Service Health Records Digital Imaging Initiative

Various technologies have been identified to aid in meeting the Service Delivery Branch’s commitment to modernize and improve the delivery of services to Veterans and other individuals, partnerships and opportunities. Utilizing modern digital imaging technology, service health records are now being transferred to an electronic format by Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) digital imaging centre in Matane, Québec. This allows Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) employees immediate access to records, regardless of physical location, in order to begin processing applications for benefits and services to meet the needs of the Veteran or other individual served by VAC.

Digital Imaging will lead to:

  • Reduced disability program wait times;
  • Decreased number of recalled records from Library and Archives Canada (LAC);
  • Simultaneous access by all authorized users for multiple purposes, e.g., processing, status update, reporting; and
  • Partnerships with PWGSC and LAC.

The Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) identified a number of risks for which mitigating measures were recommended and implemented. The PIA has been submitted to Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC).

Addendum to the PIA on Service Health Records Digital Imaging Initiative (SHRDII) – Transition of Outside Documents Preparation to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)

The initial PIA on the Service Health Records Digital Imaging Initiative (SHRDII) was completed in 2011. Since that time, changes related to VAC’s transformation resulted in the closure of its Outside Documents Unit (OSD) and the transfer of these responsibilities to PWGSC (now known as Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)) in Matane, Quebec, on June 28, 2013. The services now provided by PSPC for Service Health Records (SHRs) retrieved from LAC and/or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in response to VAC applications for programs/benefits/services were examined.

The assessment focussed on the transition of the provision of the services of the OSD to PSPC and included documenting the process for the retrieval of SHRs, the use and internal disclosure of these records and the final disposition.

Risks identified within the Addendum have either been mitigated or addressed through mitigation plans. Risks which were previously identified in the SHRDII PIA in 2011 were previously addressed and completed with mitigation strategies which were shared with the OPC.

VAC is committed to continue monitoring and providing ongoing communications, training and awareness to management and staff concerning the protection of personal information.

Legal Authority for Activity

The authority for VAC to collect and use the personal information that is contained in the Service Health Records of applicants for benefits is established under Section 6.6 of the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, Subsection 109(1) and Section 109.1 of the Pension Act, Part II of the RCMP Superannuation Act, Section 80 of the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment Act, and Section 30(1.1) of the War Veterans Allowance Act.

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