Work Plan – Reviews Under Way

The Commissioner uses a risk-based and preventive approach to reviews, setting priorities of what to review based on where risk is assessed as greatest for potential non-compliance with the law or as a potential threat to the privacy of Canadians. This work plan, projected for three years, is updated twice a year.

Developing the work plan draws on many sources, including: regular briefings from CSE on new technologies, new activities and changes to existing activities; the classified annual report to the Minister from the Chief of CSE on priorities and on legal, policy, operational and management issues of significance; and issues raised in past or ongoing reviews. To learn more about the Commissioner's risk-based and preventive approach to reviews, please visit the CSE Commissioner's office website.

Should Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters, pass, the Office of the CSE Commissioner will cease to exist and its mandate of after-the-fact review of CSE activities will become the responsibility of the new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA). The most recent work plan updated by the CSE Commissioner's office will be provided to NSIRA, along with material on any ongoing review projects.

Two reviews are expected to be completed early in the new fiscal year 2019–2020 prior to Bill C-59 receiving Royal Assent and entering into force. The results of these two review reports will, as stated in the bill, be included in NSIRA's first statutory annual report on the activities of CSE, which is to be submitted to the Prime Minister. The first is a review of a particular method of collecting foreign signals intelligence conducted under a ministerial authorization and a ministerial directive. The second concerns a review derived from the concluded 2016–2017 review of CSE disclosures of Canadian identity information.

A third review, a follow-up on CSE support to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service regarding a certain type of reporting involving Canadians, is in its early beginnings.

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