Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) - November 4, 2020

Held via Videoconference

Members Present:

Members Absent:

Meeting Themes:

Invited Guests and Speakers:

National Security Community Members Present (as observers):

Canada Border Security Agency, Canada Revenue Agency, Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, Communications Security Establishment, Department of National Defence, 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 Two: The United States’ Experience
  3. Update to the NS-TAG’s Terms of Reference and Election of the Non-Governmental Co-Chair for the Second Term (Year Two).
  4. Year One Report Production and Release
  5. Date of the Next Meeting and Closing

Meeting Summary:

The fifth virtual NS-TAG meeting took place on November 4, 2020, on the theme, “Transparency by Design: Definition, Evaluation and Institutionalization of National Security Transparency – Part Two: The United States’ Experience.”

During the first session of the meeting,the three guest speakers spoke about their experience working at the United States’ Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency, within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They discussed the fundamental goals of transparency and why it is important, both for national security institutions and for the public, and how they approach it – as a good business practice. They also shared considerations for institutionalizing and measuring transparency, as well as outlining a number of transparency initiatives led by the Office that had widespread implications across the United States’ national security and intelligence community.

During the second session, amendments to the NS-TAG’s Terms of Reference were presented and agreed upon by the Group. These changes specify the length of the non-government co-chair and vice co-chair’s term, and clarify that incumbents are eligible for re-election. Once these changes were adopted, the NS-TAG members unanimously re-elected Thomas Juneau as non-government co-chair for a second term, retroactive to August 23, 2020.

During the third session, Public Safety’s Transparency Secretariat updated members on the production of the NS-TAG’s first report. Members identified a few final changes to make to the report.  Members received draft communications, social media, and engagement plans highlighting what the Transparency Secretariat can do to support and promote the report’s release. The non-government co-chair suggested that the Group’s plans to promote and raise public awareness of the report should be discussed during the next meeting, and requested that members provide him with an idea of what they are willing and able – on a voluntary basis – to do to engage stakeholders on the report.

Key Takeaways of the Discussion with Guests:

Page details

Date modified: