Archived – Risk analysis

The Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 highlighted six corporate risks; the top three of these risks are listed in the table below.

Table - Risk Analysis This table identifies and describes the Agency’s three top corporate risks, and indicates the Agency’s Risk Response Strategy, the risk’s link to the Program Alignment Architecture and its link to organizational priorities.
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to PAA Link to Organizational Priorities
Increased difficulties in reaching respondents An ongoing threat to the quality of social statistics is the growing difficulty with collecting the information from respondents. This risk was identified in the 2012/2013 Report on Plans and Priorities. A number of mitigation strategies are listed in the Agency's Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014, including closely monitoring response rates and assessing potential biases in survey results; reviewing the possible use of administrative data sources, keeping in mind privacy concerns as these sources are exploited further; and continuing to innovate to meet respondents' needs, including increasing the use of multi-mode data-collection options, such as e-questionnaires and mobile devices. Actions taken in 2012/2013 to advance these strategies include continued research on and testing of processes to maximize response rates, taking into account costs and operational constraints for best time to call, prioritizing cases and responsive survey design; identifying priorities as part of a corporate approach to expand the use of administrative data; analyzing the results of the General Social Survey e-questionnaire pilot; and piloting the Labour Force Survey e-questionnaire. All programs are affected Deliver timely and accurate statistical programs according to Statistics Canada's quality assurance framework
Reputational risk related to respondent information Any releases of confidential information, or real or perceived breaches of Statistics Canada's informatics infrastructure and related business processes, pose the risk of loss of reputation, credibility, image and of public trust. This risk was identified in the 2012/2013 Report on Plans and Priorities. Mitigation strategies listed in the Agency's Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 include up-to-date IT security policies, practices and procedures; establishing service level agreements (SLAs); and ensuring that Statistics Canada employees are trained and aware of matters related to security of classified and designated information. Actions taken in 2012/2013 with respect to these strategies comprise reviewing and updating the IT Security Policy to conform to Treasury Board Secretariat policy guidelines, and to account for the transfer of IT infrastructure staff and services; ensuring that SLAs are in place and monitored regularly; and developing and deploying tools that help personnel understand their obligations regarding the security of classified and designated information. All programs are affected Deliver timely and accurate statistical programs according to Statistics Canada's quality assurance framework
Reputational risk related to communicating data quality Several mitigation strategies are listed in the Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014, such as proactively and transparently communicating the results and associated data quality of both the Census and the NHS; making sure that a distinction is made between the two sets of data to avoid user confusion; ensuring that robust processes and systems for edit, imputation and estimation are in place and tested and that, to the extent possible, risks associated with possible non-response bias are addressed and implemented to meet the schedule for the dissemination of NHS results. Actions taken in 2012/2013 to advance these strategies include developing plans to ensure that decisions to suppress data from proactive release, for quality reasons, are consistent with the Agency's historical practice, and ensuring that communications about NHS data-quality issues are comprehensive, forthright, and clinical. This risk was not identified in the 2012/2013 Report on Plans and Priorities. All programs are affected Deliver timely and accurate statistical programs according to Statistics Canada's quality assurance framework

The public's trust and confidence in the quality and objectivity of Statistics Canada outputs is a fundamental pillar of the organization. One significant issue is that technological advances have made it more difficult to reach people. Call display and call screening hinder the Agency's ability to get a respondent to answer the telephone. As well, more and more households only have cellphones, or use Internet phones. All of this makes it more challenging to ensure representative samples and high response rates. As described in the risk analysis table, the Agency has taken a number of steps to address this risk.

Another concern is that any releases of confidential information, or real or perceived breaches of Statistics Canada's informatics infrastructure and related business processes, pose the risk of loss of reputation, credibility, image and of public trust. The challenge is to ensure that Statistics Canada's evolving requirements for informatics support are met. As described in the risk analysis table, the Agency has taken a number of steps to address this risk.

Statistics Canada's integrated risk management model provides an agency-wide picture of risks through maintenance of a detailed risk register and a corporate risk profile analysis of both operational and strategic risks to the organization. The Agency continued to improve its implementation of integrated risk management throughout 2012/2013, and is committed to monitoring and reporting risk in the future.

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