Response to parliamentary committees and external audits

​(1) Response to parliamentary committees

On June 19, 2019, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts tabled its 69th Report, entitled: Processing of Asylum Claims, Report 2 of the 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada. Following the dissolution of Parliament on August 18, 2020, the obligation for a Government Response to the report automatically ended.

(2) Response to audits conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (including audits conducted by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada. Report 2: Processing of Asylum Claims.

The Office of the Auditor General Audit on the Processing of Asylum Claims found that: 1) Canada’s refugee determination system was not equipped to process claims in accordance with required timelines; 2) a series of information sharing inefficiencies contributed to processing delays; 3) many hearing postponements were due to issues that were within the government’s control. Five recommendations addressing these findings were provided to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) to improve the efficiency and timeliness of asylum claim processing. Specifically, Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and IRB were recommended to work together to improve the asylum system’s funding model, interoperability of information technology systems, and move toward digital processing of asylum claims. The IRB was recommended to reduce the number of postponed hearings and better utilize processes to expedite protection decisions.

The following corrective actions have been completed: increased funding was sought and received to better equip the IRB to process refugee claims; performance and productivity expectations were identified, monitored and met; creation of a working group to identify and begin to address gaps in information sharing across portfolio partners; establishment of a dedicated task force consisting of decision-makers and others ​that identified and resolved in a timely manner less complex refugee claims, generating efficiencies and improved access to justice for claimants with less complex claims; and, improvement of communication between partner departments surrounding intentions to intervene in a refugee claim.

The following corrective actions are well underway: implementing a productivity model; reviewing a resource allocation model; revising instructions governing less-complex claims; and piloting the Integrated Claim Analysis Centre model to reduce delays in scheduling cases.

(3) Response to audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

There were no audits from the above-named offices in 2019–20 that required a response by the IRB.