Ottawa defends errors in immigration processing
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Jan 07, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Ottawa defends errors in immigration processing

Over a quarter of the employees at immigration’s centralized processing centre are casual workers or students, officials say following a Toronto Star story


More than a quarter of the employees at immigration’s centralized processing centre are casual workers or students, says Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

“The vast majority of these employees perform administrative support functions of application processing across all citizenship and immigration business lines and are not direct decision-makers, department spokesperson Nancy Chan wrote in an email Tuesday.

The department was responding to an exclusive story in the Toronto Star this week about the “high error rate” in immigration application processing identified in the government’s own internal reviews.

The three so-called “quality management” reviews obtained by the Star under an access to information request focused on applications in three areas: permanent residence, refugee work permits, and Canadian Experience Class.

Of some 996 files handled between Nov. 1 and Dec. 6, 2013, at the Vegreville, Alta., operation, which deals with permanent residence applications, the quality management team identified a wide range of shortcomings, including staff failing to: use correct form letters, address missing documents, and provide accurate binding timelines.

Similar concerns over the “high error rate” were also cited in the operations of the other two programs.

The immigration department’s rank and file blames the errors on the rising number of “casual employees” hired to replace well-trained permanent staff.

On Tuesday, Chan said only 22 — or 10 per cent — of the 226 staff in Vegreville were casuals at the time of the audit, and currently only two of the 209 employees there are hired on a casual basis.

However, at the centralized processing centre that conducts initial administrative screening of a variety of immigration applications, 26 per cent of the 1,718 employees there are casual employees or students.

“Employees receive an initial three-day training on the department’s Global Case Management System, but there is additional training and coaching that takes place depending on the line of business,” wrote Chan.

“Before any employee begins to make any application decision, they receive comprehensive training on eligibility and admissibility assessments.”

Chan said immigration officials conduct quality monitoring exercises regularly to evaluate programs and procedures and adjust staff training accordingly.

“CIC is focused on making our application processes and our correspondence with clients simpler and clearer,” said Chan. “The integrity of these programs was not compromised.”

Toronto Star

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(2) Comment

By StatusQuoContinues | JANUARY 07, 2015 10:15 AM
Most new young government employees are on term and paid peanuts for their work, while the top brass (usually boomers)are paid in gold. The government is no different than private companies who are cutting costs. They never cut the fat at the top which is causing the problems, they do all the cutting on the bottom which stunts the future growth of this country. How do you expect young Canadians to be prosperous in the future, if you continue to kick them when their down?. How do you expect young Canadians to succeed at life, if they can't even begin to start???? But who cares right?, those who control this country will be retiring in 10-15 years and on their way out, and won't have to deal with the future consequences of their actions.
By My | JANUARY 07, 2015 10:00 AM
So what good is all this tough talk, xenophobia, exploiting fears, drumming up cash for "security", if they are also following the conservative model of paying those doing the actual work the very least ensuring errors will be made?
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