Privacy of personal information is an important principle to the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the appropriate provision of the products and services we provide to our members in our role as a professional association. We also try to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. The following describes our privacy policies.
WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual, including that which relates to his/her personal characteristics (e.g. gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status), his/her health (e.g. health history, health conditions, health services received by them), or his/her activities or views (e.g. religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Personal information is not to be confused with business information (e.g. an individual's business address and telephone number), which is not protected by PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, an act of the Federal government.
WHO WE ARE
In existence since 1999, the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada is a voluntary, not-for profit professional association, representing financial officers and managers and others that support AFOA's vision and mission.
AFOA develops and promotes quality standards, practices, education, training and research to enhance capacity for effective financial management, performance reporting and accountability in Aboriginal and First Nation communities and organizations.
In order to achieve this broad mission, we utilize the services of the association staff, as well as a number of volunteers (who are AFOA members), consultants and organizations that may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to the personal information we hold. We restrict their access to personal information as much as is reasonably possible. We also have their assurance that they comply with appropriate privacy principles.
WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION: PRIMARY PURPOSES
Like all professional associations, we collect, use and sometimes disclose personal information in order to serve our members. At no time do we rent, sell, barter, exchange or distribute our membership list to any third party for commercial purposes.
For our members, the primary purpose we collect and maintain personal information is to ensure our members qualify for membership and that, once established as members in good standing, we can provide general membership services, certification and exclusive membership benefits and that we can communicate appropriately with them. Members indicate their preferred method of receiving regular and special communications from the AFOA, either via email, fax or regular mail. Examples of personal information we collect for this purpose include:
- contact information, email address (if available)
- education information
- work information
- member number (assigned by AFOA)
For members of the general public and potential employers, we respond to enquiries for names of members and indicate whether or not they are members.
Beyond that, the AFOA may transmit or disclose personal information, where appropriate, to association volunteers who are also members of the AFOA (Board members, Committee members, Chapters), primarily for the purposes of networking, standards and guideline reviews and professional development to Chapters and other organizations approved by the Board.
The AFOA maintains records on members and former members, in order to respond to questions related to products or services provided during their membership years. We retain our non-member information for seven years after the last contact as these records are helpful should a non-member choose to rejoin the association, after which it is permanently destroyed in order to reduce the risk of accidental or inadvertent disclosure.
WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION RELATED TO OR SECONDARY TO OUR PRIMARY PURPOSES
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes.
Invoicing & Payment
The AFOA invoices members for annual dues, including annual dues collected on behalf of the Chapters. In addition, the AFOA collects registration fees from members for conferences and events and for sales of products and materials.
Personal Information Collected (that is not already collected as part of the primary purpose):
- Payment details: cash / personal or business cheque or credit card / debit card account number and authorization
- Names, event choices and dietary preferences of guests registering to attend events with AFOA members
From time to time, third parties may be provided with membership information in order to conduct surveys, focus groups or polls, the results of which are used to assist in the strategic, tactical or operational activities of the association. In such cases, members are notified in advance and any personal information collected is reported back to the AFOA and its members in aggregate, in order to remain anonymous and confidential. Third party research firms, under contract to the AFOA, comply with privacy and confidentiality principles.
Cookies are small files or parts of files stored on a World Wide Web user's computer, created and subsequently read by a Web site server, and containing personal information, such as a user identification code, customized preferences, or a record of pages visited. The AFOA does not use any personal information from members' or non-members' cookies during visits to the AFOA website. We do track general usage patterns, number of hits per page, etc. in order to improve website content and layout.
Issues of Ethics & Discipline
As a requirement of association membership, AFOA members agree to be guided by a published Code of Ethics. In the event we receive a complaint, the Ethics and Discipline Committee will investigate. In the course of such an investigation, personal information may be collected and disclosed to the Board of Directors or others in order that appropriate disciplinary action can be taken.
Quality Control & Risk Management
From time to time the AFOA may review membership files for the purposes of ensuring we provide high quality services, including assessing the performance of our staff and volunteers. In addition, external consultants (auditors, lawyers, association management consultants, etc.) may, on our behalf, conduct audits or performance improvement reviews, including reviewing membership files and interviewing staff and volunteers. External consultants working under contract to the AFOA must adhere to AFOA's privacy and confidentiality policies.
Various government agencies (Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency, Information & Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, Ontario, government funders, etc.) have the authority to review our files and interview our staff as part of their mandates. External regulators have their own strict privacy obligations.
You can look at your information
With only a few exceptions, AFOA members and former members have the right to see what personal information we hold. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (short forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests.
We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days, if at all possible, and explain the reasons.
If you believe there is a mistake in the personal information we maintain in our files, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation to support your request. Where we agree that we have made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we have sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our records a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone else who received the earlier information.
Do you have any questions or concerns?
AFOA's Privacy Officer will address any questions or concerns you have:
Terry Goodtrack, CGA., MA (P Admin), B Admin, CAFM
President & CEO
If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may do so in writing to our Privacy Officer. He will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a response in writing.
For general enquiries and in the absence of any applicable provincial legislation, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as an Ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be contacted at:
Privacy and Information Commissioner
115 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H3