Review Backgrounder

This review focused on one aspect of the Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Force’s (DND/CAF) intelligence activities: The Canadian Forces National Counter-Intelligence Unit (CFNCIU, or the Unit). The review was selected given that it is consistent with NSIRA’s emphasis on conducting a series of safeguarding reviews over the next few years.

The review examined CFNCIU’s domestic efforts at investigating Counter Intelligence (Cl) threats posed to DND/CAF, the rationale used by CFNCIU for justifying investigations, and the associated activities that transpire once this determination is made.

NSIRA reviewed the Unit’s case files, interviewed CFNCIUFIQ staff, detachment investigators and other internal stakeholders, as well as key senior officers with the aim of understanding CFNCIU’s contribution to Cl and insider-threat scenarios within DND/CAF. Based on the assessment of this information, NSIRA made several findings and recommendations to improve how intelligence is derived from investigations and conveyed to government decision-makers.

It is important to note that since inception of the Unit in 1997, the CFNCIU has been the subject of ten internal studies, each of which have identified the Unit as having suffered from resource and policy limitations (among others), resulting in an inability to fully meet its mandate. This review does not significantly depart from these previous assessments.

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