Integrated Claim Analysis Centre

On June 25, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) launched an Integrated Claim Analysis Centre (ICAC) pilot in Montréal.

Refugee protection claims that are referred to the IRB by the CBSA or IRCC for a decision are not always “hearing-ready” and often require some work before the hearing can be scheduled. The purpose of this pilot is to test a new way of doing the pre-hearing process, with the goal of increasing efficiencies, while still maintaining the independence of the IRB decision‑making process and ensuring that all rights and protections of claimants are safeguarded.

ICAC’s mandate

For the duration of the pilot, 18 full-time employees from IRCC, the CBSA and the IRB will be co-located and will aim to process a target of 100 adult claimants per week.

The ICAC will work to provide IRB members (also known as decision-makers) with a hearing‑ready file. This will reduce the number of requests for additional information that members would usually need to make in order to have a complete file to proceed with a hearing. Using a triage framework, the ICAC will also make scheduling recommendations, based on the information contained in the claimant’s file, for expedited, short or full hearings.

The RPD claimant file that is prepared at the ICAC will contain only information for use in the refugee determination process, and the complete file will be accessible to refugee protection claimants and their counsel upon request, as is the current practice. The ICAC pilot may result in earlier disclosure of potentially adverse information to claimants and their counsel, thereby providing them with more time to respond.

Maintaining independence

The IRB is an independent tribunal and must operate in a manner that ensures an appropriate degree of institutional independence from other organizations in the ICAC. The ICAC will operate within current legislative and regulatory frameworks.

The three parties will collaborate in a manner that respects the IRB’s institutional independence and the claimant’s right to procedural fairness. Employees assigned to the ICAC from the three organizations will maintain their overall reporting structure and managerial oversight from their respective organizations.

For the duration of the pilot, 18 full-time employees (FTEs) from IRCC, the CBSA and the IRB will be co-located. Three of these 18 FTEs will be IRB employees.

There are a number of applications that require decisions from the IRB member before a claim can be scheduled for a hearing. The IRB member assigned to work on ICAC-generated files will make these decisions and work on file readiness. Once a file is deemed complete by this member, it will be transferred to the IRB for scheduling.

The IRB member will not be co-located with the IRCC and CBSA employees and will maintain decision-making independence.  IRB employees working on the ICAC pilot will not discuss the validity of any particular refugee protection claim.

Desired results

It is anticipated that the efficiencies found through this pilot will result in shorter delays and fewer hearing postponements. This will lead to faster protection for those in need and faster removal of those who do not require Canada’s protection.

The ICAC’s performance will be tracked and monitored in order to determine whether the pilot has achieved its objectives. This performance data will be used to inform ongoing policy development and analysis with respect to the refugee protection system more generally. At the end of the approximately three‑month pilot, an assessment will be made about the future of the project.