Tabling of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency’s first Annual Report

News release

Ottawa Ontario, December 11, 2020  – The first Annual Report of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) was tabled in Parliament today Friday, December 11, 2020.

The report focuses on NSIRA’s initial review work from July 2019 through December 2019, and also includes discussion of previously unreleased reviews by predecessor organizations, namely the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) and the Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner (OCSEC). We discuss Canada’s complex, interwoven approach to national security through the cross-cutting themes of intelligence collection, safeguarding, information sharing, and intelligence informed actions.  Highlights include:

  • Legal issues regarding new technologies;
  • Ongoing concerns related to the duty of candour owed by CSIS to the Federal Court;
  • Issues concerning CSIS’s use of the polygraph;
  • CSE privacy protection practices; and,
  • Inconsistent approaches to how Canada avoids mistreatment when sharing information abroad.

NSIRA’s mandate also brings together the investigation of complaints related to national security made by members of the public. The report describes issues related to complaints from 2019, emphasizing our commitment to modernizing the complaints investigation process to ensure greater timeliness and accessibility. We also raise concerns concerning gaps in the current legal framework for “whistleblowing as it relates to the national security community.”

Our annual report discusses our organization’s underlining values, particularly our desire to be more accessible in our work, reach a broader audience, and have our review priorities and complaints process informed by engaging communities who feel they are affected by national security and intelligence activities.

 “We hope that our annual report will both inform Canadians as to how their national security agencies protect us and give them confidence that strong accountability and transparency mechanisms are in place and working as intended. We look forward to engaging Canadians on the report’s findings.”

–The Honourable Dr. Ian Holloway, P.C., C.D., Q.C. (NSIRA Interim Chair)—

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Copies of NSIRA’s Annual Report will be available online at Please contact us to receive printed copies.
NSIRA’s legislation:
More information on NSIRA’s mandate can be found here:
Twitter: @NSIRACanada

Please send your comments on our Annual Report to:

Tahera Mufti
Manager, Communications and Strategic Engagement
National Security and Intelligence Review Agency


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