The microdata research contract allows Statistics Canada to deem the researcher(s) as employee(s) under the Statistics Act and to provide access to confidential statistical information. The contract outlines the responsibilities of the researcher and the nature of the special services (the research project) that are being rendered.
The contract specifies a number of terms and conditions that will govern access. Essentially, it specifies that access is limited to only those files necessary for the project, and that they are accessible only on Statistics Canada premises, at CDER, in Ottawa.
Requirements for researchers:
- must undergo a security check;
- must take the oath/solemn affirmation of secrecy, pursuant to Subsection 6(1) of the Statistics Act, and acknowledge, in writing, that they have read and understood subsection 17(1) and Sections 30 and 34 of the Statistics Act;
- must provide, in writing, acknowledgement of receipt, reading and understanding of Sections 239 and 241 of the Income Tax Act, and Sections 295 and 328 of the Excise Tax Act, if the statistical information to be accessed under this contract includes taxpayer information obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency;
- must acknowledge, in writing, acceptance of the conditions in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service including the conflict of interest clause;
- must declare, in writing, that the sole purpose of the research project is academic research, and that it is not for commercial espionage or any other purpose; must declare the sources of monetary or in-kind support they are receiving to carry out the research project; and must declare that they have no conflicts of interest or, if they do, must fill out a Confidential Report that will be provided and take the corrective actions agreed upon with the Director General, Human Resources Branch, of Statistics Canada, and the Minister's Representative; and
- must acknowledge, in writing, that they have read and received the documentation related to the policies and practices of Statistics Canada (A Manual of Security Practices at Statistics Canada, Directive on the Security of Sensitive Statistical Information, IT Security Policy, Directive on the Use of Deemed Employees, Network Use Policy, Information and Privacy Breach Protocol, CDER Guidelines for Deemed Employees); and must agree to comply with all the requirements contained therein.
The contract specifies the nature of the security procedures that must be followed on site, in terms of an agreement not to re-identify any already anonymized records, in terms of vetting of output or removal of results, and in terms of the use of computer and other equipment.
The contract specifies that, while the project is being carried out to provide services to the Minister responsible for Statistics Canada in the way of a potentially publishable product, the rights of use of the intellectual property contained therein will be granted to the researcher(s) for any subsequent output that the researcher might propose to publish or use elsewhere.