Statement from CSIS Director on SIRC Annual Report


Ottawa, September 29, 2016 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, tabled the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) Annual Report entitled Maintaining Momentum in the House of Commons.

Following the tabling, the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Michel Coulombe, issued the following statement:

"The SIRC Annual Report plays an important role in providing Parliament – and the Canadian public – with an understanding of our operations. SIRC’s findings and recommendations provide valuable feedback for members of our Executive and, as a result, often influence policies and practices.

I am pleased to note that SIRC found that the activities it reviewed this year did not constitute an unreasonable or unnecessary exercise of CSIS’ powers. CSIS fared well in the majority of SIRC’s reviews, especially their finding that all threat reduction measures approved to date complied with the CSIS Act, Ministerial Direction and operational policies. In relation to information sharing with foreign entities, SIRC also found that, in response to Ministerial Direction, CSIS acted quickly in implementing a sound information-sharing framework and in establishing an executive level committee charged with evaluating the use of information where there may be a risk of mistreatment. I am also pleased that in relation to a review of a CSIS foreign station, SIRC found that CSIS’s presence in that part of the world was seen as both welcome and necessary in relation to fulfilling our mandate on behalf of the Government of Canada.

In terms of areas in which SIRC has indicated improvements are required, CSIS has accepted and acted on the vast majority of SIRC’s recommendations this year. On those areas where SIRC made recommendations, we have already implemented a number of measures, for example, strengthening certain decision-making processes, as well as accountability for our overseas operations. A policy framework recommended by SIRC in relation to the collection of datasets has also already been completed and is being implemented.

SIRC’s ongoing reviews contribute to a culture of continual learning and improvement. We welcome the review process and believe it has helped make us a better organization."

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