyer. If personal information is disclosed to third parties for the fulfillment of any purposes identified above, Sources will ensure that appropriate security undertakings, such as confidentiality clauses in contractual agreements, are employed to protect the transfer and use of personal information. Sources does not sell, trade or rent information to third parties.
3.6 Consent to Collection, Use and Disclosure
Sources obtains consent for collection, use and disclosure of all personal information. The method of obtaining consent is appropriate to the type of personal information being collected, used or disclosed. Express consent (verbal, written or electronic agreement) is required to collect, use or disclose sensitive personal information such as medical data or personal financial information. Sources may use implied consent to collect, use or disclose personal information where one or more of the following apply: - a customer relationship already exists - express consent has previously been given - where the purpose of using the personal information is reasonably apparent Persons having given consent may change or withdraw consent at any time (subject to contractual or legal restrictions and reasonable notice) by contacting the appropriate Manager/Supervisor or the Director of Professional Services.
3.7 Limiting Collection
Sources collects only the information required to meet the needs and obligations outlined in Section 3.4. Sources will collect personal information only by clear, fair and lawful means.
3.8 Limiting Use and Disclosure
Sources will not use or disclose personal information for any purpose other than those for which it was collected, except with consent or as required by law. Sources will not sell or rent personal information to any organization or person for any reason. Sources will not share personal information with third party organizations except to offer regular products or services. In the event that personal information is shared with third parties, these third parties are bound by appropriate agreements with Sources to secure and protect the confidentiality of the personal information.
3.9 Retention and Destruction of Files
Sources retains personal information only as long as it is required for the identified purpose(s) or as required by federal and provincial law. Psychologists and other counselling professionals may be subject to additional retention/destruction obligations under legislation or regulations applicable to their respective governing bodies.
3.9.1 Information Used to Make a Decision About a Person
Sources retains personal information for a minimum of one year where that information is used to make a decision that directly affects the individual (e.g. application for service or job candidate).
3.9.2 Contract File Closure
Client files are kept for a basic seven year retention. (Revised 2002) Files of clients under the age of nineteen (19) must be kept for seven years after the age of majority. Upon completion of the contract and upon written authorization from the Province of British Columbia, Sources is required to dispose of any electronic copies they may have, meaning complete obliteration beyond any possible reconstruction of the data.
3.9.3 Destruction of Files
Sources destroys its documents containing personal information as soon as it is reasonable to assume that: a. The purpose for which that personal information was collected is no longer being served by retention of the personal information, and b. Retention is no longer necessary for legal or business purposes. Sources employs a system of periodic records review, in order to evaluate whether there remains a purpose for retaining the personal information in the records. If there is no such purpose, the personal information is destroyed. In the event of dissolution of the organization, files of programs that operated under contract with government agencies will be forwarded to those agencies. Files of programs not operating under government contracts will be destroyed in a confidential manner.
3.10 Accuracy of Information
Sources will maintain personal information up-to-date, accurate and relevant for its intended use.
Sources will protect personal information with appropriate security safeguards including physical, administrative and electronic security measures.
3.12.1 Access to Personal Information
All persons for whom personal information is stored by Sources have the right to access their personal information under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. (Revised 2005) The Privacy Officer will assist with access requests. Unless prohibited by law, Sources provides persons served access to their own files. Minor children under thirteen (13) years of age may have access if requested by a parent or guardian and must be accompanied by them for viewing the file. Minor children thirteen (13) years of age or more may request access on their own. Where the service has involved the family group, every effort will be made to have all parties agree to review the information together. When that is not possible, only information about the person accessing the file will be released to them. (1999) Files may be accessed by a written request or by making an appointment with the Program Manager/Supervisor to view the file. All third party information will be removed under the direction of the Director of Professional Services prior to the file being reviewed. Files are to be reviewed at a Sources site unless third party information is removed and the severed file copied for the client to take away. (1999) Closed files stored off-site may be accessed only by the Director of Professional Services or the CQI Co-ordinator. Closed files can be accessed at the request of the Program Manager/Supervisor or by a client. In certain exceptional situations, Sources may not be able to provide access to personal information that it holds. In the case of client files, Sources only refuses to share sensitive information where it is believed that the sharing of the information will cause harm to the client. The decision to withhold information must be reviewed and approved in writing by the Executive Director. (1995) Where access cannot be provided, Sources will provide written notification of the reasons for the refusal. In such cases, a qualified professional, having signed a written statement indicating that sensitive information will not be divulged to the client, may be appointed to review the file on behalf of the client. (2003)
3.12.2 Third Party Access
Open and closed files are routinely accessed only by Sources staff and volunteers who are or were working with the person whose records is being examined. This may include direct services staff assigned to the case, the Program Manager/Supervisor, Secretary, a volunteer or practicum student. (1990) (Revised 1995) Other access is for supervision and/or quality improvement. (1999) Sources allows access to records to professionals who must examine files for program auditing, licensing or accreditation purposes. The person examining the files must come from a reputable governmental or professional agency which abides by an oath of confidentiality. Third party access to files is only permitted with the written authorization of the Executive Director. (1990)
3.13 Communication of Policies and Procedures
Sources will respond in a timely manner to questions, concerns and complaints about our privacy policies and procedures. Correspondence of this nature may be directed to the Privacy Officer (CQI Co-ordinator) at the Sources administration offices.