Accountability in a new era of security intelligence”
October 28, 2009 – The Annual Report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) was tabled in Parliament today by the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety. The report summarizes for the 2008–2009 fiscal year SIRC’s key analyses, findings and recommendations arising from its reviews and complaints investigations in connection with the activities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).
Security intelligence operates in an ever-changing environment,” noted the Chair of SIRC, the Honourable Gary Filmon, “
and the nature and pace of that change today is on a scale that has not been seen for several decades.” Mr. Filmon added, “
it is against this backdrop that SIRC continues to serve Canadians to ensure the democratic accountability of one of our country’s most secretive institution. This is a point that is emphasized in specific reviews featured in this year’s report, as well as in our broader analysis of the security intelligence context.”
As part of SIRC’s ongoing efforts to understand and report on new challenges and responsibilities in security intelligence in Canada, this year’s annual report features a revised layout. This includes an analysis section that identifies the main themes reviewed by SIRC and engages readers in a discussion about the importance of accountability in this new era of security intelligence.
Among the seven reviews—and one complaint case—featured in this year’s annual report is an examination of “
CSIS’s role in the matter of Omar Khadr.” This report was prepared pursuant to section 54 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, which allows SIRC to provide to the Minister a special report on any matter that relates to the performance of CSIS’s duties and functions.
Established in 1984, SIRC's role is to reassure Parliament and Canadians that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) performs its duties and functions appropriately, effectively and in accordance with the law. SIRC is the only independent, external body with the statutory mandate and expertise to review CSIS's activities, therein ensuring that CSIS investigates and reports on threats to national security in a manner that respects the rule of law and the rights of Canadians.
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