Ottawa, May 3, 2016 – The Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today issued the following statement:
As Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, I welcome the findings of the Auditor General’s audit of the Citizenship Program.
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada accepts the Auditor General’s specific recommendations, and will work quickly to implement them. My department has already made a number of improvements to better identify cases where there is the potential for citizenship fraud.
- Bill C-6 would improve the Citizenship Act by giving citizenship officers the authority to seize fraudulent documents. This addresses one of the Auditor General’s recommendations.
- As well, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has improved procedures on dealing with applicants using addresses flagged as high-risk and implemented better guidance for citizenship officers. It has also undertaken work with CBSA and the RCMP to improve information sharing which will be completed in December 2016, and put in place the new Program Integrity Framework to identify and manage fraud risks in the Citizenship program.
- We have thoroughly reviewed all cases flagged by the Office of the Auditor General to determine if citizenship fraud may have occurred. As a result, we’ve opened investigations toward possible citizenship revocation from about a dozen individuals.
- IRCC has a number of different ways of detecting and preventing fraud, in addition to those the Auditor General focused upon. As well, we are continuously looking for ways to improve fraud detection and prevention processes in all of our programs.