Archived – Risk Analysis

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Statistics Canada's risk environment is shaped by the Agency's mandate and objectives, government policies and priorities, as well as broader economic, social and technological trends.

To achieve its priorities and deliver program results, the Agency must identify and manage the risks associated with them. The table below identifies key risks from Statistics Canada's Corporate Risk Profile 2014/2015, which is part of a tailored integrated management approach to address risks that may impede the Agency's overall ability to deliver on its mandate. This approach meets the Agency's needs for sound risk management and allows it to monitor mitigation strategies and action plans for its corporate risks.

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
The timely delivery of key statistical programs is adversely affected by inadequate and/or insufficient information technology services. The Agency works collaboratively with all its service providers. It mitigates associated risks by working through joint governance to ensure adequate support and commitment to Statistics Canada's priorities; by prioritizing the Agency's requirements for infrastructure services for major projects and establishing rigorous corporate change management processes to avoid scope creep and delays in development; by identifying clear responsibilities, deliverables and timetables; and by allowing sufficient time to accommodate external decision-making processes. All programs are affected.
An error in a major statistical report or program leads to a loss of credibility. Credibility is of paramount importance to Statistics Canada as stakeholders and Canadians must have confidence in the information produced by the Agency. The risk identified is mitigated by performing thorough analysis and evaluations of breaks-in-series; testing processes in a rigorous manner; ensuring robust data validation strategies in all major statistical programs; and implementing a variety of actions relating to governance, communication, documentation, diagnostics and testing protocols. All programs are affected.
Falling response rates may impact results. Statistics Canada continues to innovate to meet respondent preferences—for example, by making greater use of multi-mode data-collection vehicles such as e-questionnaires and mobile-device-friendly applications. In addition, the Agency is strongly committed to seeking out all possible administrative data alternatives. All programs are affected.
A release of confidential information leads to a loss of public trust. The protection of data confidentiality is a fundamental duty of Statistics Canada and its employees. The risk identified is mitigated by ensuring that the state of the informatics infrastructure accessible to the public is assessed on a continual basis, that security and dissemination practices are regularly reviewed and improved, and that confidentiality and security are always top priorities for Agency personnel. All programs are affected.
Statistics Canada's ability to access and use administrative data is reduced. The identified risk is mitigated by demonstrating a long and successful history of data security and confidentiality protection; by clearly communicating both the value of statistical data and the extent of response burden reduction made possible by administrative data; and by increasing outreach and communication activities. All programs are affected.