Good morning, everyone. This is meeting number 72 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Thursday, October 19, 2017. I would remind everyone that we are televised today.
In our first hour we will study the Auditor General's special examination report of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, of the Spring 2017 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada. We have as witnesses before us today, from the Office of the Auditor General, Clyde MacLellan, assistant auditor general; also Heather McManaman, principal. From the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, we have David Bevan, chairperson, board of directors; Stan Lazar, interim president; and Wendy Matheson, vice-president, human resources and government services.
We have an opening statement from the Auditor General's office and also from Mr. Bevan of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. Then we'll have time for questions. We may conclude about five minutes before the time is up as we have some committee business we want to do before we move into the next hour of presentations.
With that I'll turn to Mr. MacLellan. Welcome to the public accounts committee.
Mr. Chair, thank you for this opportunity to present the results of our special examination of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. As you mentioned, joining me at the table is Heather McManaman, the principal who was responsible for the audit.
A special examination of a crown corporation is a type of performance audit. Specifically, a special examination determines whether a crown corporation's systems and practices provide reasonable assurance that its assets are safeguarded and controlled, its resources are managed economically and efficiently, and its operations are carried out effectively.
The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation was established in 1969 to market and trade both inside and outside Canada freshwater fish caught in western and northern Canada, as well as the by-products of that fish. Our examination of the corporation covered the period from October 2015 to June 2016.
The corporation has faced many external challenges in recent years. These challenges included considerable risks associated with a complex and changing business environment. For example, the supply of whitefish increased at the same time that Canadian sanctions on Russia reduced the number of buyers for this fish. Also, the Province of Manitoba gave notice that it intended to withdraw from its agreement under the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act and therefore eliminate the corporation's exclusive right to purchase fish caught in that province.
Our special examination identified many serious deficiencies in the corporation. As a result of the pervasiveness of these significant deficiencies, we concluded that the corporation had not maintained its systems and practices in a manner that provided reasonable assurance that its assets were safeguarded and controlled, its resources were managed economically and efficiently, and its operations were carried out effectively.
We refer to this type of conclusion as an adverse opinion, which is the strongest negative assessment that we give in a special examination.
In several ways, we found that the board of directors and management failed to meet their responsibilities for oversight and management of the corporation. Specifically, we found that the board did not ensure that the corporation's strategic plan was up to date and provided clear strategic direction to management.
Furthermore, management had not provided and the board had not reviewed updated risks and risk mitigation measures since 2014. Consequently, management did not have strategies in place to mitigate the significant events that affected the corporation. This greatly limited the corporation's ability to meets its objectives, make long-term commitments, and make timely decisions about its future.
We found that management disregarded key controls. For example, management created positions without job descriptions and filled them without competitive or merit-based processes. Also, management disregarded the corporation's procurement and purchasing policy when it purchased certain pieces of capital equipment without a proper business case analysis. Some of this equipment was never used in the corporation's plant because it did not meet it needs.
We also found that some plant workers had not taken compulsory health and safety training and that a hazard prevention program was not finalized. If these health and safety issues are not addressed, they could lead to employee safety incidents and expose the corporation to significant losses.
Finally, we found that despite the recommendations we made in our 2005 and 2010 special examinations, the corporation's targets and standards for yield, capacity, and labour efficiency still had not been reviewed. This finding matters because yield is a key measurement of efficiency and production performance.
The corporation agreed with all of our recommendations and indicated that it would act to address our concerns. However, because our work was completed in June 2016, I cannot comment on any measures that have been taken since then. The committee may wish to ask the corporation's officials to clarify what measures have been taken in response to our recommendations.
Mr. Chair, this concludes my opening remarks.
We would be pleased to answer any questions the committee may have.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today, and thank you to the Office of the Auditor General for their observations and recommendations.
I'm going to speak briefly to the slides that are in the deck we sent to you.
The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation was established in 1969 to connect geographically dispersed communities to world markets. The conditions that led to its establishment generally persist to this day. We buy, process, and market 15 million kilograms of fish coming from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. We purchase fish from about 1,600 fishers. They are predominantly from dispersed, isolated, and predominantly indigenous communities. We have the infrastructure and the supply chains to move products into those communities to help support the fishery and the fish back out. Our average sales over the last three years have been $73.5 million, and we employ 250 full-time employees and 150 seasonal employees.
On the next slide, there's more information about how much money we spend in each jurisdiction to obtain our supplies of fish, and where we sell the fish.
Key performance indicators, on the following slide, for the year following the special examination indicate that our profits prior to final payments and income tax are up. Our retained earnings have increased to almost $15 million, which is in excess of our long-term debt, and we have improved our yields and improved our operational costs per kilogram. This year, in the first quarter, our performance continues to be quite positive. We have in the first quarter a profit after tax of $4.3 million, as compared to $2 million in the previous year. We have increased sales volumes. We have strong revenues, a competitive market pricing, and we've controlled our expenses. We are on track to meet the corporate plan.
The next slide gives a graphic presentation of our retained earnings since we changed our policies in 2010. At the bottom is the profit after taxes and after final payment to fishers.
The real risk that we face at this point is the withdrawal of Manitoba from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act. Manitoba is going to create logistical, operational, and governance challenges for the corporation. They supply 80% of our fish. The Government of Canada has consulted with stakeholders and will be coming forward with a decision as to how they will respond to the changes with respect to Manitoba. In the meantime, the board and the management of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation are acting to secure supply, to use the infrastructure for processing, to maintain our revenue, and to meet commitments to customers in the world.
The following slide is on special exam status. I think we'll skip that, as there will be questions, and I'd like to spend a few seconds on the summary.
The special exam took place at a very difficult time for the corporation, between October 2015 and June 2016. Board members had observed many of the problems that were noted in the Auditor General's report and had been raising those concerns with the Government of Canada. In December 2015, the then chairperson of the board resigned halfway through his term. As a result of that, the president took on both the duties of the president and the chairperson of the board. That led to further concerns which the board members raised with the Government of Canada.
The Government of Canada took action in late February 2016. They appointed new board members, myself, and also John Wood, who took on the duties as interim president as a result of the removal of Donald Salkeld as president at that time pending the results of an investigation. That investigation resulted in his dismissal with cause.
We are acting upon the recommendations of the Auditor General, for which we have the authority to do so. Many of the recommendations are going to require Government of Canada action, and we're co-operating with the Government of Canada in that regard.
Just to wrap up, I note the performance that we recently posted is positive regarding profitability, growth of retained earnings, and support for isolated communities.
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.
Thank you all for your attendance.
I don't know an awful lot about fish, but I know a lot about auditing, and I'm with Mr. Lefebvre. This audit is a jaw-dropping evisceration of this entire operation. It's the worst that Mr. Lefebvre has seen. He's been here for two years. It's in my top three, and I've been here 14 years. This is among the top three worst audits I have ever seen in terms of how a crown corporation is being operated in this country. What an absolute mess.
I understand that you can only take so much responsibility because you have only been there so long, but you're the face of the organization. You have to wear this.
The first thing I would like to know is how many of the board members and staff from before 2016 are still around?
I have one question and then more of a comment.
I'm with Mr. Lefebvre. Where do you begin? It would almost be easier for us to talk about the things that were done right, because it's a much shorter list.
I want to ask a question of the Auditor General's office.
Turn to the profitability slide that the agency has presented. I'm looking at page 8, exhibit 1 at the top of that page. If I understand correctly, you were factoring in some of the value differences of the currency, which you suggested—my words—kind of skewed the result.
This is beyond my academic competency level by a long shot, but I'm looking at that chart, and then I'm looking at theirs. I'm asking you to help me do apples to apples. Are they saying the same thing?
I don't want to be rude, and I'm sorry for interrupting, but I'm going to run out of time. I'm down to one minute.
What I wanted to say, Chair, is that it seems to me that going through the details of all the things that are wrong is like an exercise in futility. We know it's a mess.
I don't know that they're going to survive. We hope they do, if they're doing good work on behalf of the Canadian people. However, I'm almost inclined, Chair, to say that we almost need to give them a period of time to go back to find out whether we've even got an entity here that we're operating on. If they do have a plan going forward, then it makes sense to get into the details of the numerous issues that are raised here.
I'm just thinking that to go through it all now, they're either not going to be here in a short period of time or they're going to exist in a very different shape or come up with a different business plan. What I'm saying is that we will no longer be auditing apples, but we're going to be auditing oranges.
I'll just leave it with you, Chair, and colleagues, that maybe we need to leave a period of time to let them get their act together and come back to us with the entity that they think they can sustain, going forward. Then we'll talk to them about auditing that and commitments and recommendations, rather than doing it now, because they're in such flux.
I leave that with you, Chair. Thanks so much.
Thank you very much to all the parties for being here this morning.
Respectfully, I agree with you, David, on one side, that for this organization here, for the people who are in front of us, we don't need to badger them with things that were out of their control. However, I think there are lessons to be learned here about dealing with crown corporations. That's where I would like to dig a little bit further.
I realize there could be some confidentiality involved here, but we need to get to the systemic problems that allowed this debacle to happen. It's only lucky that foreign exchange—the difference in the U.S. and Canadian dollars—allowed the corporation to come out with nominal profitability at the end. Business risk will happen. Suppliers come and go, and clients come and go, but you need to have the management in place to effectively deal with that.
What concerns me is that there were not only vacancies on the board for extended periods of time, but there were also problems with the staffing, and there is the potential for conflict of interest.
I would like the Auditor General's office initially to give us their comments on what could have been done to avoid what looks like—and I'm sorry to use the pun—some fishy business going on here.
In terms of not having board positions filled and perhaps not having a strategic plan that is updated, these are issues we do come across, unfortunately, every so often. However, when it comes to the creation of staff positions with no job descriptions, and then filling them through a process that is not merit-based and not competitive, that is very concerning. It's also very concerning that equipment is being purchased, some of which has never been used. To me, these are serious issues that need to be addressed.
You noted, Mr. Bevan, that the special examination took place at a particularly difficult time. I'm not sure how we would describe this upcoming time, when you are going to lose Manitoba, which contributes 80% of your fish. You have 250 full-time staff, up to 150 seasonal workers. What is the plan? How are you going to deal with such a huge impact on the business you do?
Mr. Bevan, I have to say that I partially agree with my colleague on the other side, Mr. Nuttall. Maybe it was relevant to set up a corporation like this in 1969, but in these times, I don't know why the federal government has to be involved in this business.
You mentioned that it was beyond your scope to decide this, but a question for the government to decide. However, before becoming the chair of the corporation's board, you were the associate deputy minister at the Department of Fisheries, so you were aware of this organization's issues. Is that correct?
I want to welcome you back to meeting number 72 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Thursday, October 19, 2017.
In our second hour today, we will again be considering “Report 2, Detecting and Preventing Fraud in the Citizenship Program”, from the spring 2016 reports of the Auditor General of Canada. We have called this meeting to review the responses we received from the department following our previous report on chapter 2 of the 2016 report of the Auditor General.
As our witnesses, we have Marta Morgan, deputy minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration; Lu Fernandes, director general, citizenship and passport program guidance; Heather Primeau, director general, case management branch; and Mary-Ann Hubers, director, citizenship and passport program guidance.
We will have an opening statement from the deputy minister before we proceed to questions from the members of Parliament.
Ms. Morgan, welcome again to our committee.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear once again before your committee in order to further discuss the Auditor General's spring 2016 findings regarding citizenship fraud.
My colleagues and I will be very happy to answer any of your questions following my brief opening remarks.
Mr. Chair, as you know, in May 2016 the Office of the Auditor General presented a number of findings regarding the detection and prevention of fraud in our citizenship system, and made seven recommendations for improvements in the areas it examined.
Along with the Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, IRCC agreed with the Auditor General's recommendations, and last year we shared our management action plan with this committee.
Stemming from the Auditor General's recommendations, this committee provided eight recommendations of its own, to which responses were provided earlier in the year.
Our management action plan established 23 actions to be taken to improve fraud management, including some activities that were scheduled to be completed by the end of March of this year.
Mr. Chair, I am very pleased to report that all actions in the IRCC management action plan have been completed, and ongoing activities continue to receive appropriate attention and resources.
For example, in the spring of 2016 we updated the instructions on creating, updating, and maintaining problematic addresses in the global case management system and centralized the responsibility for the maintenance of such addresses within a single division of our department.
To mitigate the risks identified by the Auditor General, the instructions in the standard operating procedures to systematically enter and update problematic addresses are very detailed. Quality control exercises have subsequently demonstrated areas where staff are adhering to the standard operating procedures and areas for improvement, which have led to further refinements in processes.
We have made improvements on managing fraud risk through internal controls and information sharing, and we are committed to continuously monitoring and improving fraud controls.
We have improved information sharing with the RCMP and CBSA by formalizing practices, by issuing operational bulletins and instructions, and by updating memorandums of understanding.
Although the Office of the Auditor General did not find a significant amount of fraud in the citizenship program, it did find that IRCC was unable to demonstrate the effectiveness of its fraud controls. Since the release of the OAG' s report, we have made significant progress in assessing the effectiveness of these fraud controls. All of the risk indicators have been reviewed using a statistically valid sample of files to verify if they were consistently applied and effective at detecting fraud. We found that risk triaging was consistently applied in 85% of the cases. We have eliminated the risk indicators that were not effective. We have adjusted the remaining indicators to further improve their efficiency, and we have ensured that they are being consistently used. Also, quality assurance exercises have shown that our officers' decisions are typically sound, and that they demonstrate good compliance with fraud detection procedures.
The ongoing implementation of some provisions of Bill will help us to better detect and prevent citizenship fraud in ways recommended by both the OAG and this committee. For example, the bill's introduction of a document seizure authority, which is expected to be brought into force by the Governor in Council next spring when required regulatory amendments are expected to be in place, responds to the Auditor General's finding of inconsistent practices for dealing with suspicious documents. These provisions will be supported by regulations that provide officers with the process and terms that must be followed once a decision is made to seize suspected fraudulent documents, and with the authority to share the seized documents, as required, with the CBSA.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada takes citizenship fraud and program integrity in general very seriously. The Office of the Auditor General has noted that IRCC has implemented a number of measures aimed at better detecting and preventing fraud in its programs, including the citizenship program, and has continued to conduct various program integrity activities.
In accordance with our citizenship program integrity framework, IRCC has established baselines to monitor refusals and fraud controls. As I mentioned earlier, we have reviewed and assessed risk indicators to verify if they are being consistently applied and if they are effective at detecting fraud.
We have also established a new random selection process to continuously monitor existing fraud controls and identify emerging fraud.
In addition to the fraud controls examined by the Auditor General, IRCC has access to CBSA's border passage history checks to view applicants' entries to Canada, and we have established expertise in each region to deal with exceptional cases and to better detect patterns of fraud.
Mr. Chair, my intention with these brief opening remarks has been to offer committee members a broad overview of this topic.
My colleagues and I will now be pleased to respond to questions from the committee, and to go into greater detail on any topic that members would like to further explore.
Thank you very much, Ms. Morgan.
Before we go into the first round of questioning, and since we are being televised, I want to make it very clear for Canadians, for other members of Parliament, and for the guests that are here that the Auditor General has given a report in relation to immigration fraud. Our committee did a study and invited you to appear as witnesses before that study. In our study and in our report, we listed a number of recommendations. Those recommendations went to you. You've been called back again today, more specifically, because our committee could not clearly determine if three of the recommendations that we issued in that report were being addressed at all, or were being addressed to the satisfaction of our committee.
Our committee is a vital arm of accountability and transparency in making certain that the Auditor General's recommendations are addressed and that our recommendations are also addressed. For that reason, we have called you back today.
Now we'll move into our first round of questioning.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much for being here with us again this morning.
This is something our committee is adamant about, that not only do we do our best to meet all departments that are being audited by the Auditor General, but when we present a report and we have recommendations, we want to see an action plan and responses to our recommendations that are indeed satisfactory.
Let me get to the heart of the matter, which is recommendation 6:
||That, by 31 March 2017, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provide the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts with a report outlining how the Citizenship Program Integrity Framework and its associated baseline were established, and how the Department will monitor the refusal rates of files.
In your response of February 2, 2017, you gave an explanation as to why the department feels that a detailed report cannot be provided to the committee. I would like to hear more on this.
Mr. Chair, first of all, let me just say that I regret the fact that the committee did not find our responses sufficiently detailed, and I hope that our presence today will allow us to provide the additional information you require. I would like to assure you that we have taken the report of the Auditor General and the committee very seriously, and we have implemented all of the items outlined in our management action plan.
Specifically, on recommendation 6, let me provide an update on how the citizenship program integrity framework was established. It was established in accordance with existing departmental frameworks related to fraud, program integrity, and risk management. It was validated by an independent third party familiar with risk frameworks.
We reviewed the citizenship grant program from the perspective of program risks and identified the following four key risks: first, entitlement fraud; second, identity fraud; third, procedural error; and fourth, decision-making error. For each of these factors, we considered the impact and the probability, and how to mitigate each of those risks.
We have also put in place a governance structure as part of the development of the framework, whereby there is oversight by the deputy minister and a three-year work plan, which is approved annually in order to ensure the implementation of the framework that has been developed.
Ms. Morgan, let me start with the good piece of news that during the last two years, the efficiency of your department has increased considerably. From when I started as a member of Parliament, about two years back, until today, things have been going better and better. However, I should say that this past summer, from three visa offices, there was a spike in rejection rates of visitor visas without any reason as to why that should be.
Coming back to this particular audit, I am concerned about recommendation 4. You mentioned that you have an agreement with the RCMP and CBSA on information sharing that will prevent people who have committed fraud from obtaining citizenship. However, the RCMP has noted that there is a problem in the implementation of the notification process, because information regarding criminal charges is gathered by non-RCMP policing partners at municipal and provincial levels, and all these services have the discretion not to share information with IRCC due to operational requirements.
What are you doing to address those things?
Thank you very much, Chair.
Thank you very much for your attendance today.
I appreciate the answers now. I still haven't heard why we couldn't have heard some of that detail in the response the first time.
Make no mistake that part of our messaging here today is also to let all the bureaucracy know that we read these things. As a result of the Gomery inquest following the sponsorship scandal, the recommendation was to double our analytical ability, and we've done that. We get a massive amount of responses from departments. We read them, and when we're not given answers in their completed fashion, people can expect to come back here.
I think questions 4 and 5, at least so far, have been dealt with. My greatest concern is your response on recommendation 6, in the last sentence. I don't know whether you ran this by your legal department, but I can assure you this is not acceptable. To make a statement, “As such, a detailed report cannot be provided to the Committee”, is not acceptable, period, full stop.
I'm a former solicitor general of Ontario. I understand security. I understand confidentiality. The previous paragraph to the sentence I just read says:
||The Citizenship Program Integrity Framework is an internal document that contains information about investigative techniques used by the department to detect fraud and therefore cannot be disclosed or shared in the public domain.
Fair game, I'm with you on that. It's the next sentence. You, as a department, do not have the power to say no to a committee that asks for information. Parliament is supreme. Parliament has the power to summon persons, papers, and records. I've been around here long enough to have this tested, and I've been here long enough to have the parliamentary law clerk at the end of the table, in camera, with the top legal person in a department, berating them because they had the audacity to tell the department because something was captured by one of our confidentiality laws they couldn't give this committee the information they wanted, and the law clerk was there to tell that lawyer that they were giving wrong information to their deputy and department.
Parliament is supreme. We are a committee of Parliament. We asked for an answer. To tell us we can't have it is not on, and it is not on ever. What do we do? We find a way that you could give it to us in a way that protects what needs to be protected. The simple answer to this is that you would offer to us an opportunity for an in camera briefing on these matters if we wish. That is the correct and acceptable answer.
Number one, and, Deputy, think clearly. I need to hear what your opinion is of my interpretation of the powers of this committee as they relate to information we want from you, and number two, in detail, I would like to know whether you are offering us such a briefing in camera.
I'm sorry. It's disappointing that you read most of that response. I still did not hear, Deputy, whether or not you accept the fact that Parliament has the right to summon whatever persons, papers, and records we choose. I asked if you would give us that information, and I, for one, am more than willing to go in camera, because I understand what you're saying. However, the bureaucracy cannot say to Parliament, “You can't have this information.”
Look, I was the defence critic for a period of time, and we ran into issues with security matters all the time. We deal with them. You go in camera and on some supersensitive things you put together all-party agreements on how we're going to handle them. I remember one process—I won't get into it—in which we selected some of our most respected members of each caucus to be on that committee to take the information. We had to find a way.
It was never acceptable for the bureaucracy to say to Parliament, “You can't have something.”
Now, colleagues, if necessary, I will move that we adjourn this meeting so that we can call the parliamentary law clerk in here and go through the whole process. Maybe we need to do that at this committee. We haven't done that yet, but I assure my colleagues that the rights I am mentioning are supreme and will hold.
I'm still not hearing the deputy say, “Yes, I will give you that information”, but we just need to work out a process to keep the matters contained therein confidential. I need to hear that, or this will not get resolved, at least for me.
Mr. Chair, we are hoping to provide more information today on the questions that the committee put to us, which were questions about the process under which we develop these frameworks, whether they exist, how we monitor them, and how we track them.
There is some information in the internal reports that were mentioned in our report back to the committee that really does relate to investigative matters, techniques used by our partner agencies, and data and information that could be used and result in increased fraud in the system. That is the kind of information that is generally not released under any circumstances because of the potential to increase fraud.
The general nature of our frameworks, what's in there, how we track it, how we monitor it, how we adjust as we find new information and get new information from investigations that are ongoing, all of that is information that we would be happy to discuss with the committee.
With regard to the refusal rates and the baselines that we have established through our processes, there are two pieces. One is around general refusal, so we're not necessarily talking about fraudulent issues in those general refusal rates. It can be anything from not passing the knowledge test to language requirements or residency requirements.
Refusal rates are a way of establishing the overall baseline around refusals. The more specific indicator that we've established as a baseline is regarding the particular fraud indicators that we are using and how many refusals are based on those indicators.
What we've managed to do over the course of the last number of months is to establish a baseline of overall refusal, and then to look at our risk indicators and say, this is our baseline refusal rate based on what we believe is fraud. We're looking at those on a monthly basis to see what the kinds of results are in order to take action, mitigate risk, change indicators as needed, and make adjustments as we go.
Let's just get back to why we're here, why we've called you back. It's certainly not uncommon for us to look for clarification from entities when we're not satisfied with their responses, and so on. We do not mean in any way to cast any aspersions on your work. The principle that is really at work here is that when we ask for a response, we cannot have an answer like the one that was provided to number six.
I would like to move a motion like the one suggested by Mr. Christopherson earlier, to have the law clerk address this committee about what its rights are. It's the IRCC today, but it could be another entity at another time, another place, in another set of circumstances.
Can I put that on the floor?
Just to be clear, we're not here to focus only on your group, but this issue has come up because of the answer you provided to us.
On that note, with regard to the investigative techniques, I am concerned when I see abnormally high or abnormally low refusal rates. What is going on there? For that, we do need to understand what the investigative techniques are. As my colleagues have said, we are certainly able as parliamentarians, and have the tools at our disposal, to receive that information.
You may not be able to share it with us now, but I would like to know more about the refusal rates, what your baseline is, and how you monitor that.
Once again, when we're speaking about the general refusal rates and the baselines that we've established, we've had the latter since fiscal year 2015-16. They are relatively consistent in terms of the total and as a percentage of refusals.
As I mentioned previously, the types of issues that would have come up include knowledge, language, residence, and prohibitions. The refusal rates are in that range of about 2%. Of the total new citizen applicants, 2% of the new citizens have been refused for a variety of reasons. In some cases there can be more than one reason for refusal. That's a fairly innocuous general statistic with regard to our refusal rates.
Mr. Chair, I would like to say that we are very appreciative of the reports of the Auditor General and the committee in this area. We have made very significant improvements in our program integrity overall, as a result of the Auditor General's report and this committee's report. I do want to leave the committee with that message. In all of the areas that the Auditor General and the committee looked at, we have made significant progress, including with information sharing.
On the issue of information sharing, we have a much better system in place with our partners at the Canada Border Services Agency and at the RCMP. The CBSA routinely shares information with us on ongoing investigations. We have better processes in place for that. We've significantly improved our security check process with the RCMP, as well as our information sharing with them.
Across all of the issues that were raised in the Auditor General's report, whether they be problematic addresses, having the right risk indicators and really being able to test whether we have the right ones, and being able to share information with our partners, we have made significant progress. I feel that the Auditor General's report and the work of this committee has really pushed us to set a much higher bar in terms of program integrity, which we are very appreciative of.
All right, we have a motion to suspend.
(Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: I want to thank the department for attending and for being here. Callbacks are not pleasant. We take the job of the committee seriously. Canadians expect that there are going to be Auditor General reports and follow-ups to them, and change.
Thank you for indicating that there is positive change.
We will ask you then to leave, and thank you for your attendance.
Committee, I'll ask you to stay. We will perhaps go back in camera for a moment.
[Proceedings continue in camera]