A recent article questioned The Royal Canadian Legion’s Service Officers and Assistant Service Officers conduct regarding access to Veteran medical files held at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
The Legion provides assistance to Veterans including still-serving and retired RCMP members and their families to navigate the complicated disability claim application process.
In order to do this important work, VAC has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Legion to approve the release of Veteran information provided the Legion affirms that it will be used solely for the purposes of representing Veterans. In addition, signed authorization to access an individual’s file must be provided as a precursor for Legion assistance. “Several years ago, the Legion identified unauthorized access to the VAC Client Service Delivery Network (CSDN) and corrective actions were immediately taken. There have been no founded complaints since then,” says Ray McInnis, Director of the Service Bureau.
Regarding the article’s mention of an investigation into unauthorized access that is currently underway by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC), while the Legion has not been contacted by the OPC, VAC did contact us and we have provided all required information and are confident that our Command Service Officers have acted in accordance with the Privacy Act.
The Legion Service Bureau and all Command Service Officers are in full compliance with the VAC MOU. Command Service Officers are security cleared through VAC for access to the CSDN, they have the signed authority to represent and access is monitored and controlled by VAC. The privacy and confidentiality of our Veterans and their families are of utmost importance to Legion Command Service Officers and in accordance with the Privacy Act.
In any given year, the Legion helps an average of 3,200 Veterans with their disability claims. “I am extremely proud that for 90 years, The Royal Canadian Legion Service Bureau network has been providing representation to Veterans and their families to obtain the care and benefits they deserve”” says Dominion Command President Tom Eagles.
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For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.