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

NSIRA’s 2020 Annual Report focuses on review and investigation work carried out during our first full year of operation. In 2020, NSIRA completed reviews covering the national security and intelligence activities of departments and agencies across Canada’s federal government.

This report highlights key findings and recommendations, as well as our efforts to standardize and modernize our review processes. The report also discusses our new approach to information verification in reviews (our “trust but verify” approach) as well as NSIRA’s review plan for the coming years. Review highlights include:

  • CSIS threat reduction measures (TRM) and intelligence-sharing activities;
  • CSE activities, notably the disclosure of Canadian identifying information (CII) to Government of Canada departments, ministerial authorizations (MAs) and ministerial orders (MOs) under the CSE Act, and CSE’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) data retention policies and procedures;
  • DND/CAF counter-intelligence gathering activities;
  • A review of a GAC program; and,
  • Two cross-departmental reviews with respect to the Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities Act and disclosures of information under the Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act.

NSIRA’s mandate includes the investigation of complaints related to national security made by members of the public. In 2020, we completed one investigation and modernized our complaints investigation model to ensure efficiency and transparency. Two priorities guided the modernization of the process, namely, access to justice for self-represented complainants and the creation of streamlined and less formal procedural steps. This was achieved through the creation of new Rules of Procedure as well as the implementation of our new declassified, de-personalized policy on final investigations reports.

NSIRA’s 2020 Annual Report also discusses our organization’s underlining goals and values, and highlights how the organization grew in size and capacity throughout the 2020, as it continued efforts to enhance its technical and subject matter expertise.

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