ARCHIVED – Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

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Response to Parliamentary Committees

Please note that the government responses have not been approved by Cabinet. Approval will be granted by mid-September at the latest.

Report 2—Cutting the Queue: Reducing Canada’s Immigration Backlogs and Wait Times

From October 2011 to February 2012, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration undertook a study of immigration application backlogs and the Government’s Action Plan for Faster Immigration, a legislative change to address these backlogs. In this context, the Standing Committee presented the report and 10 recommendations to the House of Commons on March 6, 2012.

The recommendations covered issues related to:

  • better aligning applications accepted for processing with the number of admissions;
  • reviewing fees charged for immigration services and programs to discover gaps between the fees charged and actual costs of services;
  • evaluating options to address the federal skilled worker backlog; and
  • reviewing and consulting on various approaches to address the parent and grandparent backlog, including ways to promote and maximize utilization of the parent and grandparent super visa.

The Government of Canada’s response to the committee report will be tabled in 2012–13.

Report 3—Federal Support Measures to Adoptive Parents

The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities presented the report and 11 recommendations to the House of Commons on March 1, 2012.

The recommendations covered issues related to the federal support measures for adoptive parents. There was one recommendation of interest to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), relating to intercountry adoption services.

The Government of Canada’s response to the committee report will be tabled in 2012–13.

Report 4—A Framework for Success: Practical Recommendations to Further Shorten the Foreign Qualification Recognition Process

The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities presented the report and 21 recommendations to the House of Commons on March 28, 2012.

The recommendations covered a range of issues related to the foreign credential recognition process in Canada and related federal programs. Several recommendations were of interest to CIC, relating to the Foreign Credentials Referrals Office, the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program and measures to assure the prequalification of internationally trained individuals.

The Government of Canada’s response to the committee report will be tabled in 2012–13.

Response to the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

Office of the Auditor General of Canada

June 2011: Chapter 2—Large Information Technology Projects

In 2006, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) looked at seven large information technology (IT) projects and found that only two of them met all the OAG’s audit criteria for well-managed projects. The OAG found that five of the seven projects had proceeded even though their business cases were incomplete, out of date or contained information that could not be supported. In addition, four of the projects were undertaken by departments that lacked the required skills and experience to manage them.

For the June 2011 status report on large IT projects, the OAG examined the progress made since 2006 on the four projects that had not met all of their criteria in 2006. The OAG also selected a new project approved by Treasury Board since 2006, to assess the government’s progress in the way it approves and manages large IT projects. This project is CIC’s Temporary Resident Biometrics Project. The audit covered the period between November 2006 and October 2010.

CIC was included in two recommendations made by the OAG:

  1. CIC should prepare a plan to address the costs and risks related to the remaining work to be done after completion of Release 2 of the Global Case Management System to achieve the project’s overall business objectives.
  2. When departments and agencies develop a business case, they should include a benefit measurement plan that:
    • contains specific quantifiable benefits including clear benchmarks;
    • assigns responsibilities for delivering identified benefits; and
    • includes a process for measuring and reporting benefits.

CIC agreed with these recommendations.

November 2011: Chapter 2–Issuing Visas

Admissibility of foreign nationals into Canada falls under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The Act defines various situations where a foreign national would be inadmissible—for example, if the individual presents a risk to the health, safety or security of Canadians. Administering the various provisions of the Act is a shared responsibility between CIC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The audit objective was to determine whether CIC and CBSA have managed the risks associated with determining admissibility under IRPA for health, safety and security concerns before issuing visas to foreign nationals. The audit work was conducted primarily at the National Headquarters of both organizations, as well as at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP. The OAG also visited six missions overseas that issued visas and conducted a survey of all CIC visa officers involved in admissibility decisions overseas. The period covered by this audit was mainly from January 2010 to April 2011.

CIC was included in four recommendations made by the OAG:

  1. CIC and CBSA should ensure that operational manuals, risk indicators and relevant country-specific information are complete, up to date and made available to visa officers in a timely manner to help them identify foreign nationals who may be inadmissible.
  2. To meet the objectives of IRPA to protect the health and safety of Canadians, CIC should:
    • develop a strategy based on risks to better identify applicants who present a danger to public health or a danger to public safety; and
    • examine the methodology and process for assessing excessive demand on health and social services and take corrective measures as necessary.
  3. CIC should implement a standard quality assurance process to protect the integrity of the medical examination system and to ensure consistency and quality in the assessment of medical admissibility.
  4. CIC and CBSA should fully implement their joint risk management and performance measurement strategies and monitor the results.

CIC agreed with these recommendations.

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