About the Security Intelligence Review Committee

Who We Are

SIRC is an independent review body that reports to the Parliament of Canada on the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). SIRC has extensive experience in legal, administrative, policy and national security fields. SIRC is completely independent of CSIS.

SIRC consists of up to five appointed members who serve on a fixed-term basis, supported by an Executive Director and a dedicated team of lawyers, researchers, and other professionals.

With the exception of Cabinet confidences, SIRC has been given the absolute authority to examine all information under CSIS’s control, no matter how classified or sensitive. We review CSIS’s activities to provide assurances to Parliament and to Canadians that CSIS has acted in accordance with the law in performing its duties and functions.

What We Do

SIRC has three core functions:

  1. To certify the CSIS Director’s annual report to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;
  2. To carry out in-depth reviews of CSIS’s activities; and
  3. To conduct investigations into complaints.

Certification

Every year, SIRC is mandated to certify to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness the extent to which we are satisfied with the CSIS Director’s report to the Minister, whether the operational activities described in the report contravened the CSIS Act or Ministerial Direction, and whether CSIS’s activities involved any unreasonable or unnecessary use of its powers.

Reviews

SIRC conducts regular reviews to provide Parliament and Canadians with assurances that CSIS has acted in accordance with the law, Ministerial Direction, and relevant internal policies in performing its duties and functions.

Our reviews are designed to provide a comprehensive snapshot of CSIS’s major activities. We carefully consider the importance and scope of CSIS’s investigations, the potential for particular activities to infringe upon individual rights and freedoms, and the priorities and concerns of Parliament and of Canadians.

Investigation of complaints

SIRC also acts as a quasi-judicial tribunal to conduct investigations into complaints against CSIS and complaints regarding the denial or revocation of a security clearance necessary to obtain or keep federal government employment or contracts. For more information on complaints, please read the “Complaints Investigations” (PDF) brochure.

SIRC's Annual Report

Unclassified summaries of our findings and recommendations, as well as CSIS’s responses to these recommendations, are contained in our annual report to Parliament. It is worth noting that although our recommendations are non-binding, a number of them are accepted and implemented by CSIS.

For more information about SIRC and what we do, please visit our website at www.sirc-csars.gc.ca or contact us:

Security Intelligence Review Committee
P.O. Box 2430
Station D
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5W5
(613) 990-8441
info@sirc-csars.gc.ca

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