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Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
The original version was signed by
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, 2021
International Standard Serial Number: 2371-6509
From the Chairperson
I am pleased to present the 2021–22 Departmental Plan for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB or the Board). The purpose of this plan is to support the IRB’s statutory mandate of resolving immigration and refugee cases efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.
In fiscal year 2021–22, the IRB’s top priority will remain the effective management of our operations in the context of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The IRB will continue to adjust its operations to prioritize the health and safety of its employees as well as those who appear before the Board, while maintaining access to justice to the extent possible. In addition, while the pandemic will no doubt continue to pose challenges to our operations and our staff throughout much of this fiscal year, we will seize the opportunity to re-imagine our workplace of the future, accelerate our efforts to become a digital organization, and focus on employee well-being and organizational culture.
Despite the disruptive nature of the pandemic, the strategic directions outlined in our multi-year
Growth and Transformation Agenda, launched in 2019–20 in response to the rising intake of refugee protection claims, will continue to shape the plans and priorities of the Board.
In terms of our
growth agenda, the IRB will continue to grow the organization, with a continued focus on recruiting, training, and supporting new employees. Through recent budgets, the IRB has now secured some $600M in additional temporary funds, until March 31, 2023, to help address the rising intake of refugee protection claims. By the end of 2021–22, these funds will have allowed the Board to have almost doubled in size in just three years and to finalize record levels of refugee decisions and appeals. While recent investments have enabled the Board to decide more refugee cases and significantly slow the growth of the number of pending claims and wait times from where they would otherwise be, intake of new claims is expected to continue to outpace the IRB’s funded processing capacity once pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. As such, the number of pending refugee claims and wait times for claimants are expected to continue to grow over the medium term. Therefore, as part of the IRB’s growth agenda, the Board will continue to work closely with the Government to address longer‑term funding issues to stabilize the workforce and ensure timely Governor-in-Council appointments of decision‑makers.
As we grow, we will continue to be guided by the three strategic objectives of our
transformation agenda: improved productivity in support of access to justice, enhanced quality in decision-making, and strengthened management.
Throughout 2021–22, the Board will build on our recent successes in support of improved
productivity through a range of strategies, including: embracing an organizational culture of operational awareness, performance and results; working with both Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency to implement system‑wide efficiencies; standing up task forces to most effectively decide claims based on complexity or specialization; promoting the early resolution of claims, where possible; and exploring the use of data and analytics to help better triage files for decision, achieve strategic case management objectives and support decision‑making.
As the IRB grows, it is essential that it maintain its reputation for high quality and fair decisions. The Board launched an ambitious
quality agenda last year emphasizing quality in the conduct of its hearings and decision‑making. An IRB Quality Assurance Framework, identified as an international best practice following an independent review, was recently developed and now grounds the Board’s approach to a range of leading practices in support of quality decision‑making. Priorities this fiscal year include: implementing quality centres of excellence at both the Refugee Protection Division and the Refugee Appeal Division, mandated to monitor trends and address areas requiring attention; strengthening the Board’s adjudication of gender‑based refugee protection claims by way of a dedicated task force of experienced and specially trained refugee decision-makers, as well as updating gender-related Chairperson’s Guidelines to modernize guidance and promote consistency in decision‑making; and implementing recommendations following a third‑party review of the IRB’s member complaint process. Getting these initiatives right is critical to maintaining public confidence in the Board’s decision‑making, which is especially important as Canada’s largest administrative tribunal and given the nature and far‑reaching consequences of the decisions made.
Finally, the Board will continue to
strengthen management, with a focus on people management and organizational culture. In 2021–22, the IRB will accelerate its digital strategy, including adopting a remote hearings operating model for all of its divisions in response to the pandemic; strengthen regional governance and administration in recognition of the growth of the organization; continue to promote employee wellness; and develop its strategy on diversity and inclusion, building on the advice of members of the Chairperson’s Advisory Committee and the valuable contributions of many across the organization.
I am especially proud of the professionalism of IRB employees, who continue to support the Board’s mandate, particularly during these challenging times. I look forward to working closely with our employees and our many stakeholders over the coming year as we continue to advance our
Growth and Transformation Agenda.
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer
Plans at a glance
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB or the Board) is Canada’s largest independent administrative tribunal. It is responsible for making well‑reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.
Fiscal year 2021–22 marks the third year of the IRB’s
Growth and Transformation Agenda, which was launched in 2019–20. The three strategic objectives of the
Growth and Transformation Agenda are: improved productivity and efficiency in support of greater access to justice for claimants and appellants; enhanced quality and consistency in decision-making; and strengthened management, including people management.
Work this fiscal year will continue to be significantly impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic. The Board will leverage opportunities presented by the pandemic and its evolving operational realities to innovate its practices and, in particular, focus on advancing its digital strategy, while pursuing the broad directions of its
Growth and Transformation Agenda.
A sustained increase in refugee protection claims, beginning in 2017, led to significant but temporary investments in the Board’s operations in Budgets 2018 and 2019, which were extended in the
Economic and Fiscal Snapshot 2020. These investments have enabled the IRB to undertake the largest period of growth in its history, virtually doubling in size in three years, and to adjudicate record numbers of cases across its divisions. As volumes of claims are expected to increase in the medium term, the Board will work with the Government to both extend current investments and seek a permanent source of funding before current authorities expire at the end of 2022–23.
In 2021–22, the Board will continue to recruit, train and support additional decision‑makers and support staff, to meet its performance targets of deciding some 50,000 refugee protection cases and 13,500 refugee appeals.
Sustain and improve productivity
Promoting strong productivity levels allows the Board to provide access to justice to as many people as possible. In the year ahead, the Board will pursue strategies to maximize productivity across the refugee protection claim and appeal decision‑making continuum, beginning with streamlining claim intake, and working with
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as well as the
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by improving the hearing readiness of files before the IRB. The Board will explore predictive analytics to assist in the triaging of case files and will continue to strategically manage its cases in support of case management objectives, including using dedicated task forces to most effectively make decisions on specific types of claims.
Across all divisions, the IRB will implement a newly established productivity model to optimize the use of resources by considering claim complexity, experience of decision‑makers and diversity of caseload. The Board will leverage its increasingly mature monitoring and reporting capabilities to regularly review and make necessary adjustments to divisional operational plans, fostering a culture of operational awareness, performance and results.
Enhance the quality of and consistency in decision-making
Focusing on quality and consistency ensures that the Board is providing meaningful and fair access to justice to those appearing before it and is fundamental to maintaining public confidence. In 2020, an independent review of the IRB’s Quality Assurance Framework found the framework to be clear, comprehensive, innovative, and designed to ensure quality decision‑making and high performance at the Board.
In fiscal year 2021–22, the IRB will build on the quality assurance measures already in place. It will focus efforts on continuing to strengthen and implement leading practices regarding the adjudication of gender-based cases, introducing specific adjudicative strategies, policies and practices, as well as promoting initiatives to further support access to justice. Highlights include the standing up of quality centres of excellence at both the
Refugee Protection Division and the
Refugee Appeal Division, as a key institutional innovation; introducing new tools and training for decision-makers; revising key Chairperson’s Guidelines in accordance with developments in the law and to further promote consistency and efficiency in decision-making; and implementing recommendations from a
third-party review of the IRB’s member complaint process.
Strengthen management with a focus on people management
The Board’s success is a result of the efforts of skilled employees across the country, dedicated to the important mandate of the IRB. As such, creating a healthy and enabling environment where everyone can contribute their full potential and can do their best work is important. This includes modernizing the way the Board works by becoming a more digital organization.
Building on measures that were implemented in response to COVID‑19, the year ahead will provide the IRB with a rare window of opportunity to modernize how parties interact with the Board through an enhanced electronic exchange of information using the
My Case Portal, and how employees work with an end‑to‑end electronic file using modern case management tools, which will be piloted in 2021–22. Just as important, in the coming year, the Board will also reduce its reliance on paper by scanning the existing inventory of files across all divisions so that they are more easily accessed and by implementing measures to further digitize the intake of new files. This work will set the Board up to operate primarily with digital files by 2022–23.
Leveraging lessons learned and opportunities introduced from last year’s response to COVID‑19, and in recognition of the growth of the organization, the Board will re‑imagine its current operating model for the future, including the future workplace. As part of this effort, the Board will review and strengthen internal governance models, including at the regional level, to support Board‑wide accountability, improve alignment with best practices and help prepare the organization to manage the change towards its future operating model.
Further, in 2021–22, the IRB will develop a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, in consultation with employees, as part of its ongoing commitment to building an organizational culture based on civility, respect, diversity and inclusion. The Board will begin to implement initiatives to identify and eliminate barriers in staffing; to train managers across a range of related topics, including mandatory training on unconscious bias, to better help them hire, support, retain and promote a diverse workforce; and to advance employment equity recruitment, including in leadership roles. Finally, the Board will implement the second year of its Psychological Safety and Mental Health Strategy, which will support key wellness activities and provide tools and support mechanisms for all employees.
Overall, these innovative, forward‑leaning and results‑oriented plans aim to deliver fair and timely adjudication of immigration and refugee cases, while promoting a culture of civility, respect, diversity and inclusion.
For more information on the
IRB’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Core responsibility: planned results and resources, and key risks” section and the “Internal Services: planned results” section of this report.
Core responsibility: planned results and resources, and key risks
This section contains detailed information on the Board’s planned results and resources for its core responsibility. It also contains information on key risks related to achieving those results.
Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases
IRB renders quality decisions and resolves cases in a timely manner regarding immigration and refugee protection cases. This includes determining refugee protection claims and appeals and applications to vacate or cease refugee protection. It also includes making decisions on immigration admissibility hearings and detention reviews, and appeals on certain immigration cases (e.g., family sponsorship applications, certain removal orders, applications based on meeting residency obligations and admissibility hearings).
In accordance with its departmental results framework, the IRB has the following core responsibility and organizational result: the fair and timely adjudication of immigration and refugee cases. This result is measured using three indicators: percentage of cases overturned by the Federal Court, percentage of cases that meet quality standards (with an objective to exceed) and percentage of cases that meet legislated or internal timelines. Due to the aging inventories for refugee protection decisions and immigration admissibility decisions as a result of the suspension of hearings during the first half of fiscal year 2020–21, the IRB has suspended its departmental indicator pertaining to timeliness in order to focus on its oldest cases, in the interest of fairness and access to justice. Instead, the IRB will focus on the following program-level indicators.
The following table is an overview of the projected number of decisions to be decided in fiscal year 2021–22 as well as program indicators and targets across the various types of immigration and refugee cases at the IRB:
|Case Type||Projected Decisions||Legislated or Internal Time Standards||Target|
|Refugee protection claims||50,000||Internal: 24 months from date of referral||At least 50%Footnote 1|
|Refugee appeals||13,500||Internal: 12 months from the date the appeal is perfected||At least 80%|
|Immigration appeals||3,000||Internal: 12 months from the date the appeal is filed||At least 80%|
|Admissibility hearings||1,700||Internal: 12 months from the date of referral||At least 80%|
|Detention reviews||11,500||Legislated: 48 hours, 7 days, 30 days||At least 96%|
In the year ahead, it is expected that immigration detention reviews will continue to meet legislated timelines in at least 96 percent of all cases and that immigration appeals will meet internal time standards in at least 80 percent of all cases.
In the context of the significant number of pending refugee protection claims, for 2021–22, the IRB will aim for average wait times of 24 months for new refugee protection claims and 12 months for new refugee appeals. The Board will implement strategies to maximize productivity and manage the age of its refugee protection claim inventories with a goal to ensure that no more than one percent of refugee protection claims are pending three years or longer and no more than one percent of refugee appeals are pending 18 months or longer.
The plans outlined in the following sections are intended to support the IRB in meeting its statutory mandate and the adjudicative performance targets set out above in fiscal year 2021–22.
Sustaining and improving productivity
In 2021–22, the IRB will continue to innovate, implementing various strategies and initiatives to respond to its challenging operating context. This includes:
- Streamlining the intake and pre‑hearing processes for refugee protection claims through improved information sharing with parties appearing before the Board, namely,
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the creation of hearing‑ready files that allow for more efficient decision‑making through the IRCC and CBSA‑led Integrated Claim Analysis Centre that is currently being piloted.
- Optimizing the triaging and scheduling of refugee case files and the continued use of task forces that focus expertise and tailored processes on specific types of claims.
- Exploring the use of data, insights and machine learning to improve triaging of case files and support to decision‑makers.
- Implementing and monitoring a productivity model, across all divisions, to more effectively allocate resources that are based on case characteristics such as file complexity and that are aligned with the experience of decision‑makers and diversity of caseload.
- Continuing to enhance the Board’s strong business intelligence monitoring and reporting capabilities to regularly review operational insights and make necessary adjustments to divisional operational plans.
Enhancing the quality of and consistency in decision-making
In 2021–22, the IRB’s quality agenda will support and enhance quality and consistency in its decision‑making.
In 2020, an independent review of the IRB’s Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) was completed. The Framework was found to be clear, comprehensive, innovative and designed to ensure quality decision‑making and high performance at the Board. With this strong endorsement, the Board will continue to leverage the Framework, which was initially developed for the
Refugee Protection Division and the
Refugee Appeal Division, and expand it to the
Immigration Division and the
Immigration Appeal Division. The Framework directly addresses activities, processes, strategies, and structures that contribute to quality in adjudicative decision‑making.
Grounded in the elements of the QAF, in 2021–22, the IRB is focusing its efforts in three key areas:
- Strengthening the approach to gender based claims
Strengthening of adjudicative strategies, policies and practices
- Provide mandatory training for all refugee decision‑makers on gender violence, including addressing myths and stereotypes about victims and the effects of trauma on victims’ memory, as well as on unconscious bias and cultural competency. The Board will leverage and monitor the implementation of the Gender‑Related Task Force, a dedicated team of decision‑makers specifically trained in trauma‑informed practice at the Refugee Protection Division that was created in 2020–21, to ensure these types of claims are given the special attention needed.
- Complete the review and implementation of the Board’s gender‑related policies and practices, including the review and update of the
Chairperson’s Guideline 4 – Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution and associated training, tools and guides.
- Complete the implementation of the recommendations from the review of the
Chairperson’s Guideline 9 – Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, with the development of associated training and tools for decision-makers, interpreters and registry staff.
Supporting access to justice
- Stand up quality centres of excellence at the
Refugee Protection Division and the
Refugee Appeal Division to monitor trends and address areas requiring attention, as well as coordinate and drive quality-related initiatives across each of the divisions.
- Identify and develop adjudicative strategies to further clarify areas of the law, increase consistency and efficiency in decision‑making, and build a national database of refugee determination decisions of interest for use by the
Refugee Protection Division and the
Refugee Appeal Division.
- Review and update the Board’s approach to the monitoring of hearings and the quality of decisions across all divisions.
- Publish revisions to the
Chairperson’s Guideline 2 – Detention and implement associated training, tools and guides.
- Implement enhancements to the designated representative and interpreter programs, including development of orientation programs and quality assurance practices.
- Initiate a review of the
Immigration Division’s Rules of Practice and finalize changes to the
Immigration Appeal Division’s Rules of Practice for Government consideration, once drafted by the Department of Justice.
- Implement recommendations from the third‑party review of the IRB’s member complaint process, as required.
- Provide ongoing training, professional development sessions, mentorship, Legal Services review of draft reasons for adjudicative decisions, quality monitoring, and the use of appellate and Federal Court jurisprudence in support of quality decision‑making. Decision‑maker training will be supported by the Member Learning Secretariat, a centralized service provider established in fiscal year 2019–20.
- Continue to pursue measures to ensure that detained individuals appearing before the
Immigration Division have access to the information and support required for a fair hearing.
- Continue to work with the
CBSA and provincial correctional authorities to ensure that Immigration Division decision‑makers have access to those in correctional facilities in order to conduct detention review hearings, which have been impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic.
- Implement recommendations made in the review of support offered to self‑represented appellants in immigration appeals.
United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
To reduce its environmental impact, while ensuring the best value in government procurement decisions, the
IRB will contribute to meeting two United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, namely, to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of their goods, services and supply chains and to reduce the use of paper in the departmental bid solicitation process.
Innovation has been key to achieving and sustaining a high level of productivity at the
IRB. In 2021–22 the IRB will continue piloting and introducing various strategies in support of efficient decision‑making.
Moreover, the IRB will explore how best to leverage data and analytics to support the triaging of cases to decision‑makers, including considering the use of predictive analytics and machine learning to make the best use of available resources and to support decision‑makers.
The following six risks could impact the planned results.
|Risk or Opportunity||Mitigation Strategy|
Risk: The health and safety of employees and those who appear before the Board could be compromised if transmission takes place on IRB premises despite the extensive mitigation measures already in place. ||The IRB will continue to take extensive measures, approved by the Public Health Agency of Canada, to prevent COVID-19 infection and transmission on IRB premises. These include: robust physical protection measures, such as physical distancing, Plexiglass barriers, hand sanitization stations and a three-layer masking requirement; robust follow-up when a case of COVID-19 is identified; ongoing communications and transparency; and further reduction in staff required on site through ongoing digitization of files and a move to remote-only hearings with only limited exceptions. |
Risk: If refugee protection claim intake continues above IRB funded capacity (and in particular, surges in
2021–22 as COVID‑19 restrictions ease), existing refugee protection claim and appeal backlogs and wait times will grow further, even more so when temporary funding sunsets in
2022–23.||While the IRB recently secured funding for an additional two years, it will continue to work with the Government to seek additional funding to further align claim intake with processing capacity.|
Risk: If growth efforts are impeded because of a constrained supply of quality decision‑makers and registry staff, including timely appointments and reappointments of Governor‑in‑Council members, the IRB will be unable to effectively meet operational targets regarding the resolution of refugee protection claims and immigration appeals.||The IRB will increase staffing capacity, recruit decision‑makers year‑round and work with the Government to prioritize appointments and reappointments of Governor‑in‑Council members in a timely manner. In 2021–22, the focus of staffing will also include staffing the registry offices. |
Risk: If priorities are not aligned across the immigration and refugee system or with enabling partners (i.e., Shared Services Canada [SSC] and Public Services and Procurement Canada [PSPC]), organizational growth and achievement of operational targets regarding the resolution of cases and appeals may be impeded or delayed.||The IRB will continue its strong collaboration with key delivery and services providers, including effective governance with IRCC and the CBSA, and the development of integrated plans with key service providers (SSC and PSPC).|
Risk: As the volume of refugee protection claims continues to rise, there is a risk that a focus on productivity and efficiency will undermine the quality of decision‑making.||The IRB will prioritize initiatives identified in its Quality Assurance Framework to ensure it maintains fairness and quality in its decision‑making. This includes establishing new quality centres to monitor trends and identify training needs, conducting regular third‑party reviews of the quality of its decisions, having decisions reviewed by Legal Services, and performing a review of its process for making complaints about member conduct. |
Risk: With the continued COVID‑19 pandemic, there is a risk of possible shutdowns, and limitations on parties to participate in hearings.||The IRB will continue to prioritize digitization initiatives and will leverage technologies to support remote hearings, to ensure access to justice for all parties. The Board is also expanding its physical footprint to include temporary hearing rooms outside of Toronto, as a contingency.|
Planned results for Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases
|Departmental result||Performance indicators||Target||Date to achieve target||2017–18 Actual result||2018–19 Actual result||2019–20 Actual result|
|Fair and timely adjudication of immigration and refugee cases||Percentage of cases that meet quality standards||At least 75%||March 2022||Not availableFootnote 1||Not availableFootnote 1||Not availableFootnote 1|
|Percentage of cases overturned by the Federal Court||At most 1%|
|Percentage of cases that meet legislated or internal timelines||SuspendedFootnote 3||Not applicable||Not availableFootnote 2||58%||52%|
- Note 1
Actual results are not available for 2017–18, 2018–19 or 2019–20 as the performance indicator was introduced in 2020–21.
Return to note 1 referrer
- Note 2
Actual results are not available for 2017–18 as the performance indicator was introduced in 2018–19.
Return to note 2 referrer
- Note 3
The IRB has suspended this indicator for 2021–22 to allow the Board to focus on aging inventories for refugee protection decisions and immigration admissibility decisions, to ensure fairness and access to justice.
Return to note 3 referrer
Financial, human resources and performance information for the IRB’s Program Inventory is available in the GC
Planned budgetary financial resources for Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases (dollars)
|2021–22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)||2021–22|
Planned human resources for Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases
planned full-time equivalents
planned full-time equivalents
planned full-time equivalents
Financial, human resources and performance information for the IRB’s Program Inventory is available in the
Internal Services: planned results
Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Management Services; Material Management Services; and Acquisition Management Services.
Effective internal services are fundamental to achieving the
IRB’s mandate, setting the strategic direction and overseeing its execution. To that end, the IRB strives to deliver client‑centric services that are easy to access, effective and responsive to both internal and external client needs and that are supported by clear service standards.
In response to COVID‑19, the Board made several investments in technology and operational procedures to support the resumption of operations. In 2021–22, the Board will continue to plan, execute and monitor Information Management / Information Technology services with a focus on:
- Implementing the IRB’s digital strategy. The pandemic has accelerated the Board’s digital transformation and provided an opportunity to rethink operating models to ensure they are built to endure and enhance services beyond the pandemic. The IRB will continue to enhance digital channels for individuals to interact with the Board using the Board’s online
My Case Portal, with a focus on digitizing the intake of cases and outgoing correspondence and decisions; enable an end‑to‑end electronic file, which will start with piloting a new case management solution, built on Microsoft Dynamics; and, shift from paper‑based processes to electronic files by scanning existing inventories of files by March 2022 and making it easier to access files when and where needed.
- Working with
Shared Services Canada to enhance systems and applications, including hearing room audio and video conferencing services. This includes improving the suite of tools available to staff and improving registry tools and technology to support virtual hearings.
- Developing an Information Management Strategy to leverage the new internal collaboration tools and cloud‑based storage solutions put in place during the pandemic and improve how the Board manages information.
In 2020–21, there was an increased focus on people and ensuring a resilient workforce in the face of adversity. In 2021–22, the IRB will continue to focus on mental health and wellness by implementing year two of the
Strategy for Psychological Safety and Mental Health in the IRB Workplace, through supporting activities (providing the tools, training and support that employees require) and measuring progress (e.g., through pulse check surveys or engagement initiatives).
Further, the Board remains committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce that is free from harassment and discrimination and that ensures all employees have equal and just opportunities. In 2021–22, the Board will focus on:
- Developing a detailed diversity and inclusion strategy in consultation with the recently established Chairperson’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
- Identifying and eliminating barriers in staffing, which includes reviewing staffing practices to help identify and remove any systemic barriers and ensure that IRB recruitment and staffing processes are fair and equitable for everyone.
- Providing mandatory training on unconscious bias and anti‑racism to all executives, hiring managers and managers across the organization.
- Advancing employment equity recruitment, including in leadership roles. Building on priorities established in 2020–21 for employment equity hiring, continue targeting the hiring of visible minorities in the Program and Administrative Services (PA) Group, which includes the Program Administration (PM) category, as well as persons with disabilities.
- Creating a managers’ toolkit for attracting and retaining members of designated employment equity groups; increasing internal communications related to employment equity, diversity and inclusion; and implementing pilots to study and develop internal career paths to further support employee development.
In the coming year, the Board will continue to invest in improving governance at both a national and regional level, and will focus on reviewing its current operating model and physical workspace portfolio as it designs a future operating model supported by a workplace and workforce strategy.
Finally, the IRB will continue to address employees’ pay‑related issues within the IRB’s control while working actively with the Pay Centre on issues outside the Board’s control.
Planned budgetary financial resources for Internal Services (dollars)
|2021–22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)||2021–22|
Planned human resources for Internal Services
planned full-time equivalents
planned full-time equivalents
planned full-time equivalents
Spending and human resources
This section provides an overview of the Board’s planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years’ actual spending.
Departmental spending 2018–19 to 2023–24
The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.
Departmental spending 2018–19 to 2023–24
|Departmental spending 2018–19 to 2023–24|
Budget 2018 and Budget 2019 provided the
IRB with temporary funding through 2020–21 to increase the number of refugee protection claims and appeals being finalized. In the
Economic Fiscal Snapshot 2020, the Government extended this temporary funding through 2022–23. Increased spending over the planning period reflects this temporary funding.
The decline in spending in 2023–24 is due to the sunsetting of temporary funding in 2022–23. The funding levels will be similar to those prior to 2018–19 when capacity to complete finalizations was significantly lower.
Budgetary planning summary for core responsibility and Internal Services (dollars)
The following table shows actual, forecast and planned spending for IRB’s core responsibility and for Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.
|Core responsibilities and Internal Services||2018–19 expenditures||2019–20 expenditures||2020–21 forecast spending||2021–22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)||2021–22 planned spending||2022–23 planned spending||2023–24 planned spending|
|Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases||$111,379,470||$139,232,235||$172,109,513||$220,363,372||$220,363,372||$205,274,489||$139,086,191|
Increased spending through 2022–23 reflects the IRB’s efforts to augment capacity to process and finalize an increased number of refugee protection claims. As previously noted, temporary funding is currently scheduled to sunset in 2022–23. The IRB will continue to leverage this temporary funding to increase capacity and the number of finalizations. Should the temporary funding sunset as currently planned, financial resources and capacity to finalize claims and appeals will begin to decline significantly in fiscal year 2023–24. The IRB will be working with
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Government’s central agencies to address the IRB’s long‑term funding needs.
Planned human resources
The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full‑time equivalents for the core responsibility in the
IRB’s departmental results framework and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.
Human resources planning summary for core responsibility and Internal Services
|Core responsibilities and Internal Services||2018–19 actual full‑time equivalents ||2019–20 actual full‑time equivalents||2020–21 forecast full‑time equivalents||2021–22 planned full‑time equivalents||2022–23 planned full‑time equivalents||2023–24 planned full‑time equivalents|
|Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases||949||1,195||1,354||1,637||1,605||925|
The growth in the IRB’s employee complement through 2022–23 is primarily the result of additional resources required to increase the number of refugee protection claims being finalized.
Estimates by vote
Information on the IRB’s organizational appropriations is available in the
2021–22 Main Estimates.
Future oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
Future‑oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides an overview of the
IRB’s operations for 2020–21 to 2021–22.
The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of this Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.
A more detailed Future‑oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the IRB’s website.
Future oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ending March 31, 2022 (dollars)
|Financial information||2020–21 forecast results||2021–22 planned results||Difference|
(2021–22 planned results minus
2020–21 forecast results)
|Total expenses ||$286,687,933||$315,246,214||$28,558,281|
|Net cost of operations before|
government funding and transfers
The year-over-year increase in expenditures is due to additional resources required to augment the IRB’s capacity to finalize more refugee protection claims. This increase in expenditures is funded from temporary funding provided by the Government to increase the number of finalizations.
Appropriate minister: The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino
Institutional head: Richard Wex, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer
Ministerial portfolio: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Enabling instrument(s): Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Year of incorporation / commencement: 1989
Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the IRB’s website.
Information on the
operating context is available on the IRB’s website.
The IRB-approved departmental results framework and program inventory for 2021–22 are as follows.
|Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s Departmental Results Framework|
|Core Responsibility ||Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases|
|Departmental Results||Fair and timely adjudication of immigration and refugee cases |
|Indicators ||1. Percentage of cases that meet quality standards|
|2. Percentage of cases overturned by the Federal Court|
|3. Percentage of cases that meet legislated or internal timelines |
|Program Inventory ||1. Refugee Protection Decisions|
|2. Refugee Appeal Decisions|
|3. Admissibility and Detention Decisions|
|4. Immigration Appeal Decisions|
|Internal Services |
Supporting information on the program inventory
Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the IRB’s program inventory is available in the
Supplementary information tables
supplementary information tables are available on the IRB’s website:
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
Gender based analysis plus
Federal tax expenditures
The IRB’s Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to its planned results for 2021–22.
Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government‑wide tax expenditures each year in the
Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender‑based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are solely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.
Organizational contact information
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Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of a department over a 3‑year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority (priorité ministérielle)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a departmental result.
departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
full‑time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person‑year charge against a departmental budget. Full‑time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus)(analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS plus])
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2021–22 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2020 Speech from the Throne, namely: Protecting Canadians from COVID-19; Helping Canadians through the pandemic; Building back better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class; The Canada we’re fighting for.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative in which two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non‑budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence‑based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability and transparency.
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.