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Section 1: Overview

Message from the Chairperson


Photo of Brian Goodman, Chairperson

I am pleased to present the 2006-2007 Departmental Performance Report for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). This report is my first opportunity as incoming Chairperson to provide a comprehensive review of the IRB's performance and accomplishments with reference to the stated plans and priorities for 2006-2007.

The IRB is an independent tribunal entrusted by Parliament with resolving cases, which includes making well-reasoned decisions, on immigration and refugee matters fairly and efficiently. In doing so, the Board contributes directly to Canada's humanitarian traditions, the security of Canada and the quality of life of Canadians. The dedication and integrity of our members and staff are vital to the IRB's success in fulfilling its mandate and ensuring that it maintains the trust and confidence of those who appear before it, Parliament and the Canadian public.

The past year has been marked by significant transition at the Board. We have seen changes in senior management ranks, the departure of experienced members and the reversal of a decline in the number of refugee claim referrals. Clarity of vision and continuity are important under such circumstances. I have made it a priority since taking the helm of the IRB in March 2007 to consolidate and reinforce the excellent work undertaken by my predecessor to make the IRB a more flexible and integrated institution. At the same time, I hold firmly to a vision of the Board where support for excellence, consistency, efficiency, accountability and independence of decision-making is the yardstick by which all our activities and initiatives are measured. By keeping this vision uppermost in our minds, we can remain focused on the IRB's core business-the resolution of immigration and refugee matters fairly, efficiently and quickly, in accordance with the law and as informally as the circumstances permit.

Our transformation agenda

It is critical that the IRB be able to respond effectively in a complex and ever-changing environment in which we have no control over the number or kinds of cases that come before us. We are therefore continuing to implement a multi-faceted transformation agenda aimed at further strengthening our operations to ensure that all of our Board members, irrespective of division, are competent, well-equipped and supported.

Implementation of the proposals arising from the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) Innovation initiative began in 2006-2007, with the aim of transforming the IAD into a more flexible and proactive division. The measures adopted are already achieving positive results: they are streamlining case resolution processes and generating operational efficiencies without compromising fairness. The IRB also continued to pursue the integration of common procedural, administrative and other activities across the three divisions. This initiative, supported by a comprehensive human resources (HR) plan designed to provide our people with the skills and competencies required in an integrated tribunal, reached a number of significant milestones during the reporting period, including the establishment of the new Tribunal Officer position, which will support the work of all divisions.

Operational and management enhancements

Throughout the year we continued to strengthen many of our systems and processes in pursuit of greater operational efficiency and accountability. In its 2006-2007 Management Accountability Framework Assessment, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) recognized the IRB for putting a strong emphasis on the importance of accountability and modernization and for its work on improving management.

In line with the Government of Canada's commitment to achieve greater transparency for and accountability to Canadians, we extended management controls in key areas and implemented a management plan that is fully integrated across the organization.

In addition, we made significant progress in enhancing case management processes at the IRB with the launch of the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) at the close of the reporting period.

Strengthening the member appointment process

Our members' work requires an extensive knowledge of immigration, refugee and administrative law and principles, such as natural justice. On a daily basis, Board members conduct proceedings and render decisions that have a profound impact on the lives, freedom and security of both the persons appearing before them and Canadians in general. Selection standards for new members are therefore high to ensure that they are qualified and possess the appropriate experience, skills and competencies. Throughout 2006-2007 the IRB collaborated with the Government of Canada to identify opportunities for further strengthening the existing merit-based member selection process for Governor-in-Council (GIC) appointments.

Stakeholder engagement

Canada's immigration and refugee determination system is recognized as among the finest and most innovative in the world. Our stakeholders have contributed significantly to this success, both through the regular exchange of views and perspectives and the provision of feedback and advice on new initiatives. For example, in 2006-2007 our stakeholders were important contributors in consultations held for IAD Innovation and the new Guideline on Procedures with Respect to Vulnerable Persons Appearing Before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Guideline 8), which was released in December 2006. The IRB was also active in networking with other Canadian tribunals through organizations such as the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals (CCAT).

Canada's international role

The IRB also continued to reach out to its international counterparts during the reporting period, benefiting from the exchange of expertise and best practices through participation in international fora such as the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARLJ), the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (EXCOM) and the Intergovernmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies in Europe, North America and Australia (IGC). In addition, an agreement signed between the IRB and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) enabled us to send a number of employees on short-term assignments to provide training and guidance to UNHCR staff overseas.

Delivering results for Canadians

The Immigration Division (ID) concluded more cases than projected in 2006-2007, while the IAD made productivity gains through innovative adjudication strategies and case management practices. However, because of an increase in new cases and delays in member appointments and reappointments, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and the IAD were unable to finalize as many cases as anticipated in the plans for the year. Notwithstanding these challenges, only a small fraction-less than one percent-of IRB decisions reviewed by the Federal Court was set aside during the reporting period.

The challenges ahead

The year ahead promises to be challenging for the IRB. Without sufficient member resources in place, we will continue to experience an impact on the efficiency and timeliness of our decision-making. While we are taking all available measures to mitigate the effects on those appearing before us, we look forward to working with the Government over the coming months to reach a positive and sustainable resolution of our member complement situation in the RPD and the IAD.

We will also continue to pursue ways of promoting consistency in procedure and outcome, while respecting adjudicative independence. At the same time, we remain committed to moving forward with a transformation agenda that will allow us to achieve even better results for Canadians. Our members and staff play a critical role in the pursuit of our objectives, and given their dedication, creativity and adaptability, I am confident of our success.

Brian Goodman
Chairperson




Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-2007 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the department's approved Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Activity Architecture that were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved numbers from the Estimates and the Public Accounts of Canada.

Brian Goodman
Chairperson




Summary Information


Raison d'tre

Who we are

The IRB is an independent administrative tribunal that reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

As an organization responsible for applying administrative justice, the IRB adheres to the principles of natural justice, and its decisions are rendered in accordance with the law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This mandate is reflected in our mission, vision and values, which help shape our corporate priorities and identify the qualities we strive to embody. It also guides our day-to-day decisions, to ensure that everyone and their work at the IRB are aligned with our mission and our vision for the future.

Table 1.1: The IRB Mission, Vision and Values


MISSION
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is an independent tribunal established by the Parliament of Canada. Our mission, on behalf of Canadians, is to make well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly, and in accordance with the law.
VISION VALUES
We will excel in everything we do and will deal simply, quickly and fairly with everyone. Through innovation and flexibility, we will be a leading-edge administrative tribunal and a creative partner in building the future of the Canadian immigration system.
  • Excellence in delivery
  • Valuing people
  • Open, honest, timely communication
  • Relevant, responsive and accountable management

The IRB is fully committed to applying fairness to all aspects of its work, which in turn means being just, lawful, honest, open and without bias. This includes recognizing that some individuals who appear before the IRB have experienced very difficult circumstances, and respecting the diversity of cultures of individuals who appear before the IRB. Most importantly, it means recognizing that the determination of each case directly and profoundly affects people's lives.

What we do

As Canada's largest federal tribunal, the IRB employed approximately 942 people at its headquarters and in regional offices in 2006-2007. The IRB consists of three divisions, each of which has its own mandate under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA):

Table 1.2: The IRB Division Mandates


Refugee Protection Division (RPD)
  • Hears refugee protection claims
  • Hears applications for vacation of refugee protection
  • Hears applications for cessation of refugee protection
Immigration Division (ID)
  • Conducts admissibility hearings for foreign nationals or permanent residents who seek entry into Canada, or who are already in Canada and are alleged to be inadmissible
  • Conducts detention reviews for foreign nationals or permanent residents who are detained for immigration reasons
Immigration Appeal Division (IAD)
  • Hears appeals of sponsorship applications refused by CIC
  • Hears appeals from certain removal orders made against permanent residents, Convention refugees and other protected persons, and holders of permanent resident visas
  • Hears appeals by permanent residents against whom a CIC officer outside of Canada has decided that they have not fulfilled their residency obligation
  • Hears appeals by the Minister from decisions of the Immigration Division at admissibility hearings

Through each division, the IRB generally delivers a simpler and faster form of justice than that provided by the courts, but with no less attentiveness to the rigour of the law and its application to the particular facts of each case. The IRB is a human rights tribunal, and the women and men who work at the Board respect the human dignity of all those who come before it.

The three decision-making divisions are supported by corporate management and services that include a range of HR, legal services, communications, strategic planning, audit and evaluation, risk management, values and ethics, financial services, information technology, security and management activities, and provide the IRB with efficient management processes and administrative services while promoting organizational effectiveness.

Benefits to Canadians

Immigrants and refugees have always made significant contributions to Canada's growth and development. In the delivery of its mandate, the IRB benefits Canadians in three important ways:

  • Its hearings on refugee claims ensure that Canada accepts those in need of protection in accordance with international obligations and Canadian law;
  • Its hearings on admissibility and detention reviews help ensure the security of Canadians; and
  • Its independent mechanism for resolving sponsorship, removal order and permanent residence status appeals ensures fairness of process for appellants and their families.

Through the decisions it makes, the IRB also contributes more broadly to the quality of life of Canada's communities by strengthening our country's social fabric, and by reflecting and reinforcing core values that are important to Canadians. These include respect for:

  • Human rights
  • Equality
  • Fairness
  • Peace
  • Rule of law

IRB Logic Model

What we do, what we produce and the impact of these activities are captured in the following diagram. It represents a dynamic process in which information is shared throughout the IRB to ensure that everyone at the IRB is focused on the appropriate activities and outputs in order to achieve the expected results and benefits for Canadians.

Figure 1.1: The IRB Logic Model

Logic Model diagram

(Click on image to enlarge)

Total Financial and Human Resources

The following tables provide summary data on the 2006-2007 total financial and human resources of the IRB.

Table 1.3: Total Financial and Human Resources for 2006-2007


Total Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
116.8 119.3 110.4
Spending planned for the fiscal year as presented in the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities. Level of spending authorized by the Government. Amounts actually spent during the 2006-2007 fiscal year as presented in the Public Accounts.


Total Human Resources
Planned Actual Difference
1,050 942 (108)
Full-time equivalents planned for the fiscal year as presented in the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities. Full-time equivalents actually used during the 2006-2007 fiscal year. The difference between planned and actual full-time equivalents utilization.

IRB Strategic Outcome, Strategic Priorities and Program Activities

This section provides information at the organizational level on the IRB's strategic outcome, strategic priorities and program activities.

IRB Strategic Outcome

Based on its legislated mandate, the IRB's single strategic outcome is as follows:

To provide Canadians with well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters rendered efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.

IRB Strategic Priorities

To achieve its strategic outcome, the IRB developed four strategic priorities for 2006-2007. These contribute to the achievement of the IRB's strategic outcome by ensuring that the Board's plans, activities and expected results emphasize high quality, consistency and efficiency across the organization, foster an open environment that values its people, and promote flexibility, accountability and continual improvement.

Table 1.4: The IRB Strategic Priorities for 2006-2007


2006-2007 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
STRATEGIC OUTCOME: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned, timely decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.
Integrate common procedural, administrative and adjudicative activities in all divisions to further promote quality, consistency and efficiency measures.
Continue to build an organizational culture that supports its people, and is flexible and innovative.
Improve case management processes through the successful implementation of ICMS.
Implement a horizontal and fully integrated management plan that reflects the IRB's reality.

IRB Program Activities

Based on the IRB's Program Activity Architecture (PAA), as approved by the TBS, the work of the IRB and its divisions is conducted through four program activities. The first three are responsible for all the tribunal decisions made at the IRB and the fourth is responsible for all the corporate management and services at the IRB.

Table 1.5: The IRB Program Activity Architecture


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
STRATEGIC OUTCOME: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned, timely decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.
Program Activity Architecture
Program Activity: Refugee Protection
  • Decision-making
  • Decision-making Support
    • Case Management and Research
    • Legal Support
    • Translation/Interpretation/Transcription
    • Other
Program Activity: Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews
  • Decision-making
  • Decision-making Support
Program Activity: Immigration Appeal
  • Decision-making
  • Decision-making Support
Program Activity: Corporate Management and Services
  • Executive Offices
  • Planning
  • Finance and Administration
  • IM/IT
  • Legal Services
  • HR and Professional Development
  • Strategic Communications and Partnerships

The following table outlines the key results and performance status of the IRB's four program activities in achieving both the IRB's strategic priorities and strategic outcome.

Table 1.6: The IRB Performance Status


2006-2007 Strategic Priorities ($ millions)
Planned Spending: 116.8 Actual Spending: 110.4
STRATEGIC OUTCOME: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned, timely decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 1
Integrate common procedural, administrative and adjudicative activities in all divisions to further promote quality, consistency and efficiency measures
Planned Spending: 87.7 Actual Spending: 76.9
Program Activity: Refugee Protection, Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews, Immigration Appeal, Corporate Management and Services
Results:
  • Development of common policy instruments and procedures, performance measures and adjudicative culture
  • Provision of strategic communications advice and information that reflects changes to procedural, administrative and adjudicative activities
  • Further development, maintenance and promotion of tools that support quality, consistency and efficiency in decision making in the areas of ethics, communications, quality control and service delivery
Type: Previously committed Performance Status: Successfully met*
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 2
Continue to build an organizational culture that supports its people, and is flexible and innovative
Planned Spending: 1.4 Actual Spending: 1.3
Program Activity: Refugee Protection, Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews, Immigration Appeal, Corporate Management and Services
Results:
  • Continued implementation of a competency-based HR management strategy across the IRB, including the development of competency profiles for functional groups and tools to support their use
  • Implementation of a policy on redeployment, enabling increased mobility between the divisions
Type: Ongoing Performance Status: Successfully met*
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 3
Improve case management processes through the successful implementation of ICMS
Planned Spending: 9.5 Actual Spending: 10.9
Program Activity: Refugee Protection, Corporate Management and Services
Results:
  • Successful implementation of a change management strategy with respect to the ICMS project that includes comprehensive communications and training plans
  • Continued development and implementation of ICMS
  • Maintenance of ICMS
Type: Ongoing Performance Status: Successfully met*
STRATEGIC PRIORITY 4
Implement a horizontal and fully integrated management plan that reflects the IRB's reality
Planned Spending: 18.2 Actual Spending: 21.3
Program Activity: Corporate Management and Services
Results:
  • Risk management continues to be part of planning and management activities, and appropriate legal risk management measures are developed
  • Implementation of identified priorities of the People Management Strategy, including the implementation of an integrated learning and professional development program for all IRB personnel
  • Implementation of a comprehensive security program that includes a Business Continuity Plan, and the implementation of the Management Information Technology action plan
  • The IRB is well positioned to make significant progress in the area of Information Management
Type: Ongoing Performance Status: Successfully met*

*Note: These are ongoing, multi-year strategic priorities.

During 2006-2007 the IRB made strides in achieving its initiatives under each strategic priority, as indicated in the table above. Productivity gains were experienced by both the Immigration Appeal program activity and the Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews program activity. Efforts continue to integrate common procedural, administrative and adjudicative activities across the organization, and the IRB completed the development of ICMS. However, the IRB also faced challenges in all three program activities, especially with respect to the appointments and reappointments of members and the attrition of senior managers.

Progress was also made in implementing a fully integrated management plan by ensuring risk management is a key part of planning and management activities, and in implementing an integrated learning and professional development program for all IRB personnel.

Operating Environment

Throughout 2006-2007 the IRB continued to carry out its mandate within a complex and ever-changing environment. As is always the case, both international and domestic factors can influence the Board's working environment and context. For example, conflicts and country conditions abroad may result in refugee movements, which in turn can affect the number of refugee protection claims made in Canada. The same is true of unanticipated shifts in international patterns of migration, which can affect the number of people seeking admission to Canada.

In terms of intake and workload among the three IRB divisions, this lack of predictability was a key aspect of the operating environment in which the IRB delivered its mandate during 2006-2007. The downward trend in the number of refugee claims seen in Canada over the previous four years began to shift and referrals of claims for refugee protection showed an increase. Driven by an increase in sponsorship appeals, the number of immigration appeal cases filed with the IRB also grew. In addition, the Immigration Division experienced an increase in the volume of admissibility hearings and detention reviews.

This lack of predictability remained a key aspect of the operating environment in which the IRB delivered on its mandate over 2005-2006. The downward trend in the number of refugee claims seen in Canada and globally over recent years continued in 2005-2006. At the same time, the number of immigration appeal cases filed with the Board — particularly sponsorship appeals — increased, while the volume of admissibility hearings and detention reviews remained fairly stable.

Declining claims for asylum continue

Over the past three years the Western countries have, in general, experienced a significant and sustained decline in receiving claims for asylum. However, Canada and the United States have experienced an increase in refugee claimants: 16% more claims were referred to the IRB in the 2006 calendar year than in 2005. In terms of fiscal year 2006-2007, referrals were 12% above the 2005-2006 total and 6% above the projections in the 2006-2007 IRB Report on Plans and Priorities.

Figure 1.2: Refugee Claims for Western Countries (2004-2006)

Refugee Claims for Western Countries (2004-2006)

(Click on image to enlarge)

Mexico was the top source country for refugee protection claims in Canada during 2006-2007, followed by China, Haiti and Colombia. However, the number of claims from Mexico far outpaced the other countries of origin: the number of claims from Mexico totalled more than the combined number of claims from the next three source countries.

Figure 1.3: Refugee Claims Filed (2004-2006)

Refugee Claims Filed (2004-2006)

(Click on image to enlarge)

Since 2004-2005 the intake from Canada and the United States has increased steadily, driven mainly by the upsurge in Mexican claims, and contrary to the trend in other Western countries of destination.

Increased family sponsorship appeals

Continuing a trend seen in recent years, the number of immigration appeals filed remained high in 2006-2007, up by 5% from 2005-2006 levels and 5% more than originally forecast in the 2006-2007 IRB Report on Plans and Priorities. Family sponsorship appeals were solely responsible for the increase.

Figure 1.4: Immigration Appeals Filed (2004-2006)

Immigration Appeals Filed (2004-2006)

While the volume of residency obligation and removal order appeals decreased, family sponsorship appeals increased by 10% over the previous year. This can be attributed partially to the Government of Canada's commitment to family reunification and the associated efforts of CIC to process more family sponsorship applications, resulting in a greater number of appeals filed.

Detention reviews and admissibility hearings

Work volumes in the ID increased in 2006-2007, with 15,300 detention reviews finalized (versus 12,300 in 2005-2006) and 2,700 admissibility hearings finalized (versus 2,300 in 2005-2006). Detention reviews continued to be conducted within the specific time frames set out in the IRPA.

Figure 1.5: Detention Reviews and Admissibility Hearings Finalized (2004-2006)

Detention Reviews and Admissibility Hearings Finalized (2004-2006)

The number of immigration cases is dependent on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The growth in the number of detention reviews is attributable mainly to the practice implemented in 2006-2007 to record cases resolved before opening.

Modernization and accountability

Public interest in the work of the IRB continues, along with a greater demand for accountability and transparency in government. Furthermore, the Government of Canada has made a strong commitment to accountability and brought into force the new Federal Accountability Act in December 2006. As noted in the Speech from the Throne on April 4, 2006, this Act will change the existing system of oversight and management by strengthening the rules and institutions that ensure transparency and accountability to Canadians. The IRB continues to respond to this demand by improving performance reporting, integrating best business practices and implementing innovative processes.

Government-wide initiatives

Over the course of 2006-2007 the IRB implemented government-wide initiatives aimed at improving public sector management and strengthened its management practices in order to enhance the organization's overall performance. Initiatives included the implementation of the Government of Canada's Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) Policy, the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) and HR modernization initiatives, and enhanced compliance with the Government Security Policy. These measures support the efforts of the IRB to build the requisite organizational capacity to sustain a high volume of decisions by ensuring that the necessary infrastructure and best management practices are in place.

Protocol addressing member conduct issues

The IRB was the first federal administrative tribunal to institute a formal process for addressing complaints about the conduct of decision-makers appointed to the IRB by the Governor in Council. Instituted in 1999, the Protocol Addressing Member Conduct Issues recognizes that high standards of conduct are required of public officials such as IRB decision-makers, whose decisions profoundly affect people's lives.

In 2006-2007, 12 complaints were filed under the Protocol. Of these complaints, one was found not to fall within the scope of the protocol, eight were unfounded, two were founded in part and one remains active. No appeals were filed.

Merit-based GIC member selection process

Canadians expect high levels of competence and ethical conduct from those who hold public office. A merit-based approach to the appointment of public officials in government is an important way for federal institutions to demonstrate credibility.

Although candidates for appointment to the IRB had been screened through written tests and interviews for many years, in March 2004 the IRB implemented a comprehensive new merit-based selection process for IRB GIC appointees. In November 2006, the Minister of CIC commissioned the Public Appointments Commission Secretariat (PACS) to review and make recommendations for improvements to the merit-based GIC member selection process. The proposed changes will strengthen the competency focus of the IRB selection process while increasing transparency and fairness.

Following the Minister's acceptance of the recommendations of the PACS (Harrison) Report in late March 2007, the IRB began to implement a revised selection process. Under the revised process, the Chairperson of the IRB is fully accountable for the selection of qualified candidates to be recommended to the Minister.

The selection process will continue to be an independent, transparent and merit-based process that will ensure that only qualified candidates are considered for appointment. The qualifications of candidates will be measured against a high standard of competence to ensure that skills, abilities and personal suitability are the basis for the appointment. All current members have been and will continue to be appraised against the competency standards.

Portfolio management

The IRB, the CBSA and CIC continued to collaborate on operational and portfolio matters throughout 2006-2007, while respecting each other's distinct mandates and the independence of the IRB's adjudicative functions.

Areas of collaboration included, but were not limited to:

  • Drafting a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding between CIC, the CBSA and the IRB which, when finalized, will clearly define the administrative relationship between the three organizations while underlining the institutional independence of the IRB and its decision-makers;
  • Ongoing work on the Simplified Information Gathering pilot project. Begun in the IRB's Eastern Region, the objective of this pilot project is to simplify the information gathering process, avoid duplication and improve the quality of the information gathered by portfolio organizations during the initial stages of making a claim for refugee protection in Canada; and
  • Ongoing work on IAD Innovation regarding the earlier receipt of the appeal records from CIC overseas and the participation of the Minister's counsel in early informal efforts to resolve immigration appeals.

Figure 1.6: The IRB, CBSA and CIC Portfolio

The IRB, CBSA and CIC Portfolio

(Click on image to enlarge)

Partners and agencies

The IRB continued to work closely with central agencies, including the Privy Council Office on GIC appointments of IRB members and on regulatory initiatives, and the TBS on program management and accountability. The IRB also works with Public Works and Government Services Canada on procurement and accommodation issues and with the Public Service Commission, the Canada Public Service Agency and the Canada School of Public Service on HR management issues. In addition, the IRB contributed to the 2006 and 2007 conferences of the CCAT. These meetings provide an opportunity for all Canadian administrative tribunals to learn about and share best practices and new approaches to emerging issues.

Stakeholders

The IRB's Consultative Committee on Practices and Procedures (CCPP) encourages systematic contact between the IRB and non-governmental stakeholders at the national level. The Committee is composed of representatives from the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Bar Association, the Refugee Lawyers Association, L'Association qubcoise des avocats et des avocates en droit de l'immigration and the UNHCR. The CCPP provides a forum for consultation, advice, information sharing and the discussion of issues of mutual concern regarding procedures and practices.

The IRB convened two full CCPP meetings in addition to holding issue-specific teleconferences. Stakeholders were consulted on IRB initiatives, and regional offices held local meetings with immigration consultants and lawyers, bar associations, refugee and refugee law associations and non-governmental organizations.

International context

The IRB participated in various international events in 2006-2007, which enabled the Board to learn from its partners' best practices and to showcase IRB expertise. These included EXCOM, IGC, IARLJ and the European Union Network for Asylum Practitioners.

This year's highlights also include the delivery of information sessions on the IRB's activities to a number of foreign delegations, including government delegations from the United Kingdom, Mexico, the Netherlands and Russia. In addition, the IRB participated in bilateral information exchanges with counterparts in Argentina, Denmark, Sweden and the United States.

In response to a need identified by the UNHCR, the IRB also organized assignments to UNHCR field offices abroad in the context of the IRB/UNHCR International Assignment Program. This initiative was an opportunity for IRB employees to train UNHCR staff on refugee status determination issues. In 2006-2007 the IRB and the UNHCR organized four assignments in Ankara, Turkey; New Delhi, India; Moscow, Russia; and Nairobi, Kenya. The training delivered during these assignments focused on interview techniques, the assessment of credibility, inclusion/exclusion analysis, the drafting of interview notes, the drafting of refugee status determination assessment reports and the use of country of origin information.

Link to Government of Canada outcome areas

Canada's federal organizations play an important role in contributing to the quality of life of Canadians. All government policies, outcomes, departmental mandates and programs are directed at fulfilling this role. The IRB makes important contributions to the Government of Canada's outcome areas, which are presented in the following diagram.

Table 1.7: IRB Program Activity Links to Government of Canada Outcome Areas


CONTRIBUTING TO THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF CANADIANS
IRB STRATEGIC OUTCOME
Provide Canadians with well-reasoned, timely decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA OUTCOME AREAS
International
A Safe and Secure World through International Cooperation
Through the work of the Refugee Protection Program Activity, Canada accepts those in need of protection. Canada provides a safe haven to persons with a well-founded fear of persecution, as well as to those who face a danger of torture or risk to their life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
Social
Safe and Secure Communities
Through the work of the Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews Program Activity, the IRB recognizes the consequences of the decisions it makes with respect to enhancing public safety and protecting Canadian citizens. It is with this sense of responsibility that the IRB maintains the balance between individual rights and the security of Canadians.
Social
A Diverse Society that Promotes Linguistic Duality and Social Inclusion
Through the sponsorship appeals work of the Immigration Appeal Program Activity, the IRB recognizes the contributions of immigrants to the strength and vitality of Canadian society and culture, as well as the Government of Canada's commitment to family reunification. Canada is a country enriched by the many different origins of its population.