Section 4: SIRC at a Glance


Committee Membership

SIRC’s Interim Chair is the Honourable Deborah Grey, P.C., O.C. The other Committee Members are the Honourable L. Yves Fortier, P.C., C.C., O.Q., Q.C. and the Honourable Gene McLean, P.C.

Staffing and Organization

SIRC is supported by an Executive Director and an authorized staff complement of 17, located in Ottawa. This includes a Director of Research, Senior Counsel, a Corporate Services manager and other professional and administrative staff.

The Committee, in consultation with staff, approves direction on research and other activities that are identified as a priority for the year. Management of day-to-day operations is delegated to the Executive Director with direction, when necessary, from the Chair as Chief Executive Officer.

As part of their ongoing work, the Chair of SIRC, Committee Members and senior staff participate in regular exchanges with the CSIS Executive and staff, and other members of the security intelligence and public safety community. These are supplemented by discussions with academics, security and intelligence experts, public safety professionals, and other relevant organizations. Such activities enrich SIRC’s knowledge about issues and debates affecting Canada’s national security landscape.

Committee Members and, especially, SIRC staff, also visit CSIS regional offices to understand and assess the day-to-day work of investigators in the field. These visits give SIRC an opportunity to be briefed by regional CSIS staff on local issues, challenges and priorities. They also provide an occasion for SIRC to communicate its focus and concerns.

With respect to human resources, SIRC continues to manage its activities within allocated resource levels. Staff salaries and travel within Canada for Committee hearings and review activities represent its chief expenditures.

Table 3 presents a breakdown of expenditures for the past two fiscal years, as well as planned expenditures for the coming fiscal year (rounded to nearest 100).

Table 3: Expenditures
Program 2012–2013
Total 2,901,300 2,814,500 2,901,300 2,786,800
Reviews 1,053,600 1,319,600 1,503,600 1,362,200
Complaints 513,800 688,600 513,800 682,900
Subtotal 1,567,400 2,008,100 1,567,400 2,045,100
Internal Services* 1,333,900 806,400 1,333,900 741,700

* Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization (i.e., human resources management, financial management, information management, information technology). These services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not those provided specifically to a program.

SIRC Activities

April 2013: SIRC staff met an expert from the International Cyber Security Protective Alliance for North America to discuss cyber security defence, namely its current state and future solutions for Canada and its close partners.

June 2013: SIRC staff met with the Queen’s University Canada Research Chair in Surveillance Studies on the current state of surveillance methodology among the Five-Eyes partners and the various tools for evaluating its effectiveness.

December 9, 2013: The Chair and Executive Director appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to discuss the findings and recommendations contained in SIRC’s annual report.

December 17, 2013: SIRC research staff attended the biannual Review Agencies Forum, which was attended by colleagues from the Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner, the RCMP Public Complaints Commission and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

January 9–10, 2014: The Executive Director and senior staff met with a number of British counterparts and experts to discuss various security and intelligence matters.

February 6–7, 2014: The Executive Director presented on a panel discussion at the 15th Annual Privacy and Security Conference in Victoria, British Columbia. The conference brought together a large international audience of experts on policies, programs, laws and research and technology aimed at the protection of privacy and security.

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