In 2019-2020, NSIRA conducted its first interdepartmental review on the implementation of the 2017 Ministerial Directions on Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities (2017 MD). The review set out to build NSIRA’s knowledge of the information sharing process adopted by the six departments that received the 2017 MD.
NSIRA conducted a case study for each department that had operationalized the 2017 MD. NSIRA noted significant differences in the six departments’ implementation and operationalization of information sharing processes. NSIRA found that CSE, CSIS and the RCMP had implemented the 2017 MD; DND/CAF was implementing the final elements of the 2017 MD; GAC had not yet fully implemented the 2017 MD; and, the CBSA had not yet operationalized the 2017 MD.
NSIRA examined and found differences in how high-risk decision-making is removed from operational personnel who may have a vested interest in the sharing. CSE and the RCMP had the most independent processes; GAC removed high-risk decision-making from front line personnel, while CSIS and DND/CAF decision makers had a direct operational interest in sharing information. NSIRA recommended that Departments ensure that in cases where the risk of mistreatment approaches the threshold of “substantial”, decisions are made independently of operational personnel directly invested in the outcome.
NSIRA also found a lack of standardization in information sharing risk assessments for both foreign countries and foreign entities. This issue has been noted in other NSIRA information sharing reviews.
In 2019, parliament passed the Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities Act, which in conjunction with the subsequent issued Orders in Council (OIC’s) codified many of the provisions of the 2017 MD and left the essential prohibitions and limits unchanged. Noteworthy, the six departments examined in this review are also the same departments for which there is an obligation to issue OICs pursuant to the Act. This review set out the foundation that has assisted and facilitated NSIRA’s subsequent mandated information sharing reviews.
Publishing this review aligns with NSIRA’s efforts at increasing transparency and being more accessible to Canadians through its work.
Date of Publishing:
1. Executive Summary
In 2011 and again in 2017, ministers issued direction (hereafter Ministerial Direction or MD) to a number of departments setting out how to manage the risks of mistreatment posed by the sharing of information with foreign entities. Most recently, Parliament passed the Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities Act (ACMFEA). In September 2019, direction under the ACMFEA was issued to twelve departments, six of which had never before received formal direction regarding information sharing with foreign entities.
This review set out to build NSIRA’s knowledge of the information sharing processes adopted by departments under the 2017 MD. The direction issued pursuant to the ACMFEA in September 2019 codified many provisions of the 2017 MD and left the essential prohibitions and limits unchanged. As such, this review provided a foundation that will expedite and facilitate NSIRA’s future information sharing reviews.
The review focused on the six departments that had received the 2017 MD: the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CSBA), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF).
Observations and Recommendations
Degrees of implementation vary across departments
NSIRA noted significant differences between the six departments with regard to the level of implementation of information sharing processes. In summary:
- CSE, CSIS and the RCMP have implemented the 2017 MD.
- DND/CAF is in the process of implementing final elements of the 2017 MD.
- GAC has not yet fully implemented the 2017 MD.
- In practice, CBSA has not yet operationalized the 2017 MD.
The concept of “substantial risk” of mistreatment is not defined
Like the 2017 MD, the ACMFEA and its associated direction prohibit information sharing that would result in a “substantial risk” of mistreatment. Neither the ACMFEA nor its direction include a definition of substantial risk, however, despite the centrality of this concept to the regime. A definition of substantial risk existed in both the 2011 and 2017 MD; its absence now raises concerns about its interpretation in future.
Recommendation: The definition of “substantial risk” should be codified in law or public direction.
Departments vary with respect to the independence of their decision-making
- CSE and the RCMP have the most independent processes.
- The information sharing processes implemented by GAC to date remove high- risk decision-making from “front line” personnel.
- At CSIS and DND/CAF, decision-makers typically have a direct operational interest in the sharing of information.
- CBSA has not yet operationalized its information sharing processes.
Recommendation: Departments should ensure that in cases where the risk of mistreatment approaches the threshold of “substantial”, decisions are made independently of operational personnel directly invested in the outcome.
Lack of standardized information sharing risk assessments
Under the 2017 MD, GAC, CSIS, CSE, and the RCMP all maintain their own sets of foreign country and/or entity profiles, while DND/CAF is currently developing its own as well. The existence of multiple different assessments is duplicative and unnecessary. It may also yield inconsistencies, as departments have at times come to quite different conclusions about foreign countries’ and entities’ human rights records and the associated risks of information sharing.
Recommendation: Departments should develop: (a) a unified set of assessments of the human rights situations in foreign countries including a standardized ‘risk of mistreatment’ classification level for each country; and (b) to the extent that multiple departments deal with the same foreign entities in a given country, standardized assessments of the risk of mistreatment of sharing information with foreign entities.
Benefits of internal information sharing process reviews
Finally, NSIRA noted that periodic internal reviews of information sharing policies and processes supported their successful functioning in the long term.
Recommendation: Departments should conduct periodic internal reviews of their policies and processes for sharing information with foreign entities in order to identify gaps and areas in need of improvement.
This review was conducted under the authority of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act (NSIRA Act), specifically paragraphs 8(1)(a) and 8(1)(b) as well as sections 9 and 11.
Many departments and agencies in the Government of Canada routinely share information with foreign entities. Given that information sharing with entities in certain countries can result in a risk of mistreatment for individuals, it is incumbent upon the Government of Canada to evaluate and mitigate the risks that such sharing creates. This is particularly the case for information sharing related to national security and intelligence, where the information often relates to alleged participation in terrorism or other criminal activity.
Canada has made a number of binding commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading treatment or Punishment (CAT), and other international agreements. The prohibitions on mistreatment – including complicity in mistreatment – set out in these agreements are also considered to be customary international law. Some of Canada’s obligations have been incorporated into domestic law under section 269.1 of the Criminal Code.
In 2011 and again in 2017, ministers issued direction to a number of departments setting out how to manage the risks in information sharing with foreign entities. Most recently, Parliament passed Bill C-59, which included the ACMFEA. In September 2019, direction under the ACMFEA was issued to twelve departments, six of which had never before received formal direction regarding information sharing with foreign entities.
Subsection 8(2.2) of the NSIRA Act requires NSIRA to review annually every department’s implementation of the directions of the GiC issued under the ACMFEA. In 2020, the NSIRA will undertake its first such review. The purpose of the present review, however, was to build NSIRA’s knowledge and understanding of departments’ implementation of the 2017 MD. The direction issued pursuant to the ACMFEA in September 2019 codified many provisions of the 2017 MD and left the essential prohibitions and limits unchanged. As such, this review provided a valuable foundation that will expedite and facilitate NSIRA’s future information sharing reviews.
The review focused on the six departments that received the 2017 MD: CSIS, CSE, the RCMP, CBSA, GAC, and DND/CAF. NSIRA examined departments’ policies and processes as well as documents related to foreign arrangements. Where possible, NSIRA examined a single case study for each department in order to illustrate how information sharing works in practice. Given the high-level approach taken in this review, NSIRA opted to make a series of broad observations about the strengths and weaknesses of departments’ framework for information sharing with foreign entities, in the place of formal findings. Where NSIRA made recommendations, they were interdepartmental in scope.
This review focused on departmental policies and procedures for the disclosure and requesting of information involving a risk of mistreatment. It did not examine the use of information that may have been derived from mistreatment; NSIRA may review this topic in future.
In 2011, the Government of Canada approved a general framework for “Addressing Risks of Mistreatment in Sharing Information with Foreign Entities”. The framework was the first multi-departmental set of instructions issued regarding information sharing and mistreatment. Its main aim was to establish a coherent and consistent approach across government when sharing information with foreign entities.
Later in 2011, a number of departments whose mandate related to national security and/or intelligence received Ministerial Direction on Information Sharing with Foreign Entities (the 2011 MD). Specifically, the 2011 MD was issued to CSIS, CSE, CBSA, and the RCMP. The 2011 MD, which was eventually released under the Access to Information Act, was subject to extensive criticism from non-governmental organizations, civil liberties groups, and others including the Canadian Bar Association. The main critique was that the 2011 MD did not clearly prohibit the disclosure or requesting of information entailing a “substantial risk” of mistreatment, but rather permitted departments to weigh the value of the information against the risk of mistreatment.
In 2017, the 2011 MD was replaced by a new Ministerial Direction on Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities (the 2017 MD). The 2017 MD was received by CSIS, CSE, CBSA, and the RCMP – the departments that had received the 2011 MD – as well as by DND/CAF and GAC. The 2017 MD included numerous changes, but the most significant were clear prohibitions on the disclosure and requesting of information that would result in a substantial risk of mistreatment, as well as new limits on the use of information likely derived from mistreatment by a foreign entity. In addition, the new MD required departments to maintain policies and procedures to assess the risks of their information sharing relationships with foreign entities.
The 2017 MD further directed departments to cooperate in making assessments regarding foreign countries and entities. In response, Public Safety Canada (PS) established the Information Sharing Coordination Group (ISCG) comprised of PS and the six departments that had received the 2017 MD. The objective was to encourage interdepartmental discussions in support of a coordinated approach to the implementation of the MD.
On July 13, 2019, the ACMFEA came into force. The ACMFEA requires the GiC to issue direction to the six departments that had received the 2017 MD, and gives the GiC discretion to issue direction to other departments as well. On September 4, 2019, the GiC issued direction under the ACMFEA to twelve departments. In addition to the six mandatory departments, direction was issued to PS; the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC); Transport Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). These six new departments have now also joined the PS-led ISCG.
In practice, the information sharing regime set out by the ACMFEA and the subsequent GiC direction closely resembles the 2017 MD. The fundamental limits on Canadian departments’ scope to share information remain unchanged. Notably, however, the new regime omits certain aspects of the 2017 MD. The ACMFEA and its associated direction lack the 2017 MD’s requirement that departments maintain policies and procedures for assessing the risks associated with foreign information sharing arrangements, in collaboration with other departments. More importantly, the new system omits a definition of the threshold of “substantial risk”. The ramifications of this are discussed below.
5. Observations and Recommendations
One of the new obligations placed on departments in the 2017 MD was a requirement that they provide an annual report to their minister that included:
All of the departments that were issued the 2017 MD fulfilled their obligation to report to their respective ministers by producing a report in late 2018 or early 2019 discussing the first year of activity under the MD. At the time of writing, however, not all of the departments have issued a public report. As this was a foundational review, NSIRA did not critically evaluate the reports.
|Report to Minister
Implementation of the 2017 Ministerial Direction
When the 2017 MD was issued, departments that had already built information sharing policies and procedures under the 2011 MD found themselves at a significant advantage. CSIS, CSE, and the RCMP in particular were able to quickly adapt their existing systems to the 2017 MD. Accordingly, for departments that had not received the 2011 MD – or had not implemented it – the arrival of the 2017 MD proved more challenging.
CSE: NSIRA observes that CSE has fully implemented all of the elements of the 2017 MD. The MD’s requirements have been integrated directly into CSE’s operational policies and processes. A detailed overview of CSE’s information sharing framework and the results of the case study examined by NSIRA can be found at Annex D.
RCMP: In response to the 2017 MD, the RCMP overhauled their information sharing framework and stood up a new Law Enforcement Assessment Group (LEAG) that, amongst other things, assesses country human rights records and maintains a system for streaming information sharing requests according to risk. The RCMP is currently working to integrate these processes into their comprehensive operational manual. A detailed overview of the RCMP’s information sharing framework and the results of the case study examined by NSIRA can be found at Annex E.
CSIS: Following the issuance of the 2017 MD, CSIS quickly updated their policies and procedures. In 2018, CSIS also created a new system to implement the MD’s requirement to restrict information sharing with foreign entities that engage in mistreatment, with three levels of restriction depending on the seriousness of the problem. CSIS has informed NSIRA that it is overhauling its current policies and procedures. A detailed overview of CSIS’s current information sharing framework and the results of the case study examined by NSIRA can be found at Annex F.
DND/CAF: Although DND/CAF did not receive the 2011 MD, DND/CAF has had internal directives in place governing information sharing with foreign entities since 2010. The DND/CAF policy and process suite for information sharing was updated following the issuance of the 2017 MD to bring it into compliance with the new requirements. While DND/CAF vets partner forces, it does not yet have a fully developed system for assessing and managing the risks of sharing information with foreign entities. DND/CAF is, however, currently developing more extensive country risk profiles and a standardized assessment process that will be used to assess the risks of information sharing prior to establishing information sharing arrangements. A detailed overview of DND/CAF’s information sharing framework can be found at Annex G.
GAC: Following receipt of the 2017 MD, GAC established a new Ministerial Direction Compliance Committee (MDCC) in December 2018. The MDCC’s objective is to review requests for information sharing that may engage the MD. This is the extent of GAC’s policies and processes pursuant to the MD, however. GAC lacks any policies or procedures setting out how employees are to assess instances of possible information sharing to ensure that all appropriate cases reach the MDCC. It is insufficient to merely inform employees that they are responsible for assessing a complex legal threshold – the concept of a “substantial risk” of mistreatment at the core of the 2011 and 2017 MD as well as the ACMFEA – without guidance as to how they should proceed. As such, NSIRA observes that GAC has not yet fully implemented the 2017 MD.
GAC (cont.): Of note, GAC produces human rights reports on countries that are widely used within government to assist in assessing the risks of sharing with foreign entities. Following the 2017 MD, GAC added a subsection specific to mistreatment to these reports. A detailed overview of GAC’s information sharing framework and the results of the case study examined by NSIRA can be found at Annex H.
CBSA: In October 2018, CBSA issued a revised high-level policy document in response to the 2017 MD. The document did not include concrete processes for identifying and handling instances of information sharing involving a risk of mistreatment, however. CBSA employees thus lack effective guidance with which to discharge their responsibilities under the MD. CBSA also has no process for assessing the risks associated with specific foreign countries and entities, as required by the MD. CBSA has since drafted processes and additional policies, but they have not yet been finalized or invoked. Given these significant gaps, NSIRA observes that CBSA has not yet operationalized the 2017 MD. CBSA has informed NSIRA, however, that it intends to introduce significant improvements over the coming year. A detailed overview of CBSA’s information sharing framework can be found at Annex I.
Additional observations are included in the department-specific annexes referenced above. It should also be noted that NSIRA examined departmental policies and processes at a high level, and as such future reviews may make additional findings and recommendations regarding policies and processes. Moreover, a number of departments are in the process of revamping their information sharing practices, including in particular CSIS and DND/CAF.
In its survey of departments, NSIRA noted varying levels of rigour and consistency with regard to record keeping. Accurate and detailed records of deliberations and reasoning in support of decision-making related to information sharing with foreign entities are necessary to support accountability, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Vavilov. NSIRA may return to this subject in future years.
In June 2019, the RCMP conducted an internal review of the framework and policies in place for its information sharing policies and procedures. The review identified certain shortcomings with regard to policies, processes, training, and resourcing. Based on the draft provided, NSIRA observes that the review was candid and thorough. The review is currently being used to guide improvements. Periodic internal reviews – such as the one conducted by the RCMP – should be considered a best practice.
Recommendation no. 1: Departments should conduct periodic internal reviews of their policies and processes for sharing information with foreign entities in order to identify gaps and areas in need of improvement.
The concept of risk mitigation is key to the information sharing frameworks of departments. When information sharing would result in a substantial risk that an individual would be mistreated, the information can only be shared if the department takes measures to mitigate the risk of mistreatment such that the residual risk is no longer substantial. Much therefore depends on who, within departments, is authorized to make decisions regarding whether:
- an instance of proposed information sharing would result in a substantial risk of mistreatment; and
- the proposed mitigation measures are sufficient.
In looking at the various decision-making processes adopted by departments, NSIRA noted varying levels of independence from operational personnel. Of particular interest were processes where the individual making decisions has a direct operational interest in the sharing of the information, creating the potential for conflict between operational imperatives and departmental obligations to respect the MD.
At CSE, the complete Mistreatment Risk Assessment process is conducted by non-operational units. The centralization of information sharing decision-making in a single branch minimizes direct operational pressure while facilitating informed and objective decisions.
The RCMP process uses other mechanisms to ensure independent decision- making. Individual investigators, when they wish to share information, must consult a list of countries and types of information sharing that the RCMP has pre-determined as representing sufficient risk of mistreatment. If the proposed sharing matches the list, then the case is automatically referred to the Foreign Information Risk Advisory Committee (FIRAC). FIRAC comprises a range of senior officials from RCMP headquarters who are a step removed from the operational front-line. The RCMP’s system of referral to FIRAC based on clear criteria removes discretion from officers with a vested interest in the sharing of the information. These officers may not have a full understanding of the geopolitical context of the proposed information sharing and thus are not best-placed to assess whether a substantial risk of mistreatment would result.
GAC requests that Directors General and Heads of Mission refer all cases where proposed information sharing “presents the potential for substantial risk of mistreatment” to the MDCC. The decision as to whether the substantial risk can be mitigated is made centrally by the MDCC, which comprises senior officials from across the department as well as a legal representative. As noted above, however, GAC currently does not provide officials with guidance on how to determine whether the threshold for referral to the MDCC has been met.
Compared to CSE, GAC, and the RCMP, decision-making at CSIS and DND/CAF is much closer to operations. CSIS provides high-level guidance to desks on how to identify information sharing that may result in a substantial risk of mistreatment, but leaves final decision-making regarding whether the situation does in fact create a substantial risk, and whether the risk can be mitigated, to the Deputy Director General or the Director General of each branch. Only if CSIS has heavily restricted information sharing with the foreign entity in question – or else the branch is unsure whether the substantial risk can be mitigated – then the branch must refer the case to the Information Sharing Evaluation Committee (ISEC) for determination. As a result, most of CSIS’s information sharing decisions – even those involving a substantial risk of mistreatment – are made by officials with a direct operational stake in the outcome of the proposed information sharing.
Within DND/CAF, decisions regarding the sharing of information rest with officers within the military chain of command. NSIRA was informed that while routine information sharing is approved by designated lower-level officers in theatre, cases involving unusual circumstances, or where there is uncertainty as to whether a substantial risk of mistreatment exists or can be mitigated, are elevated to senior levels. Once passed up the chain of command, senior officers receive advice from a range of officials at headquarters.
CBSA, at the present time, does not have processes to assess substantial risk or to make decisions regarding whether such risks can be mitigated. In practice, therefore, the onus currently rests on CBSA officers, acting without guidance, to identify cases that invoke the 2017 MD and to manage the associated risks. CBSA has drafted a procedure for cases where there is uncertainty as to whether a substantial risk of mistreatment can be mitigated, but it has not yet been implemented.
Recommendation no. 2: Departments should ensure that in cases where the risk of mistreatment approaches the threshold of “substantial”, decisions are made independently of operational personnel directly invested in the outcome.
As noted above, a significant addition to the 2017 MD was the requirement that departments maintain policies and procedures to assess the risks of their information sharing relationships with foreign entities. Notably, the MD required departments to assess the human rights records of foreign countries generally and not just of specific foreign entities (i.e., police or intelligence services) within those countries. While the MD did not prohibit information sharing with foreign entities in countries with troubling human rights records, it implied that Canada’s relationships with such foreign entities could not be considered in isolation from the broader human rights environment in which these entities functioned.
In several instances, NSIRA noticed departments citing an absence of direct Government of Canada intelligence of mistreatment by a specific foreign entity in support of a proposed sharing of information, or else in support of a less restrictive information sharing policy towards the entity in question – despite ample reporting of systemic human rights abuses in the public domain. NSIRA observes that a lack of internal Government of Canada reporting of mistreatment by a specific foreign entity is not evidence that the entity does not engage in mistreatment. Departments must consider the full range of sources in assessing risk, including open sources such as the media and non-governmental organizations.
GAC, CSIS, CSE, and the RCMP all maintain their own sets of foreign country and/or entity profiles, while DND/CAF is currently developing its own as well. The existence of multiple different assessments is duplicative and unnecessary. and It may also yield significant inconsistencies, as departments have at times come to quite different conclusions about foreign countries’ and entities’ human rights records and the associated risks of information sharing. With the issuance of direction under the ACMFEA to twelve departments, this issue will likely grow. See Annex F for additional discussion of this point.
The ISCG seeks to guide departments in developing their human rights assessment processes by providing a forum to discuss best practices. PS informed NSIRA that the ISCG had not discussed plans to standardize these assessments.
Recommendation no. 3: Departments should develop:
- a unified set of assessments of the human rights situations in foreign countries including a standardized ‘risk of mistreatment’ classification level for each country; and
- to the extent that multiple departments deal with the same foreign entities in a given country, standardized assessments of the risk of mistreatment of sharing information with foreign entities.
The recommendation above does not preclude department-specific approaches to mitigating the risks of mistreatment. For instance, a department may be able to draw upon aspects of its relationship with a foreign entity to reduce the risk of mistreatment not available to other departments. These differences should not affect the initial determination of the underlying risk of mistreatment posed by information sharing with a foreign entity, however.
In India v. Badesha (2017), the Supreme Court of Canada recently provided guidance on contextual factors to be considered when assessing the reliability of assurances sought from foreign entities regarding mistreatment. Though not exhaustive, the decision provides departments with some guidance regarding the adequacy of assurances received.
Duty of Care
In reviewing GAC, NSIRA noted a tension between adherence to the 2017 MD and GAC’s duty of care with regard to the safety and security of mission staff abroad. Indeed, both cases of information sharing referred to the MDCC in 2019 involved threats to mission In one of the cases, information was shared with a foreign entity before the MDCC had had the chance to assess the risk of mistreatment. In this instance, the GAC official cited the need to protect the safety of mission staff (see Annex H).
NSIRA acknowledges the importance of mission security and the seriousness of the conundrums that can arise when the needs of mission security and GAC’s obligations with respect to information sharing collide. Yet the charged atmosphere of a mission under threat may not be the best venue for quick decision-making involving risks of mistreatment.
Like the 2017 MD, the ACMFEA and its associated direction prohibit information sharing that would result in a substantial risk of mistreatment. Neither the ACMFEA nor its direction include a definition of “substantial risk”, however, despite the centrality of this concept to the regime. A definition of substantial risk existed in both the 2011 and 2017 MD; its absence now raises concerns about its interpretation in the future.
In consultation with other departments, PS is developing a policy document that includes the same definition of substantial risk that was found in the 2011 and 2017 MD. The document also contains guidance on other requirements contained in the 2017 MD but that were omitted from the ACMFEA and its direction. When asked by NSIRA, the six departments that had been subject to the 2017 MD all stated that they intended to continue abiding by the established definition of substantial risk. This is reassuring, and should limit the potential for inconsistency between departments. Nonetheless, such a crucial definition should not be left up to individual departments to determine.
Recommendation no. 4: The definition of “substantial risk” should be codified in law or public direction.
The definition of substantial risk in the 2017 MD requires that mistreatment be “foreseeable”. As described in Annex G, DND/CAF’s assessment of foreseeability encompasses a number of factors, but a key component is that the risk of mistreatment be a “causal consequence” of DND/CAF information sharing. NSIRA observes that DND/CAF’s interpretation of foreseeability runs the risk of narrowing the definition of substantial risk and therefore the application of the 2017 MD. Given the importance of a clear and consistent understanding of “substantial risk” across departments, in future years NSIRA may review the application of the “substantial risk” threshold by DND/CAF – and other departments – to information sharing with foreign entities.
A substantial risk of mistreatment is defined as existing in cases where mistreatment is more likely than not. The definition includes a qualifier, however, that the threshold may be met at lower level of probability “where the risk is of severe harm”. This reflects a larger point that the assessment of substantial risk is not intended to be a narrowly mechanistic process of balancing probabilities. The 2017 MD notes that the Government of Canada “has no interest in actions associated with the use of torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. Knowingly associating the Government of Canada with any of these actions would damage the credibility and effectiveness of any department or agency associated with them”. When interpreting the threshold of substantial risk, departments should always bear in mind the larger purpose of Canada’s framework for sharing information with foreign entities.
In order to give life to this framework, it is incumbent on departments, first, to ensure that their employees are trained to the point where they fully understand their legal obligations, and second, to establish clear and well-developed processes that foster and facilitate compliance in the broadest sense.
This review set out to build NSIRA’s knowledge of the information sharing processes adopted by departments under the 2017 MD. NSIRA noted significant differences between the six departments reviewed with respect to the level of implementation of information sharing processes. Processes also varied widely in terms of the level of independence of decision-making.
Although departmental information sharing frameworks will continue to evolve over time, this review will provide a baseline of comparison for future developments under the ACMFEA. The review also served to identify areas of potential concern that NSIRA may revisit in future years.