Announcement of 2012-2013 Annual Report

OTTAWA — Commissioner's report on reviewing the activities of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) is tabled in Parliament.

August 21, 2013 — The Annual Report of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner, the Honourable Robert Décary, Q.C., was tabled in Parliament today by the Honourable Robert Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Defence. The report outlines the Commissioner's activities during the fiscal year 2012-2013, ending March 31, 2013. The Commissioner, a retired Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, was appointed for three years on June 18, 2010. 

Commissioner Décary notes at the beginning of his report that he had, for personal reasons, declined an offer to renew his mandate. A successor has yet to be named and there is no provision in the National Defence Act for an interim Commissioner. As a result, and in light of recent events concerning CSEC where the role of the Commissioner in protecting the privacy of Canadians has been in the spotlight, Commissioner Décary agreed to an extension for three months to allow the government additional time to appoint a successor. 

The purpose of the Commissioner's review mandate is to determine whether the activities of CSEC comply with the law and whether CSEC effectively applies satisfactory measures to protect the privacy of Canadians. How the Commissioner conducts review is described in his report as well as in a statement issued June 13, which is available at

In the 2012-2013 Annual Report, the Commissioner notes that, with the exception of one review described in the report in which he was unable to reach a definitive conclusion, all the activities reviewed this past year complied with the law. Commissioner Décary makes four recommendations to promote compliance with the law and to strengthen privacy protection.

Two recommendations relate to CSEC assistance to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), including that CSEC advise CSIS to provide the Federal Court of Canada, when the occasion arises, with certain additional evidence about the nature and extent of the assistance CSEC may provide to CSIS.

Additionally, the Commissioner forwarded to the Chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee certain general points relating to CSIS that arose out of recommendations.

The report is available at

For more information, please contact:
J. William Galbraith
Executive Director, Office of the CSE Commissioner
(613) 992-3044

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