Blog Post

IRCC's 2023 - 2026 Data Strategy - worth a read

It's not often (although it seems to be increasing) to get a glimpse into the inner workings and direction of federal government departments. IRCC is one of the least transparent.

Don't take my word for it, take theirs - "IRCC receives approximately 79.2% of all access to information (ATI) requests made to the ATIP regime across federal institutions" and the Information Commissioner of Canada's - "Complaints against this one institution have historically represented a significant majority of the complaints investigated by my office simply on account of their receiving the highest volume of requests of any government institution."

So it's delightful when we get a sense of their plans, especially in terms of how they might impact the work of our sector.

The 2023-26 IRCC Data Strategy is one of those documents. It's viewable and downloadable below. This data strategy will no doubt impact and be impacted by the development of IRCC's Client Experience Platform, which we do not know a huge amount about.

I don't have a lot to add other than our sector should read this with scrutiny and to ensure that as IRCC works "with its departmental partners to identify the work that contributes to delivering the outcomes of the Strategy" that the sector is actually included as a a key service delivery partner... There is a goal to "Explore and establish data sharing with employer and settlement/integration service delivery organizations as partners, such as ESDC and Service Canada." But I'm not sure if funded service providers are actually considered "settlement/integration service delivery organizations as partners" when the specific mentions following that are federal departments. Clarification seems needed.

The Executive Summary:

"Recognizing that data and its insights have increasingly proven invaluable in carrying out its business, IRCC has committed itself to managing its enterprise data as a strategic asset. Over the next three years, the IRCC’s 2023-26 Data Strategy (hereafter referred to as simply “The Strategy”) will set a course for the Department to harness trustworthy, timely, and relevant data as a strategic asset, empowering a service-oriented and effective organization.

Expanding on the Department’s inaugural Data Strategy published in 2020, the Strategy reflects how the Department’s data ecosystem has evolved. Formulated in alignment with government-wide directives1, and as a response to the shifting operational realities underlying IRCC’s lines of business, the Strategy recognizes that enterprise quality data are critical to a future where the Department aims to increase operational agility, enhance client service, streamline employee experience, and improve program effectiveness.

To realize these outcomes, the strategy proposes five missions that constitute our areas of focus for the next three years:

  1. maturing data foundations,
  2. driving strategic partnerships,
  3. improving analytics solutions and data services,
  4. building data knowledge and capacity, and
  5. increasing the business impact of data.

IRCC’s Chief Data Officer (CDO) will be working with its departmental partners to identify the work that contributes to delivering the outcomes of the Strategy, to coordinate the delivery of reports on our progress, and to report on the impact of the Strategy to IRCC’s senior leaders.

The publication of the Strategy reflects IRCC’s commitment to a journey the Department has already embarked on, one of collaboration, learning, and innovation involving our staff, partners, and stakeholders; critical elements to our success."

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