Ottawa, 6 September 2012
Mr. Dan Hilton
Conservative Party of Canada
#1204 - 130 Albert Street
Dear Mr. Hilton:
Re: CRTC Investigation into Internal do not call list policies and practices of the Conservative Party of Canada – Compliance measures
I am writing further to our meeting of September 5, 2012 to express our concerns regarding the policies and practices of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) with respect to its obligations regarding unsolicited telecommunications under the Telecommunications Act (the Act) and the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, which include the National Do Not Call List (NDNCL) Rules. In particular, given the exemption available to registered political parties allowing them to call Canadians whose phone numbers are on the NDNCL, I consider that the CPC has fallen short of meeting its obligations as an exempt party to, nonetheless, properly maintain an Internal Do Not Call List (IDNCL).
As you know, the Commission has received a significant number of complaints regarding the CPC under various provisions of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules since 2008, which have been satisfactorily resolved. The focus of this investigation relates to a recent complaint, and is specifically about the practices and procedures of the CPC in relation to how it processes IDNCL requests from call recipients. Our objective is to ensure that the expectations and privacy preferences of Canadians regarding unsolicited telecommunications are respected. As you know, subsection 41.7(4) of the Act obliges organizations that are exempt from the National Do Not Call List to nevertheless maintain an IDNCL and ensure that a request by a person not to receive further telecommunications by or on behalf of the organization is honoured.
In response to our Request for Information letter dated 18 June 2012, you advised that the practice of the CPC has been to maintain two IDNCLs, one for calls made for solicitation purposes and the other for calls made for non-solicitation purposes such as outreach to, or identification of, Canadians. In our view, the facts of our recent investigation revealed that confusion is created by the following two practices by the CPC:
• this maintenance of two IDNCLs, and
• the lack of clarity in scripts authorized by you for calling purposes.
It is our position that these practices do not meet the requisites of subsection 41.7(4) of the Act, which refers to the maintenance of a single internal do not call list to ensure that no further unsolicited telecommunications, whether made for the purpose of solicitation or not, are received by the call recipient after an IDNCL request is made.
To better ensure that the requests and preferences of those called by the CPC will be respected, we expect the CPC to implement the set of compliance measures described below. Specifically, these measures require the implementation of a proper compliance program, including:
1. maintaining one all-inclusive IDNCL to respect the preferences of Canadians not to receive calls, and the appropriate record-keeping procedures;
2. identifying an internal compliance authorization process, to carry out the review of all scripts and procedures for receiving and processing IDNCL requests to ensure they are clear, comprehensible and comply with the Act, the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, and the expectations of call recipients; and
3. implementing appropriate procedures with 3rd party telemarketing services providers to ensure compliance with the above, including regular training and audit.
Please confirm your commitment to implement the practices, as described above, concerning unsolicited telecommunications to Canadians regarding both solicitation and non-solicitation calls by September 11, 2012.
Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission