Archived - Evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program

February 2015

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Executive Summary

Background

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 persons and goods, including animals and plants that meet all requirements under the program legislation. Under the Criminal Investigations Program, the CBSA investigates and pursues the prosecution of persons who commit criminal offences in contravention of Canada’s border-related legislation, including the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). In fiscal year (FY) 2012–2013, the CBSA spent $26.4M to deliver the Criminal Investigations Program.Footnote 1 In the same fiscal year, the Program received 3,110 leads, opened 913 investigations and concluded 547 cases.Footnote 2

Evaluation Purpose

The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the relevance and performance of the Criminal Investigations Program, in accordance with the Treasury Board Evaluation Policy. The evaluation also followed up on the progress and impact of the program’s Go Forward Strategy and Action Plan that was meant to address the recommendations of the 2010 evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program (IRPA) and the subsequent program diagnostic study.Footnote 3 This evaluation was identified as a priority for 2013–2014 in the CBSA Five-year Program Evaluation Plan, approved by the Executive Evaluation Committee in July 2013.

Summary of Findings

Relevance

Is there a continued need for the Criminal Investigations Program?

The Criminal Investigations Program contributes to the safety, health and security of Canadians and the Canadian economy by pursuing the prosecution of those that willfully violate the law. The continued need for the Program is demonstrated by the continued incidence of border criminality.

Is the Criminal Investigations Program aligned with the roles, responsibilities and priorities of the federal government and the CBSA?

The CBSA’s role and responsibility for conducting criminal investigations of illegal imports, exports and immigration fraud is clearly aligned with the CBSA’s mandate, as specified in legislation. The Criminal Investigations Program is aligned with and supports Government of Canada and CBSA priorities.

Performance

Is the Program focussing on investigating cases that are high-risk and high-priority violations of border legislation?

The Program is making an effort to increasingly undertake investigations that are aligned with the national investigative priorities, such as conducting more complex investigations.

Headquarters provides guidance to regional Criminal Investigations Divisions on how to assess incoming referrals. However, as the decision process is not tracked, it is not possible to know which of these factors led or did not lead to an investigation. The Program began producing quarterly Regional Case Reports containing examples and descriptions of significant, complex cases in the regions. While the reports are informative, understanding what led to the decision to open these cases would add increased value by informing future decisions about the potential success factors of a case.

To what extent has the Go Forward Action Plan enhanced the ability of the program to achieve its outcomes?

The Program has progressed on the implementation of the Go Forward Action Plan, with some initiatives having been more fully implemented than others, and therefore the strategy’s full potential has not yet been realized. However, the Program has investigated an increasing number of complex cases and continues to achieve a high acceptance rate of cases by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) at nearly 100%.

How do partnerships support the Criminal Investigations Program?

Partnerships provide significant support to the Criminal Investigations Program, in the form of leads, information, investigative assistance and/or guidance. Despite the CBSA being granted Investigative Body Designation (IBD) status in 2010, obtaining information from other government departments (OGDs) to support a criminal investigation is not always timely and sometimes the program is compelled to obtain a court order (production order) to fulfil and/or expedite the process.

Have program activities led to the deterrence and disruption of border criminality?

The percentage and overall number of cases leading to conviction have increased, which should act as an important deterrent, according to deterrence theory. In addition, the Program developed and implemented a proactive communications strategy aimed at deterrence in response to a recommendation in the 2010 evaluation.

Efficiency

The program is being delivered cost-effectively, as demonstrated in budget reductions from FY 2011–2012 to FY 2012–2013, despite operating under constraints related to systems, equipment and modern investigative tools, while also performing well on a key performance indicator related to the number of cases accepted for prosecution by the PPSC at nearly 100%.

Recommendations, Management Response and Action Plan

Some progress has been made towards the recommendation in the previous evaluation that the Program establish a performance measurement framework to ensure that sufficient information is available for reporting and monitoring program activities. For example, the Program is now reporting on the percentage of prosecutions accepted by the PPSC and also produces monthly regional activity reports and bi-annual tactical reports. However, program statistics do not link individual cases across the continuum from initial referral to final outcome of a case. This impacts the ability to assess which referrals led or did not lead to an investigation, and the rationale for case selection decisions. Also, while the Program reports on the number of complex cases and port prosecutions, and can link a case to national priorities, in FY 2012–2013 58% of cases in the CBSA database did not identify with any objective but were categorized as “other.” The Program also does not report on the number of “high-risk” cases. It is not clear if “high-priority” and “high-risk” cases are mutually inclusive or exclusive. In addition to reporting on the number of opened cases, the Program also reports on the number of closed cases but does not provide a rationale for closing the case, .e.g., whether a case was successfully prosecuted or whether it led to other outcomes such as immigration enforcement or civil proceedings.

In light of these findings, and to enable a more complete picture of program performance, it is recommended that:

Recommendation 1

The Vice-President of the Programs Branch develop a performance measurement framework that links key indicators for each case from the initial referral stage to the final outcome. This is to include the criteria for the various decision points.

Management Response:

Programs Branch agrees with this recommendation. Programs Branch will work with Operations Branch to develop a strengthened performance measurement framework that will link cases to priorities, identify key decision points and rationale, and better track the final disposition of cases.

Working with Information, Science and Technology Branch (ISTB), a system replacement strategy will continue to implementation to capture and report on case information and performance measures systematically.

Management Action Plan
Implementation Date October 2014 Completed

Recommendation 2

The Vice-President of the Operations Branch implement regular monitoring of program performance against intended outcomes and determine if activities are aligned with program objectives, including national priorities.

Management Response:

Operations Branch agrees with this recommendation. Operations Branch will work with Programs Branch to ensure the new performance measurement framework is implemented and the process for reporting is established. Operations Branch will also ensure adequate reporting is completed on a regular basis to ensure activities align with program objectives and priorities.

In the longer term, work with Information, Science and Technology Branch (ISTB), to develop a system replacement strategy. This will capture and report on case information and performance measures systematically.

Management Action Plan
Implementation Date June 2015 Completed

The Criminal Investigations Program seeks information and documentation from OGDs to inform ongoing investigations or as evidence in support of an investigation. To facilitate such requests, in 2010, the CBSA obtained the Investigative Body Designation (IBD) under paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Privacy Act. However, the evaluation found that obtaining information from OGDs to support a criminal investigation is not always timely and the program is sometimes compelled to obtain a court order in order to obtain the requested information. This necessitates additional time and effort and negates the benefit of having obtained the IBD status.

In light of these findings, it is recommended that:

Recommendation 3

The Vice-President of the Programs Branch, in consultation with the Vice-President of the Operations Branch, analyze the challenges in obtaining evidence from OGDs using the Investigative Body Designation, and consult with internal and external stakeholders to resolve identified barriers. The Branch should implement actions to mitigate identified barriers and monitor progress in obtaining evidence from OGDs using the Investigative Body Designation.

Management Response:

Programs and Operations Branches concur with Recommendation 3 and will identify the barriers that are preventing the CBSA from obtaining information by way of CBSA’s Investigative Body Designation (IBD), identify corrective measures to be taken, including education of internal and external stakeholders on the use of IBD, and monitor progress.

Management Action Plan
Implementation Date March 2015 Completed

As the total number of cases in FY 2012–2013 decreased from the previous year, the average cost per case increased by 20% when compared to FY 2011–2012, while legal costs have increased by 93% since FY 2008–2009. [*]

In light of these findings, it is recommended that:

Recommendation 4

The Vice-President of the Programs Branch, in consultation with the Vice-Presidents of the Comptrollership and Operations Branches, develop options to deliver the Digital Forensic Investigations (DFI) service and to optimize the alignment of existing resources to support evolving demands, as well as implement and monitor the selected options.

Management Response

Programs Branch agrees with this recommendation and will work with Operations and Comptrollership Branches to support the evolving requirements for delivery of the Digital Forensic Investigations services (DFI) by developing options that will optimize the alignment of existing program resources.

Management Action Plan
Implementation Date May 2015 Completed

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. The CBSA Criminal Investigations Program investigates and pursues the prosecution of persons who willfully violate Canada's border-related legislation. Criminal offencesFootnote 4 may include illegal imports and exports that pose a threat to the health and safety of Canadians and the economy or immigration fraud that poses a threat to the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.

A criminal investigation may be launched as a result of information received from within the CBSA (i.e., ports of entry, intelligence, immigration enforcement, trade programs)Footnote 5, other law enforcement agencies, other government departments (OGDs) or from the public. Criminal investigators gather and review evidence through the use of investigative techniques such as interviews, CBSA database searches, digital forensic examinations, surveillance and the execution of search warrants and production orders.Footnote 6 When sufficient evidence is found to indicate a serious and deliberate border-related offence, criminal investigators work with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) to lay charges and follow through with prosecution in a court of law. Prosecution may result in criminal records, court imposed fines, probation periods and incarceration.Footnote 7

In fiscal year (FY) 2012–2013, the CBSA spent $26.4M to deliver the Criminal Investigations Program.Footnote 8 In the same fiscal year, the Program received 3,110 leads, opened 913 investigations and concluded 547 cases.Footnote 9 The program organizational structure is provided in Appendix C.

Evaluation Purpose and Scope

The evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program was identified as a priority for FY 2013–2014 in the CBSA Five-Year Program Evaluation Plan, approved by the Executive Evaluation Committee in July 2013. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the relevance and performance of the program in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Evaluation. The evaluation also followed up on the progress and impact of the program’s Go Forward Strategy and Action Plan, which was meant to address the recommendations of the 2010 evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program activities related to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the subsequent program diagnostic study (see Diagram A).Footnote 10

Diagram A

  • CBSA Criminal Investigations Program (IRPA) – Evaluation Study (December 2010)
    • Go Forward Strategy and Action Plan February 2011
  • Criminal Investigations Program Diagnostic February 2011
    • Go Forward Strategy and Action Plan February 2011

The scope of the evaluation included the full Criminal Investigations Program (i.e., both Customs Act and immigration-related investigations) and DFI activities. The evaluation scope excluded counter proliferation operationsFootnote 11 and the Border Enforcement Security Task Force.Footnote 12

An evaluation plan and framework were developed based on the activities, outputs and expected outcomes identified in the program logic model that was developed in consultation with program management. The program logic model is provided in Appendix D. The evaluation questions that were used to assess program relevance and performance are listed in Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1: Evaluation Questions

Evaluation Issue Evaluation Questions
Relevance Is there a continued need for the Criminal Investigations Program?
Is the Criminal Investigations Program aligned with the roles, responsibilities and priorities of the federal government and the CBSA?
Performance – Achievement of Expected Outcomes To what extent is the program focussing on investigating cases that are high-risk and high-priority violations of border legislation?
To what extent has the Go Forward Action Plan enhanced the ability of the program to achieve its outcomes?
How do partnerships support the Criminal Investigations Program?
Have program activities led to the deterrence and disruption of border criminality?
Efficiency and Economy Is the program delivered efficiently and cost-effectively?

The CBSA Program Evaluation Division carried out the evaluation research between July and November 2013. Details of the research methodologies are provided in Appendix E.

Evaluation Research Limitations

CBSA systems currently do not provide the level of detail required for performance measurement and resource allocation modelling.Footnote 13 It is not possible to follow the progression of individual cases from the initial referral to the final outcome. As such, the evaluation was not able to assess which referrals (type and source) resulted in opened cases and which opened cases went forward for prosecution. Also, over half of opened investigations are categorized as “other” due to an insufficient number of drop-down selections for categorizing case types, which affected the ability of the evaluation to determine case alignment with investigative priorities. The 2010 Evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program (IRPA) also identified system issues and included a recommendation to enhance or upgrade the system. The follow-up monitoring of the implementation of recommendations showed that the program could not secure a source of funding for systems replacement. Finally, the ability to assess program efficiency and economy was limited as the program does not track the degree of complexity or the level of effort required to investigate different types of cases.Footnote 14

2. Key Findings – Relevance

Is there a continued need for the Criminal Investigations Program?

The continued need for the Criminal Investigations Program is demonstrated by the continued incidence of border criminality.

Each year, the Criminal Investigations Program receives over 3,000Footnote 15 referrals for investigation, which demonstrates a continued demand for the program. Half of referrals generally come from CBSA operations in the highway, air, and postal modes; 20% from CBSA IntelligenceFootnote 16 and Immigration Enforcement; 15% from external sources; and the remaining come from other internal CBSA sources. Referrals from external sources include tips from OGDs, law enforcement agencies and the public as well as requests for assistance from foreign customs or immigration authorities as per Canada’s international Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties and Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements.Footnote 17

Firearms are one of the top risks at land border ports of entry and in 2012 the CBSA seized twice the number of weapons compared to six years previous.Footnote 18 Nearly 11,000 people from more than 100 countries are estimated to be linked to investigations of residence fraud.Footnote 19

The increasing pervasiveness of digital media devices (e.g., cell phones, computers, USB sticks, cameras) has also increased the importance of the program’s DFI unit.Footnote 20 On average, the DFI supports approximately 300 criminal investigations each year, examining up to 1,000 devices.Footnote 21

The Criminal Investigations Program contributes to the safety, health and security of Canadians and the Canadian economy by pursuing the prosecution of those that willfully violate the law.

Criminal violations of the IRPA erode the integrity of Canada’s immigration programs and create a strain on social and economic resources.Footnote 22 For example, the spousal sponsorship process is subject to abuse when individuals organize or enter into relationships of convenience in order to facilitate entry into Canada.Footnote 23 The number of foreign workers, foreign students and permanent residentsFootnote 24, in addition to trade,Footnote 25 travellerFootnote 26 and postal volumes, have all been on the rise since FY 2008–2009, which poses an increased risk.

Contraband tobacco and alcohol, firearms and prohibited weapons, and commercial fraud are examples of Customs Act violations that pose a risk to the safety, health and security of Canadians and the economy.Footnote 27 Depending on the seriousness of the offence, the CBSA may either pursue civil or administrative proceedings (e.g., seized goods and/or monetary penalties) or lay criminal charges.

Is the Criminal Investigations Program aligned with the roles, responsibilities and priorities of the federal government and the CBSA?

The CBSA’s role and responsibility for conducting criminal investigations of illegal imports, exports and immigration fraud is clearly aligned with the CBSA mandate as specified in legislation.  

The authority for the CBSA to conduct criminal investigations is established in the CBSA Act as part of the Agency’s mandate of enforcing border program legislation, including the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Footnote 28Responsibility for conducting investigations related to Canada’s border legislation falls to both the CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). A CBSA-RCMP Joint Policy on Investigative Responsibilities for Enforcement of the Customs Act outlines the division of responsibilities between the two organizations.Footnote 29 Similarly, a Letter of Intent between the CBSA and the RCMP with Respect to Criminal Investigations and the Laying of Charges under IRPA describes the respective investigative responsibilities related to enforcement of this Act.

The Criminal Investigations Program is aligned with and supports the Government of Canada and CBSA priorities.

In the 2013 Speech from the Throne, priorities of the federal government include creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians, supporting and protecting Canadian families, and promoting Canadian values. The CBSA Criminal Investigations Program is aligned with and supports these priorities by pursuing the prosecution of those who commit offences including those related to child pornography, illegal weapons smugglingFootnote 30, employment fraud, marriages of convenience and human smuggling.

In 2012, the federal government passed the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System ActFootnote 31 which included criminal law provisions related to human smuggling. In addition, amendments were made to the IRPA to help combat marriage fraudFootnote 32, and reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker program were implemented to improve program integrity.Footnote 33 The reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker program were announced in the October 2013 Speech from the Throne. In November 2013, the federal government also reintroduced legislation to keep contraband tobacco off Canadian streets.Footnote 34

3. Key Findings – Performance

To what extent is the program focussing on investigating cases that are high-risk and high-priority violations of border legislation? Footnote 35

The Criminal Investigations Program has increased the proportion of complex cases opened within its overall caseload in 2012–2013, consistent with the priority to focus on more complex cases. However, the overall cases opened decreased in 2012–2013, leading a reduction in the total number of complex cases that were opened, when compared to 2011–2012.

High-priority investigations are those that are aligned with the National Priorities for the Criminal Investigations Program established in 2012 (Exhibit 2). These priorities are a sub-set of the 17 integrated Intelligence and Enforcement priorities.Footnote 36

Exhibit 2: National Priorities of the Criminal Investigations Program

Customs-related Weapons Smuggling
Alcohol Smuggling
Tobacco Smuggling
Counter proliferation
Trade Fraud
Immigration-relatedFootnote 37 Immigration Consultant Fraud
Residency Fraud
Employment Fraud
Marriages of Convenience
Human Smuggling

Source: Internal CBSA documentation

High-risk cases: Cases involving aggravating factors such as previous enforcement or conviction, concealment and evidence of illicit or clandestine means.

Complex investigations: Cases under any legislation that go beyond a single incident, often requiring follow up investigation or use of specialized investigative techniques (i.e., search warrants, production orders, surveillance) to gather evidence.

Port prosecutions: Single, isolated incidents that often occur or arise at a port of entry. All evidence of the offence is available and little or no follow up is required to complete the referral for prosecution.

It is also a priority for the program to focus on more complex and high-risk cases.Footnote 38 However, the national priorities for the program do not always necessitate a complex investigation. This conflict may partially explain why there has not been a nominal increase in the number of Complex Cases opened.

As part of the Enforcement and Intelligence 100% Performance Action Plan, an increased emphasis on the prosecution of undeclared firearms at ports of entry has meant the Criminal Investigations Program dedicates more time responding to port prosecutions. The proportion of Port Prosecutions opened related to firearms increased from 6% in FY 2011–2012 to 10% in FY 2012–2013. While this addresses the 100% Action Plan, it is not consistent with the directive to focus more on complex cases. Internal CBSA documentation reported that a “greater focus on crime guns may be needed to better align with the objective to pursue complex cases and achieve better results.”Footnote 39 Another objective of the 100% Action Plan is to double the number of referrals from Intelligence to the Criminal Investigations Program. This, as well as the target that 55% of referrals should result in an opened caseFootnote 40 place increased pressure on the Criminal Investigations Program and may not be consistent with the directive to focus more on complex cases. Although there remains an expectation and need for the program to direct resources toward high-risk port prosecutions, it is unclear whether the program is striking the right balance as data on the risk levels is unavailable.

Headquarters provides guidance to regional Criminal Investigations Divisions on how to assess incoming referrals. However, as the decision process is not tracked, it is not possible to know which of these factors led or did not lead to an investigation.

Internal CBSA documentation provides “prosecution principles” to help regions assess whether an incident merits a criminal investigation, and whether the offence has prosecution potential. These include considerations as to the complexity, risk level, public interest, relation to a larger pattern of criminality, and assessment of the referral and supporting evidence. As the decision process is not tracked, it is not possible to know which of these factors led or did not lead to an investigation. It is also not possible to know what factors resulted in closed investigations. For instance, a case may be closed after it is put forward for prosecution, or when evidence is insufficient to refer for prosecution. Also, a case may be closed when a decision is made to follow an alternative process such as civil proceeding, immigration enforcement action (removal), or other corrective actions.Footnote 41 The program also reports on the number of concluded prosecutions (see Exhibit 5), but not on the number and rationale for other closed cases.

The Program began producing Regional Case ReportsFootnote 42 on quarterly basis containing examples and descriptions of significant complex cases in the regions. While informative, understanding what led to the decision to open these cases would add increased value by informing future decisions about the potential success factors of a case.

In FY 2012–2013, the Criminal Investigations Program opened investigations for approximately 30% of all referrals received (Exhibit 3). While specific criteria for selection was not known, it may have included the quality of the referral, risk level, alignment with program priorities, complexity of the case, and regional operating context such as existing workload and capacity to investigate. It is also not clear if the program is investigating cases that are both “high-priority” and “high-risk”, or to what degree these characteristics are mutually inclusive.

Exhibit 3: Number of Cases Opened as Percentage of Referrals ReceivedFootnote 43

Region FY 2010–2011 FY 2011–2012 FY 2012–2013
Atlantic 33.9% not availableFootnote 44 30.6%
Quebec 30.4% 39.5%
Northern Ontario 35.8% 26.3%
Greater Toronto Area 30.8% 26.1%
Southern Ontario 49.4% 46.4%
Prairie 13.8% 14.4%
Pacific 15.7% 23.0%
Overall 29.3% 32.2% 29.4%

Source: CBSA systems data

Recommendation 1
The Vice-President of the Programs Branch develop a performance measurement framework that links key indicators for each case from the initial referral stage to the final outcome. This is to include the criteria for the various decision points.

Recommendation 2
The Vice-President of the Operations Branch implement regular monitoring of program performance against intended outcomes and determine if activities are aligned with program objectives, including national priorities.

To what extent has the Go Forward Action Plan enhanced the ability of the Program to achieve its outcomes?

The Program has progressed on the implementation of the Go Forward Action Plan, with some initiatives having been more fully implemented than others, and therefore the strategy’s full potential has not yet been realized. However, the program continues to achieve a high acceptance rate of cases by the PPSC at nearly 100%.Footnote 45

Following the 2010 Evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program (IRPA), the Criminal Investigations Program commissioned a full program diagnostic and developed a Go Forward Strategy and Action Plan to address the recommendations of both the evaluation and subsequent diagnostic. Exhibit 4 provides the status on the previous evaluation recommendations.

Exhibit 4: Status of Recommendations from the 2010 Evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program (IRPA)

2010 Evaluation Recommendation Status Update

The Programs Branch develop and implement a rationale and strategy for moving forward. The strategy should include a detailed implementation plan, address the issues noted in this report and include the following:

  • An analysis of the impact that the new focus will have on other criminal investigations activities;
  • A governance model that would facilitate partnerships and information exchange with internal and external delivery partners;
  • A performance measurement framework to ensure that sufficient information is available for reporting on and monitoring program activities and related budgets;
  • A training needs analysis to identify knowledge and skill requirements for both investigators and border services officers; and
  • A case risk profile to assist regions in their case selection to ensure that high-risk cases are pursued.

In response to this recommendation, the Programs Branch developed the Go Forward Strategy, which outlined four main themes to address the issued noted in the evaluation.Footnote 46 The Strategy was divided into four strategic themes:

  • Ensuring results for Canadians through an effective, efficient, modern and innovative investigations program that promotes border security by targeting high risk criminal non-compliance.
  • Enhancing intelligence support and linkage to the criminal investigations program.
  • Maintaining a professional investigative workforce through competency-based training and ongoing development of a “criminal investigations community”.
  • Supporting intended investigative outcomes by ensuring availability of appropriate systems, tools and resources.

The Programs Branch enhance or replace CIIMS to better support the collection and generation of program performance information.

The Programs Branch has investigated options for system replacement, including the possibility of an integrated Enforcement and Intelligence system.Footnote 47 However, an option has yet to be selected, approved, and implemented.

The Programs Branch work with the Communications Directorate to develop and implement a communication strategy for the Criminal Investigations Program aimed at deterring criminal offences committed under IRPA.

The Programs Branch developed and implemented a communications strategy. The strategy has been in place since October 2012 and has covered investigations of both Customs and IRPA criminal activities.

Source: Program Evaluation Division

Through case studies, site visits, interviews, and documentation review, the current evaluation assessed three major initiativesFootnote 48 of the program’s Go Forward Strategy, including 1) the embedding of an Intelligence analyst (IA) into regional Criminal Investigation units to facilitate access to intelligence information contained in CBSA systems, and to provide analytical support; 2) updated core investigator training and provision of specialized training; and 3) the implementation of the Major Case Management Model for complex cases.

Intelligence analysts have been embedded in all but one region, but so far the support provided by embedded IAs has mainly been the production of bi-annual Tactical Reports for headquarters, with limited support being provided on active investigations.Footnote 49 Although the intended role of the embedded IAs was documented in the Guiding PrinciplesFootnote 50 for embedded IAs developed by headquarters, most embedded IAs were not performing all these roles. Based on a recommendation in the recent evaluation (2014) of the Intelligence Program, that Program is currently moving towards enhancing its support to the Criminal Investigations business line.

Training and Learning continues to work on an updated Core Investigator Training Course. The 2010 evaluation noted it was necessary to improve investigators’ skills and knowledge in criminal law, interviewing techniques, search warrant preparation and the conduct of forensic investigations. However, this was not identified as an issue in this evaluation. The PPSC indicated that there have been significant improvements in the quality of evidence gathered and prepared by criminal investigators since the time the previous evaluation was conducted.

The 2010 evaluation also identified issues with a CBSA system and included a recommendation to enhance or upgrade the system. The follow-up monitoring of the implementation of recommendations showed that the program could not secure a source of funding for systems replacement. A new case management system was intended to address this gap in part. Less than half (46%) of regional investigations personnel received training on the Major Case Management (MCM). The session had not been tailored to the CBSA context and MCM’s usefulness to the investigators has not been realized. Without MCM software and resource support, the approach cannot be implemented as designed.

How do partnerships support the Criminal Investigations Program?

Partnerships provide significant support to the Criminal Investigations Program, in the form of leads, information, investigative assistance and/or guidance.

Partners provide important support for CBSA criminal investigations. Support from internal partners, including Intelligence and other operational areas, is available for assistance in the execution of search warrants or with surveillance operations.

Support from the RCMP is consistent with the joint policy and letter of intent agreements. This includes CBSA access to RCMP facilities and equipment in the conduct of an investigation, and the employment of specialized investigative techniques by the RCMP on behalf of the CBSA, such as undercover buys and controlled deliveries.Footnote 51 To mitigate challenges related to the interpretation of these agreements, regional RCMP personnel and the CBSA Regional Criminal Investigations Division meet regularly to discuss cases and determine division of labour.

On a case by case basis, the PPSC provides advice and guidance on the strength of evidence or on writing authorizations to obtain evidence. The quality of the evidence CBSA prepares plays a role in the high rate of acceptance of CBSA cases by the PPSC.

Despite the CBSA being granted Investigative Body Designation (IBD) Footnote 52 status in 2010, obtaining information from OGDs to support a criminal investigation is not always timely and sometimes the program is compelled to obtain a court order (production order) to fulfil and/or expedite the process.Footnote 53

Information and documentation from OGDs is sought by the Criminal Investigations Program to inform ongoing investigations or as evidence in support of an investigation. For example, in complex IRPA cases, such as residency or employment fraud, documentation such as original or certified copies of applications for permanent residency, spousal sponsorship, student or work visas and applications for labour market opinions can be key evidence for an investigation.Footnote 54

A process was established by the CBSA Information Sharing Unit to facilitate requests from OGDs under the authority of IBD. In addition, a joint information sharing working group is in place as per the Memorandum of Understanding between the CBSA and CIC (Information Sharing Annex, section 7.1.3). However, four regions reported difficulties in obtaining information from a number of OGDs in a timely manner.Footnote 55 The IBD process is not applicable for requests involving information about products or corporations, and for requesting information from OGDs that have more restrictive disclosure regimes that supersede subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act. In these circumstances the program area may be required to obtain a court order to obtain the requested information.

Statistics were not available from the Information Sharing Unit so it is not possible to know the number of requests, or the extent to which requests are being fulfilled, refused, or have excessive response times. Criminal Investigation units have not been following CBSA IBD procedure, which requires that an encrypted electronic copy of the IBD request and the response received be sent to the Information Sharing Unit.

In addition, several departments do not keep documents that would be important for investigations beyond the two year minimum established in the Privacy Regulations.Footnote 56 The Treasury Board Policy on Information Management and Directive on Recordkeeping notes that retention periods are to be established that take operational needs into consideration.

Recommendation 3
The Vice-President of the Programs Branch, in consultation with the Vice-President of the Operations Branch analyze the challenges in obtaining evidence from OGDs using the Investigative Body Designation, and consult with internal and external stakeholders to resolve identified barriers. The Branch should implement actions to mitigate identified barriers and monitor progress in obtaining evidence from OGDs using the Investigative Body Designation.

Have program activities led to the deterrence and disruption of border criminality?

The percentage and overall number of cases leading to conviction have increased, which should act as an important deterrent, according to deterrence theory.Footnote 57 In addition, the Program developed and implemented a proactive communications strategy aimed at deterrence in response to a recommendation in the 2010 evaluation.

Measuring deterrence is a particular challenge, as it is difficult to attribute changes in criminality to the impact of program activities. Deterrence theory in criminal justice dictates that the likelihood of being convicted is a significant factor for deterrence and disruption and forms the basis of crime prevention strategies. Nearly 100% of CBSA investigations referred to the PPSC for prosecution are accepted.Footnote 58 Conviction rates for both complex cases and port prosecutions have remained consistently high (Exhibit 5).

Exhibit 5: Number of Concluded Cases with at least One Guilty Verdict and Conviction Rate

Complex Cases Port Prosecutions Overall
FY Number Conviction Rate Number Conviction Rate Number Conviction Rate
2008–2009 59 88.1% 417 88.9% 476 88.8%
2009–2010 54 91.5% 362 86.8% 416 87.4%
2010–2011 58 90.6% 364 87.3% 422 87.7%
2011–2012 63 87.5% 350 92.1% 413 91.4%
2012–2013 205 96.2% 304 91.0% 509 93.1%

Source: CBSA systems data

A communications strategy for the Criminal Investigations Program was finalized in October 2012 to address a recommendation in the previous evaluation. Implementation of the communications strategy has led to an increasing number and proportion of CBSA proactive media releases related to criminal investigations.Footnote 59

4. Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

Is the program delivered efficiently and cost-effectively?

Despite increasing pressures on the Criminal Investigations Program, program spending was 2.7% ($743K) less in FY 2012–2013 than the year before.

In FY 2012–2013, the CBSA spent $26.4M to deliver the Criminal Investigations Program, compared to $27.2M the year before. Footnote 60 These amounts do not include the cost of internal services or the cost of the Intelligence support provided to the Program. The $26.4M was $1.8M over the total authorities for the program. Funding pressures include the cost of DFI, system replacement costsFootnote 61, and increasing court costs. Approximately 9% ($2.3M) of the Program expenditures can be attributed to DFI. Footnote 62 Funding for DFI is no longer available through the Detection Technology Trust Fund. Court costs for prosecuting cases have also doubled over the last five years from $2M in FY 2008–2009 to $3.9M in FY 2012–2013.Footnote 63

The average cost per case opened increased from $24,178 in FY 2011–2012 to $28,916 in FY 2012–2013. However, this calculation does not account for the differences between complex investigations and port prosecutions, for which the Program estimates ranges between $109K to $419K for complex cases and $4K to $25K for port prosecutions.Footnote 64 The wide ranges indicate variances in case complexity, as well as differences in regional caseloads and investigative capacity.Footnote 65 The percentage of referrals opened by region is shown in Exhibit 3.Footnote 66 However, available performance data is not sufficiently detailed to enable the program to identify the level of effort required to investigate cases of differing degrees of complexity to inform resource allocation.

The average cost to provide DFI services for an investigation is about $7,670.Footnote 67 Over the last five years, legal costs per concluded case have increased by 93% to $7,086 in FY 2012–2013 from $3,680 in FY 2008–2009.Footnote 68

The program is being delivered cost-effectively despite operating under constraints related to systems, equipment and modern investigative tools, while also performing well on a key performance indicator related to the number of cases accepted for prosecution by the PPSC (nearly 100%).

The Program’s need for improved systems and equipment were identified in the 2010 evaluation, in the Go Forward Strategy and Action PlanFootnote 69, and internal CBSA documentationFootnote 70 [*]. Currently, the program must manually assemble and index the disclosure documents that must be produced for the prosecutor and defense counsel.

Major cases have expanded DFI workload considerably. For example, one investigation in the Pacific Region of 17 consultants with 682 clients involved 26 devices in need of examination. In the fall of 2013, five regional DFI units reported workload backlogs of up to six months which creates a risk to the success of investigations if the program is unable to examine digital devices and media evidence within judicially authorized time limits.Footnote 71

DFI services are also being provided to other areas within the Agency outside the Criminal Investigation Division. This includes ports of entry where interdiction translates into additional digital devices and media to examine, and Inland Enforcement where assistance is provided with Security Certificate cases (electronic monitoring), which are time-consuming. However, there is currently no mechanism in place for cost recovery for these [*]. Footnote 72

Recommendation 4
The Vice-President of the Programs Branch, in consultation with the Vice-Presidents of the Comptrollership and Operations Branches, develop options to deliver the DFI service and to optimize the alignment of existing resources to support evolving demands. The Branch should implement and monitor the selected options.

5. Conclusion

The Program is relevant and is aligned with Government of Canada and CBSA priorities. The Go Forward Strategy, intended to address the recommendations in the 2010 evaluation of the Program, has not been fully implemented. Some of the findings in the previous evaluation were also identified as issues in this evaluation, such as the need for performance measurement indicators that would allow for an assessment of the effectiveness of case selection, including the tracking of individual cases along a continuum from referral source and type to final outcome, and to determine alignment of all cases against national investigative priorities and risk levels. Current performance indicators also do not reflect the level of effort involved in conducting complex cases. Despite the Go Forward Strategy not being fully implemented, there has not been a negative impact on the Program’s key performance indicator related to the number of cases accepted for prosecution by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. The rate of PPSC acceptance for prosecution of both complex cases and port prosecutions continues to be very high at nearly 100%. While outside the influence of the CBSA, the prosecution conviction rate also continues to be very high for both types of cases. The quality of the evidence the CBSA prepares play a role. The Program is being delivered cost-effectively despite operating under constraints related to systems, equipment and modern investigative tools, while achieving intended program outcomes as evidenced by the consistent high acceptance rate of cases by the PPSC.

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


Appendix A – Acronyms and Abbreviations

3I’s
Integration of the three “I’s: Intelligence, Inland Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations”
CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
CI
Criminal Investigator
CIC
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
CID
Criminal Investigations Division
DFI
Digital Forensic Investigation
E&I
Enforcement and Intelligence
FTE
Full Time Equivalent
IA
Intelligence Analyst
IRPA
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
MCM
Major Case Management
PPSC
Public Prosecution Service of Canada
RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Appendix B – Definitions

Civil or administrative proceeding
For contraventions or actions that violates a law, treaty, or other ruling, civil or administrative proceedings are intended to be remedial and may include the removal of a person from Canada, goods being seized and/or penalties. The burden of proof required for civil or administrative proceedings is the balance of probabilities.
Complex case
Complex investigations are defined as cases, under any legislation, that go beyond a single incident, often requiring follow-up investigation or use of specialized investigative techniques (i.e., search warrants, production orders, surveillance) to gather evidence.
Criminal Organization
Under subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code A “criminal organization” means a group, however organized, that (a) is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and (b) has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group or by any of the persons who constitute the group. It does not include a group of persons that forms randomly for the immediate commission of a single offence.
Criminal proceeding
Criminal proceedings are intended to punish the individual that committed the offence (i.e., through criminal charges leading to conviction, court fines and/or incarceration). The difference between a criminal offence and a contravention is the wilful intent to violate the law. A higher burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) is required to lay criminal charges.
High-priority
High-priority investigations are those that are aligned with the National Priorities for Criminal Investigations or other integrated Enforcement and Intelligence priorities. It is also a priority for criminal investigations to focus on more serious and more complex cases.
High-risk
High-risk investigations involve goods or persons presenting at least one, but not limited to the following, aggravating factors: previous enforcement or conviction, concealment and evidence of illicit or clandestine means.
Port prosecutionFootnote 73
Port prosecutions are single, isolated incidents that often occur or arise at a port of entry. Evidence of the offence is on hand and little or no follow up is required to complete the prosecution referral to the Crown.
Production order
A production order requires the custodian of documents or data to deliver or make available the documents or data to a peace officer.
Search warrant
As per sections 111 of the Customs Act and 487 and 487.012 of the Criminal Code, a search warrant provides authorization to search a building, receptacle or place for evidence of an offence.
Serious offence
As defined in subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code, a serious offence means an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more, or another offence that is prescribed by regulation.
Strategic ReportFootnote 74
A Strategic (or Operational) report includes details of methods of concealment, explanations of routing and shipping practices and various profiles of smugglers and their particular offences.
Tactical ReportFootnote 75
A tactical intelligence report is an investigative tool designed to directly support investigators and management in case/project decisions. The tactical report includes the file number, status, location, group, category, nationality, history, status and subjects.

Appendix C - Program Organizational Structure

In October 2012 the organizational structure at National Headquarters was changed to reflect the integration of the Intelligence, Criminal Investigations, and Immigration Enforcement programs.

The Enforcement and Intelligence Programs Directorate is responsible for developing strategic direction and business planning and works to develop systems, structures and tools to support information management and program delivery. The Program Management Division liaises with internal and external partners to develop program policies. The Performance Improvement Division is responsible for planning and setting the Enforcement and Intelligence Program priorities and for program performance measurement.

Programs

The Enforcement and Intelligence Programs Directorate is comprised of four Divisions, the Policy Division, Program Management Division, Transformation Division and Performance Improvement Division.

The Police Division is divided into four areas, Enforcement and Intelligence Policy, Program Policy, Horizontal Policy and Ministerial Relief.

The Program Management Division is divided into four areas, Criminal Investigations, Intelligence Program, Investigations Program and Special Projects.

The Transformation Division is divided into three areas, Enforcement and Intelligence Transformation, Removals, and Hearings and Detentions.

The Performance Improvement Division is divided into three areas, Enforcement and Intelligence Priorities, Planning and Governance, Enforcement and Intelligence Performance Measurement, and Information Management and Interoperability

Field support is provided by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate. The Coordination section provides guidance, reviews cases and judicial orders to ensure quality, and coordinates requests for legal reviews and international assistance requests. The Support section liaises with internal and external partners and supports Digital Forensic Investigations, law research, Access to Information and Privacy Acts requests and Major Case Management coordination.   

Operations

The Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate is comprised of three divisions, Inland Enforcement Operations and Case Management Division, Criminal Investigations Division, and Intelligence Operations and Analysis Division.

The Criminal Investigations Division is divided into three areas, Counter Proliferation Operations, Criminal Investigations Coordination and Criminal Investigations Support.

Appendix D – Program Logic Model

In consultation with key CBSA stakeholders, a logic model was developed which is a visual representation that links what the Program does (activities) with what the Program produces (outputs) and what the Program intends to achieve (outcomes) (Exhibit C). It also was the basis for developing the evaluation framework, which provided a roadmap for conducting this evaluation.

Criminal Investigations Program Logic Model

  • 1. Program Mandate: To support the CBSA’s public safety and economic prosperity objectives by investigating and pursuing prosecution of those who commit criminal offenses under IRPA.
  • 2. Inputs: Legislative Framework, Funding, FTEs.
  • 3. Activities:
    • 3.1 Development & Maintenance
      • 3.1.1 Provide functional and strategic direction for design and delivery of the program; Contribute to MICs and TB Submissions; Support the development of legislation; Identify system requirements, updates and areas for change.
        • Outputs: Program policy; SOPs; PMF; Systems; Annual Report; Business Plan(s); Budget; Quarterly Reports; APR; Dashboard. (leads to Activity 3.2.1) (leads to immediate outcome 4.1).
      • 3.1.2 Develop business plans and priorities; Develop and monitor RAMs; Establish performance measures and report on performance.
        • Outputs: Program policy; SOPs; PMF; Systems; Annual Report; Business Plan(s); Budget; Quarterly Reports; APR; Dashboard. (leads to Activity 3.2.1) (leads to immediate outcome 4.1).
      • 3.1.3 Develop, maintain, coordinate and deliver training.
        • Outputs: Training products; course materials. (leads to immediate outcome 4.1)
    • 3.2 Collaboration and Partnerships
      • 3.2.1 Coordinate and liaise with partners; Develop MOUs; Manage and coordinate referrals
        • Outputs: MOUs; Agreements; Working Groups; Meetings. (leads to Activity 3.2.2) (Leads to immediate outcome 4.2)
      • 3.2.2 Share information with partners; Assist foreign border administrations with their investigations.
        • Outputs: Leads; Joint investigation files. (leads to immediate outcome 4.2)
    • 3.3 Program Delivery
      • 3.3.1 Review leads; Gather and review evidence; Conduct investigations; Arrest, transport and process offenders.
        • Outputs: Investigation plans and files; Summary of evidence. (leads to Activities 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.1.3) (Leads to immediate outcome 4.3)
      • 3.3.2 Prepare and serve criminal documents (e.g., search warrants, production orders, etc.); Make referrals to PPSC for prosecution; Prepare crown briefs.
        • Outputs: Search warrants; Production orders; Criminal charges; Crown briefs. (leads to immediate outcome 4.1)
      • 3.3.3 Prepare evidence for court; Provide witness testimony.
        • Outputs: Court proceedings; investigator reports. (leads to immediate outcome 4.3)
  • 4. Immediate Outcomes:
    • 4.1 Increased capacity to deliver a fair and effective Criminal Investigations Program (leads to intermediate outcomes 5.1 and 5.2).
    • 4.2 Strong and effective partnerships (leads to intermediate outcome 5.1 and 5.2).
    • 4.3 High-risk and high-priority violators of border legislation are targeted and investigated (leads to intermediate outcomes 5.1 and 5.2).
  • 5. Intermediate Outcomes:
    • 5.1 Border related criminality is deterred and disrupted. (leads to intermediate outcome 5.2) (leads to ultimate outcome 6).
    • 5.2 Investigated crimes are prosecuted. (leads to intermediate outcome 5.1) (leads to ultimate outcome 6).
  • 6. Ultimate Outcome: PAA: Concluded prosecutions that result in a conviction. (leads to strategic outcome 7).
  • 7. Strategic Outcome: International trade and travel is facilitated across Canada’s border and Canada’s population is protected from border-related risks.

Appendix E – Evaluation Methodology

The evaluation collected both qualitative and quantitative data to address the evaluation issues using the multiple research methodologies that are described below.

Document Review

Documents were reviewed to gather background and contextual information about the Program and to determine the extent to which policies, procedures and legislation provide support to the achievement of the expected outcomes. The following types of documents were reviewed: planning documents; documents outlining program and directorate priorities; legislation, policies and training materials (e.g., IRPA, Criminal Code, Customs Act); internal CBSA documentation; press releases, media and environmental scans.

Operational, Performance and Financial Data Analysis

An analysis of statistical and financial data was conducted to identify trends in order to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of program activities and identify possible areas for improvement. The evaluation team gathered and analysed program statistics pertaining to the volumes, types and results of investigations as well as program budget and expenditure data.

Key Stakeholder Interviews and Focus Groups

Thirty-one individual and group interviews were conducted with key internal and external stakeholders. In addition, four regional focus groups were conducted. The interviews and focus groups were used to gather information on the performance and economy of the Criminal Investigations Program and to obtain qualitative data that helped clarify and explain research obtained through other methodologies. The focus groups enabled discussions on the implementation and impacts of the Go Forward Strategy as well as the effectiveness of internal and external working relationships, investigative techniques, processes, and tools.

Site Visits

Visits to the Atlantic, Pacific, Quebec and Northern Ontario regions enabled the observation and comparison of differences in the operational contexts across regions. In addition, the evaluation team conducted focus groups with criminal investigators and collected information on selected case studies. Site visit locations were selected based on a review of regional operational data; consultations with the Operations Branch Criminal Investigations Division; and consideration of locations that were visited for other related evaluations. Telephone interviews were conducted with program staff and management in regions that were not visited.

Case Studies

Comparative case studies of 10 complex case files were conducted to assess the extent to which the program has improved capacity to manage and support complex investigations through the implementation of the Go Forward Strategy and the strength and effectiveness of internal and external partnerships. Half of the cases were investigations that were completed prior to the implementation of elements of the Go Forward Strategy and half were investigations that were initiated and completed afterwards.


Notes

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Source: CBSA 2012–2013 Departmental Performance Report: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/reports-rapports/dpr-rmr/2012-2013/report-rapport-eng.html

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Footnote 2

Source: Enforcement and Intelligence Programs Directorate. Cases may not be opened and concluded in the same fiscal year, especially for complex investigations.

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Footnote 3

The program commissioned the diagnostic, which was completed by P-Y Public Safety Management Inc. in February 2011.

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Footnote 4

The difference between a criminal offence and a contravention is the wilful intent to violate the law. A higher burden of proof is required to lay criminal charges, and criminal proceedings are intended to punish the individual who committed the offence (i.e., through criminal charges leading to conviction, court fines and/or incarceration). Civil or administrative proceedings are typically employed for contraventions and are intended to be remedial and may include the removal of a person from Canada, goods being seized and/or penalties.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

Criminal investigations are conducted in the post-border environment but may pertain to offences at any point along the border continuum. A pre-border offence may be related to fraudulent documentation (e.g., fraudulent immigration applications or import/export documentation), while other offences occur at the border (smuggling of goods or people), post-border or inland (e.g., residency fraud, employment fraud).

Return to footnote 5 referrer

Footnote 6

As per sections 111 of the Customs Act and 487 and 487.012 of the Criminal Code, a search warrant provides authorization to search a building, receptacle or place for evidence of an offence, while a production order requires the custodian of documents or data to deliver or make available the documents or data to a peace officer.

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Footnote 7

Source: CBSA website – Criminal Investigations Fact Sheet, January 2011. Criminal investigators may also initiate civil penalties such as seizures of goods and Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs).

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Footnote 8

CBSA 2012–2013 Departmental Performance Report: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca//agency-agence/reports-rapports/dpr-rmr/2012-2013/report-rapport-eng.html

Return to footnote 8 referrer

Footnote 9

Source: Enforcement and Intelligence Programs Directorate. Cases may not be opened and concluded in the same fiscal year, especially for complex investigations.

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Footnote 10

The diagnostic was completed by P-Y Public Safety Management Inc. in February 2011.

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Footnote 11

Counter-proliferation is included as part of the Export Programs evaluation that is being conducted in 2014.

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Footnote 12

This task force was evaluated as part of the February 2012 Evaluation of the CBSA’s Participation in Joint Force Operations.

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Footnote 13

Source: Criminal Investigations & Immigration Enforcement Functional Table Committee Resource Allocation Model Development Status Update May 16, 2012. The update reports the challenges in developing a resource allocation model due to system limitations, regional program budgets not being readily available, and the need for strong and consistent management oversight of activity code usage.

Return to footnote 13 referrer

Footnote 14

An action item identified in the program’s Go Forward Strategy and Action Plan was to improve performance measures to reflect the level of effort expended on various case types to inform functional budget decisions. However, this has not yet occurred.

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Footnote 15

Source: CBSA systems data.

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Footnote 16

Referrals from Intelligence have increased by 55% in the first half of fiscal year 2013–2014 as a result of the Enforcement and Intelligence 100% Performance Action Plan. Source: Agency Performance Summary Programs Performance Q2 2013-14 Enforcement Dashboard, presented to Executive Committee on January 16, 2014. The 100% Performance Action Plan includes ambitious goals designed to demonstrate increased collaboration between the integrated Intelligence, Criminal Investigations and Immigration Enforcement programs.

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Footnote 17

These agreements are overseen by the Department of Justice and provide the authority as per section 107(8) of the Customs Act for customs-related evidence to be gathered and shared and as per the Privacy Act for IRPA-related information to be provided. Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

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Footnote 18

Sources: Internal CBSA documentationand CBC news http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/05/01/pol-cbsa-weapons-seized-border-guns.html

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Footnote 19

Source: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/notices/notice-residence.asp

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Footnote 20

Source: Agency Departmental Performance Report for 2011–2012. Demand for forensic searches on digital devices is outstripping its existing capacity to examine advanced technology crossing the border. [The DFI program] …continues to function as a critical forensic search service in support of the Agency’s mandate. Increasingly, however, the program is challenged by the [*].

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Footnote 21

Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

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Footnote 22

Source: Internal CBSA documentation. The CBSA has identified over 125 human smuggling networks operating in 34 countries who are moving migrants to Canada. In 2012, 134 people were removed from Canada for misrepresentation, including sponsored spouses involved in marriage fraud. That is double the number in 2008.

Return to footnote 22 referrer

Footnote 23

Source: Canada Gazette, Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement. While firm figures on the extent of relationships of convenience are not available, out of 46 300 immigration applications for spouses and partners processed in 2010, approximately 16% were refused. It is estimated that most of these cases were refused on the basis of a fraudulent relationship. http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2012/2012-11-07/html/sor-dors227-eng.html.

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Footnote 24

Sources: Internal CBSA documentation and CBSA systems data. In 2012, Canada admitted 213,516 temporary foreign workers, a tripling of the numbers over the past decade. Permanent resident landings increased by 6.4%, temporary resident permits increased by nearly 23%, student permits and work permits issued increased by 31% and 10% respectively between fiscal year 2008–2009 and 2012–2013.

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Footnote 25

Source: Statistics Canada. Trade volumes have been on the rise since 2009.

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Footnote 26

Source: CBSA systems data. The CBSA processed over 100M travellers in fiscal year 2012–2013, up from 91M travellers in fiscal year 2008–2009.

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Footnote 27

Source: Internal CBSA documentation. Illicit tobacco (medium risk) accounts for 15-30% of cigarette sales in Canada, contributing to an annual loss of over $1 billion dollars to the legal economy and to the funding of criminal and terrorist organizations.

Return to footnote 27 referrer

Footnote 28

Subsection 4(2) of the IRPA designates the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness [which is the Minister of both the CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police] as responsible for the administration of the Act as it relates to examinations at ports of entry; the enforcement of this Act, including arrest, detention and removal; or the establishment of policies respecting the enforcement of this Act and inadmissibility on grounds of security, organized criminality or violating human or international rights.

Return to footnote 28 referrer

Footnote 29

The CBSA is responsible for the full range of Customs Act enforcement at ports of entry. The RCMP is responsible for the full range of Customs Act enforcement between CBSA ports of entry and for conducting criminal investigations involving organized crime or national security or requiring the use of specialized police techniques.

Return to footnote 29 referrer

Footnote 30

Investigations of weapons smuggling supports the National Integrated Firearms Smuggling Enforcement Strategy, which is part of the joint Canada-U.S. initiative to combat firearms. Sources: “Combatting Illicit Firearms, A 2006 Canada and United States Overview” Cat. No. PS64-29/2006E-PDF ISBN: 0-662-44401-9 and http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/rpp/2013-2014/hi-ih-eng.htm The CBSA receives $1.33M as part of the National Integrated Firearms Smuggling Enforcement Strategy, which stems from Canada’s Investments to Combat the Criminal Use of Firearms.

Return to footnote 30 referrer

Footnote 31

Sources: Internal CBSA documentation and March 2013 Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration “Standing on Guard for Thee: Ensuring that Canada’s Immigration System is Secure”. The Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act was passed by Parliament and received royal assent on June 28, 2012.

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Footnote 32

Source : http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-10-26.asp

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Footnote 33

Sources : http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/changes.shtml; http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=762059; http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?mthd=advSrch&crtr.page=1&nid=736729&crtr.kw=temporary%2Bforeign%2Bworker%2Bprogram

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Footnote 34

Source: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2013/doc_32982.html

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Footnote 35

See definitions of “high-risk” and “high-priority” in Appendix B.

Return to footnote 35 referrer

Footnote 36

The Integrated Enforcement and Intelligence priorities also include controlled substances, money laundering and terrorist financing, welfare/benefit fraud, international human trafficking, removal of failed refugee protection claimants and security screening. Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

Return to footnote 36 referrer

Footnote 37

Immigration-related priorities are regularly reviewed in consultation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Return to footnote 37 referrer

Footnote 38

Recommendation from the 2010 Evaluation of the Criminal Investigations Program (IRPA).

Return to footnote 38 referrer

Footnote 39

Internal CBSA documentation.

Return to footnote 39 referrer

Footnote 40

Source : CBSA Report on Plans and Priorities for 2014–2015 http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca//agency-agence/reports-rapports/rpp/2014-2015/report-rapport-eng.html

Return to footnote 40 referrer

Footnote 41

For example, investigations can lead to deterrence and disruption of criminal activities simply through increasing the subject’s awareness about the impropriety of their actions.

Return to footnote 41 referrer

Footnote 42

Internal CBSA documentation.

Return to footnote 42 referrer

Footnote 43

Note: a referral does not necessarily get opened in the same fiscal year that it is received.

Return to footnote 43 referrer

Footnote 44

Data for FY 2011–2012 could not be reliably extracted from the CBSA system in a format for the evaluation.

Return to footnote 44 referrer

Footnote 45

Source: CBSA systems data.

Return to footnote 45 referrer

Footnote 46

Source: Internal CBSA documentation. This evaluation focused on assessing progress against the four broad themes noted above and did not assess progress against each individual action item.

Return to footnote 46 referrer

Footnote 47

Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

Return to footnote 47 referrer

Footnote 48

The Program Evaluation Division assessed these three Go Forward Strategy initiatives as these were featured as key achievements in an update on the Go Forward Initiative presented to the Operations Branch Executive Committee on January 24, 2012.

Return to footnote 48 referrer

Footnote 49

Intelligence analysts have tools and training that has potential benefit to investigations (e.g., for the production of link charts, timelines, target sheets, telephone log analysis), however, these were being applied in a limited capacity, especially in regions with multiple Criminal Investigations units that are geographically dispersed.

Return to footnote 49 referrer

Footnote 50

Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

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Footnote 51

Police officers are authorized under section 25 of the Criminal Code to break the law in order to enforce the law, whereas the CBSA is not. This authority enables the use of investigative techniques such as controlled deliveries of illicit goods and “undercover buys” whereby the investigator can pose as a purchaser of illicit goods.

Return to footnote 51 referrer

Footnote 52

Paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Privacy Act permits the disclosure of personal information to an investigative body specified in the regulations, on the written request of the body, for the purpose of enforcing any law of Canada or a province or carrying out a lawful investigation, if the request specifies the purpose and describes the information to be disclosed.

Return to footnote 52 referrer

Footnote 53

CIC explained that they had obtained legal advice that told them to require a production order in order to avoid the Jarvis/Ling issue, which is a legal precedent that puts constraints on how data that is collected for administrative purposes can be used as evidence for criminal proceedings.

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Footnote 54

The Canada Evidence Act requires originals or certified true copies.

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Footnote 55

In some cases, the OGD will not divulge the requested information without a production order. In other cases, the CBSA obtains a production order in order to compel the OGD to provide the (previously) requested information.

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Footnote 56

Source: See paragraph 4(1)(a) of the Privacy Regulations, (SOR/83-508).

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Footnote 57

Research suggests that certainty of punishment is more strongly related to a deterrent effect than the severity of punishment. Source: Wright, Valerie Ph. D. Deterrence in Criminal Justice: Evaluating Certainty vs. Severity of Punishment. November 2010.

Return to footnote 57 referrer

Footnote 58

In fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13 all but 9 of 486 cases were accepted by the PPSC. Cases may be refused if there is insufficient evidence or if they are not in the public interest.

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Footnote 59

Source: CBSA website –news releases from January 5, 2012 to February 19, 2014. In 2012, 27/218 (12%) of CBSA news releases were related to criminal investigations. In 2013, 51/214 (24%) of CBSA news releases were related to criminal investigations. From January to February 19, 2014 – 14/23 (61%) of CBSA news releases were related to criminal investigations. Half (46%) of all criminal investigations news releases involved cases of firearms or prohibited weapons, 26% involved cases of immigration fraud, 13% involved tobacco-related charges and 7% involved child pornography. Examples: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca//media/prosecutions-poursuites/pac/2013-08-28-eng.html

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Footnote 60

Source: CBSA 2012–2013 Departmental Performance Report: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca//agency-agence/reports-rapports/dpr-rmr/2012-2013/report-rapport-eng.html. These figures include Operations and Maintenance costs.

Return to footnote 60 referrer

Footnote 61

Source: Internal CBSA documentation. The system will be funded during FY 2013-14 through the Intel Systems Fund. An additional source of funds will need to be identified to address the remaining funding pressure of $180K in FY 2014–2015 and ongoing.

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Footnote 62

Source: Internal CBSA documentation. The DFI program is delivered by 14 regional FTEs, 4 PTEs and 2.75 HQ FTEs and costs $1.7M in salary and $600K in Operations & Maintenance.

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Footnote 63

Source: Criminal Investigations Division, Operations Branch. Court costs include the legal services fees paid to the PPSC and Crown agents for prosecuting cases, as well as the legal fees for the defendant in some cases when the defendant falls below a certain income level (Rowbotham applications).

Return to footnote 63 referrer

Footnote 64

Source: Internal CBSA documentation. An action item of the Go Forward Strategy was to improve performance measures to reflect the levels of effort being expended on various case types to inform functional budget decisions. Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

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Footnote 65

Source: Ibid. Calculations used in the Resource Allocation Model factored in regional lead inventories, average number of leads received per year, average number of complex and port prosecution investigations per year, direct time (in hours) for investigations based on the number of investigators, management and administrative staff. 

Return to footnote 65 referrer

Footnote 66

For example, the higher percentage of cases opened in the Southern Ontario region reflects a higher number of port prosecutions due to the proximity of high volume ports of entry, while the Prairie region receives a higher proportion of referrals for complex IRPA-related investigations. The prairies have experienced the country’s highest level of immigrant and non-permanent resident population growth between 2008–2009 and 2012–2013. Sources: CBSA systems data, and Statistics Canada. Table051-0004 - Components of population growth, Canada, provinces and territories, annual (persons), CANSIM (database, accessed: 2014-01-15). 

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Footnote 67

Calculations: As previously noted in the report, the DFI program supports on average 300 investigations each year (in addition to providing support to other areas of the CBSA) and costs about $2.3M. The cost would be lower for simple cases and higher for larger complex cases.

Return to footnote 67 referrer

Footnote 68

Calculated by dividing the total legal costs of $3,876,065 by 547 concluded cases in FY 2012–2013 and by dividing the total legal costs of $1,972,480 by 536 concluded cases in FY 2008–2009.

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Footnote 69

According to the Action Plan, an enhanced criminal investigations case management system would provide greater systems support to field investigators as well as increased ability to monitor and assess program performance. Certain functionality is essential for supporting complex investigations, including electronic document management, case flow management, analysis of case information, and electronic disclosure.

Return to footnote 69 referrer

Footnote 70

According to internal CBSA documentation, failure to replace the CBSA system in the near future will severely undermine the integrity of the Criminal Investigations function. Source: Internal CBSA documentation. The Risk Profile identified technology capacity and capability as the area with the highest risk exposure and the lowest level of available mitigation controls and Criminal Investigations capacity was also listed as a moderate risk, in need of mitigation.

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Footnote 71

Source: Internal CBSA documentation. Some regions reported backlogs in terms of months, while others reported backlogs in terms of numbers of files or devices needing to be examined.

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Footnote 72

Ibid.

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Footnote 73

Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

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Footnote 74

Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

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Footnote 75

Source: Internal CBSA documentation.

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