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Evaluation Study
May 2013

Program Evaluation Division
Internal Audit and Program Evaluation Directorate

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Table of Contents

[*] An asterisk appears where sensitive information has been removed in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Executive Summary

Background

The Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) mandate is to facilitate the movement of legitimate travellers and goods and to detect and interdict those travellers and goods that pose a threat to Canada. The CBSA fulfills this mandate by providing integrated border services that support national security, public safety and economic prosperity priorities.

The objective of the Agency's Traveller Processing Program is to administer the legislative requirements of customs, immigration, food, plant and animal, and other Acts of Parliament and their associated regulations, while facilitating the entry of admissible people and their personal goods. The Customs Act[ 1 ] and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) [ 2 ] stipulate that at the time of entry into Canada, persons are required to report to the CBSA and to answer truthfully any questions asked by a border services officer (BSO) as well as provide all required documents. Travellers are also required, under the Customs Act[ 3 ] to report all goods and to answer truthfully all questions relating to those goods.[ 4 ] In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-2013, the CBSA spent over $183 million to deliver the Admissibility Determination Program in the air mode of transportation.[ 5 ]

The purpose of the evaluation was to examine the relevance, performance and economy of program activities in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Evaluation. The CBSA's Program Evaluation Division carried out the evaluation research between January and July 2012.

This evaluation was conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Standard on Evaluation for the Government of Canada. The data collected from various methodologies, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, was triangulated or cross-corroborated to develop the findings. The recommendations presented are based on these findings.

Summary of Findings

Relevance

The relevance of the Traveller Processing Program is confirmed in legislation, as section 5 of the Canada Border Services Agency Act gives the CBSA sole responsibility for providing integrated border services that support national security priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods, including food, animals and plants, which meet all requirements under the program legislation.[ 6 ] The CBSA fulfills its role by processing air travellers on behalf of the Government of Canada and conducts program-related activities that are aligned with Government of Canada and CBSA priorities.

Travellers entering Canada by air represented 26.2% of the total number of travellers in FY 2011-2012. Though the number of non-resident travellers entering Canada has remained relatively unchanged since 2003, there has been a significant increase in the number of returning residents. The CBSA continues to identify and intercept inadmissible people and goods, also supporting a continued need for traveller processing at airports of entry (AOEs). For example, from FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012, the CBSA averaged per year approximately 120,000 small collections[ 7 ] resulting in the collection of approximately $35 million, two million examinations, 29,000 customs enforcement actions, 22,000 immigration enforcement actions, and completed over 463,000 immigration processes.

Performance

Adequacy of Policies and Procedures for Processing Air Travellers

Overall, legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines provide the direction needed for the processing of travellers in the commercial flight environment. The processing of air travellers arriving at Canada's major international airports is performed in a controlled environment, governed by specific policies and reinforced by a variety of tools and systems. In comparison, there are policy and guideline gaps in the general aviation environment. While the People Processing Manual provides general basic procedures, it does not specifically address the clearance of passengers and crew arriving at Fixed-Base Operators[ 8 ] (FBOs) or in remote locations, where the availability of infrastructure, systems and tools varies. One issue noted was whether passengers should be offloaded or cleared on board the flight.

The Arming Directive specifically states that when working within or attending to the Canadian Inspection Services area of an airport passenger terminal, BSOs must remove their firearm. As a result of the potential risks involved in clearing offsite general aviation flights (passengers and crew on private aircraft are not required to go through airport security prior to boarding, and therefore, have the opportunity to bring prohibited weapons and/or goods onboard the aircraft), BSOs are allowed to carry their firearms in most regions. Since the Arming Directive does not specifically cover general aviation clearances, management in one region has opted to interpret the Arming Directive to apply to both the main terminal and to the FBOs and has instructed officers not to carry their firearms when clearing general aviation flights.

The Agency has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure that AOEs are delivering services in both official languages. While the number of complaints received related to official languages for the Agency as a whole in FY 2012-2013 was 29,[ 9 ] a small number relative to traveller volumes, there is lack of clarity as to what constitutes an appropriate level of bilingual capacity at any given time, at any given AOE. For example, is it necessary for a given AOE to provide a bilingual Primary Inspection Line (PIL) on a 24/7 basis or is it sufficient for that AOE to provide access (e.g., by phone) to bilingual services during off-hours when volumes are lower?

Border Risk Management and Traveller Interdiction

Overall, the Traveller Processing Program mitigates risks and effectively interdicts people and their goods arriving by commercial flights who contravene the Acts that the CBSA enforces. The Customs Act, Passenger Information (Customs) Regulations as well as the IRPA detail the requirements for commercial carriers and charters to provide specific information about all persons on board commercial conveyances prior to arrival of that conveyance in Canada. The CBSA uses this information to identify persons who are or may be involved with, or connected to, terrorism or border criminality.

The main issue noted that is impacting the Agency's ability to mitigate risk is the lack of information on the general aviation flights that do not report through the Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC).[ 10 ] General aviation flights may report to the TRC a minimum of two hours prior to landing in Canada to provide information on passengers. It is estimated that in FY 2011- 2012, 72.4% (55,358) of private aircraft arriving in Canada reported through the TRC. However, there is no obligation for general aviation flights to report through the TRC, and no pre-arrival information was available for 21,138 incoming general aviation flights. The risk associated with these flights and the individuals onboard is therefore unknown. While the majority of these flights reported to the CBSA upon landing, there are cases in which flight operators do not report to the CBSA at all. For example, in the 11-month period between January and November 2011, 646 flights (0.8%) landed without reporting to the CBSA. Of these, 56 flights arrived from countries other than the United States. Consequently, travellers, crew and their goods entered Canada without being cleared by the CBSA.

Air Traveller Compliance

The majority of air travellers are compliant with Canadian laws, although compliance has decreased. While the rate of compliance of returning residents has been lower than that of foreign nationals arriving in Canada, the rate of compliance for non-residents has decreased more than that of residents going from 96.9% in FY 2006-2007 to 88.2% in FY 2010-2011.[ 11 ] The compliance rate for residents for those same years went from 90.0% to 86.2%. The most common reason for non-compliance for returning residents is bringing inadmissible agricultural items to Canada.

Information Sharing and Collaboration with Stakeholders

The CBSA's key forum for engaging stakeholders is the Air Consultative Committee (ACC). The ACC has resulted in an open dialogue around current and future airport border operations, and is regarded as highly beneficial to participating stakeholders.

Efficiency and Economy

The performance at the five high-risk AOEs[ 12 ] indicates that the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation has become more efficient over the last five years. Overall traveller volumes at the five high-risk AOEs increased by 13.4% between FY 2009-2010 and FY 2011-2012, while the overall number of active BSO positions[ 13 ] decreased by 4.4%, going from 1,071 to 1,024 over the same time period. The result is that a given BSO processed more travellers in FY 2011-2012 compared to FY 2009-2010. Of note is that in FY 2011-2012, border wait time standards continued to be met 99.0% of the time at these AOEs, indicating that the CBSA is meeting its facilitation objective.

Overall, regions reported an overtime (OT) cost in FY 2012-2013 of $4.6 million to deliver traveller processing in the air mode.[ 14 ] This represents a decrease of 39.5% from the $7.6 million reported in FY 2011-2012. The actual hours charged to OT went from 156,611 hours in FY 2011-2012 to 109,156 hours in FY 2012-2013, representing a 30.3% decrease. BSOs' use of non-discretionary leave[ 15 ](NDL) increased by 10.7% from FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012; however, the number of hours used for NDL was relatively constant between 2010-2011 and FY 2011-2012.

Recommendations, Management Response and Action Plan

In light of the findings and to ensure accurate and consistent interpretation and application of relevant legislation, policies and procedures (Recommendations 1 and 2), enhance the CBSA's ability to mitigate identified risks through timely, efficient and effective traveller processing and ensure accurate (Recommendation 3) and consistent interpretation and application of relevant legislation, policies and procedures (Recommendation 4), it is recommended that:

Recommendation 1: The Programs Branch, in consultation with the Operations Branch and the Human Resources Branch, develop clarification and guidelines as to when BSOs are to carry firearms when clearing general aviation flights.

Management Response:

Programs Branch agrees with the recommendation and in consultation with Operations Branch and the Human Resources Branch will provide clarification on the carrying of firearms when clearing general aviation flights. The policy clarification will be disseminated to the regions by August 2013.

Management Action Plan:

  • Human Resources Branch will provide clarification as to when BSOs are to carry firearms when clearing general aviation flights.
    Completion date: August 2013.

Recommendation 2:  The Programs Branch, in consultations with the Operations Branch, develop a national policy on the processing of general aviation flights that supersedes any existing regional policies.

Management Response:

Programs Branch agrees with the recommendation and, in consultation with Operations Branch and the Human Resources Branch, will develop a national policy to support the consistent and safe processing of general aviation flights. The national policy and operational procedures will be disseminated to the regions by November 2013.

Management Action Plan:

  • Programs Branch in consultation with Operations and Human Resources Branch will conduct an analysis of options available for the drafting of national policies, guidelines and procedures for processing of General Aviation traffic.
    Completion date: May 2013.
  • Programs, Operations and Human Resources Branch will conduct coordinated consultations with the regions.
    Completion date: June 2013.
  • Programs Branch will develop a national policy on the processing of general aviation flights.
    Completion date: August 2013.
  • Operations Branch will develop procedures on the processing of general aviation flights.
    Completion date: October 2013.
  • Operations Branch will disseminate the national policy, guidelines and procedures to the regions.
    Completion date: November 2013.

Recommendation 3: The Programs Branch, in consultations with the Operations Branch, develop an option analysis for mandatory pre-arrival notification requirements for general aviation flights.

Management Response:

The Programs Branch agrees with the recommendation. In recognition of the gap present in General Aviation reporting, Programs Branch has developed policy papers on Advance Passenger Information (API), denial of access to Canadian airspace, compliance verification and sanctions available under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) which were presented to senior management to obtain direction on next steps.  Policy approval was received in December 2012 for a General Aviation Action Plan which will require all general aviation flights to provide advance passenger information to the CBSA through the Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) initiative.

Management Action Plan:

  • Prepare policy papers, present options analysis to senior management, and secure policy approval.
    Completed.

Recommendation 4:  The Operations Branch, in consultation with the Human Resources Branch, clarify the level of bilingual service and capacity required across AOEs to ensure consistency in meeting official language service requirements, and identify strategies to meet these requirements when resources are not available.

Management Response:

Operations Branch agrees with the recommendation and the importance of clarifying the bilingual service levels required in the regions to offer nationally consistent client service. Operations Branch in consultation with Human Resources Branch and Programs Branch will develop a strategy and action plan to meet bilingual requirements when resources are not available. The action plan is scheduled to be in place by July 2013.

Management Action Plan:

  • Operations Branch, in consultation with the Human Resources Branch, will clarify the level of bilingual service and capacity required at each of the major AOEs to ensure consistency in meeting official language service requirements.
    Completion date: May 2013.
  • Operations Branch will conduct consultations to identify strategies to meet bilingual requirements when resources are not available – (both NHQ and regional).
    Completion date: May 2013.
  • Operations Branch will draft action plan.
    Completion date: June 2013.
  • Operations Branch will share draft action plan with NHQ and regional management for comments, evaluate comments and incorporate changes.
    Completion date: June 2013.
  • Operations Branch will provide strategy/action plan to regions.
    Completion date: July 2013.

1. Introduction and Context

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of legitimate persons and goods. The objective of the Agency's Traveller Processing Program is to administer the regulatory requirements of customs, immigration, food, plant and animal (FPA), and other Acts of Parliament and their associated regulations; facilitate the entry of people and their personal goods that are admissible to Canada; and collect revenue owing on personal goods being imported by travellers.[ 16 ] The Traveller Processing Program–Air is administered by Agency staff[ 17 ] at over 100 designated Airports of Entry (AOEs) across Canada,[ 18 ] including 13 international airports.[ 19 ]

In fiscal year (FY) 2011-2012, 98,651,213 travellers entered Canada in all modes of transportation. Of those, 25,829,156 were processed at AOEs, representing 26.2% of the total number of travellers for that FY. This is a 4.8% increase in travellers from FY 2010-2011.[ 20 ] The majority of travellers arrived by commercial aircraft, which accounted for 76.3% of the overall number of aircraft arriving in FY 2011-2012. Furthermore, 69.1% of travellers who entered Canada by air in 2011-2012 are returning residents. Overall, the eight largest airports accounted for 93.2% of the travellers arriving by commercial aircraft in FY 2011-2012 and reported an increase in traffic of 8.8% from FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012.

In FY 2012-2013, the CBSA spent over $183 million to deliver the Admissibility Determination Program in the air mode of transportation.[ 21 ]

Evaluation Purpose and Scope

The evaluation of the CBSA's Air Traveller Processing Program was identified as a priority for FY 2012-2013 in the CBSA Five-year Evaluation Plan (2012-2017) and approved by the Executive Evaluation Committee in May 2012.

The evaluation examined the relevance, performance and economy of activities in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Evaluation. The CBSA's Program Evaluation Division carried out the evaluation research between January and July 2012. The research methodology is provided in Appendix C.

In consultation with key CBSA stakeholders, a logic model was developed, around which a project plan for the traveller processing activities was drafted. The logic model presented is a visual representation that links what the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation does (activities) with what the Program produces (outputs) and what the Program intends to achieve (outcomes) (Exhibit 1).  It also was the basis for developing the evaluation framework, which provided a roadmap for conducting this evaluation.

Exhibit 1: Logic Model

Evalution question

There are a number of supporting functions that interact with the Traveller Processing Program and cut across several other program areas.  Several were excluded from this evaluation as they would be better covered under other evaluations as per the CBSA Five-Year Evaluation Plan. The scope of this evaluation is summarized in Exhibit 2.

Exhibit 2: Scope of the Evaluation

Included in the Evaluation

  • Primary and secondary processing of commercial aviation travellers including scheduled air transport and general aviation[ 22 ] at AOEs.
  • Automated Border Clearance (ABC).
  • Processing of travellers at AOEs outside operating hours or beyond their designation.
  • Tools, systems, facilities and other related products (e.g., policies, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), etc.) that contribute to air traveller processing.
  • Designation and cost-recovery services.

Excluded from the Evaluation

  • Processing of crew aboard cargo flights.
  • Pre-arrival targeting.
  • Trusted Travellers Programs.
  • Transit Without Visa Program.
  • Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC).
  • CANPASS - Private Air and CANPASS Corporate Aircraft clearances.

The evaluation questions were determined based on the outcomes identified in the logic model. These questions are provided in Exhibit 3.

Exhibit 3: Evaluation Questions

Relevance Issue

  • Is there a continued and ongoing need for the program?
    • Is the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation aligned with Government of Canada roles, responsibilities and priorities and with CBSA priorities?
    • Is there a continued need for the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation?

Performance - Achievement of Expected Outcomes Issues

  • Are the activities achieving the expected results?
    • Do current applicable legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines provide the direction needed to meet program outcomes?
    • Does the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation mitigate risks and effectively interdict people and their goods who contravene the Acts that the CBSA enforces?
    • To what extent are air travellers compliant with Canadian laws?
    • Does the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation support information sharing and collaboration with other government departments (OGDs) and other stakeholders to ensure a mutual understanding of operational issues and key priorities?

Efficiency and Economy Issue

  • Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy
    • Is the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation delivered efficiently and cost-effectively?

Evaluation Research Limitations

The evaluation team identified several data limitations that impacted the evaluation's ability to determine if or the extent to which the program was achieving the following outcome:

Ability to measure program efficiency and effectiveness
  • Traveller processing activities are carried out as part of Admissibility Determination (Program Activity Architecture 1.3). Financial information for this activity is available by mode only and not split between the commercial and traveller streams. Consequently, it was not possible to examine trends, changes in expenditures over time or resource utilization against results achieved for the program in order to make a full determination of program efficiency. Financial information of each of the traveller and commercial streams, by mode, will be available in FY 2014-2015.
Identified risks are mitigated through timely, efficient and effective traveller processing
  • The current systems do not track mandatory, selective and random referrals to secondary examination and their respective resultants. As it is not possible to trace a resultant back to type of referral, it was not possible to make a full determination of the effectiveness of the referral process (e.g., do different results depend on the type of referral?).
  • In general aviation, the number of arriving aircraft and passengers that do not report through the TRC are not tracked in a consistent manner. It was, therefore, not possible to determine how many or what percentage of passengers and crew arriving in Canada on general aviation flights are screened, referred and examined.
  • The Consolidated Management Reporting System (CMRS) is an interface that pulls data from a number of CBSA systems and databases. Data on the number of travellers processed in the air mode of transportation can be pulled from three different data cubes, (Passages, Traveller Operations and Statistics Canada), all of which report different numbers for the same time period. To the extent possible, data were used as ratios, proportions and estimates to determine whether the expected outcomes have been met.
  • Information on level of effort against activity types is available; however, there are data integrity issues in that it appears that much of the primary and secondary examination activity is charged against the activity type for primary inspection. In addition, there is no standard range for level of effort for these activities, therefore, it was not possible to analyze performance against standards or compare results across AOEs.
  • Detailed financial data were only available for one fiscal year, FY 2011-2012,[ 23 ] and consequently no analysis was possible on trends, changes in expenditures over time or resource utilization against results achieved for the program as a whole.

2. Key Findings - Relevance

Is the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation aligned with Government of Canada roles, responsibilities and priorities and with CBSA priorities?

The Traveller Processing Program is aligned with and supports Government of Canada priorities and the CBSA's strategic priorities and outcomes.

The Agency's mandate for providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities while facilitating the free flow of admissible persons and goods is clearly established in the Canada Border Services Agency Act.[ 24 ] In addition, both the Customs Act[ 25 ] and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)[ 26 ] stipulate that at the time of entry into Canada, persons are required to report to the CBSA and to answer truthfully any questions asked by border services officers (BSOs), as well as provide all required information and documents.

The CBSA is a key federal government organization that contributes significantly to the Government of Canada's priorities of promoting its economic prosperity and enhancing the well-being of Canadians. It ensures that the border remains open to legitimate people and goods, thereby supporting the tourism and business sectors. BSOs conducting traveller processing activities are the first line of defence against inadmissible persons such as those that are a threat to national security. Their activities support the federal outcome of “a safe and secure Canada”.[ 27 ] Through the use of passenger and crew pre-arrival information submitted by commercial air carriers, the CBSA identifies high-risk people as early as possible before their arrival at an AOE. Identifying such individuals prior to their arrival contributes to the CBSA's strategy of an expanded security zone by “pushing the border out”.

Is there a continued need for the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation?

There is a current and ongoing need for a CBSA presence at AOEs to process incoming aircraft, travellers and crew.

Travellers entering Canada by air represented 26.2% of the total number of travellers arriving in Canada in FY 2011-2012. As world economies slowly recover from the recent economic downturn, air traveller volumes have increased 14.2% from the 22.6 million people processed in FY 2009-2010 to 25.8 million in FY 2011-2012.[ 28 ] Increasing volumes bring new security risks, and a greater demand for border clearance services, and quicker and more predictable, as well as cost-effective screening processes.

In FY 2011-2012, the CBSA processed 358,682 flights, 21.3% of which were private aircraft.[ 29 ] Though the majority of commercial flights were processed in the top eight airports, 70.8% of private flights were processed at smaller airports across the country, thus furthering the need for a CBSA presence at smaller AOEs.

The CBSA continues to identify and intercept inadmissible people and goods, supporting a continued need for traveller processing at AOEs.

Air travellers are more diverse than those arriving by land or sea, and therefore present a broader range of threats to Canada.[ 30 ] Furthermore, AOEs are the most likely entry point for irregular migrants and people who pose a risk to national security.[ 31 ] From FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012, the CBSA averaged two million examinations, 29,000 customs enforcement actions and 22,000 immigration enforcement actions per year in the air mode of transportation (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4: Customs and Immigration Enforcement Actions in the Air Mode of Transportation
FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012

  FY 2007-2008 FY 2008-2009 FY 2009-2010 FY 2010-2011 FY 2011-2012
Customs
Enforcement Actions[ 32 ] 29,162 27,485 33,250 28,109 27,515
Immigration
Notices of Arrest 1,174 1,447 1,032 1,127 1,511
Allowed to Leaves 10,800 12,484 8,489 8,010 8,958
Direct Backs[ 33 ]

5

1

7

7

7

44 Reports

10,127

13,165

11,889

8,171

12,518

Source: CMRS 009-Traveller Operations, data extracted on August 7, 2012.

3. Key Findings - Performance

Do current applicable legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines provide the direction needed to meet program outcomes?

Overall, legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines provide the direction needed for BSOs to process travellers arriving by commercial flights at international airports across the country. However, some policy gaps exist in the area of general aviation and remote aircraft clearances.

Large international airports have the infrastructure, tools and systems required to process travellers as prescribed by the relevant policies. Major international airports are set up to provide travellers with a similar experience whether they land at Lester B. Pearson International Airport (PIA) or Vancouver International Airport (VIA). Furthermore, once passengers enter the Canadian Inspection Services area, they are in a controlled area where they will be processed through the Primary Inspection Line(PIL) point and potentially a cash and/or secondary area. The air environment is fast-paced, often with continuous traffic where BSOs may process hundreds of passengers during one shift. The legislative and regulatory framework in place clearly sets out the obligations of the commercial air carriers and travellers which facilitates the consistent processing of travellers. No issues with the current policies and SOPs, nor their interpretation and application were identified during the evaluation.

The Arming Directive specifically states that when working within or attending to the Canadian Inspection Services area of an airport passenger terminal, a BSO must remove his or her firearm. In most regions, BSOs are allowed to carry their firearm when going offsite to clear general aviation flights. In one region management interpreted the policy as applying equally to air clearances at a main airport terminal and to aircraft clearances at FBOs and small/remote airports. As a result, BSOs in that region do not carry firearms when clearing general aviation flights.  Since passengers and crew on private aircraft are not required to go through airport security prior to boarding, they have the opportunity to bring prohibited weapons and/or goods with them, which may expose officers to increased risk when clearing general aviation flights FBOs and small/remote airports without their firearm.

In light of these findings and to ensure accurate and consistent interpretation and application of relevant legislation, policies and procedures (an expected outcome of the program), it is recommended that:

Recommendation 1: The Programs Branch, in consultations with the Operations Branch and the Human Resources Branch, develop clarification and guidelines as to when BSOs are to carry firearms when clearing general aviation flights.

Existing Standard Operating Procedures[ 34 ] (SOPs) provide guidance to the BSO in the clearance of private aircraft reporting through a TRC.   However, there is no guidance provided specific to the clearance of private aircraft that do not report through a TRC, resulting in some inconsistency in program delivery.

The main issue noted that is impacting the Agency's ability to mitigate risk is the lack of information on the general aviation flights that do not report through the Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC). While SOPs offer guidance for clearing air travellers in general, they do not specifically address general aviation flights or the unique environment at Fixed-Base Operators and small/remote airports. There are more than 100 small airports across Canada with no permanent CBSA presence, some of which are more than 100 km away from a CBSA office or POE.[ 35 ] General aviation flights may report to the TRC a minimum of two hours prior to landing in Canada to provide information on passengers. It is estimated that in FY 2011- 2012, 72.4% (55,358) of private aircraft arriving in Canada reported through the TRC. However, there is no obligation for general aviation flights to report through the TRC, and no pre-arrival information was available for 21,138 incoming general aviation flights. The risk associated with these flights and the individuals onboard is therefore unknown.

While the majority of these flights reported to the CBSA upon landing, there are cases in which flight operators do not report to the CBSA at all. [*].

[*]. In the 11-month period between January and November 2011, 646 flights (0.8%) landed without reporting to the CBSA. Of these, 56 flights arrived from countries other than the U.S.[ 36 ] Consequently, travellers, crew and their goods entered Canada without being cleared by the CBSA.

The Customs Act, Passenger Information (Customs) Regulations as well as the IRPA detail the requirements on the part of commercial carriers and charters to provide specific information about all persons on board commercial conveyances prior to arrival of that conveyance in Canada.  The CBSA uses this information to identify persons who are or may be involved with, or connected to, terrorism, and border criminality.  General aviation flights that report through the TRC are required to provide advance notification of arrival and information on passengers and crew a minimum of two hours prior to landing in Canada and provide information on passengers.  Because the CBSA receives no pre-arrival information on flights not reporting through a TRC, the risk associated with these flights and the individuals onboard is unknown. This finding is supported by the 2012-2013 National Border Risk Assessment (NBRA) that states that CBSA physical verification of compliance of travellers and their goods arriving in Canada on general aviation flights is minimal and that many aircraft go unchecked because AOEs do not have the resources to allocate to the clearance of these flights without impacting other operations.[ 37 ]

In comparison, the U.S. has legislation and implemented guidelines for international general aviation flights, which are directed to designated U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) POEs. Flight operators are required to submit information on passengers and crew no less than 60 minutes prior to departure, and are not permitted to take off until they have been approved for landing by the U.S. CBP.[ 38 ] If there are inadmissible people onboard the flight, a no-board notice will be communicated to the pilot. Penalties for non-compliance are applied to the pilot personally in the amount of $5,000 for a first offence, and $10,000 for all subsequent violations.[ 39 ]

In light of these findings and to ensure accurate and consistent interpretation and application of relevant legislation, policies and procedures and enhance the CBSA's ability to mitigate identified risks through timely, efficient and effective traveller processing (both expected outcomes of the program), it is recommended that:

Recommendation 2: The Programs Branch, in consultation with the Operations Branch, develop a national policy on the processing of general aviation flights that supersedes any existing regional policies.

Recommendation 3: The Programs Branch, in consultation with the Operations Branch, develop an option analysis for mandatory pre-arrival notification requirements for general aviation flights.

The direction provided by The Port of Entry (POE) Vision to ensure all BSOs are able to perform basic primary and secondary processing for each of the three business lines has led to improved BSO PIL questioning and referral abilities, thereby contributing to the free flow of legitimate travellers and the interdiction of inadmissible people and goods. However, challenges remain with development and retention of specialized knowledge in key areas.

In 2006, the CBSA implemented the POE Vision to ensure that all BSOs working at PIL were trained to effectively question travellers regarding the three business lines: immigration, customs, and food, plant and animal (FPA). The Vision articulated the need to fully cross-train legacy officers in the other lines of business to allow them to conduct the full range of basic primary and secondary activities. It went on further to say that there would be more detailed training for those BSOs specializing in a given line of business.[ 40 ] The evaluation team interviewed regional program and AOE management who indicated that they have seen an improvement in BSOs' questioning and referral abilities as a result of providing them with extra immigration training brought about as a result of the POE Vision. While there is progress, the 2012-2013 NBRA identified a shortage of staff with immigration and FPA experience in the air traveller stream.[ 41 ] This is a concern given that the NBRA also states that the greatest risk in this stream is the admission of foreign nationals who have used fraud or misrepresentation to gain entry to Canada.[ 42 ]

The Agency has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure that AOEs are delivering services in both official languages. The number of complaints is low relative to air traveller volumes. Various interpretations exist of what is meant by adequate bilingual service at a given AOE, which has led to variations in bilingual coverage.

The Official Languages Act sets out criteria to identify Government of Canada offices or facilities that must offer services in both official languages. These include offices or facilities where there is significant demand for services in both official languages, and where the nature of the office or facility makes it reasonable to provide services in both languages.[ 43 ] There is little information available to them on what constitutes an appropriate level of bilingual capacity at any given time, at any given AOE. For example, is it necessary for a given AOE to provide a bilingual PIL on a 24/7 basis or is it sufficient for that AOE to provide access (e.g., by phone) to bilingual services during off-hours when volumes are lower?

An analysis of the data provided by the five high-risk AOEs examined in the AOE comparison for FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012 indicates that the percentage of bilingual officers on strength at AOEs varies. However, the number of official language complaints received by the CBSA, either made directly to the CBSA or though the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, is small in relation to the traveller volumes.[ 44 ] For example, of the 29 official language complaints received by the CBSA in FY 2012-2013, three complaints were received related to the five high-risk AOEs.  This was a decrease from the seven received in FY 2010-2011.[ 45 ]

Furthermore, management has put in place a variety of initiatives to meet the requirements to provide bilingual services at AOEs. The Human Resources Branch (HRB) has developed a Three-year Official Languages Action Plan 2011-2014 that identifies a number of strategies aimed at increasing and maintaining bilingual capacity across AOEs. A number of regional initiatives have been developed as well, including a BSO exchange program between Ontario and Quebec to help develop their official language skills.

The ABC kiosks being placed at major international airports are providing traveller processing services in a number of languages, including both official languages.  Consequently, the ABC kiosks may potentially have a positive impact on the bilingual capacity of the AOE and its ability to deliver PIL services in both official languages.

In light of these findings and to ensure accurate and consistent interpretation and application of relevant legislation, policies and procedures (another expected outcome of the program), it is recommended that:

Recommendation 4: The Operations Branch, in consultation with the Human Resources Branch, clarify the level of bilingual service and capacity required across AOEs to ensure consistency in meeting official language service requirements, and identify strategies to meet these requirements when resources are not available.

The Duty to Accommodate Policy[ 46 ] provides direction to management on the general process for granting accommodation.

The reasons for an accommodation request are wide-ranging (e.g., health issues, family obligations, religious requirements, etc.) and are assessed on an individual basis. The impact of a given accommodation on operational efficiency varies depending on the reason for accommodation and the type of accommodation initiated.

From FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012, the percentage of total workforce requiring accommodation has increased significantly for some AOEs. For example, at PIA in FY 2011-2012, there were 159 accommodated BSOs, accounting for 28.3% of its BSO workforce. This was approximately a 25.2% increase from the previous year. The percentage of the workforce on accommodation at other AOEs ranged from 2.3% to 11.6%.[ 47 ]  There was no detailed data available at the time of the evaluation to determine what impact, if any, accommodated cases had on the overall AOE operations.

In many instances, accommodated cases are not reviewed thoroughly before accommodation is granted nor is the case file reviewed regularly to determine if accommodation is still required. HRB is currently reviewing the management of the policy and existing accommodation cases to ensure consistency in the application of the policy across the regions.

Does the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation mitigate risks and effectively interdict people and their goods who contravene the Acts that the CBSA enforces?

The Traveller Processing Program continues to mitigate the risks associated with international travellers arriving at major airports via commercial flights.

The multi-layered approach to mitigating risks associated with air travellers includes pre-arrival information and targeting,[ 48 ] questioning at PIL, examination and roving. Major international airports are deemed high risk due to the nature and origin of arriving travellers. According to the 2012-2013 NBRA, airports are the most likely entry point for irregular migrants and foreign nationals that pose a risk to Canada.[ 49 ] Large international AOEs are fully equipped and BSOs have access to interview rooms and detention cells as well as systems and tools such as Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) Air, Field Operations Support System (FOSS), document scanners, Live Scan, X-ray machines, Ionscan Drug Detection Systems, and detector dogs to assist them in admissibility decisions and examination activities.

From FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012, the number of air travellers arriving at an AOE increased by approximately 10.6%.[ 50 ] While the overall number of examinations has decreased over that same five-year period, examinations are resulting in a higher percentage of enforcement actions relative to the number of examinations. For example, in FY 2010-2011, 8.2% of travellers were examined, resulting in 45,424 enforcement actions.  In FY 2011-2012, 7.1% of travellers were examined, resulting in 50,509 enforcement actions.

Analysis of the seizure data for the four-year period from FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012 indicates that while the number and type of traveller commodity seizures in the air mode of transportation have remained relatively constant, the actual dollar value of commodity seizures has fallen. Of the seizures in the commercial air traveller stream, approximately 1% were significant seizures.[ 51 ] This proportion remained consistent from FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012, with a slight increase in FY 2009-2010. In FY 2010-2011, there were two seizures under "Coin base/counterfeit"[ 52 ] valued at $122,844,682. This represents an outlier in the data set, thus skewing the value trend over time. Removing this seizure would leave a total value for that FY of $141,917,319 that is consistent with the other years (Exhibit 5a and Exhibit 5b).

Exhibit 5a: Number of General Commodity Seizures[ 53 ],
FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012

exhibit 5a
Source: ICES, General Commodity Statistics, data extracted July 2012.


Exhibit 5b: Value of General Commodity Seizures,
FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012

exhibit 5b
Source: ICES, General Commodity Statistics, data extracted July 2012.


The Secondary Processing/Passage History (SPPH) system allows for closing the loop on referrals made through IPIL, ensuring that passengers referred to secondary processing are examined.

In 2010, The Braidwood Inquiry recommended that the CBSA implement a “single integrated database system for tracking each arriving international passenger's progress through Secondary Customs and Secondary Immigration.”[ 54 ] The SPPH system has been installed at AOEs in response to this recommendation. Over the last three years, BSOs have made progress in the extent to which they use the system. In FY 2011-2012 five of seven regions acquitted all referrals in the system. In those regions that did not achieve 100% acquittal, the percentage of non-acquittal was down from the previous year.

To what extent are air travellers compliant with Canadian laws?

While the majority of travellers are compliant with Canadian laws, the level of traveller compliance decreased from FY 2006-2007 to FY 2010-2011.[ 55 ]

The Agency has been conducting airport traveller compliance stints on a yearly basis of both resident and non-residents. These results show that the overall rate of compliance has decreased over the last five years. While the rate of compliance of returning residents has been lower than that of foreign nationals arriving in Canada, the rate of compliance for non-residents has decreased more than that of residents going from 96.9% in FY 2006-2007 to 88.2% in FY 2010-2011.[ 56 ]  The compliance rate for residents for those same years went from 90.0% to 86.2%.  Close to 50% of contraventions for returning residents and 29% for non-residents in FY 2010-2011 related to FPA regulations, suggesting that travellers are not aware of FPA restrictions and allowances, or reporting requirements.

Overall, the percent of complaints related to air travellers is small. Since implementing the ABC initiative, VIA has seen complaints made by arriving travellers fall by approximately 50% – an unexpected outcome.

There are indications that travellers may not understand the authorities, roles and obligations of the BSOs' role and authorities, as travellers may complain that something was unjustly seized, when the item was actually inadmissible to Canada. A review of the data from the Enhanced Complaint Mechanism, which was rolled out in 2011, shows that the percentage of complaints relative to air traveller volumes is very small, at only 0.0029%. The rate of complaints by air travellers is, however, approximately twice that of highway travellers. While almost 50% of all complaints were found to be invalid, they could not be broken down by mode of transportation or type of complaint.

Prior to the implementation of ABC, a significant portion of complaints were received from travellers arriving at VIA regarding BSO conduct, questioning and wait times at PIL. With the implementation of ABC, VIA has seen a decline in these types of complaints. For example, in FY 2007-2008, 17 complaints relating to primary processing were received, representing 17% of all complaints for VIA. By FY 2010-2011, this type of complaint had decreased to eight, representing a 53% decrease.[ 57 ]

Does the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation support information sharing and collaboration with other government departments (OGDs) and other stakeholders to ensure a mutual understanding of operational issues and key priorities?

The creation of the Air Consultative Committee (ACC) has resulted in an open dialogue around current and future initiatives. CBSA management and staff at AOEs reported that they have solid relationships with OGDs and other stakeholders.

The CBSA regularly meets with OGDs and private sector stakeholders[ 58 ] to discuss air traveller processing through the ACC. The mandate of the ACC is to “provide CBSA officials and air industry stakeholders with a forum for dialogue on Canada's airport border operations. The committee is a strategic forum and addresses forward thinking issues and concepts.”[ 59 ] The topics covered to date have included Advance Passenger Information (API)/Personal Name Record (PNR),[ 60 ] ABC, Customs Controlled Areas, Perimeter Vision and the future of air traveller processing.[ 61 ] Interviews with CBSA representatives and private stakeholders indicated that this forum is working very well and that it has been beneficial for both parties to hear the perspectives of the others.

4. Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

Is the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation delivered efficiently and cost-effectively?

Overall traveller volumes at the five high-risk AOEs increased by 13.4% from FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012, while BSO active positions[ 62 ] at the same AOEs decreased by 4.4%. The result is that a given BSO processed more travellers in FY 2011-2012 when compared to FY 2009-2010.

In FY 2012-2013, the CBSA spent over $183 million to deliver the Admissibility Determination Program in the air mode of transportation.[ 63 ]  Overall, regions reported an OT cost in FY 2012-2013 of $4.6 million to deliver traveller processing in the air mode.[ 64 ]  This represents a decrease of 39.5% from the $7.6 milion reported in FY 2011-2012.  The actual hours charged to OT went from 156,611 hours in FY 2011-2012 to 109,156 hours in FY 2012-2013, representing a 30.3% decrease.

Based on the limited data sets from the five high-risk AOEs it was determined that the number of activities carried out by BSOs in secondary processing remained relatively constant for FY 2009-2010 and FY 2010-2011, and dropped off by 8.9% in 2011-2012 in comparison to FY 2009-2010.[ 65 ]  Over this same time period, AOEs experienced increasing traveller volumes, resulting in higher traveller-to-BSO ratios as the overall number of active BSO positions decreased by 4.4% over the same time period (Exhibit 6).

Exhibit 6: Total Traveller Volumes and Total Active BSO Positions for Five High-Risk AOEs,[ 66 ]
FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012

  FY 2009-2010 FY 2010-2011 FY 2011-2012 % Change FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012
Total Traveller Volume 19,879,743 21,662,066 22,550,531 13.4%
Total BSO Active Positions[ 67 ] 1,071 1,053 1,024 -4.4%
Average Traveller/BSO Ratio[ 68 ] 18,562 20,572 22,022 18.6%
Source: Regionally reported data and CMRS 009- Traveller Operations, data extracted on August 7, 2012 and HR Branch data extracted from CAS.


An examination of the usage of Non-Discretionary Leave (NDL)[ 69 ] showed that there has been a 10.7% increase in the number of NDL hours used by BSOs at the five high-risk AOEs from FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012; however, the number of hours used for NDL was relatively constant between FY 2010-2011 and FY 2011-2012.

An examination of five high-risk AOEs from FY 2009-2010 to FY 2011-2012 revealed that even as the number of arriving travellers increased and the overall number of BSO active positions decreased, AOEs successfully met the Border Wait Time (BWT) standard, indicating that the CBSA is meeting its facilitation objective.

Overall, BWT have been met consistently over 99% of the time at the five high-risk AOEs in FY 2011-2012. This has been achieved even as traveller volumes increased by 13.4% in FY 2011-2012 in comparison to volumes experienced in FY 2009-2010. At the same time, overall BSO active positions at the five high-risk AOEs decreased by 4.4% going from 1,071 in FY 2009-2010 to 1,024 in FY 2011-2012.

The ABC initiative has made traveller processing more efficient at both Vancouver International Airport (VIA) and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (PET) by allowing Canadian citizens and permanent residents to use kiosks rather than going through the traditional PIL for processing. The continued increase of returning Canadian citizens and permanent residents supports the use of this alternative border clearance approach.

The overall revenue collection levels undertaken at AOEs have remained relatively unchanged in the last five years.

Overall, the CBSA collected over $230 million from travellers returning to or arriving in Canada in FY 2011-2012. Of the total amount, $35.4 million or 15.4% was collected from air travellers.[ 70 ] Though the collection of duties and taxes is significantly lower in the air mode of transportation compared to highway, there has been an increase in the overall revenue collected across all modes of transportation.

The collection of immigration revenues is higher in the air mode of transportation than in all other modes of transportation, amounting to 53.1% of the overall amount collected. The higher immigration revenues can, in part, be explained by the higher volume of foreign nationals arriving in Canada by air, in comparison to other modes of transportation. Of note, amounts collected on work permits increased over the five-year period going from just over $4.7 million in FY 2007-2008 to over $6.1 million in FY 2011-2012.

Conclusion

The findings of this evaluation are generally positive, indicating that the Traveller Processing Program in the air mode of transportation has been effective in achieving its core objectives. The program plays an important role in facilitating the movement of legitimate travellers and goods and detecting and interdicting those travellers and goods that pose a threat to Canada.

A more detailed and fulsome discussion of the key findings, recommendations, and management response and action plan resulting from this evaluation can be found in the Executive Summary.

Appendix A – Acronyms and Abbreviations

ABC
Automated Border Clearance
ACC
Air Consultative Committee
AOE
Airport of Entry
API
Advance Passenger Information
BBTCA
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
BSO
Border services officer
BWT
Border Wait Time
CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
CMRS
Consolidated Management Reporting System
ECM
Enhanced Complaint Mechanism
FBO
Fixed-Base Operator
FOSS
Field Operations Support System
FPA
Food, Plant and Animal
FTE
Full-time equivalent
FY
Fiscal Year
GTA
Greater Toronto Area
HRB
Human Resources Branch
IPIL
Integrated Primary Inspection Line
IRPA
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
LBPIA
Lester B. Pearson International Airport
MCIA
Macdonald Cartier International Airport
NBRA
National Border Risk Assessment
NDL
Non-discretionary Leave
NHQ
National Headquarters
OGD
Other Government Department
OT
Overtime
PET
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
PIL
Primary Inspection line
PNR
Personal Name Record
SOP
Standard Operating Procedure
SPPH
Secondary Processing/Passage History
TRC
Telephone Reporting Centre
U.S. CBP
United States Customs and Border Protection
VIA
Vancouver International Airport

Appendix B – Overview of Program

Overview of the CBSA Air Traveller Processing Activities

Commercial Flights

Travellers and flight crew exit inbound international flights into a primary processing area. Border services officers (BSOs) greet the traveller, review the E311, the CBSA Declaration Card,[ 71 ] and conduct basic primary questioning while using the Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) system to query information on the traveller. If the traveller declares goods that require the payment of duties and taxes or that require documentation, the BSO may refer the traveller to the general office and/or cashier for payment or completion of forms. If the BSO suspects the traveller to be carrying inadmissible goods, the BSO will refer the traveller for a secondary examination. If the BSO determines that the traveller requires a temporary permit or visa, or may be inadmissible to Canada, the traveller is referred to secondary processing to complete immigration documentation (e.g. visitor record, work permit, etc.). [ 72 ]

When a person is referred for examination, the BSO has a number of detection tools, such as X-ray machines, Ionscan Drug Detection Systems and detector dogs, available to them to assist in the examination. People and goods found to be in violation of the applicable legislation and/or regulations may be subject to a warning, monetary penalty, seizure, arrest or denial of entry to Canada. If during the secondary examination the traveller is found to have contravened the Customs Act, or does not meet the requirements for entry under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the BSO takes the necessary enforcement actions.[ 73 ] The BSO may also authorize a person to enter Canada for further examination (e.g. in the case of a medical emergency) or an admissibility hearing (e.g., when a refugee claim is made).

If the examination at the Primary Inspection Line (PIL) or in the secondary examination area is non-resultant, and the traveller is found to be compliant, they are admitted into the country.

Automated Border Clearance (ABC)

At two AOEs, Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents who have a valid Canadian passport or a Canadian permanent resident card have the option of using an Automated Border Clearance (ABC)[ 74 ] kiosk to clear the border upon returning to Canada. ABC is a self-service kiosk used to partially automate primary processing. To use the kiosk, travellers place their passport or permanent resident card in the document reader, insert their completed CBSA Declaration Card and follow the instructions on the screen. Once the transaction is completed, a receipt is issued. As with IPIL, the passenger names are verified against CBSA enforcement databases in order to identify high-risk travellers. Furthermore, BSOs are required to conclude the primary processing of travellers by performing the document verification function.[ 75 ] The BSOs performing these functions have the discretion to refer persons and goods for further examination upon observation of suspicious activity or suspected altered, fraudulent or improperly used documents. The ABC kiosk allows up to four travellers residing at the same address to be processed in a single transaction if they are all identified on the same CBSA Declaration Card.

General Aviation

General aviation refers to all flights other than military, state and scheduled airline passenger and cargo flights. General aviation flights comprise private/corporate flights where passengers have not paid for passage and non-scheduled charter and medevac (medical transport) flights, where passengers have paid for passage. The CBSA is responsible for clearing persons arriving by general aviation aircraft (private, corporate, charter or medevac) where the flights are unscheduled. The number of passengers on each flight must not exceed 15 (including the crew). Currently, general aviation flights may be cleared at any of the designated AOEs [ 76 ] during CBSA business hours.

To facilitate the clearance of these flights, the CBSA offers an alternative means of reporting through its Telephone Reporting Centres (TRCs).[ 77 ] Before arrival, the pilot is responsible for providing the following information to the TRC officer a minimum of two hours, but not more than 48 hours before arriving in Canada: estimated time of arrival, destination in Canada, and the aircraft licence/registration number. Information must also be provided about each person aboard, either by the pilot or each individual passenger or crew member, and must include their full name, date of birth, citizenship, length of stay in Canada for non-residents, length of absence for Canadian residents and advance information on goods they are bringing into Canada. Upon arrival at a designated AOE during CBSA hours of service, the pilot must: call the TRC to report arrival and remain at the landing site until advised to proceed. No one except the pilot may leave the aircraft until authorization is given by the CBSA. Note that the evaluation did not look at the performance, efficiency or effectiveness of the TRC program.

Governance, roles and Responsibilities

At the CBSA National Headquarters (NHQ), two divisions are responsible for air traveller processing:

  • The Traveller Border Programs Division within the Border Programs Directorate of the Programs Branch develops, implements, maintains and monitors program performance to ensure compliance with policies, regulations, processes, procedures and legislation related to the movement of travellers and their goods into Canada.
  • The Port of Entry Operations Division within the Border Operations Directorate of the Operations Branch provides advice and operational support and guidance on the effective delivery of traveller processing and other programs. It also supports the Airport Operations Service Improvement Working Group and is the NHQ link with the regions.

Regional personnel, under the direction of a regional director general, are responsible for the delivery of program activities in the regions. BSOs are responsible for the clearance of aircraft, passengers and their goods at airports across Canada.

Appendix C – Evaluation Methodology

The CBSA Program Evaluation Division in the Internal Audit and Program Evaluation Directorate conducted this evaluation at the same time as the evaluation of the Traveller Processing Program in the highway and rail modes of transportation. Recognizing the potential overlap in terms of site visits and interviews, the study teams conducted these activities together, where feasible, in order to minimize the impact on NHQ and operations. The evaluation findings are based on the following lines of evidence:

Document and Literature Review

A review of documents was undertaken to confirm the relevance and authority for traveller processing, and to determine if guidance and regulations are in line with expected outcomes and provide the direction necessary to meet program outcomes. The evidence gathered through this methodology was, to the extent possible, used in the triangulation of evidence obtained through the use of other methodologies:

  • CBSA planning documents/reports, organizational charts, documents outlining roles and responsibilities, and relevant internal correspondence pertaining to the implementation and management of traveller processing.
  • Documentation defining CBSA priorities and needs in relation to traveller processing.
  • Legislation, D-Memoranda and other documents related to the legal/regulatory framework of processing of travellers.
  • Documented processes, procedures such as Standard Operating Procedures (Customs Enforcement Manual, People Processing Manual) as well as service standards.
  • Correspondence, files and data relating to traveller processing outcomes.
  • Documents defining the Government of Canada and CBSA priorities and requirements.
  • Documents from a number of external sources such as industry associations as well as Other Government Departments (OGDs).

Analysis of Statistical and Financial Data

An analysis of statistical and financial data was conducted to determine trends in passenger volumes and referral and enforcement activities in order to assess the performance, efficiency and economy of the program delivery. In particular, evidence from this methodology was analyzed to determine if the program mitigates risks and effectively interdicts people and their goods who contravene border-related legislation, and how compliant travellers are with that legislation. The evaluation team analyzed the following:

  • Summary statistics/data on the activities and performance of traveller processing.
  • Analysis of traveller processing and enforcement actions in the air mode of transportation.
  • CBSA budget and expenditure data for traveller processing activities (FTEs, salary and Operations & Maintenance).
  • Where possible and feasible, evidence used to support findings in previous evaluation studies, internal audits and/or Office of the Auditor General reports was used to support this study's findings.

The evidence gathered through this methodology was, to the extent possible, used in the triangulation of evidence obtained through the use of other methodologies.

Key Stakeholder Interviews

The evaluation team conducted individual and/or group interviews with key internal and external stakeholders to measure perceptions of the relevance, performance and economy of air traveller processing activities (Exhibit C-1). Interviews were also used to gather opinions on the alignment of traveller processing activities with CBSA and Government of Canada priorities. The evidence gathered through this methodology was, to the extent possible, used in the triangulation of evidence obtained through the use of other methodologies.

As this program involves multiple stakeholders, with potentially differing perspectives on the program, key informant interviews were identified across the spectrum of stakeholders to ensure that these perspectives were captured.  To that end, the evaluation team interviewed:

  • Directors general and directors in NHQ in the Operations Branch, Programs Branch, Human Resources Branch (HRB) and Information, Science and Technology Branch. CBSA regional management and staff involved in traveller processing activities across all regions; and
  • OGD and private sector stakeholders (i.e. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Public Health Agency of Canada and Airport Authorities).
Exhibit C-1: Interviews Conducted for the Evaluation

Interview Category

Number of one-on-one Interviews

Number of Group Interviews

CBSA HQ management and staff

14

9

CBSA Regional management and staff

20

21

OGDs and private sector stakeholders

6

1

Total

40

31

Site Visits

The evaluation team visited AOEs located in the Pacific, Southern Ontario, Northern Ontario, Greater Toronto Area and Quebec regions.[ 78 ] The sites were selected based on passenger volumes and levels of risk as identified in the 2010 National Port Risk Assessment.

Site visits enhanced the team's understanding of how traveller processing works, how the program is managed and delivered in the field and how regional personnel coordinate with key partners and NHQ. They also allowed regional staff and key stakeholders to provide their insights on what works well and what could be improved. The site visits served to compare and contrast how travellers in the air mode of transportation are being processed across regions. The evidence gathered through this methodology was, to the extent possible, used in the triangulation of evidence obtained through the use of other methodologies.

AOE Comparisons

Five high-risk and four medium-risk[ 79 ] AOEs were examined and compared across several factors including:

  • traveller volumes;
  • full-time equivalent lines for PIL and secondary activities;
  • number of bilingual BSOs;
  • use of non-discretionary leave;
  • number of referrals to secondary processing area, number of examinations, number of enforcement actions;
  • financial information; and
  • shift schedules.

These AOE comparisons assisted the evaluation team in identifying any variances in the delivery across AOEs and mitigated several data limitations related to limited data available at a more consolidated level. Evidence obtained through this methodology was analyzed to determine the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of program delivery. The evidence gathered through this methodology was, to the extent possible, used in the triangulation of evidence obtained through the use of other methodologies.

Notes

  1. Source: Section 11 of the Customs Act. [Return to text]
  2. Source: Sections 16 and 18 of the IRPA. [Return to text]
  3. Source: Section 12 and section 13 of the Customs Act. [Return to text]
  4. Source: People Processing Manual, Primary Processing, Primary Questioning and Immigration Referrals, Part 2, Chapter 1, May 13, 2011. [Return to text]
  5. The costs include salary, operations and maintenance (O&M), capital and Employee Benefits Plan costs. The exact percentage split between the traveller and commercial streams will be made available from Comptrollership in FY 2014-2015. [Return to text]
  6. Program legislation includes the Customs Act and IRPA, among others. The purpose of the Customs Act is to ensure the collection of duties; control the movement of people and goods into and out of Canada. IRPA provides the CBSA with authority to conduct examinations at ports of entry and for enforcement of the Act, including arrest, detention and removal; the establishment of policies regarding enforcement of the Act and inadmissibility. [Return to text]
  7. Small collections include Duty, Excise tax, GST/HST, provincial liquor mark-up/fee, GST/HST on provincial liquor fee, provincial tobacco tax, and provincial sales tax, as recorded on a Casual Goods Accounting Document (B15). [Return to text]
  8. Most FBOs offer aircraft fuel, oil, and parking, along with access to washrooms and telephones. Larger FBOs offer additional aircraft services such as hangar storage, maintenance, aircraft charter or rental, flight training, de-icing, and ground services such as towing and baggage handling. Source: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/aviationsecurity/page-189.htm#_ftn1 [Return to text]
  9. Source: Report on 2012-2013 Official Languages Complaints at CBSA obtained through the Official Languages office at CBSA. [Return to text]
  10. Source: Standard Operating Procedures for Telephone Reporting Centres, Canada Border Services Agency. [Return to text]
  11. Source: Traveller Compliance Stints, Compliance Measurement Program, CBSA. [Return to text]
  12. The five high-risk AOEs were Pearson International Airport (PIA), Vancouver International Airport (VIA), Pierre Elliot Trudeau (PET), Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (MCIA), and Calgary International Airport. [Return to text]
  13. The number of positions is as of the date the extract was done and is the total number of full and part-time FB-03 positions that were active at the time of the data extract. Active positions are those positions for which a salary is being paid and, therefore, does not include positions in which the incumbent is on any type of Leave Without Pay (LWOP). [Return to text]
  14. Source: Comptrollership Branch. Data extracted from CAS by cost centre and activity type (April 24, 2013). [Return to text]
  15. Non-discretionary leave includes sick leave and family-related leave. [Return to text]
  16. Source: Traveller Processing Programmatic Assessment, Canada Border Services Agency, May 20, 2011. [Return to text]
  17. The CBSA does not have permanent presence at all airports; however, the Agency is required to provide services at all designated AOEs during operating hours. [Return to text]
  18. Designated AOEs are categorized by the type of traffic they service (e.g., designated AOE/15 only service aircraft of 15 passengers and crew or less). Within these categories there may be duplication. [Return to text]
  19. Calgary Int'l, Edmonton Int'l, Fredericton Int'l, Gander Int'l, Halifax Robert L. Stanfield Int'l, Jean Lesage Int'l, Macdonald Cartier Int'l, Moncton Int'l, Pearson Int'l, Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Int'l, St. John's Int'l, Vancouver Int'l and Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Int'l. [Return to text]
  20. Source: Consolidated Management Reporting System (CMRS), Canada Border Services Agency, 009-Passenger Operations, June 6, 2012. [Return to text]
  21. The costs include salary, operations and maintenance (O&M), capital and Employee Benefits Plan costs. The exact percentage split between the traveller and commercial streams will be made available from Comptrollership in FY 2014-2015. [Return to text]
  22. General aviation can be defined as all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. [Return to text]
  23. The Program Sub Sub Activity, fund centres, and activity codes have changed year over year. [Return to text]
  24. Source: Section 5 of the Canada Border Services Agency Act. [Return to text]
  25. Source: Section 11 of the Customs Act. [Return to text]
  26. Source: Sections 16 and 18 of the IRPA. [Return to text]
  27. Whole of Government Framework. Source: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ppg-cpr/frame-cadre-eng.aspx. [Return to text]
  28. Source: CMRS 009-Traveller Operations, data extracted on July 11, 2012. [Return to text]
  29. Source: CMRS 009-Traveller Operations, data extracted on August 7, 2012. [Return to text]
  30. Source: National Border Risk Assessment 2012-2013, p. 41. [Return to text]
  31. Source: National Border Risk Assessment 2012-2013, p. 41. [Return to text]
  32. Customs enforcement actions include contraband seizures, drug seizures, prohibited goods, hate propaganda and child pornography. [Return to text]
  33. Section R41 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) authorizes an officer under exceptional circumstances to direct a foreign national seeking to enter Canada from the U.S. to return back temporarily to the U.S., if: no officer is available to complete an examination; the Minister's delegate is not available to consider a report on inadmissibility; or an admissibility hearing cannot be held. [Return to text]
  34. Source: Standard Operating Procedures for Telephone Reporting Centres, Canada Border Services Agency. [Return to text]
  35. Source: 2012-2013 National Border Risk Assessment, Canada Border Services Agency, p. 43. [Return to text]
  36. Source: General Aviation, Status Update, February 14, 2012. [Return to text]
  37. Source: 2012-2013 National Border Risk Assessment, Canada Border Services Agency, p. 43. [Return to text]
  38. Source: Customs and Border Protection, DHS, Advance Information on Private Aircraft Arriving and Departing the United States. Source: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-11-18/pdf/E8-26621.pdf. [Return to text]
  39. Source: Customs and Border Protection, DHS, Advance Information on Private Aircraft Arriving and Departing the United States, Source: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-11-18/pdf/E8-26621.pdf. [Return to text]
  40. Source: Port of Entry Vision: Frequently Asked Questions 2006, p. 1. [Return to text]
  41. Source: 2012-2013 National Border Risk Assessment, Canada Border Services Agency, p. 43. [Return to text]
  42. Source: 2012-2013 National Border Risk Assessment, Canada Border Services Agency, p. 41. [Return to text]
  43. Source: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5077-eng.html. [Return to text]
  44. Source: Report on 2012-2013 Official Languages Complaints at CBSA obtained through the Official Languages office at CBSA. [Return to text]
  45. Source: Reported by the CBSA Official Languages office. [Return to text]
  46. Duty to Accommodate refers to the obligation of the employer to take steps to mitigate disadvantage to employees and candidates resulting from a rule, practice or physical barrier that has or may have an adverse impact on individuals or groups protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA). Needs that must be accommodated to the point of undue hardship result from the following grounds: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted. [Return to text]
  47. Other high-risk AOEs had much lower percentages of accommodated officers than Lester B. Pearson International Airport (PIA), for example, Pierre Elliot Trudeau (PET) had 9.1%, Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (MCIA) had 2.3%, and Vancouver International Airport (VIA) had 11.6%. [Return to text]
  48. Upon request, all commercial carriers are required, under Canadian law, to provide the CBSA with Advance Passenger Information (API)/Personal Name Record (PNR) data for all persons on board commercial conveyances bound for Canada. (Memorandum D2-5-11) In addition, the CBSA requires API/PNR data from carriers on persons seeking entry into Canada. API/PNR data is used by CBSA targeters or intelligence officers to identify persons who may be subject to closer questioning or examination upon arrival in Canada, or who require further investigation. [Return to text]
  49. Source: 2012-2013 National Border Risk Assessment, Canada Border Services Agency, p. 41. [Return to text]
  50. Source: CMRS 009-Traveller Operations, data extracted on August 7, 2012. [Return to text]
  51. Significant seizures include the following: 1kg of cocaine, heroin, opium, marijuana, hashish, other controlled drugs or steroids; $50,000 worth of Khat (100kg); two or more firearms (including prohibited/restricted replica firearms, prohibited/restricted gun parts such as high capacity magazines; ten weapons (brass knuckles, switchblades, shurikens, tasers, etc.); level 4 currency seizure; and at the officer's discretion, child pornography (involving criminal charges or large quantities) and consequential seizures of other commodities (e.g., precursor chemicals). [Return to text]
  52. This is a category used in ICES to identify the type of commodity. Coin base/counterfeit is typically not a commodity that is included in the top 7 commodity seizures. [Return to text]
  53. The top seven commodities are based on a combination of identified number of seizures and dollar value of seizures and include Currency or Monetary; Narcotics/drugs/chemicals; Tobacco Products; Jewellery; Clothing and Footwear; Watches; Suspected Proceeds of Crime. [Return to text]
  54. Source: Braidwood Commission on the Death of Robert Dziekanski, May 2010, p. 17. [Return to text]
  55. There are essentially two potential ways to determine the extent to which travellers are compliant with Canadian laws from the perspective of traveller processing. The first is to examine the results of random referrals from PIL and the second is to analyze the results of compliance stints. As noted in the data limitations section of the report, it is not possible to track a given referral to a specific resultant and, therefore, it is not possible to use random referrals and their resultants as a means to determine compliance rates for travellers. [Return to text]
  56. Source: Traveller Compliance Stints, Compliance Measurement Program, CBSA. [Return to text]
  57. Source: Soft Management Benefits of Automated Border Clearance (ABC), p. 7. [Return to text]
  58. The membership includes a variety of airlines, airport authorities, Transport Canada, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Source: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/consult/acc-ccta/member_membre-eng.html (June 21, 2012). [Return to text]
  59. Source: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/consult/acc-ccta/reference-eng.html (June 21, 2012). [Return to text]
  60. The CBSA requires API/PNR data from carriers on persons seeking entry into Canada. This data is used to identify persons who are or may be involved with, or connected to, terrorism, terrorism-related crimes, or other serious crimes, including organized crime. [Return to text]
  61. Source: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/consult/acc-ccta/reference-eng.html (June 21, 2012). [Return to text]
  62. The number of positions is as of the date the extract was done and is the total number of full- and part-time FB-03 positions that were active at the time of data extract. Active positions are those positions for which a salary is being paid and therefore, does not include any position in which the incumbent is on any type of Leave Without Pay. [Return to text]
  63. The costs include salary, operations and maintenance (O&M), capital and EBP costs. The exact percentage split between the traveller and commercial streams will be made available from Comptrollership in FY 2014-2015. [Return to text]
  64. Source: Comptrollership Branch. Data extracted from CAS by Cost Centre and activity type April 24, 2013. [Return to text]
  65. Source: CMRS 009- Traveller Operations, data extracted on August 7, 2012. [Return to text]
  66. The five high-risk AOEs used in the comparison were PIA, VIA, PET, Calgary, MCIA. [Return to text]
  67. Source: HR Branch extract from CAS. Active positions are those positions for which a salary is being paid and, therefore, does not include positions in which the incumbent is on any type of Leave Without Pay. [Return to text]
  68. This is calculated by dividing the number of travellers at each of the five high-risk AOEs by the reported BSO full-time equivalents. [Return to text]
  69. Non-discretionary leave includes sick leave and family-related leave. [Return to text]
  70. Source: CMRS, Revenue Codes, August 7, 2012. [Return to text]
  71. E311 declaration cards ensure that all persons and goods meet the requirements for entry, conduct secondary examinations as required and collect applicable duties and taxes. [Return to text]
  72. Source: People Processing Manual, Referrals for Secondary Processing/Examination, Referrals and Authorities for Examination and Search, Part 10, Chapter 1, June 2008. [Return to text]
  73. Enforcement actions include directing a person to leave Canada; allowing the individual to withdraw their application to enter Canada; detaining a person upon entry and arresting a person upon entry. [Return to text]
  74. ABC was introduced as a pilot project at Vancouver International Airport (VIA) in 2009 and was a private-public partnership between the Airport Authority and the CBSA. Since its introduction at VIA, ABC has grown to process half of returning Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and provides an alternative means of clearing passengers. On June 5, 2012 ABC was expanded to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montréal, Quebec. [Return to text]
  75. The role of the document verification officer include: verifying travel documents and coded kiosk receipts, confirming traveller identity through a visual facial comparison of the traveller and the photo on the Canadian passport or Canadian permanent resident card, and examining the travel documents to verify authenticity. [Return to text]
  76. According to the CBSA Office Directory, there are over 100 designated airports in Canada at which a general aviation aircraft can land and be processed by the CBSA. [Return to text]
  77. The TRC meets all of the requirements for “presentation of persons on arrival in Canada” as required by section 11 of the Customs Act. [Return to text]
  78. Pacific Region: Abbotsford Airport, Vancouver International Airport; Southern Ontario Region: Windsor Airport and Niagara Airport; Northern Ontario Region: Macdonald Cartier International Airport; Greater Toronto Area Region: Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Billy Bishop Airport & John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport; Quebec Region: Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport and St-Hubert Airport. [Return to text]
  79. Data for the medium-risk AOEs were incomplete and therefore were used only when possible. [Return to text]