Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 17, 2006

Border security challenges in Canada

Filed under: Border Security,International HLS — by Christian Beckner on January 17, 2006

The Ottawa Citizen reported yesterday on a new audit of Canadian homeland security that questions the performance of a number of Canadian border security and customs inspection activities:

The federal government’s implementation of a national customs strategy and several post-Sept. 11, 2001 border security initiatives is behind schedule, underfunded, over-budget and ineffective in key areas, an internal audit has found.

While the review endorses the principles behind the plan — launched in 2000 to speed border processing and crack down on illegal activity — associated programs have been hampered by financial, planning and logistical problems.

Auditors focused mainly on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), but also took aim at a pair of RCMP-led, multi-department enforcement squads in which it participates.

They found the government’s highly touted Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) have “produced few enforcement results to date,” and only recently took steps to improve performance.

The article goes on to detail other border security activities that need improvement, such as the management of airline passenger data and the use of new cargo inspection equipment.

Hopefully Canadian officials will take these recommendations seriously and improve performance in each of these areas. When I find the full report, I’ll update this post and put up a link.

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1 Comment »


Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Blog Archive » Sen. Levin on northern border security challenges

January 22, 2006 @ 4:03 pm

[…] I think it’s correct to say that there is more to do, and I agree that efforts to develop collaboration and interoperability with Canadian law enforcement can be very effective, if implemented in a way that gives all parties the incentive to cooperate. Certainly, these efforts still need work: a recent Canadian audit report, mentioned in this post, questioned the current effectiveness of US-Canadian Integrated Border Enforcement Teams. Nevertheless, I think that these types of nuanced efforts are a better investment at the northern border today than enhanced physical security measures, such as building a US-Canada border fence: an idea put forward in the House border bill that I described last month as “loonie-cy.” […]

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