Vol. 150, No. 40 — October 1, 2016

Regulations Amending the Release of Information for Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Regulations

Statutory authority
Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act

Sponsoring department
Department of Justice

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

The Release of Information for Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Regulations (Regulations) designate eight information banks that may be searched under Part I of the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (FOAEAA) to assist with the enforcement of family support obligations. Since these information banks are updated infrequently (usually once a year, or after a debtor has left employment), the address and the employer’s name and address information therein of a family support debtor may be outdated or inaccurate.

The designation of an additional information bank controlled by the Department of Employment and Social Development that is updated monthly would improve the ability of the Department of Justice to accurately locate the name and address of a family support debtor’s employer for the purposes of establishing effective wage-withholding.

Background

Enforcement of family support obligations is primarily a provincial and territorial responsibility. However, the federal government provides assistance to provinces and territories in their enforcement activities. For example, Part I of the FOAEAA provides for the search and release of the address and the employer’s name and address of individuals who are in default of their support obligations and cannot be located.

Although peace officers and court officials may also submit applications, virtually all FOAEAA Part I applications are submitted by provincial or territorial enforcement services. To effect a search, the provincial or territorial enforcement service must submit to the Minister of Justice (the Minister) an application and an affidavit. Under the FOAEAA, the Minister must then transmit a search request to the information bank directors. The information bank directors must return search results to the Minister, who then provides the provincial or territorial enforcement service with the results (the address and the employer’s name and address, if found, of the person to be located).

Among the information banks designated by section 3 of the Regulations, three are controlled by the Department of Employment and Social Development, three are controlled by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission, and two are controlled by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Objectives

The objective of the amendments is to improve the effectiveness of the FOAEAA Part I family support debtor location scheme and maintain its relevancy with a view to supporting federal, provincial and territorial cooperation in the area of support enforcement.

Description

Proposed amendments to section 3 designate one additional information bank that can be searched to locate a debtor: the Employment Insurance Program Investigation (ESDC PPU 171), which contains information from the Automated Earnings Reporting System (AERS) and the Report on Hirings (ROH).

Housekeeping amendments to section 3 are proposed to update the names of the Department of Human Resources Development and the Department of National Revenue to the Department of Employment and Social Development and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Further amendments would update the names of certain Department of Employment and Social Development information banks that have changed since they were first designated by the Regulations.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal as it does not impose any administrative burden on business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal as it does not impose any burden on small business.

Consultation

The key stakeholders, namely the Department of Employment and Social Development and the provincial and territorial enforcement services, were consulted during the policy development process and are supportive of the proposed amendments.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner was consulted on the proposed regulatory amendment (to make the AERS and ROH information accessible for search by authorities seeking to trace persons with outstanding family support payments). The Office of the Privacy Commissioner undertook to provide further comments, if any, upon prepublication of the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette.

Rationale

Designating the information bank which contains AERS and ROH information

Designating in the Regulations the Employment Insurance Program Investigation (ESDC PPU 171), i.e. the information bank which contains AERS and ROH information, would improve the Department of Justice’s ability to successfully identify the employer’s name and address of a family support debtor. AERS and ROH information is updated more frequently than the information contained in information banks presently searched.

Employers participating in the AERS and ROH programs submit data, which is then matched to employment insurance claimant data by the Department of Employment and Social Development on a monthly basis. With access to AERS and ROH information, it is expected that the Department of Justice will be better equipped to assist provincial and territorial enforcement services implement successful and timely wage-withholding to collect funds for family support recipients. Successful and timely wage-withholding is also of benefit to support payors, as this measure serves to decrease the support debt owing and the risk of arrears accrual.

Updating the name of departments and current information banks

References to non-existent departments and old information bank names may be confusing. Updating the name of the relevant departments and of the Department of Employment and Social Development information banks adds clarity to the Regulations.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The Department of Justice Canada and the Department of Employment and Social Development will, in accordance with the Act and Regulations, develop or modify, as appropriate, systems to facilitate FOAEAA Part I searches of the Employment Insurance Program Investigation (ESDC PPU 171), which contains AERS and ROH information. Modifications are not expected to be made to the FOAEAA Part I application process for the provincial and territorial enforcement services (they will continue to request and receive family support debtor addresses and employer name and addresses). The amendments will not alter existing service standards, where the Department of Justice Canada provides provincial and territorial enforcement services with a response within 10 days of receiving a FOAEAA Part I application.

Contact


Support Enforcement Law and Policy Unit
Family, Children and Youth Section
Department of Justice
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8
Telephone: 613-954-4320
Fax: 613-952-9600
Email: commentsFOAEAA.commentairesLAEOEF@ justice.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to section 22 (see footnote a) of the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (see footnote b), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Release of Information for Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Support Enforcement Law and Policy Unit, Family, Children and Youth Section, Department of Justice, 284 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8 (tel.: 613-954-4320; fax: 613-952-9600; email: commentsFOAEAA.commentairesLAEOEF@justice.gc.ca).

Ottawa, September 22, 2016

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Release of Information for Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Regulations

Amendments

1 (1) Paragraph 3(a) of the Release of Information for Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:

(2) Subparagraphs 3(b)(i) to (iii) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

(3) The portion of paragraph 3(c) of the Regulations before subparagraph (i) is replaced by the following:

Coming into Force

2 These Regulations come into force on January 31, 2017.

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