Accountable to Canadians


Accountability infographic
  • Canadian Public
  • Minister of Public Safety
  • Federal Court
  • Attorney General of Canada
  • National Security and Intelligence Review Agency
  • Office of the Intelligence Commssioner
  • National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians
  • Privacy Commissioner
  • Information Commissioner
  • Commissioner of Official Languages

Making DEI Part of our Business

The DEI Strategy commits to the integration of DEI principles into CSIS’s business. The organization integrated DEI considerations and commitments into standardized training and information sessions for new Intelligence Officers and Executives; piloted and implemented customized Gender Based Analysis (GBA) PLUS interactive training; and incorporated GBA PLUS considerations in its formal evaluation processes. CSIS initiated a GBA PLUS review of certain security screening assessments. Resources were provided to employees on how to apply the GBA PLUS lens in their work and CSIS strongly encourages application of GBA PLUS lens to all activities.  Various business strategies, policies, decisions and business approaches were examined with diverse employee networks before being finalized, and their input integrated into final plans.


CSIS remains steadfast in its efforts to increase public awareness, engagement, and access to national security information. CSIS shares information about its priorities and activities with Parliament, stakeholders, partners, media, and the general public on a daily basis.

CSIS has committed to diligently and respectfully forging ahead towards building trust with communities across the country. Through a better understanding of our respective needs, we will meet our common goal of protecting our country and all its people.

Responding to the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) Report

In May 2022, the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) published a report on “How National Security and Intelligence Institutions Engage with Racialized Communities.” In CSIS’s response to the report, it committed to providing additional information on the activities and outcomes of the stakeholder engagement program.

Created in 2019, CSIS’s national stakeholder engagement strategy was to engage directly with those whose interests we serve and do it with senior-level representation. In order to build and foster strong relationships with stakeholders, the program openly interacts with Canadians in key sectors of Canada’s civil society and economy. Learning from each other’s experiences helps foster a collective understanding of Canada’s broad national security interests and priorities.

The objectives of engaging with non-government stakeholders – including those in Canada’s diverse, marginalized and racialized communities – include:

The stakeholder engagement team’s approach is to reach out directly to stakeholders and partners with a clear and transparent offer to initiate a dialogue. The ethos of the program is one of listening, offering support to increase collective resilience against national security threats, and finding common interests and foundations for partnership and collaboration.

Raise Awareness
Sharing as much information as widely as possible builds understanding across Canada of the threat environment and supports informed dialogue on national security issues. This objective is achieved in part by offering information on CSIS’s public website and social media accounts; delivering public remarks; appearing before Parliamentary committees; media interviews; disseminating a bi-weekly newsletter which highlights publications; events; and other open-source items related to Canada’s broad national security interests.

Build Resistance
When a stakeholder identifies concerns relating to possible threat-related activity, the stakeholder engagement team can connect them, upon request, with operational colleagues for further investigation. As appropriate, CSIS connects government partners with stakeholders and partners to ensure that their perspectives and priorities are considered in policymaking, service delivery, and funding decisions. CSIS’s advice to the Government of Canada on security issues is also informed, in part, by its stakeholder engagement activities.

CSIS routinely engages with a variety of stakeholders, including elected and public officials at all orders of government, to discuss the threats to the security and interests of Canada posed by foreign interference within the current limitations of the CSIS Act. As part of this engagement, CSIS provides defensive briefings regarding specific threats.

Inform Operations
Stakeholders provide CSIS with an important understanding of their priorities, perspectives, and concerns. This information is used to help inform operational activities and CSIS’s own internal policies and practices, including those related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This can be particularly important for the organization’s interactions with racialized and equity-deserving communities. Engagement outcomes and lessons learned are shared with colleagues at CSIS headquarters and in Regional Offices across Canada. The stakeholder engagement team maintains strong connections with Regional Liaison teams across Canada to ensure that there is a cohesive approach to all of CSIS’s public-facing activities.

Guide Policy Makers
When stakeholders identify concerns or offer recommendations or considerations, these help CSIS to better understand the impacts of our national security investigations and activities, including perceived gaps. This input informs CSIS as it adapts its policies, programs and operations, and is critical as it examines the need for CSIS Act modernization. CSIS’s advice to Government is also informed by stakeholder inputs, which demonstrate the real-world impacts of national security threats. CSIS’s information and advice can therefore assist the Minister and the government in making decisions that are responsive to the perspectives and priorities of stakeholders.  

CSIS on Social Media

Through social media platforms, CSIS endeavours to communicate transparently about our decision-making processes and national security activities. In 2022, CSIS published 1,600 posts across all social media platforms. CSIS’s posts were seen over 180,000 times in total. With over 118,000 followers overall, CSIS has its largest social media presence ever on Twitter. The audience following CSIS on social media has steadily grown, achieving a 31% uptick compared to 2021.

CSIS on Social Media Infographic
CSIS on Social Media [Infographic]
CSIS on Social Media
Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Total
# of Posts 671 471 464 1.6 K+
# of Fans & Followers 53 K (+11%) 6.3K (+20%) 59K (+59%) 118K (+31% uptick compared to 2021)
Post with the most impressions 143,956 4,664 36,538 182,158

Access to Information

CSIS’s Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) activities contributes to CSIS’s transparency efforts by balancing the public’s right of access to information with the legitimate need to protect sensitive national security information and maintain the effective functioning of government. The Access to Information Act (ATIA) and Privacy Act provide Canadians, as well as individuals and corporations present in Canada, the right to access federal government records. CSIS prides itself on providing excellent service and proactively promoting transparency.

For the 2022 calendar year, the on-time compliance rates stood at 95 % for the Privacy Act requests and 92 % for the ATIA requests.

Parliamentary Review

Canadians rightfully expect Canada's national security and intelligence agencies to operate in an ethical and transparent manner while keeping our country safe. In 2022, CSIS appeared a record 14 times in front of Parliamentary committees. This provided CSIS Executives with an opportunity to testify, in an open setting, on a number of different topics including foreign interference, IMVE, Islamophobia, the Investment Canada Act and critical minerals, to name a few. CSIS also testified before the Public Order Emergency Commission to provide information on the role CSIS played in the broader Government of Canada response to the Freedom Convoy protests in 2022.

CSIS has often voiced the need for a robust and informed national security dialogue, and public appearances—such as those in front of Parliamentary committees—provide a forum to share important information about these threats to all Canadians.

At its core, national security is about protecting people, and to be effective, CSIS needs the trust and help of the Canadian public. CSIS recognizes that in order to better understand and combat today's complex and evolving security threats we must engage directly with those whose interests it serves, including those from Canada’s racialized communities, religious minority communities, and Indigenous Peoples. Upcoming opportunities to hear from Canadians, such as the statutory review of Bill C-59, the National Security Act, 2017, are ways for Canadians to help shape the future of national security legislation in Canada. With a renewed dialogue on national security in Canada, CSIS looks forward to hear from Canadians on potential avenues for modernizing its authorities.

Expenditures 2022

Expenditures Infographic
Expenditures 2022 [Infographic]
Expenditures 2022
2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022
Salaries* $372,348,794 $417,615,370 $404,107,049
Operating $238,736,299 $259,284,331 $238,065,778
Total $611,085,093 $676,899,701 $642,172,827

* Salary Costs include Employee Benefits Payments

Review and Compliance

CSIS has been subject to external review since its inception in 1984. The creation of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) in 2017 provided, for the first time, a forum for parliamentarians to discuss and review classified material. The creation of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) in 2019 enabled an independent body to review the national security and intelligence activities of multiple federal departments and organizations, in addition to CSIS. In parallel, CSIS has developed an internal operational compliance program to promote compliance with legislation, ministerial direction and operational policies.

External review and operational compliance are core features of CSIS’s transparency and accountability framework. They are essential to maintaining the trust and confidence—of the Federal Court, review and oversight bodies, parliamentarians and, ultimately, Canadians—that CSIS is effectively exercising its authorities in compliance with the law. Review and compliance reports and recommendations help ensure CSIS remains a learning organization that strives for continuous improvement. This results in positive changes to the processes and culture of our organization. Review bodies’ public reports also help inform discussions with Canadians about national security issues and the role of national security agencies, in an ever-evolving threat environment.

Number of reviews by NSIRA and NSICOP

Number of reviwes by NSIRA and NSICOP infographic
Number of Reviews by NSIRA and NSICOP [Infographic]
Number of reviews by NSIRA and NSICOP
2021 2022
Ongoing Reviews 17 18
Completed Reviews 7 5

In 2022, CSIS continued to implement a new Operational Compliance Framework and to develop and update policies and procedures so that employees have clear guidance on how to exercise CSIS’s authorities in a compliant manner. CSIS has also created an Operational Technology Review Committee to identify and assess compliance risks with the use of innovative techniques and emerging technologies in support of operational activities.

CSIS reviewed 65 reports of potential non-compliance in 2022, compared to 98 instances in 2021. These numbers reflect the inherent challenges of maintaining operational compliance within an evolving technical and legal landscape. However, they also reflect efforts to foster a culture of compliance across the organization. CSIS employees are increasingly familiar with the compliance program, as they proactively report instances of potential non-compliance and proactively seek advice related to issues of potential concern.

As part of CSIS’s commitment to the duty of candour to the Federal Court, in 2022 CSIS continued to disclose any instances of warrant-related non-compliance to the Federal Court. CSIS also proactively advised the Federal Court, the Minister of Public Safety and NSIRA on issues of non-compliance pertaining to Canadian law, Ministerial Direction and potentially unlawful activity. In 2022, as part of NSIRA’s annual review, CSIS began providing quarterly updates to NSIRA on compliance issues. 

In 2022, CSIS continued to engage with external review bodies on a broad range of reviews. Some related specifically to CSIS, including an annual review of the use of TRMs, and horizontal reviews implicating CSIS and multiple departments, such as the annual reviews on the implementation of the Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities Act (ACMFEA) and the Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act (SCIDA). 

Perhaps the most notable NSIRA review published in 2022 was the review arising from Federal Court Judgment 2020 FC 616, also known as the en banc matter, which yielded 20 recommendations. CSIS responded publicly to these recommendations, and has undertaken extensive work to address many of the issues examined through recommendations of a former Deputy Attorney General. To reflect the seriousness in which CSIS takes this review, CSIS has created a dedicated project team to coordinate implementation of the recommendations.

CSIS strives to maintain a strong and constructive working relationship with review bodies and is committed to meeting its obligations related to access, engagement and the provision of information. Review and compliance are fundamental and complementary parts of the learning culture at CSIS. The results of external and compliance reviews often point to areas in which ambiguity in the CSIS Act creates legal and compliance risk.

CSIS employees are dedicated to the mission and are proud to be transparent and accountable for their work in keeping Canada and Canadians safe, while safeguarding the sources and methods that make it possible. CSIS is not a secret organization but must work in secret.


The people of CSIS are focused on the mission to protect Canada’s prosperity, national interests and the safety of Canadians. CSIS will continue to build a work culture and a workplace grounded in trust and mutual respect that attracts and retains Canada’s best and brightest employees. Building on the best of our existing tradecraft and skills, CSIS will equip itself with the capabilities, competencies and agility needed to fulfill its shared mission as a global, modern, forward-leaning intelligence organization. CSIS will invest widely in people, training, technology, infrastructure and governance to harness the power of digital platforms, data, and data-driven decision-making, all of which are essential for future operational, corporate, and analytical success.

For more information, contact us at:
PO Box 9732 STN T
Ottawa ON K1G 4G4

Telephone: 613-993-9620
TTY and or TDD: 613-991-9228

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