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Assignment # 7 Operating Agency

Background
1. Immigration applications made to Canadian offices have been in server backlog. Decisions
on immigration policies have been difficult for the government, both politically and
administratively. With the overwhelming public request for Parliament to expedite
Citizenship and Immigration processes, the federal government has recommended creating a
special operating agency. The operating agency would be responsible for all immigration
related matters.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
2. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) facilitates legal routes to study, work
and live in Canada. Their goal is to select individuals who can contribute to the success of the
country as well as reuniting families. The department takes a measured and managed
approach in assessing applications for permanent and temporary residents, and foreign
nationals. Decisions on immigration are shared between the federal and the provincial and
territorial government as outlined under Sec. 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867. However, the
Minister has the legal authority to give special instructions to limit the intake of applications,
create rules for express entry, put holds on visa processes and establish small-scale pilot
programs.
Special Operating Agencies
3. Special Operating Agencies (SOA) are in place to balance and control risks, while
encouraging innovation, consumer operations, self-regulation, and accountability. The
objective is to improve services leading to better efficient operations. By establishing a SOA
as an extension of IRCC, the agency will deal with the backlog of immigration applications
with the flexibility to establish policy criteria for potential immigrants. These policies would
determine the number of applications approved each year and address the performance issue.
The outsourced agency would be run by non federal government employees and therefore not
be subjected to audits by the Auditor-General. Giving the agency managerial and flexibility
to be able to improve the performance of the immigration process.
Offices serving as SOA, in the past, such as Passport Canada provided service to the public
by issuing, revoking, withholding, recovering Canadian passports. Their finances derived
from the passport and travel document fees to meet the expenditures. Passport Canada was a
form of alternative service delivery that focussed more on the outcome rather than the
process. Similar to Passport Canada the Immigration agency would be accountable for
outcomes, with its main focus on decreasing the number of backlogged applications. By
implementing private sector management skills in the public sector known as managerialism.
The SOA would be an extension of the IRCC and accountable to the Parliament. Although
the agency would have complete autonomy in the immigration process, they would be
subjected to a yearly review by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees.
Recommendation 1
The Prime Minister should request a report from IRCC identifying the department's
strengths, weaknesses, specific operations being conducted to address application overflow,
as well as delegation suggestions for management. The report should be completed within
two months and be considered in establishing the SOA.
Recommendation 2
The Prime Minister should use legal authority to mandate the Department of Immigration,
Refugees and Citizenship Canada to take the lead in establishing a SOA as an extension of
their offices to deal with the performance issues regarding citizenship applications.
Recommendation 3
The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship should conduct consultations to
find an Alternative Service delivery provider that meets the framework of an appropriate
SOA with the objectives of improved performance. This should be done as quickly as
possible to meet the immigration demand within Canada and other nations.
Recommendation 4
The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada should collaborate with
the desired Agency to create a Framework Document. This document establishes the
operations of the department and its charter. Articles found in the framework document
include the agency's mission, policy environment, the general business lines, services
provided, major risks, the principles guiding the agency, reporting, accountability for
results and so forth. The Treasury Board must review the document to approve its
financial/operational performance, and customer service objectives.
Recommendation 5
The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada should oversee the SOA
development of their business plan. The business plan establishes the financial and
operational goal for the year, and outlines the resources needed from the Treasury board
such as the mandate and authority. The business plan is set out to establish a clear
understanding of the managing party's role in terms of issues to address. The plan must be
approved by the accountable deputy head and the Minister.
Recommendation 6
The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada should ensure that all
documents are completed within four months of the initial consultations with the
designated SOA. The final step will be to submit all documentation to the Treasury Board
to review and appoint the service provider as a Public Service Agency.