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Status Report on Major Crown Projects

Global Case Management System

1. Description

The Global Case Management System (GCMS) is Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC's) electronic business platform. It is integral to making the citizenship and immigration system more modern, efficient, flexible and responsive to Canada's labour market. It is essential to improving citizenship and immigration services, maintaining program integrity and strengthening the security of Canada.

GCMS is helping CIC move toward an increasingly centralized, integrated and virtual business model. It enhances CIC's reporting capability to assist in detecting fraud. GCMS also lays the foundation to support future business improvements and innovation, such as the introduction of e-services, improved identity management through biometrics and paperless case processing.

2. Project Phases

GCMS was granted preliminary project approval by Treasury Board in 2001. In September 2004, it was successfully implemented for the Citizenship Program. The first version of GCMS is currently being used to process more than 200,000 applications each year for Canadian citizenship and proof of citizenship.

As a result of independent reviews, GCMS underwent a project assessment, and a revised go-forward plan was developed with a reduced scope. In August 2008, Treasury Board granted approval to develop the next phase of GCMS, which focused on visa offices overseas where the majority of clients first seek CIC services.

An independent review completed in June 2009 confirmed that the project schedule is achievable, the technology is sound and the initiative is on track. In June 2010, the first visa office overseas will begin using the GCMS Release 2. Once fully implemented in March 2011, GCMS will provide a single, integrated processing capability for all citizenship and overseas immigration applications.

3. Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

Lead Department Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Contracting Authority Public Works and Government Services Canada
Participating Departments Canada Border Services Agency

4. Prime Contractor

Prime Contractor None (CIC is responsible for system integration.)

5. Major Milestones

Major Milestone Date
Treasury Board approves funding for the GCMS project at the same time as CIC's Treasury Board submission on the implementation of policy reforms and the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). August 2000
Treasury Board grants Preliminary Project Approval and major Crown project designation to GCMS. March 2001
Treasury Board grants Effective Project Approval (EPA) to GCMS. January 2002
Request for proposal for the acquisition of a commercial, off-the-shelf software package for case management is posted for tender by Public Works and Government Services Canada. February 2002
Contract for the off-the-shelf software package for case management is awarded. March 2003
Treasury Board grants amended EPA to GCMS to address the impact of procurement delays. October 2003
The first GCMS business component (Citizenship) is implemented. September 2004
Treasury Board grants a second amendment to the EPA to address the impact of cumulative slippage that includes critical new requirements in project scope, and provides for an incremental deployment approach. September 2005
Completion of a System Under Development audit of the GCMS project. November 2005
Treasury Board grants a third amendment to the EPA to address a wording anomaly with regard to the GST. December 2006
Independent review indicates the need to assess project status and review options for completing GCMS objectives. December 2006
Treasury Board grants a fourth amendment to the EPA to undertake this assessment and to develop a revised go-forward plan. February 2007
Treasury Board grants a fifth amendment to the EPA, extending the time frame for completion of a substantive go-forward plan to late fiscal 2007–2008. October 2007
Independent review validates project's recovery plan and project team's readiness to deliver. December 2007
Treasury Board grants a sixth amendment to the EPA with a reduced scope for the second release of GCMS. August 2008
Independent review confirms that technology is sound, project schedule is achievable and that "success is within sight." June 2009
Treasury Board releases remainder of funding required to complete the project. September 2009
Deployment of new GCMS version to existing citizenship users. May 2010
GCMS deployment to first visa office overseas. June 2010
GCMS deployment to all visa offices overseas is complete. March 2011

6. Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

The GCMS project is within its approved budgetary estimate of $387 million and is on schedule to deploy GCMS Release 2 to its first international mission in June 2010.

In September 2009, Treasury Board reviewed the latest project status report and released the remainder of the funding required to complete the project.

Previously, in August 2008, Treasury Board granted approval to extend the time required to complete the project to March 31, 2011, and increased the project's total spending authority to $387 million (including GST). Consistent with recommendations from independent reviews conducted between December 2006 and December 2007, GCMS Release 2 is being developed with a reduced scope focused on visa offices overseas.

The GCMS project has faced considerable challenges, adding to the cost and time needed to complete the project, including:

  • an overly ambitious scope with no initial phased delivery;
  • a change of government direction to commercial off-the-shelf software;
  • splitting of immigration with the creation of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA);
  • amendments to the IRPA, representing a major change in the administration of the immigration system; and
  • a need to respond to increased security risks, while respecting privacy.

Temporary Resident Biometrics Project

1. Description

CIC and CBSA are jointly responsible for the delivery of Canada's immigration program. In accordance with IRPA, CIC and CBSA work together to manage the movement of clients across and within Canada's borders. Under the Customs Act, all people and goods entering Canada must report to CBSA at a port of entry. Among the issues addressed by CBSA are illegal migration, preventing the admission into Canada of persons involved in war crimes or crimes against humanity, and detention and removal from Canada of inadmissible persons.

Today, the use of biometrics is expanding rapidly given its unique approach and its potential to identify an individual reliably. The introduction of biometric technology into the temporary resident stream screening process will enhance the screening of applicants in the temporary program, thereby fixing the client's identity at the time of application for a visa or for a study or work permit, and allowing verification of that identity when the individual seeks entry at the border. As a result, Canada will better ensure the safety and security of Canadian society and reduce abuse of the immigration system by limiting opportunities for persons with Canadian criminal or deportation histories to use alternate identities to return to Canada. The project will also facilitate the processing of legitimate temporary workers, students and visitors. Many other countries, including such key migration countries as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, have either recently implemented or are planning to implement similar projects.

2. Project Phases

The Temporary Resident Biometrics Project is currently in its planning/definition phase and will begin the implementation phase in late 2011. During the planning/definition phase, CIC, CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are working collaboratively to define the solution, as well as the approaches and plans for implementing the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project. A critical first step is the clear definition of a set of comprehensive business and supporting infrastructure requirements agreed to by all partners. Requirements will then be used to define the business solution and how it will work (functional design), how technology will enable the solution (technical design), and how all the pieces fit and work together (supporting architectures).

Substantive plans and strategies for completing the project and managing the business change will be finalized and approved by all partners, culminating in a submission to obtain EPA.

During the implementation phase, the project will focus on developing, monitoring and controlling deliverables (as defined by the business requirements), while meeting schedule commitments.

3. Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

In late 2007, CIC sought policy approval for the introduction of biometrics into the Temporary Resident Program, and funding to support this initiative was included in Budget 2008. Following the budget announcement, a Biometrics Project Office was established in CIC as the lead organization for managing this investment. The project will be developed and implemented with the active participation of three primary federal government departments and agencies: CIC, CBSA and the RCMP.

Lead Department Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Contracting Authority Public Works and Government Services Canada
Participating Departments CBSA and the RCMP

4. Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)

Prime Contractor None (Tendering in late 2010)

5. Major Milestones

List of Major Milestones Date
Effective Project Approval 2010
Request for Proposal (RFP) Tender 2010
Deployment 2011-2013
Project Shutdown 2013

6. Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

Funding was included in Budget 2008 to enhance and strengthen identity management within the Temporary Resident Program, allowing overseas visa officers and border service officers at ports of entry to make decisions based on accurate identity and immigration admissibility information, and permitting border service officers to verify applicants' identity at Canada's ports of entry.

An independent review concluded that the project is a solid initiative with a good approach, has clear objectives that are important and measurable, is highly aligned with the core mandates of the three partner agencies, is well defined, and does not have challenges associated with other projects.

7. Industrial Benefits

This major Crown project does not directly benefit Canadian industry; it is a project to improve the safety of Canadian citizens. Immigration and the granting of Canadian citizenship are vital to the continued growth and prosperity of Canada. To support the Government of Canada outcomes of strong economic growth and a safe and secure world, a balance must be maintained between the desire to welcome newcomers to Canada and the obligation to protect the health, safety and security of Canadian society. Criminals, terrorists and other known inadmissible persons must not be allowed to enter or stay in Canada.