Impact of Adding Revenue Canada Databases Under FOAEA—Part 1 Tracing For Locating Persons
8.0 TRACE CHARACTERISTICS, RESULTS AND IMPACTS
8.1 Types of Trace Requests and Receipts
Pilot Phase results clearly indicated that employer results and locations were of the most interest to FMEP and FAMS. Search requests were designated "employer only" in the majority of cases. However, since the FOAEA Unit sends back location and employer information no matter what is requested or required, initial search specifications have lost their importance and accuracy. In addition, changes to the search request fields have reduced the number of requests designated as "employer only" and added broader categories (driver's license) that do not indicate trace data preference. However, a broad interpretation of these data suggests that employer data is still considered a priority over payor residential address data.
|Search request designation||Number of requests||%||Number received||%|
|Employment data only||56||18%||0||0|
|Payor location data only||13||4%||144||46%|
|Employment and location||242||77%||168||53%|
|No data / other||4||1%||3||1%|
Data describing trace returns indicates that payor residential address data dominates returns. In no cases was "employer only" data returned; it was always sent in combination with payor residential address data. This is despite the fact the employer data is more clearly identified as being required by FMEP.
This data suggests that there is not a clear "fit" between trace requests and returns. A large proportion of the data returned to FMEP is not required, and because of this, is likely to be of little value. When this is added to time pressures faced by FMEP staff, and the volume of data that is available to be reviewed (from FAMS and other sources), it is likely to lead to the overall "devaluing" of FOAEA data.
Data was collected on the intervals between different stages of the trace request process. Specific time markers were not available for all intervals (see Section 4.5.7). In these cases, the closest approximate time definitions were used.
|Time intervals||Amount of time between FMEP request and Province Closed||Amount of time between Province Closed and application legal date (for FOAEA)||Number of weeks between legal application and Federal Closed|
|Less than 2 weeks||2 (1%)||132 (42%)||15 (5%)|
|From 2 weeks to under 4 weeks||27 (9%)||45 (14%)||68 (22%)|
|From 4 weeks to under 8 weeks||27 (9%)||44 (14%)||48 (15%)|
|From 8 weeks to under 12 weeks||25 (8%)||12 (4%)||153 (49%)|
|From 12 weeks to under 16 weeks||32 (10%)||8 (3%)||18 (6%)|
|Over 16 weeks||201 (64%)||74 (23%)||13 (4%)|
|No data||1 (0%)|
|Totals||315 (101%)||315 (100%)||315 (101%)|
Table 24 indicates that the longest time delays were in the period between FMEP request and Province Closed. This is during the period when FAMS searches provincial databases for payor residential and employer address data. Sixty-four percent of the cases took over four months for FAMS to review its search data and identify the need for a federal trace. There were also significant delays in the period between legal application date and the Federal Closed date. Almost 60 percent of the files took over eight weeks to complete this task.
Altogether the total tracing time from FMEP request to Federal Closed was lengthy; in 76 percent (241/315) of cases it took six or more months for all stages of the process to be completed and data to be returned (Table 25).
It is recognized that time delays are affected by other administrative issues such as the affidavit submission process. This affected trace requests to the end of 1998. A review of total trace duration times (FMEP request to Federal Closed) during three separate time periods (June to December 1998, January to June 1999 and July to December 1999) showed changes in the total time it took to complete a trace. For example, the number of cases taking six months or more dropped from 77 percent to 59 percent. These differences clearly show the impact of administrative issues on the duration required to complete a trace.
|Time period||Jun 1998 – Dec 31, 1998||Jan 1, 1999 – Jun 30, 1999 /div>||Jul 1, 1999 – Dec 31, 1999||Total time period|
|Less than 2 months||2 (3%)||5 (5%)||8 (6%)||15 (5%)|
|2 months to under 4||0 (0%)||4 (4%)||21 (15%)||25 (8%)|
|4 months to under 6||1 (1%)||4 (4%)||29 (21%)||34 (11%)|
|6 months or more||64 (96%)||95 (88%)||82 (59%)||241 (76%)|
A closer look at time specific intervals related to these time periods reveals the following:
- The fastest search period was from July to December 1999 when 21 percent of the files went through the entire search process in under four months. Search timeliness had steadily improved since June to December 1998 when administrative problems delayed the search process.
- The fastest period of transference between FMEP Request and Province Closed was from June to December 1998. The slowest period was from January to June 1999 when 89 percent of the files took over four months to be searched. In the period July to December 1999, 64 percent of the files took four months or more.
- Lengthy delays in 1998 were mostly accounted for by delays between Province Closed and the Application Legal Date. Ninety percent of the cases sent in this time period took over four months to process, in contrast to three percent in the July to December 1999 time period.
- There were time delays between the Application Legal Date and Federal Closed in the January 1999 to June 30, 1999 time period; 90 percent of the cases were received in a little over two months. Time intervals shortened during the July to December 1999 time period, with only 33 percent of the cases requiring over two months to process.
The overall quality of trace data sent by the FOAEA Unit is an important issue to assess both in terms of the utility of the data and the value that is attached to it. It was recognized that a high proportion of incomplete or outdated addresses returned by FOAEA would not inspire confidence in the overall value of the trace results.
Four aspects of data quality were considered:
- Whether the data was incomplete or complete;
- Whether the data was unique or duplicative;
- The overall number of trace returns provided by the FOAEA Unit; and
- The currency of the data (both in terms of "active" date and date in relation to original FMEP request).
8.3.1 Completeness and Duplication of Trace Data
Files were assessed in terms of completeness of the address data provided by the FOAEA Unit. An address was considered to be complete if it included enough information to be traceable (postal code not required). It was considered incomplete if some information was provided (e.g. postal code) but the information was not sufficient to result in a completed trace.
Many trace requests received duplicate addresses and there was a high proportion of incomplete data that was duplicative.
Table 26 indicates that payor residential address data was most likely to be returned (96 percent). However, the quality of the data tended to be higher in the employer address category. Fewer employer traces were incomplete or duplicate.
While the higher proportion of payor residential address data returned may appear to have been positive, there was less demand for this data. Of greater concern was the large number of files (47 percent) that returned no employment data.
|Trace data description||Payor address data||Employer name and location|
|No. of files where (at least 2) complete addresses returned||304 (96%)||168 (53%)|
|No. of files where no addresses returned||11 (3%)||147 (47%)|
|No. of files where incomplete address returned||117 (38%)||0 (0%)|
|No. of files where duplicate addresses returned||101 (32%)||3 (1%)|
Most cases received more than one complete trace return, particularly those with payor residential addresses. Seventy percent of the cases had two or more complete addresses. In the case of employer data, 41 percent of the cases had two or more complete trace returns. Ninety-seven percent of the incomplete payor residential addresses came from CCRA. In most cases, these consisted of postal codes only. All employer data was obtained via CCRA and all were complete.
|Number of complete addresses per case||Payor address data N=304|| Employer name and location
|1 complete trace returned||90 (30%)||95 (56%)|
|2 complete||179 (59%)||49 (29%)|
|3 complete||31 (10%)||14 (8%)|
|4 complete||4 (1%)||6 (4%)|
|5 or more complete||4 (2%)|
8.3.2 Proportion of FOAEA Data that is "New" to FAMS and FMEP
Prior to the request for FOAEA data, FMEP and FAMS had already conducted extensive searches for the payor residential and employer address. Both recorded, to varying degrees, the addresses searched and discarded as invalid or outdated.
Existing FMEP and FAMS payor residential and employer addresses were compared with FOAEA results to determine whether FOAEA trace results were supplying new information to FAMS and FMEP. Most of the information sent by FOAEA was not new. Many addresses had already been reviewed and found to be inaccurate by FAMS and FMEP staff. There was a higher proportion of "new" information (43 percent or 135/315) on employer files than on payor files (25 percent or 79/315).
8.3.3 Currency of FOAEA Trace Results Dates
The dates of the most recent active date of FOAEA results for payor residential addresses ranged from 1992 to 1999 or earlier. Although data provided by HRDC extended further back in time, a higher proportion of CCRA data was outdated. Over 60 percent of the employer addresses provided (all by CCRA) were dated 1997 or earlier. This compared with 30 percent of the data for payor residential addresses.
Some research, conducted by FAMS after this study was completed, has suggested that the dates attached to FOAEA residential address and employer trace results sent to FMEP via FAMS may not be correct in all cases. It was, however, beyond the scope of this study to determine the validity of dates attached by CCRA, HRDC or by the FOAEA Unit prior to the sending of trace information to FAMS.
|Year||Most current residential trace||Most current employer trace|
|1999||129 (41%)||65 (39%)|
|1998||80 (25%)||2 (1%)|
|1997||40 (13%)||100 (60%)|
|1996||23 (7%)||1 (1%)|
|1992 or earlier||9 (3%)|
The currency of FOAEA data is also related to the time when a trace request was made. The study examined the date of the most current trace return in relation to the date the trace was requested by FMEP.
The results indicated that just over half of the most active payor residential addresses (56 percent or 171/304) were "current" (e.g. in the same year) in relation to the date of the initiation of the search request by FMEP.
|Payor residential addresses date of trace return compared to FMEP request date||Number||%|
|Most active trace return is in same year or is more recent than FMEP request date||171||56%|
|Most active trace return is 1 year out of date||55||18%|
|Most active trace return is 2 years out of date||38||12%|
|Most active trace return is 3 or more years out of date||40||13%|
Using this framework for analysis, employer addresses were less current than the payor residential addresses provided by the FOAEA Unit. Only 39 percent of the most active traces were current in terms of the year of the FMEP request.
|Employer addresses dates of traces returned compared to FMEP request date||Number||%|
|Most active trace return is in same year or is more recent than FMEP request date||65||39%|
|Most active trace return is 1 year out of date||61||36%|
|Most active trace return is 2 years out of date||42||25%|
|Most active trace return is 3 years or more out of date|
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