2019-2020 Departmental Results Report - Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians

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Executive Director’s message

It is my pleasure to present the 2019-20 Departmental Results Report for the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. This document provides a summary of the Secretariat’s notable activities from its second full year of operation.

Since its establishment in 2017, the Committee has undertaken an ambitious review agenda, while continuing to build its knowledge of Canada’s security and intelligence community. In 2019, with the Secretariat’s support, the Committee released two reports, detailing four substantive reviews. The Committee’s 2019 Annual Report includes its reviews of diversity and inclusion of Canada’s security and intelligence community; the government response to foreign interference; and the national security and intelligence activities of the Canada Border Services Agency. The Committee made 19 findings and eight recommendations to the government. The Committee’s Special Report features its review of the collection, use, retention and dissemination of information on Canadian citizens by the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces in the conduct of defence intelligence activities. The Committee made four findings and three recommendations to the government. 

With the dissolution of Parliament on September 11, 2019, the Secretariat facilitated the first transition of Committee membership. In anticipation of the next iteration of the Committee following the 43rd general election, the Secretariat developed preparatory material and proposals for the Committee’s next review cycle. The Committee was re-established on February 5, 2020 and the Secretariat supported a series of introductory briefings for new and returning members and facilitated the tabling of the 2019 Annual and Special Reports on March 12, 2020. The Secretariat looks forward to continuing to support the Committee in 2020.


Rennie Marcoux
Executive Director

Results at a glance

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and its Secretariat were established in June 2017 by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act. The first iteration of the Committee continued its review activities during 2019-20 until its dissolution upon the call of the 43rd general election on September 11, 2019. The latest iteration of the Committee was formally established on February 5, 2020 following the appointment of new membership.

The 2019-20 fiscal year marks the second full year of operation for the Secretariat. Over the course of this fiscal year, the Committee and its Secretariat maintained an ambitious agenda, conducting four reviews of national security and intelligence matters.

Highlights include:

For more information on the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarian’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

Core responsibility

Assist the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians in fulfilling its mandate

Description

The Secretariat’s core responsibility consists of a range of activities to ensure the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians receives timely access to relevant, classified information, as well as strategic and expert advice in the conduct of reviews and development of reports and support to ensure compliance with security requirements.

Results

In the early months of the 2019-20 fiscal year, the Committee met regularly and held a number of hearings with Government officials to finalize its 2019 Annual Report and its Special Report. These reports were announced on February 5, 2019. Secretariat analysts completed document requests, analyzed thousands of pages of material, organized hearings with senior government officials and prepared draft reports for the Committee’s consideration. The Committee submitted its Annual and Special Reports to the Prime Minister on August 30, 2019.

The Committee’s 2019 Annual Report contains three substantive reviews. These are:

The Committee’s Special Report analyzes the collection, use, retention and dissemination of information on Canadian citizens by the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF). It describes the circumstances in which this collection, use, retention and dissemination is permitted, and the manner in which DND/CAF stores this information. Finally, it assesses the legal, policy and administrative frameworks under which the collection, use, retention and dissemination of Canadian citizen information is permitted or prohibited.

The Committee’s activities ceased with the dissolution of Parliament on September 11, 2019, though the Secretariat maintained operations during this time. In anticipation of new Committee membership, the Secretariat prepared transition material to aid the new Committee in understanding its responsibilities, Canada’s national security and intelligence architecture, and the work of the previous Committee. The Secretariat also prepared review proposals for the new Committee’s consideration, which reflected pertinent issues within the contemporary national security and intelligence landscape. In addition, the Secretariat used this transition period to fulfil ongoing corporate reporting requirements, planned and coordinated meetings and site visits for the future Committee, and pursued relevant training opportunities.

Pursuant to section 20 of the NSICOP Act, the Committee may determine the procedure to be followed in the exercise of its powers or the performance of its duties or functions. Concurrent with its other responsibilities related to preparing for a new Committee, the Secretariat also utilized the election period to draft the Committee’s procedures. These procedures outline NSICOP’s legislated and regulatory obligations, and the practices that it shall adopt over the course of its meetings, reviews, appearances, communications and adherence to security measures. The Committee will finalize its procedures during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Members of the new Committee were announced on February 5, 2020. Shortly thereafter, they took the oath of office set out in the NSICOP Act, and were briefed on the strict security regulations and requirements. The Committee met regularly in February and early March to simultaneously finalize its Annual and Special Reports for tabling and to better acquaint itself with Canada’s national security and intelligence apparatus. On behalf of the Committee, the Secretariat engaged the departments and agencies involved in the various reviews to complete the redaction process in preparation for the tabling of the revised (unclassified) versions in Parliament. The Secretariat also worked with other partners, such as translation, printing and web services, to finalize and disseminate the Committee’s reports in a timely fashion. The Committee’s 2019 Annual Report and Special Report were tabled in Parliament on March 12, 2020.

Upon being named — and concurrent with its finalization of the 2019 Annual Report and Special Report — the Committee began its introductory briefings and site visits with the core members of Canada’s security and intelligence community. The Committee also heard from academics in order to understand how experts external to government view Canada’s national security and intelligence priorities.

Abiding with stay-at-home orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee and its Secretariat ceased physical meetings in mid-March, but continued to work remotely, while respecting health and safety protocols and security requirements.

Gender-based analysis plus

The Secretariat is comprised of nine full-time equivalents with diverse backgrounds, professional experiences and competencies and an appropriate mix of research and analytical skills.

As mentioned above, in 2019-20, the Committee completed a review of diversity and inclusion across Canada’s security and intelligence community. The review found that the representation of persons with disabilities, women, members of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples is lower than the public service average in a majority of the organizations under review. Furthermore, inconsistencies in planning and monitoring undermine efforts to assess progress on diversity across the security and intelligence community. The review also found that accountability for diversity and inclusion across the security and intelligence community is insufficient and that challenges exist with regard to survey analysis and tracking. The Committee hopes to conduct a retrospective review in three to five years to assess the security and intelligence community’s progress in achieving and implementing its diversity goals and inclusion initiatives.

Experimentation

The Secretariat did not complete any experimentation.

Results achieved
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities available for use
2019–20
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2019–20
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
2,147,642 2,147,642 2,249,258 2,083,895 (63,747)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
9 9.4 0.4

With respect to organizational expenditures, the Secretariat is a relatively new entity, having completed its first full year of operation in 2018-19. The Secretariat had limited baseline expenditure information and actual spending trends to inform its 2019-20 planned spending. The organization’s expenditure profile in March 2019 also included important costs associated with the construction of its permanent facility. As a result, the Secretariat used the original cost estimates to establish the organization in 2017-18 as a general profile for planned spending in 2019-20.

The difference between 2019-20 actual spending compared with 2019-20 planned spending is minor. The majority of the 2019-20 Core Responsibility expenditures consist of salaries and wages for employees of the Secretariat. Other important expenditures include the provision of highly secure information technology services that enable the Secretariat to fulfill its mandate, along with costs associated with the production of Committee reports (e.g. translation, professional communications services, web publishing).

During the 2019-20 reporting period, all FTEs are captured under the Core Responsibility. Similar to 2018-19, the Secretariat seconded legal counsel for part of the year. This individual's responsibilities included supporting a specific review and providing legal advice. These expenditures are captured under the Core Responsibility.

As a result, the 4% increase in personnel under the Core Responsibility and the absence of personnel under Internal Services is attributable to this recording of counsel’s activities in 2019-20. Following the end of the secondment, the Secretariat contracted external legal counsel and these costs are recorded under Internal Services in accordance with an updated expenditure tracking methodology outlined further below.

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Internal services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities available for use
2019–20
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2019–20
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
1,343,086 1,343,086 1,337,409 609,648 (733,438)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
1 0 (1)

Part way through the current reporting period, the Secretariat more narrowly defined expenditures associated with its functions and activities. This approach is based on a greater understanding of spending activity and will result in greater precision between the allocation of expenditures for the Core Responsibility and Internal Services. Notably, the Secretariat is attributing the following to Internal Services: the memoranda of understanding with the Privy Council Office for corporate, administrative and security support; facility rental costs; and legal counsel. All other expenditures will be attributed to the Core Responsibility. While these adjustments will provide greater clarity in the longer term, they have resulted in shorter-term variances, such as the differences in planned and actual spending for Internal Services and the breakdown of the organization’s human resources profile.

Almost all expenditures incurred under Internal Services in 2019-20 relate to the memorandum of understanding with the Privy Council Office for corporate and administrative support. Other expenses include facility rentals costs and contracted legal services.

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over time.

Departmental spending trend graph
Text version
Fiscal year Total Voted Statutory
2017–18 579,141 579,141 -
2018–19 3,632,272 3,487,129 145,143
2019–20 2,693,543 2,515,480 178,063
2020–21 3,549,666 3,331,078 218,588
2021–22 - - -
2022-23 - - -
 

The reduction in spending in 2019-20 when compared to 2018-19 is attributable to a number of factors, including the absence of one-time costs associated with the construction and fit-up of the organization’s permanent facility, the absence of Committee activity following the dissolution of the Committee in September 2019, and the absence of travel by Committee members throughout the year.

Looking ahead, the Secretariat’s current funding envelope is set to expire on March 31, 2021. Officials are working with central agencies to secure an ongoing source of funds.

Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities available for use
2017–18 Actual spending (authorities used) 2018–19 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used)
Assist the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians in fulfilling its mandate 2,147,642 2,147,642 2,800,209 0 2,249,258 579,141 3,369,320 2,083,895
Subtotal 2,147,642 2,147,642 2,800,209 0 2,249,258 579,141 3,369,320 2,083,895
Internal Services 1,343,086 1,343,086 749,457 0 1,337,409 0 262,952 609,648
Total 3,490,728 3,490,728 3,549,666 0 3,586,667 579,141 3,632,272 2,693,543

The variance in the organization’s overall expenditures versus planned spending in 2019-20 is attributable to a few key factors:

2019–20 Budgetary actual gross spending summary (dollars)

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20
Actual gross spending
2019–20
Actual gross spending for specified purpose accounts
2019–20
Actual revenues netted against expenditures
2019–20
Actual net spending (authorities used)
Assist the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians in fulfilling its mandate 2,083,895 - - 2,083,895
Subtotal 2,083,895 - - 2,083,895
Internal Services 609,648 - - 609,648
Total 2,693,543 - - 2,693,543

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services
Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents 2018–19 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents
Assist the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians in fulfilling its mandate 4.1 8.2 9 9.4 9 0
Subtotal 4.1 8.2 9 9.4 9 0
Internal Services 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 4.1 8.2 10 9.4 10 0

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2019–2020.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019, are available on the departmental website.

Financial statement highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20
Planned results
2019–20
Actual results
2018–19
Actual results
Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus
2019–20 Planned results)
Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus
2018–19 Actual results)
Total expenses 3,815,778 2,799,857 3,751,739 (1,015,921) (951,883)
Total revenues        - 0 (23) 0 (23)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 3,815,778 2,799,857 3,751,716 (1,015,921) (951,860)
Difference between 2018-19 actual results and 2019-20 actual results:

The department’s actual net cost of operations before government funding and transfers for 2019-20, as compared to 2018-19 decreased by $951,883 primarily from the reduction in repair and maintenance expenses. The bulk of the spending in 2018-19 was attributed to the core responsibilities: Salaries and Wages and the construction of the permanent facility.

Difference between 2019-20 actual results and 2019-20 planned results:

The department’s actual net cost of operations from continuing activities was $1,015,921 lower than the planned results and is attributable to the absence of one-time construction costs for the fit-up of the organization’s permanent facility, an absence of Committee activity resulting from its dissolution in September 2019, and no international travel by the Committee. The majority of the construction costs were paid in 2018-19, which also resulted in lower expenses related to Internal Services than anticipated in fiscal year 2019-20.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20 2018–19 Difference
(2019–20 minus
2018–19)
Total net liabilities 467,912 398,582 69,330
Total net financial assets 412,513 262,246 150,267
Departmental net debt 55,399 136,336 (80,937)
Total non-financial assets 20,905 27,758 (6,853)
Departmental net financial position (34,494) (108,578) 74,084

Additional information

Organizational profile

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ website.

Reporting framework

The Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.

Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20
Text version

The Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Departmental Results Framework for 2019-2020 consists of the following:

  • One core responsibility: Assist the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians in fulfilling its mandate.
    • The Secretariat’s core responsibility consists of a range of activities to ensure the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians receives timely access to relevant information, strategic and expert advice in the conduct of reviews and development of reports and support to ensure compliance with security requirements. Results and indicators are under development.
  • One program:
    • Reviews
  • Internal Services
 

Supporting information on the program inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ website:

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians
P.O. Box 8015, Station “T”
Ottawa, Ontario
K1G 5A6

Contact the Secretariat online.

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a 3 year period. Departmental Plans are usually tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority (priorité)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.
departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that connects the department’s core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works, for whom and in what circumstances. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person’s collective agreement.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2019 Speech from the Throne, namely: Fighting climate change; Strengthening the Middle Class; Walking the road of reconciliation; Keeping Canadians safe and healthy; and Positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.
result (résultat)
A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an appropriation act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, November, 2020

All rights reserved.
All requests for permission to reproduce this document or any part thereof shall be addressed to the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.

ISSN 2561-9837

Aussi disponible en français sous le titre : Rapport sur les résultats ministériels 2019-2020

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