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Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

Temporary Resident Biometrics Project


The Temporary Resident Biometrics Project is a Citizenship and Immigration Canada led major Crown project, in partnership with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The business objective of the project is to streamline identity management within the Government of Canada's temporary resident program. Against the backdrop of the rise of identity fraud globally and the use of increasingly sophisticated means to evade detection, a key challenge in Canada's immigration program is identifying applicants and managing their identity with confidence. The project is not aimed at the re-engineering of processes and systems, but rather an enhancement to existing processes related to applications for temporary resident visas/study permits/work permits and temporary resident permits. In addition, the project will leverage investment in existing Citizenship and Immigration Canada, CBSA and RCMP systems to the maximum extent possible.

Budget 2008 provided the CBSA with a funding of $12.7 million. With this funding, the CBSA will design and develop photo verification capability during primary and secondary inspection at all ports of entry, as well as discretionary biometric verification in secondary inspection lines at selected ports of entry. The CBSA is currently on schedule to implement the above-noted work components by March 2013.

Project Phase:

The Temporary Resident Biometrics Project is currently in the analysis and design phase; the construction and implementation phases will begin in 2011-12. In the analysis and design phase, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the CBSA and the RCMP are working collaboratively to define and develop the solution as well as the approaches and plans for implementing the 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 effective project approval in 2011. During the construction and implementation phases, the project will focus on developing, monitoring and controlling deliverables (as defined by the business requirements) while meeting schedule commitments.

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead department or agency Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Contracting authority Public Works and Government Services Canada
Participating departments and agencies

Canada Border Services Agency
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Prime and Major Subcontractors
Prime contractor n/a
Major contractors n/a

Major Milestones
List of Major Milestones Date
Approval of re-scoped option and funds Fall 2010
Business use cases for Phase 1 (re-scoped option) Fall 2010
Requests for proposals posted Fall 2010
Effective project approval received Spring 2011
System requirements for Phase 1 (re-scoped option) Spring 2011
Evaluating responses to the requests for proposals Spring 2011
System use cases for Phase 1 (re-scoped option) Summer 2011
Develop solution By end of 2011-12
Implement solution By end of 2012-13

Project Outcomes

The objectives of the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project are to:

  • Strengthen identity management: Ensure that the Government of Canada is using accurate and robust tools to store and safeguard client identity information so that only legitimate holders of temporary resident visas/study permits/work permits and temporary resident permits gain entry to Canada.
  • Enhance security: Reduce the likelihood that known criminals or immigration violators will gain access to Canada through the temporary resident visa program.
  • Improve program integrity: Introduce additional tools which make it more difficult for illegal migrants, previous deportees, people smugglers and traffickers to exploit identity loopholes for economic benefit by assuming different identities. Identity and nationality information of refugee claimants, gained through biometric checks, will support decision-making at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
  • Facilitate processing of legitimate clients: For returning clients, biometric identifiers will improve operational efficiency by reducing the paper burden and the time taken at ports of entry to re-establish identity. More efficient and effective identity management is one of a number of key tools to support ongoing processing improvements that will enable Citizenship and Immigration Canada to increasingly automate service delivery and help guide its service delivery.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

  • By fall 2009, planning had proceeded to the point where it was determined that the full scope, as approved in March 2007, could not be delivered within the existing funding envelope. As a result, an amended preliminary project approval was sought in April 2010 to allow time to resolve the scope issues. 
  • With the $12.7 million that the CBSA received in Budget 2008, the project will be re-scoped to include photo verification capability during primary and secondary inspection only at Canadian ports of entry with immigration-processing capabilities, and discretionary biometrics verification during secondary inspection at selected ports of entry.
  • Due to delays in the request for proposals process, the CBSA will not procure any equipment in 2010-11. 
  • The effort requirement to conduct the cost analysis, the uncertainties in terms of project scope, and the need to revisit project plans have delayed the effective project approval submission, which had been planned for 2009-10. Effective project approval is now tentatively scheduled for March 2011.
  • The CBSA will be ready to implement the project's reduced scope solution by March 31, 2013 as originally envisioned.

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's priorities 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.


Air Cargo Security Program


The primary objective of the Air Cargo Security Program is to develop a comprehensive air cargo security regime in Canada. The program will align Canada's approach with the regimes of international partners, and will ensure that it mitigates the risks associated with both the introduction of explosives in cargo or mail and the use of cargo aircraft as weapons. Supply-chain programs to identify low-risk cargo will be developed and procedures identified to screen high-risk and targeted cargo.

Project Phase:

The priority initiatives of the Canadian Air Cargo Security Program major Crown project to be implemented in 2010-11 are as follows:

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead department or agency Transport Canada
Contracting authority Public Works and Government Services Canada
Participating departments and agencies Canada Border Services Agency

Prime and Major Subcontractors
Prime contractor n/a
Major contractors n/a

Major Milestones
List of Major Milestones Date
Privacy Impact Assessment 2011
Memorandum of Understanding for the exchange of information between Transport Canada and the CBSA 2011
Interoperability between Transport Canada and the CBSA 2011-12
Agreement on the risk assessment process for Transport Canada participants 2011-12

Project Outcomes

The beneficiaries of this program are air travellers. Benefits include:

  • enhanced regulatory regime;
  • oversight, training and compliance;
  • screening technologies and processes;
  • mutual recognition and interoperability;
  • support for risk assessments undertaken by Transport Canada; and
  • screening of air cargo items at small and remote class II and class “other” airports.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

  • Work on this initiative commenced in May 2010 upon approval of the Treasury Board submission.
  • Since that time, the Privacy Impact Assessment has been approved internally and forwarded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for review.
  • The Air Cargo Security Program interoperability working group has been established and will meet in the near future.

Industrial Benefits

The industrial benefits include:

  • protection of the Canadian public and those working in the air cargo supply chain;
  • streamlining trade through risk management;
  • promotion of the movement of goods, both domestically and internationally, through effective trade supply chains;
  • improvement in the ability of the CBSA to detect high-risk cargo;
  • improvement in the controls and the ability to make better, more efficient allocations of CBSA resources; and
  • assurance of the efficient flow of goods contributing to Canada's economic prosperity.




eManifest represents Phase III of the Advance Commercial Information program, which is aimed at improving the CBSA's ability to detect shipments that pose a high or unknown risk to the safety and security of Canadians. eManifest will help the Agency protect and secure Canadian frontiers by “pushing the border out.” It will accomplish this by requiring carriers to electronically submit all pre-arrival commercial information (including cargo, conveyance and crew data) in the highway and rail modes of transportation. It will also require freight forwarders and importers to electronically submit advance secondary cargo and advance trade data for all modes (marine, air, rail and highway). This will enable the CBSA to more effectively analyze risk, assist with ensuring that efficient border procedures are in place, and help secure the international trade supply chain.

Project Phase:

eManifest is being deployed in multiple phases, whereby deliverables are being implemented at various stages throughout the project, according to client group. During the life cycle of the project, the following activities related to the electronic receipt and automated risk assessment of pre-arrival data will be undertaken including:

  • primary and secondary cargo information;
  • conveyance information;
  • crew/driver information; and
  • importer release/advance trade information.

The project will also see the development of the following:

  • alternative methods of communication (Internet portal);
  • cargo messaging/notification system;
  • linkages between cargo, importer admissibility and release information (including arrival status);
  • a multi-modal manifest suitable for all modes of transportation;
  • improved information for border services officers at the primary inspection line;
  • integrated examination results;
  • a mechanism for risk assessors to make pre-arrival admissibility recommendations;
  • trend analysis and pattern detection (supported by business intelligence and a data warehouse);
  • compliance management and data quality review;
  • information reporting to senior management; and
  • capacity and infrastructure which are sufficient to meet established pre-arrival reporting time frames and volumes.

In addition, some activities included in the list above will be implemented or retrofitted for the air and marine modes because the activities were not included as part of Phases I and II of the Advance Commercial Information program. These are:

  • electronic receipt and automated risk assessment of pre-arrival data, including secondary cargo, crew and importer release/advance trade data;
  • development of trend analysis and pattern detection;
  • linkages between cargo, advance trade data and release information (including arrival status); and
  • multi-modal manifest suitable for all modes of transportation.
Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead department or agency Canada Border Services Agency
Contracting authority

Canada Revenue Agency
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Participating departments and agencies n/a

Prime and Major Subcontractors
Prime contractor n/a
Major contractors n/a

Major Milestones
List of Major Milestones Date
Highway carriers begin to transmit cargo and conveyance data using a Web-based eManifest 2011
Rail carriers begin transmission of cargo and conveyance data 2011
Freight forwarders begin transmission of secondary cargo/house bill data 2011
Importers begin transmission of importer data (beginning with the marine mode) 2012
Full implementation of eManifest in all modes of transportation expected 2014

Project Outcomes

eManifest has the following immediate outcomes:

  • enhanced knowledge and capacity to risk assess pre-arrival data and monitor trade community compliance;
  • enhanced co-operation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection through harmonized commercial processes;
  • enhanced innovative systems and technology to effectively and efficiently assess data;
  • increased success of detection activities to intercept high-risk goods and travellers;
  • increased compliance by the trade community with CBSA legislation;
  • enhanced flow of low-risk people and goods; and
  • improved stakeholder satisfaction.

eManifest has the following strategic outcomes:

  • Canada's population is safe and secure from border-related risks.
  • Legitimate travellers and goods move freely and lawfully across Canada's border.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

Treasury Board granted effective project approval on November 29, 2007.

The following eManifest project achievements were realized between 2007 and 2010:

  • completed successful consultation and communication activities with external stakeholders within the trade community through the eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network and the Border Commercial Consultative Committee;
  • implemented the foundations for an automated border process with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to support the secure movement of commercial goods through Canada and/or the United States by land;
  • introduced the ability to extract U.S. marine cargo data on U.S.-destined cargo;
  • made changes to the Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System / Canadian Food Inspection Agency interface;
  • implemented a notification system (carriers are notified when primary cargo reports are matched with secondary cargo reports);
  • improved TITAN/Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System linkages;
  • introduced the ability to validate appraisal quality data with the Harmonized System Code;
  • introduced the ability to perform an historical search to view all details of the cargo/container/conveyance;
  • Bill S-2, an Act to amend the Customs Act, received Royal Assent on June 11, 2009 (the Act contains modifications to the advance commercial reporting requirements that provide the CBSA with the authority to mandate that carriers, importers and freight forwarders, in all modes of transportation, provide the CBSA with electronic shipment information prior to arrival in Canada);
  • implemented Phase I of the electronic data interchange for rail reporting, enabling facilitated electronic processes for use by rail carriers; and
  • developed an interim solution to manage the CBSA's information technology infrastructure to support the future increase in the receipt of electronic data volumes and processes from trade-chain participants.

The following eManifest project achievements were realized in 2010:

  • implemented electronic data interchange for highway carriers;
  • highway carriers began transmitting cargo and conveyance data to the CBSA through the electronic data interchange system in advance of their arrival at the border;
  • trained nearly 1,500 staff across Canada (border services officers, superintendents and clerks in the highway mode, and client services officers) through WebEx, a Web-based interactive learning environment, and conference calls. Other employees will be trained with an eLearning product;
  • developed and distributed multiple training products (manuals, quick reference guides); and
  • conducted multiple consultations with the eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network.

The spending profile was adjusted to reflect figures in the effective project approval submission dated November 2007. The total amount spent during 2008-09 was primarily related to the design and development of components towards the implementation of electronic reporting in the highway mode. Such components include electronic reporting interchange, Internet portal, and improved systems integration for border services officers at the primary inspection line. Additional spending was to carry out the further development and implementation of capacity and infrastructure enhancements to support future electronic reporting time frames and volumes.

The 2008-09 carry-forward amounts are attributed to a further refinement of the project schedule and associated implementation dates. Rollout of systems' functionality has been aligned to meet the requirements of specific client groups, which necessitated the realignment of project spending. Furthermore, in response to the current economic environment, the Government of Canada requested a temporary rollback of $85 million (to be repaid over two years commencing in 2011-12) in order to support other government pressures. This rollback necessitated a complete review of project spending profiles and the project deployment strategy. As such, project components were realigned in order to account for yearly pressures related to this budget reduction, which included moving procurement activities for infrastructure and hardware to future years. A significant number of yearly carry-forwards are associated with procuring a data warehouse and associated tools. As a result of this realignment of project funds, the last project release is now scheduled for 2013-14, a delay of two years from previous reports. The project completion is targeted for 2015.

The 2010-11 Budget takes into account a contribution to the Government of Canada ($45 million) that led to a reduction of funds available for the current fiscal year. This reduction will be managed through a carry-forward as identified in 2009-10. In other words, funds were carried forward from 2009-10 to 2010-11. These funds will be used to compensate for the contribution to the Government of Canada and will be spent accordingly on previously-planned deliverables.

Industrial Benefits

eManifest will provide the following industrial benefits:

  • Enhanced prosperity: eManifest will contribute to a strong economy by facilitating the flow of low-risk trade in a high-volume, time-sensitive, trans-border environment.
  • Enhanced security: Canadian society will be better protected from health, safety, security and terrorist threats as eManifest will “push the border out” as a means to obtain the right data at the right time. eManifest will use sophisticated tools and technology and rigorous risk assessment systems to interdict threats prior to their arrival at the border.
  • Streamlined border processing: Obtaining and risk assessing commercial information from trade-chain participants before the arrival of goods in Canada will minimize the processing required at the border, streamline the clearance process and reduce border congestion.
  • Consistency of application: As eManifest will expand the existing requirements for marine and air carriers to those in the highway and rail environments, there will be a consistent application of risk assessment across all modes of transportation relative to CBSA requirements.
  • Reduced costs of compliance: Members of the trade community will be able to leverage the investment they are making to comply with both international and U.S. requirements. To the greatest extent possible, eManifest will develop system requirements using recognized international and North American standards.
  • Enhanced systems performance: Given the high volumes and compressed time frames associated with trans-border trade, the CBSA will make enhancements to its information technology infrastructure that will improve system performance and reliability.