ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 263 - February 8, 2011

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Implementation of a New Mandatory Check in GCMS

Summary

Implementation of a mandatory check in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) database for citizenship applicants, effective immediately.

Issue

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to notify citizenship staff of a new mandatory check in GCMS and to provide instructions as to when during the application process this check is to occur. This OB forms part of the Citizenship Fraud Action Plan.

Background

As part of ongoing efforts to maintain program integrity, a mandatory Field Operations Support System (FOSS) check prior to referring citizenship grant applications to a judge for decision was implemented as of April 1, 2010. CP 6 Prohibitions was updated to include this new procedure.

As of November 10, 2010, approximately 4,000 GCMS and FOSS notes (Non-Computer Based Entry (NCB) 27 — Residency Obligation) have been entered for clients linked to a large scale fraud investigation or to a suspicious address. This exercise has reinforced the need for the entire GCMS record, including client and case notes, to be reviewed as part of a citizenship officer’s analysis of the application.

GCMS as a tool in communicating adverse client information

With the deployment of GCMS to a growing number of offices in Canada and abroad, client and case notes will become the most effective method of communicating adverse client information across all lines of business. As per the GCMS User Guide, notes are freeflow text (explanations, rationales, observations, or comments) entered by users to record information which is not captured within specific fields elsewhere in GCMS.

Much like the NCBs in FOSS, notes entered in GCMS will serve as a point of reference for others who may encounter the client. As more offices move towards processing immigration applications through GCMS, information relevant to the processing of citizenship applications will be found throughout GCMS as well as FOSS.

Procedures

To further enhance our program integrity, a manual check of the GCMS record will become mandatory for all regions effective February 1, 2011. This check is to be performed when scheduling clients for a test and/or a hearing, when referring the file to a judge for decision, or when scheduling a client for a ceremony.

Currently, there may be some instances where the citizenship officer consults the electronic file for the first time after the judge has approved the application and the officer is ready to grant citizenship. A mandatory check of GCMS at the time of event scheduling and prior to sending the file to a judge for decision will ensure that applicants meet the requirements for citizenship and that citizenship judges are provided the most complete up-to-date information available to CIC in order to make their decision.

Since adverse information (whether it be concerning residence, criminality, or a client’s permanent residence status) may be uncovered at any point throughout the citizenship application process, it is imperative that citizenship staff review the entire GCMS record any time work is done on a file. This electronic record forms an integral part of the client’s file.

The notes in both GCMS and FOSS are meant to identify to officers that these are cases of concern. Where there is adverse information regarding addresses, officers must follow the directions in the instructions which were circulated on December 4, 2010, describing the role they play in investigating suspicious addresses. Where there is information regarding residence concerns, officers must treat the case as per Appendix A of CP 5. Where there is information regarding criminality or permanent residence status, officers must follow existing procedures as outlined in CP 5.

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