Open Government Implementation Plan: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Follow:

  • RSS
  • Cite

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 of 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 the delivery of transparent and accountable programs and services focused on the needs of Canadians.

The proactive release of data and information is the starting point for all other open government activity. Accordingly, the Government of Canada has firmly established an "open by default" position in its mandatory policy framework by issuing the Directive on Open Government.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada, was established in 1994 to link immigration services with citizenship registration, promote the unique ideals all Canadians share and help build a stronger Canada. In 2013, IRCC became responsible for the Passport Program.

A priority for IRCC in developing and executing the Government of Canada’s (GC) Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) is to ensure continued progress in how the Department releases data and information products including evaluation reports, program documents, program delivery instructions, summaries of access to information requests and research publications; these documents are available on IRCC’s website. IRCC also actively supports, promotes and participates in the Open Data Portal. Since , the Department has published 110 departmental data sets to open.canada.ca (e.g. Facts and Figures, Quarterly Administrative Data Release, etc.).

In order to ensure full compliance of the requirements of the Directive on Open Government, by , IRCC will:

  • enhance its Governance Strategy for Data and Information Management;
  • regularly update, review and renew the OGIP; and,
  • implement a renewed approach to public data and information release, in order to enable the maximized release of information and data of business value, subject to applicable restrictions associated with privacy, confidentiality and security.

2. Approvals

Original signed by,

Soyoung Park
Information Management Senior Official
Solutions and Information Management Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

 

Date

 

Original signed by,

Ümit Kiziltan
Director General, Research and Evaluation Branch
Strategic Program Policy Sector
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

 

Date

 

Original signed by,

Anita Biguzs
Deputy Minister
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

 

Date

 

3. Purpose

This document describes IRCC’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 implementation deadline.

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.

4. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Organizational Context

IRCC selects, as permanent and temporary residents, foreign nationals whose skills contribute to Canadian prosperity, and their families. The Department maintains Canada’s humanitarian tradition by welcoming refugees and other people in need of protection, thereby upholding its international obligations and reputation. The Department develops Canada’s admissibility policy, which sets the conditions for entering and remaining in Canada; it also conducts, in collaboration with its partners, the screening of potential permanent and temporary residents to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians. IRCC is also responsible for the issuance and control of Canadian passports and other documents that facilitate the travel of Canadian citizens and residents. Lastly, the Department builds a stronger Canada by helping all newcomers settle and integrate into Canadian society and the economy, and by encouraging, granting and providing proof of Canadian citizenship.

As a result, IRCC houses rich information and datasets that include demographic, application and processing information. IRCC’s information and datasets are of interest to a broad audience. IRCC continues to work towards maximizing the release of 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.

4.1 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Mandate, Mission and Vision

Mandate

IRCC’s mandate comes from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act. The Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is responsible for the Citizenship Act of 1977 and shares responsibility with the Minister of Public Safety for the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Jurisdiction over immigration is shared between the federal and the provincial and territorial governments under section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Effective , primary responsibility for Passport Canada and the administration of the Canadian Passport Order and the Order Respecting the Issuance of Diplomatic and Special Passports moved from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to IRCC.

Mission

IRCC and its partners will build a stronger Canada by:

  • Developing and implementing policies, programs and services that:
    • facilitate the arrival of people and their integration into Canada in a way that promotes family reunification and maximizes their contribution to the country while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians;
    • maintain Canada’s humanitarian tradition by protecting refugees and people in need of protection;
    • enhance the values and promote the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship; and,
    • provide passport services that enable eligible Canadian travelers to access other countries.
  • Advancing global migration policies in a way that supports Canada’s immigration and humanitarian objectives.

Vision for a Stronger Canada

A stronger, more diverse and prosperous Canada – a safe and secure country whose citizens share a bond of citizenship and values and have access to the world; a country that promotes family reunification, that continues its humanitarian traditions and that inspires the best from around the world to come and contribute to the economic, social and cultural vitality of Canada.

4.2 Population of the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

IRCC has over 6,000 employees across Canada and abroad.

4.3 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Technological Environment

IRCC’s Information Management (IM) and Information Technology (IT) function designs, develops, implements, operates and maintains the applications and IT infrastructure needed to support the delivery of IRCC’s services and programs to Canadians, immigrants and refugees, and to administer and manage the Department.

  • The Global Case Management System is IRCC’s single, integrated, worldwide system used internally to process applications for citizenship and immigration services.
  • The Immigration Contribution Agreement Reporting Environment is IRCC’s performance measurement data collection and reporting system used by IRCC-funded (Re)Settlement Service Provider Organizations for services received by immigrants.
  • GCDOCS is designated as IRCC’s official corporate repository and IRCC is in the process of consolidating other unstructured information repositories (such as shared drives) into GCDOCS where possible.
  • IRCC has developed an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online Request tool for ATIP requests. This initiative builds upon the mandate of modernizing the ATIP service to the public, which is a key commitment of the Open Information pillar of Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government.
  • IRCC’s Data Governance Program is working on developing structures and plans to support Master Data Management, Metadata cataloguing and the enhancement of the Integrated Data Model in IRCC’s Enterprise Data Warehouse, which would enable the development of a comprehensive data inventory.
  • IRCC continues to maximize the release of information and data through IRCC’s website and the Open Data Portal. Reports to Parliament, audits and reviews, program evaluations, research and statistical reports, operational manuals, and proactive disclosure of travel, hospitality, contracts, expenditures, grants and contributions summaries of access to information requests are posted on IRCC’s website.

5. Outcomes

IRCC recognizes the positive impact Open Government will have on the GC and Canadians and will continue work towards implementing the requirements of the Directive on Open Government, in order to achieve full compliance by .

The implementation of the IRCC’s OGIP will lead to the following outcomes:

A. Enhanced Governance Strategies for Data and Information Management within IRCC

IRCC will work on a governance strategy to oversee the planning and implementation of the Directive on Open Government, by:

  • clarifying roles and accountabilities with respect to information and data management;
  • regularly updating, reviewing and renewing the OGIP;
  • developing data and information inventories; and
  • ensuring the integration of Open Government requirements into IRCC’s processes for information applications, systems and solutions.

B. Renewed approach to public data and information releases to maximize the release of data and information of business value subject to applicable restrictions related to privacy, confidentiality and security

IRCC will work on implementing a renewed approach to public releases by:

  • regular and proactive release of high value IRCC data and information to the public and stakeholders through the strategic use of the Open Data Portal;
  • preparing and publishing IRCC’s Data and Information Release Plan;
  • collaborating with Statistics Canada to provide researchers with secure access to more datasets through the Research Data Centres;
  • analyzing stakeholder questions and feedback in order to identify opportunities to enhance information and data releases;
  • prioritizing the publishing of data and information based on public demand;
  • publishing data and information in accessible and open formats on federal Open Government websites under an open and unrestrictive license;
  • streamlining the external data release controls and approvals process; and,
  • enhancing the use of IRCC’s website through value-added data presentation.

6. Governance Structures and Decision Processes

The following sub-sections describe the governance structures and decision processes that support Open Government and how those responsibilities are delegated and fulfilled within IRCC.

6.1 Roles and Responsibilities – Deputy Head and Information Management Senior Official (IMSO)

The governance of the IRCC’s OGIP is informed by the responsibilities identified for the IMSO and Deputy Head in sections 6 (Requirements), 7 (Monitoring and Reporting Requirements), and 8 (Consequences) of the Directive on Open Government.

IRCC’s IMSO is responsible for the following:

  • Maximizing the release of GC open data (structured data) and open information (unstructured documents and multi-media assets) under an open and unrestrictive license designated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS);
  • Ensuring that open data and open information is released in accessible and reusable formats via GC websites and services designated by TBS;
  • Establishing and maintaining comprehensive inventories of data and information resources of business value (IRBV) held by the department to determine their eligibility and priority, and to plan for their effective release;
  • Developing, posting to the designated website, implementing and annually updating a departmental OGIP;
  • Maximizing the removal of access restrictions on departmental information resources of enduring value prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada as part of planned disposition activities; and
  • Ensuring that open government requirements in sections 6.1 to 6.5 of the Directive on Open Government 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.

6.2 Roles and Responsibilities – Key Stakeholders

A. IRCC’s Data Governance Program

The Operations and Performance Management Branch (OPMB), Research and Evaluation Branch (REB), and the Solutions and Information Management Branch (SIMB) hold shared accountabilities for the Data Governance Program at IRCC. OPMB, REB and SIMB are the main data development, data analysis, reporting and data management groups within IRCC, and with the growing need for reporting on the full spectrum of immigration data, it was important to institute a formal program in order to ensure that important IRCC data assets are formally managed throughout the Department.

The main objective of IRCC’s Data Governance Program is to ensure that IRCC data is managed in an open and transparent manner from a departmental perspective and enables IRCC to be compliant with the TBS Directive on Open Government.

This structure is comprised of three management bodies:

  1. Data Executive Steering Committee (DESC): a top-level decision-making authority for the Data Governance Program. The DESC is co-chaired by OPMB and REB Directors General;
  2. Data Governance Council: responsible for executing the governance strategy outlined and approved by DESC; and
  3. Data Governance Team: responsible for facilitating the adoption of data governance best practices and advising other senior level data governance committees.

B. Data Management and Reporting Division (Research and Evaluation Branch)

The Department’s external data and statistics release function resides in the Data Management and Reporting (DMR) Division. DMR is responsible for the Open Data deliverables on the OGIP.

  • DMR also works with OPMB, SIMB and the Communications Branch to lead the development of data sets for release on the Open Data Portal and on the Department’s website.
  • The Data Protocol Unit (within DMR) ensures proper data release protocols are followed in order to minimize the risk of disseminating identifiable data. The Data Protocol Unit also provides departmental advice on applying rounding, suppression rules and other statistical methods to ensure data confidentiality (or non-disclosure) of individual respondent identity and characteristics.
  • DMR releases data on a quarterly, annual and periodic basis. IRCC’s Quarterly Administrative Data Release (QADR) provides statistical information about IRCC’s operations, the number of permanent and temporary entrants to Canada and the number of new citizens. An annual release (Facts and Figures), which provides statistical information about new permanent residents to Canada and temporary residents entering Canada to work or study, or for humanitarian and compassionate reasons, has also been made available on the Open Data Portal.

C. Information Management Steering Committee (IMSC)

The IMSC provides executive guidance and support to SIMB with respect to the implementation of GCDOCS; the process, communication and monitoring requirements around a data loss prevention program; and readiness for the Email Transformation Initiative and Open Government.

D. Access to Information and Privacy Division, Corporate Affairs Branch

The ATIP Coordinator at IRCC maintains an electronic system that captures and records formal requests for information received under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information captured in the system is maintained in accordance with appropriate retention and disposition schedules.

  • The Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that government information is made available to the public and that only limited and specific exemptions are applied. Information resources of business value are regularly reviewed and released as part of the Coordinator’s duties.
  • The Coordinator posts completed summaries of ATI requests on the departmental website. This responsibility helps facilitate public enquiries related to data and information previously released under the Access to Information Act.
  • Additionally, ATIP works collaboratively with the Inter-governmental and International Relations Branch, to develop and maintain information sharing arrangements, in order to ensure compliance with the Directive on Information Sharing in support of transparency and Open Government.

E. Communications Branch

The Communications Branch supports the Department in meeting the GC’s communications policy by providing the public with timely, accurate, clear, objective and complete information about IRCC policies, programs, services and initiatives.

  • This branch plays a critical role in enabling IRCC to communicate and provide information in various formats (24 hours a day/7 days a week) so that Canadians using basic and/or advanced technologies can access it.

6.3 Communication, Awareness and Engagement

With the objective of maintaining and further promoting Open Government within the Department, IRCC will continue to develop and implement communication, awareness and engagement strategies by:

  • engaging stakeholders at appropriate times to complete OGIP deliverables and milestones;
  • providing stakeholders with information and tools needed to successfully complete OGIP deliverables and milestones;
  • addressing issues raised by stakeholders in order to continue and improve activities associated with OGIP deliverables and milestones;
  • supporting stakeholders in managing change by providing timely key information and details on the availability of training and tools for them to become proficient in managing activities associated with OGIP deliverables and milestones;
  • continuously communicating and remaining transparent with stakeholders within the Department and the general public on the progress of deliverables and milestones outlined in the OGIP;
  • actively participating in future Open Government events such as the Canadian Open Data Experience;
  • streamlining and enhancing governance for production and delivery of data products in alignment with the Data Governance Program; and
  • strategically using data and information sharing for policy relevant research partnerships.

7. Planning Table

Acronyms:

Information Management Senior Officer (IMSO), Research and Evaluation (R&E), Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), Corporate Affairs Branch (CAB), Solutions and Information Management Branch (SIMB)

Planning Table A: Directive on Open Government Requirements
Reference Compliance Requirement Deliverables / Milestones Lead Activities Start Date End Date Resources (Human and Financial) 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 IRCC’s Data Release Plan R&E Prepare and publish IRCC’s Data Release Plan X1 data analyst Ongoing
IRCC’s Information Release Plan IMSO Prepare and publish IRCC’s Information Release Plan x1 information management specialist (FTE) 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. Listing of accessible and reusable formats (for data and information) to be used at IRCC IMSO/R&E
  • Develop list of datasets and information
  • Engage departmental data reporting groups to obtain listing of data and information used in IRCC
  • X1 data subject matter experts
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
Ongoing
Conversion process(es) for data identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable R&E
  • Repurpose data to allow for release
  • Apply data release formatting and non-disclosure rules
X1 data developer (FTE) Ongoing
Conversion process(es) for information identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable IMSO Apply conversion process to information to be released x1 information management specialist (FTE) Not started
Release process to support the publication of IRCC’s data R&E Implement IRCC’s renewed data release strategy X1 data analyst (FTE) Ongoing
Release process to support the publication of IRCC’s information IMSO Develop release process to support the publication of IRCC’s information x1 information management specialist (FTE) 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. Methodology for establishing a data inventory R&E
  • Develop data inventory template using the Data Inventory Template developed by TBS
  • Analyse data
X1 data analyst (FTE) Ongoing
Methodology for establishing an information inventory IMSO
  • Develop information inventory template using the Information Inventory Template developed by TBS
  • Perform an analysis on the Repository Inventory and IRBV Inventory developed for the Directive on Recordkeeping and determine what existing information can be leveraged
  • Create a draft methodology
  • Validate the methodology with other related functional specialists
  • Obtain approval of the methodology from the IMSO
x1 information management specialist (FTE) Not started
Data inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the data held by IRCC) IMSO/ R&E/OPMB/EDW
  • Develop data inventory list
  • Analyse data sets and itemize data details.
  • X1 data analyst (FTE)
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
Ongoing
Information inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the information held by IRCC) IMSO Develop Information inventory x1 information management specialist (FTE) Not started
Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of IRCC’s data inventory R&E Develop and implement renewal processes to maintain the currency of IRCC’s data inventory X1 data analyst (FTE) Ongoing
Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of IRCC’s information inventory IMSO Develop and implement renewal processes to maintain the currency of IRCC’s information inventory x1 information management specialist (FTE) Not started
Assets included in the data inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release R&E Evaluate data in inventory for eligibility and priority for release X1 data analyst (FTE) Ongoing
Assets included in the information inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release IMSO Evaluate information in inventory for eligibility and priority for release x1 information management specialist (FTE) Not started
DOG 6.4 Developing, posting to the designated website, implementing and annually updating a departmental Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) Governance structures are in place to oversee the implementation of IRCC’s OGIP IMSO/R&E/CAB/SIMB Plan and implement Open Government Governance
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
  • x1 data analyst (FTE)
In progress
IRCC’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) IMSO/R&E Deliver, execute and manage OGIP /   In progress
Signatures in section 2 (Approvals) of IRCC’s OGIP IMSO/R&E Obtain approval of IRCC’s OGIP /   In progress
IRCC’s OGIP is staffed and funded SIMB/R&E Staff and fund IRCC’s OGIP activities
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
  • x1 data analyst (FTE)
Ongoing
Monitoring and reporting processes for assessing progress and maintaining the currency of the IRCC’s OGIP IMSO/R&E Monitor and report progress on IRCC’s OGIP
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
  • x1 data analyst (FTE)
Ongoing
IRCC’s first annual update to the OGIP IMSO/R&E Update OGIP annually
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
  • x1 data analyst (FTE)
In progress
IRCC’s second annual update to the OGIP IMSO/R&E Update OGIP annually
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
  • x1 data analyst (FTE)
Not started
IRCC’s third annual update to the OGIP IMSO/R&E Update OGIP annually
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
  • x1 data analyst (FTE)
Not started
IRCC’s fourth annual update to the OGIP IMSO/R&E Update OGIP annually
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
  • x1 data analyst (FTE)
Not started
DOG 6.5 Maximizing the removal of access restrictions on departmental information resourced of enduring value prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to the LAC IMSO Develop methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information sources x1 information management specialist (FTE) Not started
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 IRCC’s disposition plans and procedures. IMSO
  • Develop methodology for the removal of access restrictions
  • Work with LAC
x1 information management specialist (FTE) 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. 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 IMSO Plan and implement Open Government Governance structures x1 information management specialist (FTE) Ongoing
Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into IRCC’s procurement process(es) for information applications, systems, and solutions IMSO Integrate Open Government into IRCC procurement processes for application, systems and solutions x1 information management specialist (FTE) Ongoing
Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into IRCC’s development process(es) for information applications, systems, and solutions IMSO Integrate Open Government into IRCCs development process(es) for application, systems and solutions x1 information management specialist (FTE) Ongoing
Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into IRCC’s modernizing process(es) for information applications, systems, and solutions IMSO Integrate Open Government into IRCC’s modernization process(es) for application, systems and solutions x1 information management specialist (FTE) Ongoing
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. Performance framework for the monitoring of IRCC’s progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP IMSO Establish performance framework to monitor IRCC’s progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP
  • X1 data analyst (FTE)
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
Not started
Progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP is regularly reported to the governance structures in place to oversee the implementation IMSO Implement OGIP performance reporting Winter/Spring 2016
  • X1 data analyst (FTE)
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
Not started
Performance framework for the monitoring of IRCC’s ongoing compliance to the requirements of the Directive IMSO Plan and implement Compliance management Winter/Spring 2016
  • X1 data analyst (FTE)
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
Not started
Process to ensure significant difficulties, gaps in performance, or compliance issues are reported to the Deputy Head (DH) IMSO Implement OGIP performance reporting Winter/Spring 2016
  • X1 data analyst (FTE)
  • x1 information management specialist (FTE)
Not started