No progress seen for Auditor General’s worries
Joe Volpe, chairman of the parliamentary public accounts committee, says that it is unclear whether the Immigration Department has fixed any of the problems in the programs that were addressed in a report from the Auditor General. According to parliamentary rules, federal departments are required to respond to Auditor General reports because services for taxpayers are at stake. Last spring, the Immigration Department appeared before the public accounts committee claiming that they had an “action plan” to fix the issues.
The department offered specific dates by which it would evaluate the programs, but details about their methods of action weren’t disclosed. While Volpe questioned what progress has been achieved, no representatives from Citizenship and Immigration Canada were present to discuss the action plan.
Auditor General criticized four immigration programs
Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s 2009 report evaluated programs that were designed to attract business immigrants: the Federal Skilled Worker program, Canadian Experience Class, Quebec Skilled Worker program, and the provincial nominee program. She criticized the programs’ failure to keep track of who was coming to Canada and why.
The report suggested that the Immigration Department was not assessing the “cost and benefits, risks and potential impacts” of the programs.
Provincial Auditor Generals find issues with PNP
Aside from Canada’s Auditor General, some provincial counterparts were also concerned about the provincial nominee program (PNP). Auditor Generals from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island have all released reports that claim that the PNP was not tracking whether workers that immigrate through the program end up staying in their respective provinces.
After CIC promised to “carry out a comprehensive evaluation” of the program in 2010, there has been no indication that anything has been done. Fraser’s report stated that the Immigration Department needs to keep track of how many temporary workers become permanent residents.
“It would be important for CIC to have a clear vision of how many immigrants should be selected under each category over a multi-year planning period,” the Auditor General said.