CSIS Internal Security (SIRC 2018-15)

NSIRA Recommendation: CSIS develop an internal policy, in consultation with Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), outlining parameters on reporting information obtained during the course of IS screening, inquiries, and investigations to law enforcement in a timely manner.

CSIS Response: CSIS has established an internal set of procedures for disclosing information obtained during the course of Internal Security screening to law enforcement, as required. CSIS will continue to review these procedures and will continue to seek legal advice from the Department of Justice regarding these disclosures, as required. CSIS and the Department of Justice have a collaborative relationship that fosters discussion and allows for robust engagement in these matters.

NSIRA Recommendation: CSIS strengthen internal governance over polygraph activities, including modifying the methodology for conducting polygraph assessments, as appropriate.

CSIS Response: CSIS considers the findings and observations in this review as an opportunity to enhance its internal processes. As such, CSIS is working to address this recommendation by strengthening internal governance. New policy and procedures will provide clarity, accountability and transparency to its polygraph program by outlining roles and the ethical and procedural responsibilities of polygraph examiners.

NSIRA Recommendation: CSIS update applicable policy and procedures on the use of the polygraph to address security and procedural fairness implications stemming from failed polygraph results.

CSIS Response: CSIS values the important work done by the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA). To address gaps identified by NSIRA, CSIS is currently updating the polygraph policy and procedures to ensure an enhanced degree of transparency and procedural fairness.

NSIRA Recommendation: IS further align its overarching policy suite with the assessment criteria for adverse information outlined in the Standard on Security Screening, as well as update the its Questionnaire Guidebook with clear definitions and risk indicators.

CSIS Response: CSIS continually engages in the process of updating its guides, procedures and policies. CSIS will ensure that procedures are well aligned with the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Standard on Security Screening. Providing consistency in assessments between cases remains a priority.

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