Established in July 2019, NSIRA represents a significant enhancement for national security accountability in Canada. NSIRA has a statutory mandate to review the activities of CSIS and CSE, as well as the national security and intelligence activities of all other federal departments and agencies. To fulfill its review mandate, NSIRA has unfettered access to classified information other than Cabinet confidences. In addition, NSIRA inherited the complaints investigation functions of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), which was responsible for hearing complaints from members of the public regarding the actions of CSIS, as well as those related to the revocation or denial of security clearances. Going forward, it will also hear complaints regarding the CSE, as well as national security-related complaints regarding the RCMP.
Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks ($11,309,411)
This section contains detailed information on the department?s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities. It also contains information on key risks related to achieving those results.
Assist the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency
The Secretariat will assist NSIRA members in fulfilling the agency’s mandate. The Secretariat will conduct a range of activities to support the agency, including accessing relevant information and providing strategic and expert advice in the conduct of reviews, quasi-judicial investigation of complaints and the development of reports. It will also provide administrative support in arranging for briefings, hearings and consultations with stakeholders and international counterparts, and support to ensure compliance with security requirements.
NSIRA will carry out a number of activities in 2020-21 in support of its new mandate, including:
Supporting the development of reports, including on specific annual mandatory reviews and the NSIRA’s annual public report, which will be submitted to the Prime Minister;
Developing a medium-term research plan that reflects the broad scope of NSIRA’s new review mandate and the modern realities of inter-agency cooperation in the field of national security;
Working actively with its counterparts at the NSICOP, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, and the Office of the Intelligence Commissioner to foster productive collaboration within the Canadian review community;
Undertaking the investigation of complaints, updating procedures and establishing protocols in relation to the newly expanded aspects of this function;
Exploring ways to continue to build relationships with like-mandated international review bodies to participate in the exchange of best practices; and,
Enhancing NSIRA’s engagement with Canadians on matters of national security and intelligence in order to build public trust.
Internal Services: planned results ($12,975,559)
Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department.