Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

Project name: Expanding Biometric Screening in Canada's Immigration System (Biometrics Expansion Project)

Description

Budget 2015 provided funding to expand biometrics collection, screening and verification to all temporary resident visa, work permit, study permit and temporary resident permit applicants (excluding U.S. nationals) and all permanent resident applicants. This includes systematic verification of fingerprints of these travellers through self-service kiosks upon arrival at major airports, in-Canada enrolment services, and expanded biometric-based information sharing with Canada's Migration Five (M5) partners (the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand) to strengthen the decision-making process.

The costs of expanding biometric screening are expected to be fully recovered through the existing biometrics fee.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the lead department in managing this project in collaboration with its primary delivery partners, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and Shared Services Canada (SSC).

Project outcomes

Building on the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project and the Beyond the Border Action Plan, the project supports the government's international engagement and security priorities as biometrics and information sharing help make Canada and the world safer and more secure. The project also supports the government's service delivery priorities given the expansion of service delivery channels and the facilitated movement of admissible individuals.

The use of biometrics as an identity management tool helps supplement existing biographic checks and significantly reduces the chance that one individual could pose or be mistaken for another individual. Immigration and border services officers will know with greater certainty if an immigration applicant undergoing biometric screening has a Canadian criminal record, made an asylum claim in Canada, was previously deported from Canada, submitted an immigration application in the past or has used a different biographic identity.

Biometrics will also provide border services officers with greater certainty that an individual who was granted authorization to enter Canada is the one actually seeking entry. Over time, biometrics will also facilitate legitimate travel by:

  • Strengthening identity management for informed admissibility decision making: The expanded collection and screening of biometric information will add a more secure and reliable identity element to a wider range of applicants. Immigration information sharing with other Migration 5 member countries will further enhance identity management by providing officers with more information to confirm an applicant's identity and detect cases of identity fraud or inadmissibility.
  • Denying inadmissible individuals entry into, or permission to remain in, Canada: Broader fingerprint collection at the application stage will allow for more applicants to be screened against records of known criminals, past refugee claimants, persons previously deported and previous immigration applicants. This will assist officers in the admissibility decision-making process at the application stage. Immigration information sharing will also contribute further to admissibility screening by providing officers with access to a wider range of immigration data including valuable identity and admissibility information held by the immigration authorities of Migration 5 partner countries.
  • Facilitating movement of admissible individuals into Canada: The expanded collection, screening, verification and sharing of biometrics will simplify confirmation of a traveller's identity, reduce the need for more in-depth questioning at the application and arrival stages and facilitate the processing of low-risk returning applicants both overseas and upon arrival in Canada.

Industrial benefits

The Biometrics Expansion Project will improve the safety and security of Canadian citizens. To support the Government of Canada outcomes for strong economic growth and a safe and secure world, the project must maintain a balance between the desire to welcome newcomers to Canada and the obligation to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians. Criminals, security threats and other known inadmissible persons must not be allowed to enter or remain in Canada.

Sponsoring department

IRCC

Contracting authority

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)

Participating departments

CBSA, RCMP and SSC

Prime contractor

While procurement processes are under way as part of the Biometrics Expansion Project, current prime contractors are:

  • Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Technical Solution
  • VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd, Port Louis, Mauritius – Service Delivery
  • Computer Sciences Canada Inc., Kanata, Ontario, Canada – Service Delivery
  • Gemalto, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Technical Solutions; and
  • Safran Identity and Security, Oakville, Ontario, Canada – Technical Solution

Major subcontractors

  • Aware, Inc., Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • International Organization for Migration, Geneva, Switzerland – Service Delivery; and
  • CSRA LLC – Falls Church, Virginia, U.S.A. – Service Delivery

Project phase

The Biometrics Expansion Project has been in Phase 3 since April 1, 2017. This phase aims to finalize the biometric solution, support technical and business infrastructure and prepare applicants, partners and other stakeholders for the introduction of biometrics expansion and expanded information sharing.

Major milestones

The project will be implemented in three phases before transitioning to steady state operations upon project close in November 2019.

  • Phase 1 (Planning), completed in March 2016: In this phase, the project developed preliminary strategies and plans for defining, building and deploying the expanded biometric solution and enhanced information sharing.
  • Phase 2 (Development), In this phase, requirements for the project will be detailed, and plans for defining, building and deploying the expanded biometric solution and information sharing will be finalized. Design and development to implement the enabling technology will start and business change activities will commence to prepare stakeholders for changes introduced by the Biometrics Expansion Project. Major milestones include:
    • May 2017: regulatory changes for information-sharing agreements with Migration 5 partners were completed and published; and
    • February 2019: "In-Canada" service deployment will commence.
  • Phase 3 (Deployment), to be completed by November 2019: In this phase, the biometric solution and supporting infrastructure will be finalized. Implementation of the communications plan will prepare clients, partners and other stakeholders for the expansion of biometric screening and information sharing. Major milestones include:
    • April 2017: biometric-based information sharing with Migration 5 partners, which commenced in April 2017 with Australia, will commence with New Zealand in February 2018 and the United Kingdom in 2019;
    • June 2018: regulatory changes for expanded authority to collect biometric information from additional nationalities and business lines to be completed and published;
    • July 2018: increased biometric-based information sharing with the United States to begin;
    • Summer 2018: biometric enrolment and verification for the expanded nationalities and business lines ready to commence, pending approval of regulations;
    • November 2018–November 2019: biometric enrolment at new overseas visa application centres to commence; and
    • March 2019: systematic fingerprint verification at major airports to commence.
  • Ongoing operations: As elements of the Biometrics Expansion Project are implemented, incremental ongoing activities will be required for business and technology support, as well as service delivery. It is anticipated that operations will reach a steady state in 2020–21.

Progress report and explanation of variances

Funding for the Biometrics Expansion Project was announced in Budget 2015 (April 2015), and approval of estimated costs of $312.6 million over five years, and $103.2 million ongoing, was granted in June 2015. An approved amount of $133.9 million excluding HST was allocated for the planning, development and deployment of the Biometrics Expansion Project.

Significant progress has been made to achieve the planning objectives set out in Phase 1, and the development objectives set out in Phase 2 are almost complete. The deployment phase of the project started in April 2017, with projected completion in November 2019. The substantive cost for this phase in 2017–18 is estimated at $26,058,912 (including $2,361,682 in HST) with an indicative cost of $13,630,609 (including $1,202,899 in HST) for the CBSA.

In developing the detailed project schedule, it became apparent that some activities would need to be deferred due to circumstances beyond the project's control and in order to better align deliverables and dependencies. For example, the timeline for the VAC contract award was delayed from December 2017 to February 2018 due to various factors, including concerns regarding operational readiness. Despite this, no significant delays to the project roll-out timeline are anticipated.

Additionally, the in-Canada service channel has been deferred due to a delay in obtaining mandate authority for Service Canada to deliver biometrics collection services on behalf of IRCC. As such, completion of some planned Phase 2 activities will continue past March 2017. The deferral of activities in Phase 1 and 2 will not affect the start of Phase 3 or planned go-live dates.

While project costs are increasing due to unforeseen delays, revised assumptions and further substantiation of costs, ongoing costs are decreasing, thus allowing the total cost to remain within the five-year funding announced in Budget 2015. Amended project approval will be sought as appropriate for revised cost estimates.

Project name: Passport Program Modernization Initiative (PPMI)

Description

The PPMI will implement the transition of accountability for the Passport Program to IRCC and modernize the business to address future demands. The initiative encompasses three major deliverables, namely:

  • Transfer of the Passport Program to IRCC and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) retaining its mandate to provide passport services abroad;
  • Transition of the legacy passport issuance system to a new passport issuance system such as the Global Case Management System (GCMS); and
  • Modernization of the Passport Program by streamlining business processes, enhancing security and integrity, expanding the service delivery network and offering online services.

Project outcomes

The PPMI will:

  • increase access to services for Canadians (online and expanded in-person network);
  • strengthen program security and integrity of passport entitlement and issuance processes; and,
  • increase program efficiencies.

Industrial benefits

nil

Sponsoring department

IRCC

Contracting authority

IRCC

Participating departments

  • ESDC
  • GAC
  • SSC

Prime contractor

Not applicable

Major subcontractors

Not applicable

Project phase

Planning
(Next gate – Gate 5: Detailed Project Plan and Functional Specifications)

Major milestones

  • May 2015: Obtained project approval and expenditure authority for Phase 1 (amended) and Phase 2.
  • May 2015: New Passport System Passport Module developed and initial testing performed.
  • November 2015: Pilot launch of online renewal applications (delayed).
  • March 2016: Full launch of online renewal applications (delayed).
  • October 2016: Controlled environment testing of live data in GCMS launched.
  • June 2017: Approval granted to extend Project and Expenditure Authority for Phase 2 and Phase 3.

Progress report and explanation of variances

  • Initially, the PPMI project was approved with an estimated cost of $101.3 million (including $4.2 million in HST).
  • In May 2015, additional authorities were granted to the PPMI project to support a change in the project deployment plan. The total cost is now estimated at $176 million (including $7.8 million in HST).
  • The PPMI project was planned for completion by June 2018. This date is subject to change once the revised planning is completed. The June 2017 approval was granted to the project authority to continue with business transformation planning, design and development.
  • The intended business objectives of the project will be achieved as modernized business processes and technology are deployed across the service delivery network.
  • A deployment schedule will be developed pending the completion of business transformation planning activities.

Project name: ePassport Next Generation

Description

A procurement process has been launched to secure a new contract for the supply of the next generation Canadian ePassport. The new contract includes a design strategy for the suite of travel documents and a new personalization solution.

Project outcomes

The ePassport Next Generation Project will attain the following outcomes:

  • Secure booklet design will heighten Canadians' confidence in the Passport Program;
  • Improved overall security of the passport; and
  • Enhanced technology will be employed.

Together, these outcomes will support the ultimate outcomes of managed migration and facilitated travel that promote Canadian interests and protect the health, safety and security of Canadians.

Industrial benefits

The project team has worked to ensure the new contract meets the constantly evolving requirements for global travel. The project has provided the Passport Program with an opportunity to re-evaluate key aspects of the next generation ePassport solution, including more secure personalization technology, advanced travel document security features, and a five-year document design cycle that is synchronized with the contract lifecycle. Furthermore, the project is supported by a robust maintenance and support plan.

Sponsoring department

IRCC

Contracting authority

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)

Participating departments

ESDC and GAC

Prime contractor

To be determined

Major subcontractors

To be determined

Project phase

The project is in the mid-point of procurement activities leading to the award of a new contract for a solution for the next generation Canadian passport and its suite of travel documents.

Major milestones

  • The Invitation to Qualify was posted on BuyandSell in June 2017, and potential bidders were evaluated in September 2017.
  • The draft of the Statement of Requirements was provided to PSPC on October 27, 2017, as scheduled.

Progress report and explanation of variances

The ePassport Next Generation Project was initially approved at an estimated cost of $115 million (including HST). Expenditure authority was also approved for Phase 2 (Definition Phase) of the project, at an estimated substantive cost of $18 million (including HST), in June 2017.

The project is forecasting expenses in the amount of $4.1 million for 2017–18.

Over the past year, IRCC chaired the working group that was tasked with developing the Statement of Requirements in partnership with key stakeholders from ESDC, GAC, PSPC, the CBSA, Public Safety Canada, the RCMP and the Communication Security Establishment of Canada.

The development of the Statement of Requirements was completed and provided to PSPC on October 27, 2017, as scheduled. The final version of the Request for Proposals will be shared with qualified suppliers in 2018-19. IRCC will be working with stakeholders to synchronize schedules and is ensuring that all partner milestone dates are included in the Phase 3 project schedule.

The Statement of Requirements and the Request for Proposals will be sent to qualified suppliers in April 2018. Bid submissions will undergo a technical mandatory and point-rated evaluation as well as a financial assessment. The bid submissions that pass these steps will proceed to the final step of the Request for Proposals process, which is the Proof of Proposal. A bidder must successfully pass the Proof of Proposal in order to be awarded the contract. The contract will be awarded to the winning bidder in early 2019-2020.

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