The Minister of National Defence is accountable to Cabinet and to Parliament for all of Communications Security Establishment Canada’s (CSEC) activities. The Minister also provides direction on how CSEC carries out its mandate.
The Government of Canada has taken the decision to establish CSEC as a stand-alone agency. This is an administrative change that established the Chief, CSEC as a deputy head and accounting officer, who reports directly to the Minister of National Defence as of 16 November 2011.
Questions and Answers
What has changed?
The Chief, CSEC, now reports directly to the Minister of National Defence.
What was the reporting structure before the change?
Before the change, CSEC was reporting through two deputy ministers: the National Security Advisor (NSA) on policy and operational issues and the Deputy Minister (DM) of National Defence on administrative and financial matters.
Will the change affect CSEC’s current mandate?
No, this is principally an administrative change that will not affect CSEC’s mission, mandate and operations.
What will be the status of CSEC after the change?
CSEC will be established as a stand-alone agency within the Minister of National Defence portfolio. For the purposes of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), CSEC will be designated as a department by being added to column 1 of Schedule 1.1, as a branch of the federal public administration, through an Order-in-Council. This will also establish the Chief, CSEC as deputy head and accounting officer reporting directly to the Minister of National Defence.