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Section 2: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

This section provides performance information on the IRB's plans, expected results and financial and human resources presented in its 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP). Using the IRB's PAA and MRRS that were approved by TBS for the 2007-2008 reporting period, the section details the achievement of the Board's strategic priorities and strategic outcome.

Table 2.1: The IRB Program Activity Architecture


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Strategic Outcome: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned 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
    • Translation/Interpretation/Transcription
    • Legal Support
    • 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
  • Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT)
  • Legal Services
  • HR and Professional Development
  • Strategic Communications and Partnerships

The 2007-2008 IRB Performance Report is the second time that the IRB uses the complete performance measurement framework to report on its strategic priorities and outcome. The investment in developing the framework and populating it with performance indicator data provides an improved foundation for this performance report. The IRB ensures it is focused on results, delivers value for money, is consistent with Government priorities, and continues to serve the purpose and mandate for which it was created.



Common Elements

The IRB has developed an Integrated Business Plan (IBP) for 2007-2008 that brings together the plans and expected results for its four program activities. The plan identifies both the common and distinct areas of activities for each program activity. Presented in this section are the performance results for the common elements and for each of the decision-making program activities. The performance results for the Corporate Management and Services program activity are presented in Section 4.

Table 2.2: Common Elements Plans and Results


Common Elements:
Plans and Results for 2007-2008
Strategic Outcome: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law
Strategic Priority 1
Consolidate the integration of the work of the Board's divisions to ensure quality, consistency and fairness in the efficient resolution of cases in a time of transition
Plans Results
Policy Instruments and Procedures
Elaboration of IRB detention/security framework and implementation of selected elements across the divisions
  • The Detention Framework was completed and issued. This framework establishes what the IRB wants to achieve, expresses principles to guide the IRB's approach to detention matters and sets the key issues that the IRB will address to further improve the security, fairness, access and efficiency of its proceedings
  • A set of priorities was identified during the reporting period. Development of these priorities into policies/procedures is planned for 2008-2009
Initiate the development of a common/shared policy on the use of videoconferencing and new technology
  • Work on the development of the policy was deferred to 2008-2009 because of competing policy priorities
Develop and implement IRB policy governing conduct of representatives
  • The Policy for Handling IRB Complaints Regarding Unauthorized, Paid Representatives was developed during the reporting period and released in early 2008-2009. This policy governs the process for handling complaints arising in any of the IRB's divisions regarding the possible charging of fees by representatives who have declared that they are unpaid when representing, advising or consulting with persons who are the subject of IRB proceedings
Case Management Strategies
Implement integrated adjudicative support model
  • New structure was implemented to support adjudication in the three divisions, increasing productivity
  • Completed the transition of refugee protection officers to tribunal officers, providing increased flexibility in their employment
  • Management positions were staffed and trained
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is being performed by public service employees, allowing decision-makers to conduct more hearings
  • A number of tribunal officers were trained to support all three divisions, providing flexibility in response to needs and expanded career opportunities
Cross-divisional integration initiatives:
  • Western Region integration pilot project
  • ID-IAD streamlining pilot project
  • Training of IAD and RPD decision-makers in each others division completed, summer 2007
  • 59 files were finalized in the ID/IAD streamlining pilot. Overall, the pilot had a positive evaluation, with an average case processing time of 34 days. Adjustments are still required to the overall process. A follow-up pilot was started on April 1, 2008
Performance Measures
Continue to develop and refine a standardized approach to present IRB divisional reports, including meaningful cross-divisional indicators, both quantitative and qualitative
  • Following consultations with the divisions, reports were standardized in order to produce more consistent analyses
Strategic Priority 2
Continue to build an organization that strengthens its operational and leadership capacity, its diversity and its flexibility
Plans Results
Adjudicative Culture
Pursue recruitment efforts of GICs for RPD and IAD
  • A new and more effective merit-based process was established in July 2007 to assess candidates for GIC appointment as decision-makers
  • The new Selection Advisory Board carried out extensive recruitment efforts, reviewing the application of hundreds of candidates seeking appointment
  • Successful candidates that met IRB requirements were recommended to the Minister for appointment
Review and deliver comprehensive new decision-maker training in light of anticipated renewal of workforce
  • ID and IAD New Decision-maker Training Programs have been redesigned and updated
  • All new decision-makers were comprehensively trained in all necessary subject areas, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to perform their duties and to facilitate integration initiatives
Develop and implement comprehensive cross-divisional training program for RPD and IAD decision-makers and for tribunal officers (including joint training, where appropriate, among all divisions)
  • Where relevant and appropriate, members of all divisions were trained jointly, resulting in more effective training; GIC members were cross-trained as required, providing increased flexibility in the employment of resources and improved productivity
  • Tribunal officers attended new decision-maker training and national training sessions across all divisions as appropriate
Deliver focused and quality training on priority topics on an ongoing basis in order to meet the needs of decision-makers and to promote quality in handling of cases by staff and decision-makers:
  • RPD: state protection, delivery of reasons, exclusion and Vulnerable Persons Guidelines
  • ID: National Training Session in May 2007, and specific training needs on emerging issues
  • IAD: coordinated with implementation of IAD Innovation, namely streaming, ADR, proactive hearings, various adjudicative strategies, etc. (for both staff and decision-makers)
  • Using a combination of professional development days, monthly training sessions and a national training event, all three divisions delivered quality training focused on their collective and respective needs
  • All training objectives were met and resulted in continued high quality and increased consistency in decision-making
Action IAD-RPD deployment policy when decision-maker complement allows
  • No RPD-IAD deployments took place during the reporting period




Distinct Program Activity Elements

The IRB's IBP also identifies the plans, expected results and operations that are unique to each IRB program activity and contribute to achieving the IRB's strategic priorities for 2007-2008 and the IRB's strategic outcome. These are highlighted in the following detailed analyses; the detailed analysis for Corporate Management and Services is presented in Section 4.



Refugee Protection Program Activity


The Refugee Protection program activity receives the majority of IRB resources and is focused on rendering quality and timely decisions on inland refugee protection claims. To deliver on this mandate, the Refugee Protection program activity depends on experienced decision-makers and adjudicative support. Over the past year, the RPD continued to seek efficiencies while responding to the growing volume of refugee claims made on Canadian soil. Although expected demands were not fully realized due in part to a loss of decision-makers throughout the year, enhanced and effective adjudicative strategies and case management strategies enabled the RPD to meet its mandate while upholding its international reputation.

Ken Sandhu
Deputy Chairperson
Refugee Protection Division

Performance Measurements and Indicators

Table 2.3: Refugee Protection Program Activity Total Financial and Human Resources


Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
85.5 84.7 75.4
Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
815 697 (118)

Performance Highlights and Results


During the reporting period, decision-maker productivity in the RPD has increased by an average of 8%, the highest in the last three years. New case management and adjudicative strategies enhanced overall efficiency. A bi-annual National Training Seminar that brought together decision-makers from across the country not only reinforced existing skills but also provided a venue to share experiences and gain knowledge from fellow experts in the refugee field. Although demands on the refugee determination system increased throughout the year, the quality of decision-making remained high. However, the number of new claims referred exceeded projections, thereby adding to the overall pending caseload.



Table 2.4: Refugee Protection Program Activity Plans and Results


Strategic Outcome: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law
Strategic Priority 3
Continue to improve adjudicative and case management strategies including the implementation of Stage 1 of the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS)
Plans Results
Distinct Elements and Tribunal Values
Mitigate increasing pending inventory, processing times and cost per claim by monitoring and expanding the Fast Track initiative, and reducing adjournments and postponements, and through a more sophisticated streamlining
  • Continued to apply streamlining instructions in a consistent manner and monitored instructions for potential future amendments
  • The postponement and adjournment rate has remained stable over the past three fiscal years; however, decision-maker complement has decreased
  • Continued to manage pending inventory and processing time by developing new strategies to further enhance efficiency
  • Evaluation is ongoing for two such strategies, namely the Language Analysis Project and the Simplified Information Gathering Project. A third strategy, the Western Integration Project, achieved positive results when piloted. However, an increase in the number of decision-makers will be required before the pilot can be further expanded
Further monitoring of RPD Action Plan in order to ensure implementation
  • Board decision-maker productivity increased to an average rate of 4 claims finalized per week versus 3.7 in FY 2006-2007
Pursue measures to further streamline RPD processes
  • Guidelines developed to ensure the timely reception of required personal information were re-enforced, resulting in a faster streaming of cases and improved productivity
  • Training of decision-makers and tribunal officers on guidelines related to hearing room procedures and questioning on determinative issues resulted in shorter processing times and improved productivity
Continue to implement and monitor the strategic approach to quality adjudicative support and decision-making through quality issue sessions, discussion groups, additional National Documentation Packages, Jurisprudential Guides and Persuasive Decisions, as needed, and Guidelines for Vulnerable Persons
  • Quality Issue Sessions, along with the adoption and application of national documentation packages (versus regional) brought about consistency in decision-making
Launch ICMS Stage 1 for RPD
  • The ICMS project was completed and the system was rolled out in April 2007. The system business requirements have since changed. As a result, enhancements are required to update ICMS
  • The decommissioning of STAR has been postponed until ICMS enhancements are implemented to further meet operational needs

Key Outputs

The outputs for the Refugee Protection program activity are:

  • Claims referred
  • Claims finalized
  • Claims waiting
  • Average processing time
  • Average cost per claim finalized
Claims referred

Figure 2.1: Refugee Protection Claims Referred

Chart showing the number of refugee protection claims referred.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

The 2007-2008 referrals were 30% above the 2006-2007 totals and 46% above the 2005-2006 totals. Mexico remained the top source country for the fifth consecutive year, with 7,600 claims. Mexico claims accounted for 25% of all referrals. The 2007-2008 Mexican referrals were 37% more than the referrals in 2006-2007. Haiti claim referrals were 4,300, followed by Colombia as the third top source country, with 3,000 referrals. The Western hemisphere accounted for 60% of all claims referred in 2007-2008.

Claims finalized

Figure 2.2: Refugee Protection Claims Finalized

Chart showing the number of refugee protection claims finalized.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the appointments and reappointments of decision-makers to the RPD, the IRB projected to finalize 16,000 to 20,000 refugee protection claims. In 2007-2008, the RPD finalized 14,900 claims.

During the reporting period, decision-makers' productivity was up 8% over last fiscal year. It was also the highest in three years and can be attributed to enhanced case management and adjudicative strategies. However, because fewer decision-makers were appointed and reappointed, the gains in productivity could not offset the shortfall in finalizations.

During 2007-2008, the RPD had an average of 79 decision-makers out of a funded complement of 127.

Claims waiting

Figure 2.3: Refugee Protection Claims Waiting

Chart showing the number of refugee protection claims waiting.

Note: The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

Due to the increase in referrals and the drop in finalizations, on March 31, 2008, 42,000 claims were waiting for a decision versus the projected annual amount of 33,200. This is an increase of 16,000 claims waiting from the year before, and more than double from March 31, 2006.

Average processing time

The average processing time increased to 14 months in 2007-2008, versus the projected 12.5 months for the year. For the previous two fiscal years the average processing time was 12 months. The increased average processing time is due in part to a growing inventory and fewer experienced decision-makers. At year-end, close to 75% of claims finalized were older than a year, reflecting a rapidly growing, aging inventory and the RPD's decision to finalize the oldest claims in its inventory.

Average cost per claim finalized

The average cost per claim for 2007-2008 was $4,938, compared with $4,117 in 2006-2007. Unit costs per claim ranged from $2,200 for an expedited case to $7,300 for complex cases.

The increase in the average cost per claim is mainly attributable to a higher share of fixed business sustaining costs per unit caused by a lower volume of claims finalized during the year and increases in salary costs.

The actual cost per claim is slightly higher than the forecasted average cost of $4,700 (based on an estimate of 16,000 claim finalizations) as reported in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities due to the factors noted above.

The cost per claim includes decision-making costs and costs of related activities such as case preparation, research, scheduling of hearings, legal services, foreign-language interpretation, technological support, translation services and administrative support. It also includes a share of the costs from the Corporate Management and Services program activity, which is allocated to the three decision-making program activities, based on expenditure trends.

Figure 2.4: Refugee Protection Master Graph

This Refugee Protection master graph provides detailed information and a comparison of the main activities during the past two fiscal years.

(Click on image to enlarge)



Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews Program Activity


The Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews program activity holds hearings for foreign nationals or permanent residents who are alleged to be inadmissible to Canada pursuant to the provisions of the IRPA. Detention reviews are held concerning permanent residents and foreign nationals who are detained under the IRPA authority. Detainees must be seen by the Immigration Division within 48 hours and subsequent reviews must be conducted within specific timeframes as set out in the IRPA. Decision-makers must balance individuals' right to liberty with the security interests of Canadians and persons in Canada. Over the past 18 months, decision-maker turnover has reached 63% in the Central Region, and most decision-makers currently have one year or less of experience. Since the Central Region's workload represents approximately 60%of the Division's total workload, every effort has been made to support our new decision-makers, including the invaluable contributions of decision-makers and directors in the other regions. I am extremely proud of this remarkable example of teamwork.

Ghislaine Charlebois
Director General
Immigration Division

Performance Measurements and Indicators

Table 2.5: Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews Program Activity Total Financial and Human Resources


Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
15.2 17.3 12.7
Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
90 92 2

Performance Highlights and Results


The level of activity is dependent on the number of cases referred by the CBSA. Over the course of 2007-2008, the admissibility and detention reviews program activity coped with an increase in referrals for both admissibility hearings (9%) and detention reviews (4%).The Immigration Division finalized 2,700 admissibility hearings in fiscal year 2007-2008, 17% more than the RPP forecast and 1% more than in the previous fiscal year. The Division finalized 16,050 detention reviews, 2% more than forecasted in the RPP and 2% more than finalized in 2006-2007.



Table 2.6: Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews Program Activity Plans and Results


Strategic Outcome: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law
Strategic Priority 2
Continue to build an organization that strengthens its operational and leadership capacity, its diversity and its flexibility
Plans Results
Distinct Elements and Tribunal Values
Pursue succession recruitment efforts and integration of new decision-makers
  • Staffing requirements were met. One staffing process completed in Central Region: 10 new decision-makers were hired
  • Two anticipatory staffing processes initiated in Eastern and Western Regions with the intention of creating qualified pools for succession planning
  • Mentoring by decision-makers (including experienced decision-makers, former decision-makers, decision-makers from other regions) provided to new decision-makers
  • Decision-makers from other regions have helped out with cases while on mentoring assignments
  • Temporary double-banking of decision-makers to facilitate transfer of knowledge prior to retirement
  • HR plan completed and regional components developed
Strategic Priority 3
Continue to improve adjudicative and case management strategies including the implementation of Stage 1 of the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS)
Plans Results
Distinct Elements and Tribunal Values
Introduce and implement innovative approaches to processes by further developing and promoting tools that will support quality, consistency and efficiency in decision-making
  • Tribunal officers integrated in ID business process
  • Case readiness measures piloted in Central Region
  • Tribunal officer completed an analysis of all cases completed to determine days taken by ID to conduct 48-hour detention reviews
  • Aide-mmoire for the conduct of detention reviews developed by tribunal officer
  • Adjudication strategy: General framework for consistency, quality and efficiency was developed
  • Expectation of 60-day standard for written decisions included in work objectives for decision-makers
  • 97% of detention reviews concluded within the legislative timeframe
  • The pilot concerning files that involved simple criminality (s.36 (1) (a)) was a success.The process involved the cooperation of the CBSA, ID and IAD and the introduction of a paper process which saw the processing time drop significantly from over one year to less than a month.Unfortunately, due to the CBSA's human resource issues the process cannot continue in the same form however, a new pilot is under way
  • Increased sharing of best practices among regions and decision-makers leading to improved quality and consistency in decisions was also achieved by:
    • Cross-regional discussion forum
    • Increased use of a decision digest
    • National training conference
    • Attendance at international conferences
Develop harmonized processes and adopt a more flexible resource management approach to help meet the legislative timeframes and operational requirements to achieve finalization of all cases referred to the Division in a timely fashion
  • Increased use of videoconferencing in Eastern Region for Ottawa cases
  • National order for release form implemented
  • Decision-makers assigned to other region temporarily when appropriate
  • Increased use of videoconferencing between Central and Eastern Regions (half day per week)

Key Outputs

The outputs for the Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews program activity are:

  • Admissibility hearings finalized
  • Detention reviews finalized
  • Average cost per admissibility hearing finalized
  • Average cost per detention review finalized
Admissiblity Hearings finalized

Figure 2.5: Admissibility Hearings Finalized

Chart showing number of admissibility hearings finalized.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

Outcome of decisions

  • 72% resulted in a removal order being issued because the person was determined inadmissible
  • 3% resulted in permission to enter or to remain in Canada
  • 7% were subject to the withdrawal of the inadmissibility allegation by the CBSA at the hearing
  • 16% of persons who received a notice to appear at their hearing failed to appear and the case was closed
Detention Reviews finalized

Figure 2.6: Detention Reviews Finalized

Chart showing number of detention reviews finalized.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: Please note that starting in 2005-2006, the IRB included cases that were resolved before opening (RBOs) in its reporting on total finalizations. In 2005-2006, 10,950 detention reviews were finalized without RBO, 11,600 in 2006-2007 and 11,900 in 2007-2008. The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

The ID received 16,200 requests for detention reviews from the CBSA in 2007-2008. The Division finalized 16,050 detention reviews; 2% more than forecasted in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities and 2% more than finalized in 2006-2007. The remaining 150 cases were pending decisions.

The variance in the RPP forecast (11,500) and the actual number of detention reviews that were finalized (16,050) is attributable mainly to changes in the case management process. Cases resolved without a decision are now being included in the actual finalizations, as described below.

Of the 16,050 detention reviews finalized, 11,900 were finalized with a decision—a 2% increase over the 11,600 detention reviews finalized with a decision in 2006-2007. The remaining 4,150 were finalized without a decision either because the case was rescheduled or the person had been removed, released or detained by courts prior to a scheduled review.

Outcome of detention reviews finalized with a decision

  • 74% resulted in continued detention
  • 19% resulted in an offer to release, subject to certain terms and conditions
  • 5% resulted in release orders without any terms or conditions attached
  • 2% resulted in changes to the conditions imposed on persons granted release
Average cost per admissibility hearing and detention review finalized

The average cost per admissibility hearing finalized was $1,096 and the average cost per detention review finalized was $727. These costs are comparable to the actual average costs for 2006-2007 of $1,133 per admissibility hearing and $751 per detention review. As well, the average costs for 2007-2008 are in line with the forecasted cost indicated in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities of $1,100 per admissibility hearing and $800 per detention review.

The cost per admissibility hearing and detention review includes decision-making costs and costs of related activities such as case preparation, research, scheduling of hearings, legal services, foreign-language interpretation, technological support, translation services and administrative support. It also includes a share of the costs from the Corporate Management and Services program activity, which is allocated to the three decision-making program activities, based on expenditure trends.

Figure 2.7: Admissibility Hearings Master Graph

This Admissibility Hearings master graph provides detailed information and a comparison of the main activities during the past four fiscal years.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Figure 2.8: Detention Review Master Graph

This Detention Reviews master graph provides detailed information and a comparison of the main activities during the past four fiscal years.

(Click on image to enlarge)



Immigration Appeal Program Activity



The Immigration Appeal program activity hears immigration appeals from Canadian citizens and permanent residents whose applications to sponsor close family members to Canada have been refused. Other key functions include hearing appeals from permanent residents, foreign nationals with a permanent resident visa, protected persons who have been ordered removed from Canada and permanent residents outside of Canada who have not fulfilled their residency obligation. The Immigration Appeal Division achieved record-high productivity again in 2007-2008.I want to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of our decision-makers and public service employees.The quality of our work also remains high due to our ongoing professional development, implementation of our adjudication strategies and our comprehensive adjudicative support.

Shari Stein
A/Deputy Chairperson
Immigration Appeal Division

Performance Measurements and Indicators

Table 2.7: Immigration Appeal Program Activity Financial and Human Resources


Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
13.0 16.3 15.2
Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
120 139 19

The difference between planned and actual expenditures was mainly due to additionnal salaries and operating expenses in support of tribunal operations.

Performance Highlights and Results


The IAD responded to continuing high caseload demands and decision-maker complement shortfalls with a year of record-high productivity. The momentum of the IAD Innovation transformation continued, with more improvements in case management and adjudicative support, further pilot projects and a major focus on conducting hearings in a more proactive manner.The challenge of the IAD Central Region backlog was addressed through an aggressive backlog reduction plan, including regional sharing of decision-makers from Eastern Region.This resulted in completing the oldest cases in our case inventory in Toronto.



Table 2.8: Immigration Appeal Program Activity Plans and Results


Strategic Outcome: Provide Canadians with well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law
Strategic Priority 3
Continue to improve adjudicative and case management strategies including the implementation of Stage 1 of the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS)
Plans Results
Distinct Elements and Tribunal Values
IAD Innovation – Continued implementation of IAD Innovation proposals to transform IAD into a more flexible and proactive division
  • Ongoing improvements in IAD case management and adjudicative support through enhanced streaming, early resolution and hearing readiness efforts
  • Higher number of appeals finalized and completed with decreased decision-maker complement. The number of appeals completed with hearing per decision-maker-year increased by 3% in comparison with 2006-2007
  • Average processing time increased by 2% (in large part due to a 14% decrease in decision-maker complement in comparison with the previous fiscal year)
  • More information on the IAD Innovation initiative is available in Section 4
Early Information Gathering and Early Informal Resolution – Obtain more information from both parties earlier, to support earlier screening, streaming and resolution
  • A framework was set up to address effective streaming
  • Public service employee teams and appropriate tools put in place to provide support to the IAD through streaming, early resolution and hearing readiness efforts
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) – Finish transition of ADR program to public service, and increase early informal resolution through successful ADR by public service employees
  • ADR is being conducted by public service employees
  • ADR resolution rate dropped slightly from 50% in 2006-2007 to 48% in 2007-2008
Hearings – Ensure files are hearing-ready and have hearings conducted in a more proactive manner
  • The adjournment rate has remained fairly stable over the past four fiscal years, and the postponement rate has declined
  • New hearing readiness checklist was developed for the IAD Central Region backlog reduction initiative
  • The Central Region backlog reduction initiative was successfully completed and resulted in finalization of oldest cases in Central Region
  • Several professional development sessions and training tools were developed to foster best practices and equip decision-makers with tools to conduct more proactive hearings
  • Pilot project successfully implemented in Central Region for residency obligation appeal hearings with Minister's counsel appearing only through written submissions
Adjudication strategy and consistency – Develop and promote consistent and strategic approaches, including in areas such as removal order appeals and stays, proactive hearings, adjournments and postponements, and the applicant's testimony in marriage sponsorship appeals
  • A combination of management team meetings, planning sessions and professional development sessions held at the regional and national levels contributed to improved communication of best practices and cross-regional consistency
  • Adjudication strategies were developed to deal with caseload and legal issues in a strategic and consistent manner – initial focus on proactive hearings, with three professional development sessions involving discussion of best practices and development of training tools to equip decision-makers to conduct more proactive hearings
  • Continued discussion and training on best practices and a more consistent approach to efficient use of the applicant's testimony in marriage sponsorship appeals when needed
  • Training on adjournments and postponements was addressed in all new decision-maker training sessions, with broader training for all IAD decision-makers deferred to October 2008
  • Implemented ID-IAD streamlining pilot in Central Region to deal with stays negotiated by CBSA and appellant – also developed and delivered a national professional development session on stays for IAD decision-makers

Key Outputs

The outputs for the Immigration Appeal program activity are:

  • Appeals filed
  • Appeals finalized
  • Appeals waiting
  • Average processing time
  • Average cost per appeal finalized
Appeals filed

Figure 2.9: Immigration Appeals Filed

Chart showing number of immigration appeals filed.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

The number of filed appeals remained high due to an increase in removal order appeals. Sponsorship appeals filed decreased only marginally by 1 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Appeals finalized

Figure 2.10: Immigration Appeals Finalized

Chart showing number of immigration appeals finalized.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the appointments and reappointments of decision-makers to the IAD, the IRB projected to finalize 5,800 to 6,300 appeals. A total of 6,400 appeals were finalized in 2007-2008, the highest number of appeals in the IRB's history.

Higher numbers of appeals were finalized despite the decrease in the decision-maker complement. The average decision-maker complement in 2007-2008 was 25, out of an authorized 37, the lowest since 2001-2002.

The IAD developed adjudication strategies to deal with its caseload and issues in a strategic and consistent manner. Several initiatives were implemented throughout 2007-2008 such as improved pre-hearing actions to ensure files are hearing ready and strategic sharing of decision-makers across the regions. The continued high productivity of decision-makers and the increase in public service support for the IAD contributed to an increased level of performance. The IAD focused on training decision-makers to conduct hearings in a more proactive manner. The large pending inventory in the Central Region was addressed through an aggressive backlog reduction initiative. One of several innovative measures and pilot projects was a new case stream for residency obligation appeals selected by the CBSA in which the Minister's counsel would not appear in person at the hearing but would instead provide written submissions. Successful use of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, the early review processes, and increased focus on the screening and streaming of cases were key mechanisms by which the IRB managed its immigration appeals caseload and which had a positive impact on productivity.

Outcome of decisions

Of the 6,400 appeals finalized in 2007-2008:

  • 39% were allowed
  • 31% were dismissed
  • 30% were either withdrawn by the appellant or declared abandoned by the IRB

In addition to the appeals finalized, IAD decision-makers ordered 700 stays, a temporary outcome in a removal order appeal in which reconsideration and final decision is done at a later date.

These results have fluctuated slightly over the past few years, as outcomes are a function of the nature of the appeals being heard, with each case being decided independently on its particular merits.

Appeals waiting

Figure 2.11: Immigration Appeals Waiting

Chart showing number of immigration appeals waiting.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: The numbers have been rounded off to the nearest hundred.

The number of appeals waiting for a decision increased to 9,600 by March 31, 2008. (This includes 1,340 removal order appeals in which the removal order has been stayed and the appeal is waiting for reconsideration and a final decision later). The increased number of appeals waiting for a decision is a result of the number of appeals filed exceeding the number of appeals finalized for a fifth consecutive year.

Average processing time

The average processing time for appeals increased by 3% in 2007-2008 to 10.1 months nationally in comparison with 2006-2007. The average processing time has been increasing for the past four consecutive years. The increasing processing time is a result of the number of appeals filed exceeding the number of appeals finalized. Increased caseload and delays in decision-maker appointments and reappointments have been contributing factors to increased inventory levels and average processing time.

Average cost per appeal finalized

The overall average cost per finalized appeal for 2007-2008 of $2,330 is comparable to the 2006-2007 actual average cost of $2,260. Average unit costs per appeal were $2,200 for removal orders, $2,300 for sponsorship appeals and $2,500 for residency obligation appeals.

The overall average cost per finalized appeal is slightly higher than the forecasted cost of $2,200 as reported in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities primarily due to increased salary costs.

The cost per appeal includes decision-making costs and costs of related activities such as case preparation, scheduling of hearings, legal services, foreign-language interpretation, technological support, translation services and administrative support. It also includes a share of the costs of the Corporate Management and Services program activity, which is allocated to the three decision-making program activities, based on expenditure trends.

Figure 2.12: Immigration Appeal Master Graph

This Immigration Appeal master graph provides detailed information and a comparison of the main activities during the past four fiscal years.

(Click on image to enlarge)



Red line