Public Safety and Anti-terrorism (PSAT) Initiative,
Summative Evaluation

1. Introduction

1. Introduction

In response to the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, the Canadian government announced the Public Safety and Anti-Terrorism (PSAT) Initiative (or “the Initiative”) to support the government's commitment to fight terrorism and address related national security and public safety concerns. The announcement of the Initiative was preceded by the development and passage of the Anti-terrorism Act (ATA). The ATA and the Public Safety Act 2002 (PSA) serve as cornerstones of Canada's response to the threat of terrorism. The PSAT Initiative supports the implementation of these two key pieces of legislation and provides resources so that the Department of Justice can respond to the increase in demand for its legal services to support the national security legislative framework.

The PSAT Initiative reflects the complexities of the threat raised by terrorism, which does not reside neatly within the jurisdiction of any one agency, level of government, or nation. As a result, the Initiative is government-wide, involving a substantial number of federal departments and agencies that are a cross-section of government – from the more traditional law enforcement and national security agencies, like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), to departments like Health, Transport, and Finance. The Initiative also requires coordination and collaboration by the federal departments and agencies with their provincial and international counterparts.

The Department serves an important function within the Initiative by assisting in the development of policies, regulations, and legislation related to public safety and anti-terrorism; providing legal advice and assistance on terrorism-related issues, both domestically and internationally; conducting terrorism-related prosecutions; and balancing access to justice and human rights with Canada's collective security concerns.

1.1. Purpose of the evaluation

This summative evaluation assesses the relevance, fulfilment of objectives, and effectiveness of the Department of Justice component of PSAT. It builds upon the 2005 formative evaluation, which focused on the issues of design, effectiveness, and efficiency. The Department is conducting the evaluation in part to fulfill Treasury Board Secretariat requirements.

The evaluation focuses exclusively on the Department's role in the PSAT Initiative from 2001-2006. During this period, the Federal Prosecution Service (FPS) was the prosecution arm of the Department. The FPS was reconstituted as the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) in December 2006 and continues the federal prosecution function, but as an independent entity that is no longer part of the Department of Justice. The FPS is referred to as such throughout this report. Any findings applicable to the FPS should be understood as referring, in the current environment, to the PPSC.

1.2. Scope of the evaluation

This evaluation does not cover the full breadth of the PSAT Initiative, which means that certain aspects of Canada's response to terrorism are not part of this evaluation. Moreover, this is not an evaluation of the ATA. The parliamentary review of the ATA is the forum for discussing the legislation and making recommendations on changes to the legislative framework, whereas this evaluation considers whether the PSAT-funded activities of the Department of Justice are meeting the objectives and goals that the Department has set under the Initiative.

1.3. Structure of the report

This report is divided into six sections, including the introduction. Section 2.0 describes the policy context and legislative framework of the PSAT Initiative, Section 3.0 describes the Department of Justice component of the Initiative, Section 4.0 outlines the methodology for the evaluation, and Section 5.0 summarizes the key findings. Section 6.0 concludes the report. The evaluation framework is available in Appendix A.