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Evaluation of the CBSA Intelligence Program

Posted August 25, 2014

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) last week published the final report evaluating its border security Intelligence Program.

The program collects, analyzes and distributes a variety of actionable security intelligence concerning the cross-border transit of individuals and entities including the commercial movement of goods, shipments and conveyances. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the relevance and performance of the $47 million/year program to the CBSA’s border enforcement mandate and was based on research carried out over a six month period between December 2012 and June 2013.

The audit found that 5.2% of goods seized by Customs could be attributed to intelligence derived from the program, but found that gaps in the way data is presently collected and maintained limited assessment of the program’s efficiency and ultimately its “value for money”.

The report also pointed to the need for better communications, greater transparency within the agency and improvements to standard operating procedures for systems used by frontline and intelligence staff. Finally, it determined that the large number of priorities currently being handled was excessive to deal with efficiently and that CBSA management struggled tracking progress in meeting expected outcomes and performance targets.