Open Government Implementation Plan: Canada Border Services Agency

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Table of Contents

1 Executive Summary

Canada has a longstanding commitment to openness and accountability as a cornerstone of a strong, modern democracy. From the passing of access to information legislation over 30 years ago to current open government and proactive disclosure activities, the Government of Canada has worked to ensure transparency on federal operations to enable Canadians to hold their government accountable. The commitments included in Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16 will further progress on the delivery of transparent and accountable programs and services focused on the needs of Canadians.

The proactive release of data and information is only the starting point. There are many activities and changes required to adopt an Open Government culture. Accordingly, the Government of Canada has firmly established an Open by Default position in its mandatory framework by issuing the Directive on Open Government.

This document is the first of five editions which will be released on an annual basis. It contains the Canada Border Services Agency’s (referred to as “CBSA” or “Agency”) approach to support Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16 and to achieve compliance with the Directive on Open Government with a priority focus on publishing high value datasets. In 2015-16, the Agency will focus its activities on the prioritization of the release of datasets. Planned activities to fulfill the Open Government commitments will be updated in the subsequent annual editions of this plan.

The Canada Border Services Agency provides integrated border services that support national security priorities and facilitate the flow of people and goods across the border. One of the Agency’s top priorities is to strengthen our organizational resilience. Open Government plays an important role in achieving this priority. Open Information and Open Data makes vast amounts of valuable data available to the general public. Through this public partnership, the Agency is looking forward to receiving feedback and seeing the Agency’s data used in new innovative ways. In turn, this may help the Agency identify issues and opportunities to improve services and the Agency as a whole.

Meeting compliance of this Directive and achieving the required cultural transformation is no easy task. It will require ongoing Agency-wide awareness and education, active internal governing and monitoring bodies, and a mindset shift towards Open by Default. The inventories and proactive release of our high value data and information will provide ongoing opportunities to help us evolve our programs and develop new policies to provide the best services to Canadians.

We, at the Canada Border Services Agency, are excited to be part of this important initiative and look forward to working with the Canadian public. The Agency is re-visiting its internal management governance and will be amending the proposed open government governance documented in this document to ensure full integration within the Agency. The submitted planning activities and resource estimates will also be reviewed upon further validation and direction from central Agency.

2 Approvals

Maurice Chénier
Information Management Senior Official (IMSO)
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Vice-President – Information, Science and Technology Branch
Canada Border Services Agency

Date

 

Linda Lizotte-MacPherson
President
Canada Border Services Agency

Date

 

3 Purpose

This document describes Canada Border Services Agency’s plan to complete activities and deliverables aligned to the requirements of the Directive on Open Government in order to achieve full compliance by the Government of Canada’s implementation timeline.

The objective of the Directive is to maximize the release of government information and data of business value to support transparency, accountability, citizen engagement, and socio-economic benefits through reuse, subject to applicable restrictions associated with privacy, confidentiality, and security (Directive on Open Government, Section 5.1).

The expected results of the Directive on Open Government (Section 5.2) are that Canadians are able to find and use Government of Canada information and data:

  • to support accountability;
  • to facilitate value-added analysis;
  • to drive socio-economic benefits through reuse; and
  • to support meaningful engagement with their government.

In addition, this document outlines the CBSA’s support for Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16.

4 Context

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provides integrated border services that support national security priorities and facilitate the flow of people and goods across the border. The vision of the CBSA is to be an integrated border agency that is recognized for service excellence in ensuring Canada’s security and prosperity. As shown in Figure 1 - CBSA’s Priorities for 2015-16, the Agency has established four prioritiesFootnote 1 aligned with its vision to guide work activity.

Figure 1 - CBSA’s Priorities for 2015-16
 
Figure 01 - Text version
  • CBSA Priorities for 2015-2016
    • Secure the Border Strategically (image of a security agent with computer)
    • Streamline and Simplify the Border Experience (image of the earth and crest)
    • Advance Global Border Management (image of a man doing security screening)
    • Strengthen Organizational Resilience (image of a computer with chains of the screen)
 

As an integral part of the Public Safety Portfolio, which is responsible for integrated national security, emergency management, law enforcement, corrections, crime prevention and border management operations, the CBSA must fulfill its responsibilitiesFootnote 2 in:

  • administering legislation that governs the admissibility of people and goods into and out of Canada;
  • identifying, detaining, and removing people who are inadmissible to Canada;
  • interdicting illegal goods at Canada’s border;
  • protecting food safety, plant and animal health, and Canada’s resource base;
  • administering trade legislation and agreements, including the enforcement of trade remedies that protect Canadian industry;
  • administering a fair and impartial redress mechanism; and
  • collecting duties and taxes on imported goods.

The CBSA carries out its responsibilities with a workforce of approximately 13,000 employeesFootnote 3, including over 7,200 uniformed CBSA officers who provide services at approximately 1,200 points across Canada and at 39 international locations which include:

Figure 2 - CBSA employees across Canada ()
 
Figure 02 - Text version

Figure 2 – CBSA employees across Canada ()

(Geographic image of Canada)

  • NS: 271
  • NB: 399
  • PEI: 12
  • NFLD: 71
  • Quebec: 2015
  • Ontario: 8338
  • Manitoba: 486
  • Saskatchewan: 168
  • Alberta: 526
  • British Columbia: 1787
  • Yukon: 30
  • Northwest Territories: 2
  • Nunavut: 1
 
  • 117 land-border crossings;
  • 13 international airports;
  • 24/7 operations at 61 land-border crossings and 10 international airports;
  • marine operations at major ports and marinas;
  • 27 rail sites; and
  • international mail at 3 processing centers.

Additional services provided by the Agency include:

  • the investigation, detection and apprehension of violators of the Immigration & Refugee Protection Act;
  • the lengthy and complex investigations of suspected war criminals, national security cases, and organized crime groups;
  • representation of the CBSA and CIC’s interests at Minister’s Delegate, Immigration Division (ID), Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), Refugee Protection Division (RPD), and Federal Court proceedings;
  • the administration of more than 90 acts, regulations and international agreements, many on behalf of other federal departments and agencies, the provinces and the territories.

4.1 Technology at the Canada Border Services Agency

The Agency operates in a complex and dynamic environment in which the entire organization, but particularly our front-line staff, rely heavily on a multitude of information technology enabled and science services. CBSA operations are tightly integrated with a network of key partners who also rely on information technology enabled services in order to supply critically important information in a timely manner. The CBSA is continuously looking at new and innovative ways to use its data and information using the latest technologies. This innovative prowess is imperative for the CBSA to stay abreast of current trends and technologies that could improve the quality and efficiency of the services and operations of the Agency. Examples include:

  • continuous service improvements such as new interactive self-serve kiosks and e-enabling of services;
  • utilization and development of advance analytics and business intelligence systems;
  • near real-time systems to enable effective and informed decision making;
  • development and implementation of enterprise data models and metadata;
  • alignment of Enterprise Capabilities with Shared Services Canada’s new infrastructure services;
  • active contributor in developing and sharing with other departments the Agency’s frameworks and methodologies to enable Open Government; and
  • adopting and implementing current Government of Canada web standards.

While the Agency relies on complex mission-critical IT and science capabilities to deliver its services in a timely and agile manner, it is also dependent upon the performance of partners who play a significant role in the CBSA’s service delivery value chain. The CBSA shares project delivery accountability with national program delivery partners including Citizenship and Immigration Canada, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Shared Services Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, as well as the United States and other country partners, in a highly integrated continuum of information and outcomes. Coherence in those critical and productive relationships is integral to the Agency’s future success in meeting the Government’s and Canadians’ expectations.

4.2 Challenges & Opportunities

Much of the CBSA’s operating frameworks are derived from its mission statement, action plans, and Acts of Parliament. The CBSA must approach openness and transparency with judiciousness. Release of datasets and information for Open Government must comply with the various Acts of Parliament, policy instruments, and other legal considerations which have been put in place to protect national priorities, the safety of the public, and the privacy of individuals. This list includes but is not limited to:

This is not to say that the CBSA is not without opportunities to open and share its data and information. The CBSA recognizes that it holds a wealth of data and information which could help create economic opportunities, provide transparency, and be helpful to the daily lives of Canadian citizens.

The CBSA has been an early supporter of Open Government, proactively exploring ways to integrate Open Government into the Agency. A great example is the CBSA’s Border Wait Times (BWT) dataset which was released in support of CODE 2014, the Government of Canada’s appathon event.  This dataset alone has already helped many Canadians in optimising their travel plans, reducing emissions, and distributes border crossing volumes among our various points of entry. Examples of the reuse of the Agency’s datasets include:

The CBSA has proactively released the following datasets:

There are also great opportunities for the CBSA to engage in collaborative efforts to improve its services and policies on protecting the borders and facilitating the flow of people and goods. For example, the CBSA’s Most Wanted Tips helps with the removal of illegal residents with criminal records, creating safer communities.

5 Outcomes

The CBSA’s goal is to achieve a state of Open by Default, a strong statement in itself for a security-oriented institution operating within a law enforcement culture.

5.1 Open by Default

Open Government forms a central part of the Agency’s Information Management Strategy for 2015-2018. The overarching objective of the Information Management Strategy draft is to unlock the value of Agency information. Open by Default supports the Information Management Strategy by creating internal awareness of the Agency’s own data and information holdings. This awareness will help stimulate internal collaboration and partnerships between teams which would now have easy access to the Agency’s Open Data and Open Information, enabling discovery for reuse or innovation.

5.1.1 Releasing Data

A vast amount of data is generated by the systems used to deliver the Agency’s various services. As an organization, the desired outcome is that openness is fundamentally evaluated at the start of any new project, assessing open data opportunities at the inception of the data lifecycle. Existing systems should equally be evaluated for openness opportunities. Transparency at this level is not a trivial exercise as many solutions produce and store sensitive data. The openness assessment will have to carefully evaluate the data and consider if it can be released in its natural state or if it needs to be anonymized.

The Agency will consult industry stakeholders for recommendations on the prioritization of dataset releases to maximize competitiveness, economic opportunities and public value.

5.1.2 Releasing Information

The Agency aims to have an integrated approach to Open Information to achieve a state of Open by Default. Much of the success enjoyed by the CBSA in its recordkeeping initiatives is in part due to its early adoption of GCDOCS, the official enterprise document and records management (EDRM) solution of the Government of Canada. The technical completion of the Agency-wide rollout of GCDOCS is on track for . The Open by Default cultural change will leverage GCDOCS as a foundational component to pave the way for the Agency’s strategy of systematically identifying, qualifying, and releasing eligible information for Open Information.

5.2 Improved Data Services

A significant volume of data is being generated and collected here at the CBSA. In many situations, the original goal of a specific data store was to satisfy an immediate and often urgent need. With any new project, the Agency strives to minimize duplications and variations of its data holdings to be able to establish a single authoritative data point. As with all organizations, there are opportunities for improvement.

The CBSA recognizes that Open Government activities can both support and benefit from existing and ongoing Agency initiatives. The Open Data Inventory deliverable within the Directive on Open Government will serve as a great addition to the Agency’s data management activities. Furthermore, the Agency will be looking to leverage its current investments in technologies that in support of Open Government could provide:

  • an increase in interoperability of its datasets to maximize their value and reusability within the Agency, the whole of Government of Canada, and the public community at large;
  • more in-depth modelling and cataloguing of its data holdings to improve the contextual and usefulness of the datasets being published;
  • an integrated and systematic process for the identification, extraction and publishing of the Agency’s Open Data datasets; and
  • an approach to managing data integrity with considerations to data retention and disposition for end-of-life public datasets.

Further synergetic gains are expected for the Agency’s data services with the introduction of its new data governance bodies and the expansion of its Information Management Senior Official (IMSO) role to include the designation of Chief Data Officer (CDO).

5.3 Support Other Initiatives

Open Government is a directive that will touch many other aspects of the Agency and the Government of Canada. Below is just a small window into how widespread Open Government activities will contribute or support other initiatives.

    OG Program & Governance Data Inventory & Release Info. Inventory & Release
Outputs Open Government Integration yes no no
Data Maturity yes yes no
Open Datasets no yes no
Open Information no no yes
Outcomes Holistic approach to Open Data and Open by Default yes   no
Facilitation of an online service, Canada’s Open Data Portal, which will encourage public access to use and reuse of government data and information. no yes no
Supporting Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16 commitments. yes yes yes
Supporting the Beyond the Border Action Plan. no yes no
Following the Policy Framework for Information and Technology. yes no yes
Supporting the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan. no yes yes
Supporting Web Standards for the Government of Canada. yes no no
Supporting the Policy on Service on e-enabling services. no yes yes
Supporting the Blueprint 2020 Action Plan. no yes  
Supporting the Policy on Information Management. yes yes yes

6 Governance Structures and Decision Processes

Figure 3 – Open Government Governance at CBSA, illustrates the governance structure which the CBSA will use to support the Agency’s Deputy Head and Information Management Senior Official’s responsibilities on the implementation of Open Government. Please note that the CBSA is currently reviewing its existing governance bodies.

Figure 3 – Open Government Governance at CBSA
 
Figure 03 - Text version

Executive Committee (EC,), program Policy Committee (PPC), Data Fusion Steering Committee (DFSC) and Data Fusion Working Group (DFWG) are linked together. Information Management Initiative Steering Committee (IMISC) is linked to Data Fusion Steering Committee (DFSC).

 

6.1 Roles and Responsibilities – Deputy Head and Information Management Senior Official

The governance of the CBSA’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) is informed by the responsibilities identified for the Information Management Senior Official (IMSO) and Deputy Head (DH) in sections 6 (Requirements), 7 (Monitoring and Reporting Requirements), and 8 (Consequences) of the Directive on Open Government Footnote 4.

Role / Body

Description / Function

Deputy Head President

Departmental accountability (public accountability).

Information Management Senior Official (IMSO) / Chief Data Officer (CDO)
Vice-President, Information, Science, and Technology Branch

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) delegated authority for Open Government, accountable to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) for compliance with the Directive on Open Government. The IMSO / CDO is informed and supported by the Data Fusion Steering Committee and the Information Management Steering Committee.

6.2 Roles and Responsibilities – Key Stakeholders

6.2.1 Executive Committee

The mandate of the Executive Committee (EC) is to set the strategic direction and provide ongoing oversight for the management of the Agency and the integrated business planning of the Agency, to ensure that objectives are met, that information is shared and managed across our complex environment and many partners, to determine priorities and resource allocation within a risk management context, and to establish a robust governance process against Management Accountability Framework (MAF) and audit expectations.

Role / Body

Description / Function

Executive Committee (EC)

Chair: President
Deputy-Chair: Executive Vice-President

To fulfill its Agency mandate, the committee:

  • is the senior management decision-making forum on major operational, planning cycle, resource allocation, policy, program, litigation and management issues affecting the CBSA;
  • identifies key risks, prioritize Agency activities and identifies, monitors and reports on Agency performance and project management, ensuring appropriate linkages to key management accountability documents;
  • readjusts priorities, resources and/or timelines as required, based on quarterly CBSA regular performance reporting;
  • gives direction to strategic, program and corporate policy initiatives of a horizontal nature and initiatives that require approval by Cabinet committees or Ministers and that are not administrative in nature;
  • sets the strategic direction; prioritizes, approves and balances the Agency’s project portfolio, including providing direction on corrective action where necessary and approving the quarterly project portfolio performance report and approving significant changes to the portfolio baseline;
  • reviews and approves the five-year capital plan which is monitored quarterly, as well as any in-year investment/plan changes;
  • approves a forward agenda, prepared by the Corporate Affairs Branch, which aligns with the Agency’s management model and supports the Agency’s priorities and monitoring activities; and
  • conducts an annual review of its Terms of Reference to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness.

This includes approving and proactively managing the performance of the Agency’s initiatives on an on-going basis by taking corrective action where necessary to ensure initiatives maintain alignment with the mandate, priorities and strategic direction of the CBSA, while balancing capacity and risk.

6.2.2 Program Policy Committee

The CBSA’s governance model is founded on a streamlined committee structure aimed at enhancing accountability, transparency and inclusiveness for more responsive decision-making. The Executive Committee, chaired by the President, is the management decision-making forum responsible for the overall strategic management and direction of the Agency’s policy, program and corporate responsibilities.

The mandate of the Program Policy Committee (PPC) is to serve as the Agency’s main forum for guidance and consideration of program and policy issues, provide advice to the Agency Executive Committee on the delivery of CBSA policy and program priorities, consider future strategic options and direction for the Agency and ensure management oversight, integration and coordination of key program initiatives as they move forward for implementation. The PPC committee report directly to the agency Executive Committee (EC) chaired by the President.

Role / Body

Description / Function

Program Policy Committee (PPC)

Co-Chairs: Vice-President, Programs Branch
Vice-President, Operations Branch

To fulfill its mandate, the Committee:
  • serves as a forum that provides guidance and consideration of strategic program policy proposals in support of our Agency program priorities;
  • provides oversight and direction to the Program Management Tables (PMTs) which report to the Committee, ensuring PMT activities are aligned with the strategic priorities of the Agency;
  • ensures that the agenda topics and direction taken by the Committee support and align with the Agency’s Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) and the Programs Branch’s priorities;
  • reviews and provides guidance or direction on any submissions or recommendations brought forward from program management tables and branch management teams regarding the on-going development of CBSA policy and program delivery; and
  • ensures that any financial and/or staffing pressures identified during discussions are properly shared with the Vice-Presidents of Human Resources and Comptrollership.

6.2.3 Data Fusion

In , the CBSA established two Agency-wide data-centric governance bodies - the Data Fusion Working Group and the Data Fusion Steering Committee:

  • The Data Fusion Working Group (DFWG) is a Director-level working group responsible for leading the development, implementation, and performance management of the CBSA data governance function as well as strategies for business intelligence and advanced analytics. Beginning in 2015-2016, the DFWG will be assuming responsibilities of providing advice and endorsements on Open Government initiatives.
  • The Data Fusion Steering Committee (DFSC) is a Director General -level committee responsible for providing direction and oversight of the data governance function and cross-functional oversight with the Agency’s data-centric initiatives. The DFSC can escalate issues or request guidance from the standing Policy and Program Committee (PPC) which reports to the Agency’s Executive Committee. During 2015-2016, the DFSC will be assuming responsibilities of providing direction and approvals on Open Government initiatives.

These two governance bodies will provide much needed senior support. This support will enable the Open Government Coordination Office the ability to provide effective coordination of Open Government strategies and deliverables.

Role / Body

Description / Function

Data Fusion
Steering Committee (DFSC)

Co-Chairs:
Director General, Global Border Management and Data Analytics Directorate,
Programs Branch
Director General, Enterprise Architecture / Information Management Directorate, Information, Science, and Technology Branch

A cross functional group with representation from the business, IM, and IT; composed of the highest level owners (delegated authority) for data and information. Membership is at the Director General / Director level, providing the necessary decision making authority on the management and sharing of data. This body is concerned with the executive functions of data governance including:
  • Endorsement of the Department’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) including yearly Open Data commitments (release targets).
  • Ensures Open Government activities are in alignment with organizational priorities.
  • Business authorization (release approval, accountability) and executive support to make data and information open.
  • Recommendation of supporting policy instruments.

Data Fusion
Working Group (DFWG)

Co-Chairs:
Director, Data Analytics, Programs Branch
Director, Open Government and Data Analytics, Information, Science, and Technology Branch

A cross functional group with representation from the business and IT at the Director level. This group will be engaged to help the Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) with:
  • Endorsement of Open Data release plans, schedules and priorities.
  • Endorsement of the Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP).

6.2.4 Information Management Initiative Steering Committee (IMISC)

The IMI SC is the senior management forum within the Canada Border Services Agency (Agency) responsible for the overall strategic management and direction of the Agency’s major information management (IM) initiatives as defined by the Information Management Senior Official (IMSO).

Role / Body

Description / Function

Information Management Initiative Steering Committee (IMISC)

Co-Chairs:
Information Management Senior Official (IMSO), Chief Data Office (CDO), Vice-President,
Information, Science, and Technology Branch
Vice-President,
Corporate Affairs Branch

The goal of this committee is to ensure timely and effective implementation of Information Management related major initiatives and projects. The Steering Committee also provides oversight and guidance of related transformation as delivered through Information Management initiatives and projects.

For Open Information, the committee will have a consultative role of providing advice on:

  • Strategic direction for Open Information activities.
  • Alignment of activities with other CBSA priorities and Government of Canada initiatives.
  • Communications and engagement between branches to ensure a collaborative approach and decision-making at the senior executive level.
  • Direction on all policy items related to Open Information.
  • Policy items that require Executive Committee or President approval.

6.2.5 Open Government Coordination Office

While Open Government and Open by Default entails a holistic approach and cultural transformation, a centralized and dedicated coordination office was needed to provide education, guidance and direction within the Agency. As a result, the Agency created the Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) in .

The Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) team required members with solid knowledge of enterprise-wide data and information architectures, business and operational acumens, and a strong understanding and desire for Open Government. Therefore, the CBSA assembled an Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) within the Enterprise Architecture and Information Management (EAIM) Directorate of the Information, Science and Technology Branch (ISTB), drawing expertise from across the Agency.

Role / Body

Description / Function

Open Government
Coordination Office

Headed by the Director of Open Government and Data Analytics under the Director General of Enterprise Architecture and Information Management, co-chair of the Data Fusion Steering Committee

The Open Government Coordination Office’s (OGCO) responsibilities include:
  • Developing the strategies, plans, and tools for achieving compliance with the Directive on Open Government.
  • Informing stakeholders as to their obligations under the Directive on Open Government.
  • Coordinating the release of Open Data and Open Information.
  • Responding to public enquiries via the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in consultation with Communications.
  • Cataloguing and maintaining the Agency’s dataset and information inventories.
  • Participating in Government of Canada Open Government working groups.
  • Developing and maintaining the Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP).
  • Assisting CBSA project portfolios in identifying Open Data candidates, while with achieving compliance with the Directive on Open Government.
  • Coordinating the CBSA’s own Open Government Technical Working Group.
  • Tabling Open Government related recommendations to the CBSA internal data governance forums for endorsement and approval.
  • Creating awareness and providing education within the Agency on Open Government.

Through the Open Government Technical Working Group, the Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) develops policy instruments as directed by the Data Fusion Steering Committee, to support the implementation of Open Government. Deliverables may include:

  • Open Data Delivery Framework (including approval process & release checklist).
  • Open Data Risk Assessment and Mitigation Toolkit (ownership, quality, privacy, security and legal considerations).
  • Integration of Open Government planning into Departmental project gating frameworks.

6.3 Communication, Awareness, and Engagement

Open by Default is a significant change to the Agency’s culture and operational nature. As such, Communications has the challenge of broadcasting the appropriate message and guidance at all levels of the organization as to what is Open Government and how it will change how we do business.

The CBSA is actively developing tools and engaging in activities to help communicate our Open Government commitments and activities, both internally and externally.

Communications activities at the CBSA include:

  • the development of an Open Government information page on the CBSA intranet;
  • the development of various presentation decks to inform data owners and other stakeholders as to their roles and opportunities in Open Government; and
  • the publication of Open Government tools on the CBSA Wiki such as the Open Data Delivery Framework, Prioritization Model, and Environmental Scan.

The Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) is collaborating with the Communication Directorate of the Corporate Affairs Branch (CAB) to develop a comprehensive Open Government Communications Plan. The main objectives of the plan are to create awareness; illustrate how Open Government provides the Agency with opportunities to better serve the public; and to support implementation efforts. In addition, the CBSA is an active member of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS) Communications Sub-Working Group for the Open Government Implementation Working Group.

The key messages are that:

  • the CBSA welcomes the opportunity for increased transparency and engagement with the public;
  • service excellence and continuous improvement is strengthened through direct engagement with the public; and
  • Open Data creates an environment in which the CBSA can directly benefit from people’s skills and knowledge to help identify and develop innovative business solutions.

Internal audiences for communications products will include all Agency staff with particular focus to those involved in Open Government activities such as the identification, development, release, and support of datasets, as well as those who are engaged with public (i.e. Communications). External audiences of communications products will include the Canadian public, the media, international business and travelling communities, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), Public Safety, other government departments, and international partners whose data may be connected to the CBSA’s data.

6.3.1 Communications Approach

To ensure communications are clear and comprehensible, a phased approach will be used to first increase employee awareness and to secondly promote the need for Open Government.

In the first phase, the Agency will create awareness by delivering general information on the Directive on Open Government and the Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP), and by highlighting successes and milestones.

In the second phase, the Agency will support ongoing education and awareness; highlighting the successful use of CBSA data in the public sphere; helping to promote events such as CODE; and share examples of how the Agency can equally benefit from implementing Open Government practices. This includes building an Agency-wide interest in exploring new ways the Agency can apply Open Government principles in new and ongoing initiatives.

Ongoing activities will include:

  • awareness and education on Agency-wide Open Government activities such as the Open Data and Open Information inventories;
  • supporting the cultural shift required for employees to adopt Open Government initiatives into their daily work;
  • active participation on open.canada.ca to address public comments on data;
  • supporting the development of protocols for responding to public inquiries; and
  • participation in the Open Government communication networks such as those on GCPedia and GCConnex.

6.3.2 Collaboration with Other Departments

The Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) participates in multiple government-wide Open Government working groups including:

  • the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS) Open Government Working Group;
  • the TBS’ Open Government Technical Working Group;
  • the TBS’ Open Government Directive Implementation Working Group; and
  • several of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS) sub-working groups on Open Government.

The Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) provides valuable input into these working groups to support and advance the development of Open Government related policies, guidelines, and tools. In addition, the Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) has shared several of its Open Government related tools with the Government of Canada working group community.

6.3.3 External Engagement

The CBSA is actively engaging industry stakeholders via multiple forums:

6.3.4 Tools in Support of Open Government at the CBSA

As an active supporter of Open Government, the CBSA has developed and is using several tools which help implement the Directive on Open Government. Many of these tools have been openly shared within the GC community in the spirit of collaboration. These tools include:

  • Communication products on CBSA Intranet & Wiki
  • Presentations to stakeholders
  • Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP)
  • Open Data – Architecture Vision
  • Open Data Delivery Framework
  • Open Data Environmental Scan
  • Open Data Organizational Assessment
  • Open Data Release Guide (on behalf of TBS and in cooperation with other departments and agencies)
  • Open Data Risk Assessment Toolkit
  • Dataset Release Prioritization Model
  • Interim Dataset Release Process
  • Dataset Inventory Template

7 Planning Table

Summary

The following section outlines a preliminary high-level schedule of the Agency’s planned activities to achieve compliance with the Directive on Open Government.  It is expected that the agency will amend this information upon validation and further direction from central agency. The detailed deliverables and milestones are listed in Planning Table A: Directive on Open Government Requirements.

There are two major streams of activities outlined in the high-level plan:

  • Open Data - activities related to maximizing the release of eligible data; and
  • Open Information - activities related to maximizing the release of eligible unstructured information.

Year 1 ()

To support Open Government within the Agency, the CBSA has institutionalized the necessary governance structure and developed supporting processes and methodologies. The CBSA is well positioned, prepared and aligned with the Open Government initiative as it approaches Year 2. As a conclusion to this Open Government year, the Agency conducted several Open Government activities such as:

  • developing supporting tools (See 6.3.5 – Tools in Support of Open Government at the CBSA);
  • releasing datasets (using structured data found in existing databases)  to proactively contribute to the Open Data Portal; and
  • investing in identifying high value datasets for release.

In addition, the CBSA completed the following milestones and deliverables required by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS):

  • 6.3.1 – Methodology for Establishing a Data Inventory
  • 6.4.2 – CBSA’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) (this document)
  • 6.4.3 – Signatures in Section 2 (Approvals) of this Document

Year 2 ()

The focus of Year 2 is the identification and cataloguing of data for Open Government. The CBSA plans to execute the Agency’s Methodology for Establishing a Data Inventory and produce a detailed inventory of the datasets generated by the Agency’s various services. Along with this data inventory, the Agency will continue to develop the required tools to support the management of the inventory and the publishing of datasets.

In addition, the CBSA will continue to engage its existing governance bodies to:

  • explore expanded roles and responsibilities if needed;
  • provide them with performance reporting on the Agency’s progress in executing the Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) and its compliance with the Directive on Open Government; and
  • endorse and support Year 2 activities and deliverables.

Year 3 ()

The focus for Year 3 will be on executing the Dataset Release Plan. In addition, the Agency will develop a methodology for the information inventory which will start in the following year.  The Agency will also explore how to make required information (unstructured and not found in structured databases) available in machine readable format where possible and approved by the Agency open government governance.

The CBSA’s governance bodies will be engaged to endorse and approve new Open Government policies and protocols for new development projects, modernization projects, and purchases of new products.

The Agency will also propose an investment business case in order to sustain converting the non-structured information into structured data (also called machine readable format).

Year 4 ()

Focusing on Open Information, the CBSA will conduct its information inventory and the associated Information Release Plan. The Open Government Coordination Office will be integrating into its disposition plans, the Agency’s methodology for the removal of access restrictions on data and information of enduring value.

The CBSA aims to release a significant portion of its eligible datasets by the end of this Open Government year. However, the Agency remains mindful that some datasets reside in legacy systems which might require significant efforts to meet Open Data requirements. The Dataset Release Plan will have outlined datasets in which their feasibility for release is better aligned with modernization projects or new solutions planned for release at a later date.

Year 5 ()

Implementation activities for this year are focused on the release of Open Information as outlined in the Agency’s Information Release Plan. In addition, publication of datasets will be an ongoing effort which will contribute to Open Government activities for Year 5.

The fifth year is the pinnacle year in the Agency’s goal of achieving a state of Open by Default. The Agency will be looking at all ongoing Open Government deliverables to ensure the full integration of a holistic approach to Open Government. Final performance reporting on the implementation of this Directive will have been submitted to the Agency’s governing bodies and the CBSA will publish its final Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) describing how it has met compliance with the Directive on Open Government.

Planning Table A: Directive on Open Government Requirements

The planning table in this section contains a list of deliverables and milestones as defined by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). Future editions of this plan will contain updated resources estimates based on the Agency’s available capacity to fulfil the requirements of the Directive on Open Government.

Resources Column Legend

The legend below provides a definition for acronyms or codes that may be used in the Resource Estimates column of the planning table:

Label

Value

Description

OGCO

  • $150K / Year
  • + Data Architect
  • + Senior Advisor
The Open Government Coordination Office (OGCO) consists of a combination of CBSA employees and funding for required external resources.

<group>

Group Name A name of a group of people or team within the CBSA. For example: ATIP, DFSC.

<position>

Person A position or role within the CBSA. For example: An IM Architect quantified as a resource to be engaged and not a representation of their utilization. The resource might only be required for the activity for 25% of their time.

TBD

n/a To Be Determined – There is not enough information at this time to provide resourcing details for this deliverable.

IMPORTANT: The resources listed in the planning table below are limited to resources which are required to provide a significant level of effort related to the deliverable. Several other individuals and governance bodies are engaged to help with various deliverables. Their involvement is not listed as part of the resource estimation column. For example, the Data Fusion Steering Committee is approached for a level of the endorsement of the OGIP. This is a finite involvement by the DFSC which is implied by their overarching role in the Agency.

Ref.

Compliance Requirement

ID

Deliverables / Milestones

Lead

Activities

Dep.

OGD Year

Start Date

End Date

Resource Estimates

Status

DOG 6.1

Maximizing the release of Government of Canada data and information under an open and unrestrictive licence designated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

6.1.1

CBSA’s Data Release Plan OGCO Prioritize datasets to be released by end of Year 4. 6.3.7 Year 2 OGCO + ATIP + DSO + DFSC Not Started

6.1.2

CBSA’s Information Release Plan OGCO Prioritize information to be released by end of Year 5. 6.3.8 Year 4 OGCO + ATIP + DSO + IMISC Not Started

DOG 6.2

Ensuring that open data and open information is released in accessible and reusable formats via Government of Canada websites and services designated by the TBS

6.2.1

Listing of accessible and reusable formats to be used at CBSA for releasing Data OGCO  Identify formats used in the CBSA and define list of equivalent open formats. 6.3.3 Year 2 OGCO + OGWG Not Started

6.2.2

Listing of accessible and reusable formats to be used at CBSA for releasing Information  OGCO  Identify formats used in the CBSA and define list of equivalent open formats. 6.3.4 Year 4 OGCO + OGWG +
1x IM Arch. + 1x Comms
Not Started

6.2.3

Conversion process(es) for data identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable  OGCO Define conversion protocols. 6.2.1 Year 2 OGCO +
TBD
Not Started

6.2.4

Conversion process(es) for information identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable  OGCO Define conversion protocols. 6.2.2 Year 4 OGCO +
TBD
Not Started

6.2.5

Release process to support the publication of CBSA’s data  OGCO Defined in CBSA – Open Data Delivery Framework.   Year 1 OGCO Completed

6.2.6

Release process to support the publication of CBSA’s information  OGCO Define processes for document release and updates.   Year 4 OGCO +
1x IM Arch.
Not Started

DOG 6.3

Establishing and maintaining comprehensive inventories of data and information resources of business value held by the department to determine their eligibility and priority, and to plan for their effective release

6.3.1

Methodology for establishing a data inventory OGCO Develop methodology and supporting tools to conduct the inventory.   Year 1 OGCO In Progress

6.3.2

Methodology for establishing an information inventory OGCO Develop methodology and supporting tools to conduct the inventory.   Year 3 OGCO +
1x IM Arch.
Not Started

6.3.3

Data inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the data held by CBSA OGCO Conduct Agency-wide inventory of data holdings. 6.3.1 Year 2 OGCO +
ATIP + DSO +
data owners
Not Started

6.3.4

Information inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the information held by CBSA OGCO Conduct Agency-wide inventory of information holdings. 6.3.2 Year 4 OGCO +
ATIP + DSO +
1x IM Arch. + TBD
Not Started

6.3.5

Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of CBSA’s data inventory OGCO Define process to catalogue new datasets and update existing entries. 6.3.1 Year 2 OGCO Not Started

6.3.6

Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of CBSA’s information inventory OGCO Define process to catalogue new information assets and update existing entries. 6.3.2 Year 3 OGCO Not Started

6.3.7

Assets included in the data inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release OGWG Consult ATIP, Security, etc. to identify restrictions or risks.
Obtain endorsement and authorization from the CBSA’s governing bodies.
6.3.3 Year 2 OGCO + ATIP + DSO + DFSC Not Started

6.3.8

Assets included in the information inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release OCGO Consult ATIP, Security, etc. to identify restrictions or risks.
Obtain endorsement and authorization from the CBSA’s governing bodies.
6.3.4 Year 4 OGCO + ATIP + DSO + IMISC + 1x IM Arch. Not Started

DOG 6.4

Developing, posting to the designated website, implementing, and annually updating a departmental Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP)

6.4.1

Governance structures are in place to oversee the implementation of CBSA’s OGIP IMSO Integrate of Open Gov. responsibilities into Data Fusion governing bodies.  6.4.2 Year 1 IMSO + OGCO Completed

6.4.2

CBSA’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) OGCO Create the CBSA’s plan to implement Open Government (this document).   Year 1 OGCO Completed by

6.4.3

Signatures in Section 2 (Approvals) of CBSA’s OGIP OGCO Consult governing bodies for OGIP endorsement and present to DH for signing.   Year 1 President
+ IMSO
Completed by

6.4.4

CBSA’s OGIP is staffed and funded IMSO Creation of the OGCO.
Funding for support activities (i.e. dataset extraction)
6.4.3 Year 2 IMSO + OGCO In Progress

6.4.5

Monitoring and reporting process for assessing progress and maintaining the currency of CBSA’s OGIP OGCO  Define scheduled updates to management and governing bodies. 6.4.5 Year 2 OGCO Not Started

6.4.6

CBSA’s first annual update to the OGIP OGCO Update OGIP and obtain endorsement from governing bodies. 6.4.2 Year 2 OGCO Not Started

6.4.7

CBSA’s second annual update to the OGIP OGCO Update OGIP and obtain endorsement from governing bodies. 6.4.6 Year 3 OGCO Not Started

6.4.8

CBSA’s third annual update to the OGIP OGCO Update OGIP and obtain endorsement from governing bodies. 6.4.7 Year 4 OGCO Not Started

6.4.9

CBSA’s fourth annual update to the OGIP OGCO Update OGIP and obtain endorsement from governing bodies. 6.4.8 Year 5 OGCO Not Started

DOG 6.5

Maximizing the removal of access restrictions on departmental information resources of enduring value prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada

6.5.1

Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to the LAC OGCO LAC to release guidance sometime in Year 2.   Year 3 OGCO +
1x IM Arch.
Not Started

6.5.2

Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to the LAC is integrated into CBSA’s disposition plans and procedures OGCO LAC to release guidance sometime in Year 2.   Year 4 OGCO +
1x IM Arch.
Not Started

DOG 6.6

Ensuring that open government requirements in sections 6.1 to 6.5 of this directive are integrated in any new plans for procuring, developing, or modernizing departmental information applications, systems, or solutions in support of the delivery of programs and services

6.6.1

Governance structures are in place to ensure that the requirements of the Directive on Open Government are integrated into any new plans for procuring, developing, or modernizing departmental information applications, systems, or solutions OGCO Integrate Open Government Requirements into the CBSA’s Service Life Cycle Management Framework (SLMF).   Year 3 IMSO Not Started

6.6.2

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into CBSA’s procurement process(es) for applications, systems, and solutions OGCO Integrate Open Government Requirements into the CBSA’s Service Life Cycle Management Framework (SLMF).   Year 3 IMSO Not Started

6.6.3

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into CBSA’s development process(es) for applications, systems, and solutions OGCO Integrate Open Government Requirements into the CBSA’s Service Life Cycle Management Framework (SLMF).   Year 3 IMSO Not Started

6.6.4

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into CBSA’s modernizing process(es) for applications, systems, and solutions OGCO Integrate Open Government Requirements into the CBSA’s Service Life Cycle Management Framework (SLMF).   Year 3 IMSO Not Started

DOG 7.1

Departmental information management senior officials, as designated by the deputy heads, are responsible for overseeing the implementation and monitoring of this directive in their department

7.1.1

Performance framework for the monitoring of CBSA’s progress against the activities and deliverables/milestones in the OGIP OGCO Define internal performance framework for Open Gov activities (# of datasets evaluated, released, etc.) This will be part of the OGCO’s Operations Manual.   Year 2 OGCO In Progress

7.1.2

Progress against the activities and deliverables/milestones in the OGIP is regularly reported to the governance structures in place to oversee the implementation OGCO Define reporting schedule for OG/OGIP updates to governance bodies. This will be part of the OGCO’s Operations Manual.   Year 2 OGCO In Progress

7.1.3

Performance framework for the monitoring of CBSA’s ongoing compliance to the requirements of the Directive OGCO Define internal check points and metrics to ensure compliance with the Directive. This will be part of the OGCO’s Operations Manual.   Year 2 OGCO In Progress

7.1.4

Process to ensure significant difficulties, gaps in performance, or compliance issues are reported to the Deputy Head (DH) OGCO Define process for issues reporting and resolution including escalation paths. This will be part of the OGCO’s Operations Manual.   Year 2 OGCO In Progress

8 Conclusion

The adoption of Open Government will prove challenging for the CBSA and most of the Government of Canada. There are many systemic hurdles to overcome given that institutions have, in most cases, developed and implemented business processes not natively designed to be open.

Regardless, the CBSA is committed to achieving compliancy with the Directive on Open Government. We will be exercising the effort necessary to review our data and information holdings, prioritize their release and look at opportunities to engage the industry and citizens alike. This is the first edition of our Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) and our first major attempt at an Agency-wide holistic approach to Open Government. We look forward to sharing many exciting updates and challenge ourselves to meet new demands when we publish our updated Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) next year.

Acronyms

ATIP
Access to Information and Privacy
BWT
Border Wait Times
CDO
Chief Data Officer
CODE
Canadian Open Data Experience, an annual appathon hosted in partnership with the Government of Canada.
EIM
Enterprise Information Management
FTE
Fulltime Employee
FY
Fiscal Year
GC
Government of Canada
IMSO
Information Management Senior Official
ISCAPU
Information Sharing and Collaborative Arrangements Policy Unit maintains the policy framework for CBSA’s information sharing and domestic written collaborative arrangements.
ISTB
CBSA’s Information, Science and Technology Branch
OG
Open Government
OGAC
CBSA’s Open Government Advisory Committee
OGDA
CBSA’s Open Government and Data Analytics Division
OGCO
CBSA’s Open Government Coordination Office
OGIP
This document, the Open Government Implementation Plan
OGSC
CBSA’s Open Government Steering Committee
OGWG
CBSA’s Open Government Technical Working Group

Definitions

Definitions as defined in the Directive on Open GovernmentFootnote 5:

Access restrictions
Security identification and categorization that ensures that appropriate safeguards are applied to mitigate security risks to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information.
Data
Reinterpretable representations of information in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing.
Inventory
A detailed, itemized list that describes the volume, scope, and complexity of structured or unstructured information resources of the department.Machine-readable (lisible par machine)In a form that can be used and understood by a computer.
Open data
Structured data that is machine-readable, freely shared, used and built on without restrictions.
Open government
A governing culture that holds that the public has the right to access the documents and proceedings of government to allow for greater openness, accountability, and engagement.
Open information
Unstructured information that is freely shared without restrictions.
Release (communication)
Make publicly available online in a downloadable format
Structured information
Digital information residing in fixed fields within a repository.
Unstructured information
Digital information that is often created in free-form text using common desktop applications such as e-mail, word-processing, or presentation applications.