Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) - January 20, 2021

Held via Videoconference

Members Present:

Members Absent:

Myles Kirvan

Meeting Themes:

“Transparency by Design”: Definition, Evaluation and Institutionalization of National Security Transparency – Part Three

Invited Guests and Speakers:

National Security Community Members Present (as observers):

Canada Revenue Agency, Communications Security Establishment, Department of National Defence, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Treasury Board Secretariat.


  1. Opening of the Meeting and Roll Call
  2. Discussion Session with Guests: “Transparency by Design”: Definition, Evaluation and Institutionalization of National Security Transparency – Part Three
  3. NS-TAG’s Initial Report: Discussion on outreach efforts following the Report’s publication
  4. Information Update and Closing

Meeting Summary:

The seventh virtual NS-TAG meeting took place on January 20, 2021, on the theme, “Transparency by Design: Definition, Evaluation and Institutionalization of National Security Transparency – Part Three.”

During the first session of the meeting,the two guest speakers shared their views on how to build transparency in organizations, how to improve access to information, and the relationship between accountability, integrity and transparency.

During the second session, NS-TAG members discussed outreach activities they conducted following the publication of their initial report last month. This included two outreach video sessions on January 14, interviews with social media and written publications in media.

The January 14 sessions were organized by Harpreet Jhinjar and Khadija Cajee. The objective was to inform stakeholders about the work of the NS-TAG, enhance public dialogue around national security, build relationships with various communities, and listen to concerns. Sixteen participants in total attended the two outreach sessions. This first outreach experience highlighted the need (for the NS-TAG and the national security community) to have a space for engagement and dialogue with various stakeholders, and the importance and value of holding such sessions with a variety of groups to get views and feedback from diverse communities on how to improve national security transparency.

During the third session, the Group discussed programming for upcoming meetings. It was agreed that they would continue to work on the current theme for the next two meetings, and in March the Group will decide if members are ready to move to the next theme. The Group also agreed to set aside some time during upcoming meetings to plan and discuss their next report.

Key Takeaways of the Discussion with Guests:

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