Summary of the Horizontal Evaluation of the Project to Enhance the Passenger Protect Program
About the Program
The Passenger Protect Program (PPP) is an aviation security program that was originally launched in 2007. While initially established based on authorities in the Aeronautics Act, the Secure Air Travel Act (SATA) came into force in 2015 and now provides the legislative framework for the PPP. Through the PPP, individuals who may pose a threat to aviation security, or who may travel by air to commit a terrorist act, can be prevented from boarding a plane or may be required to undergo additional security screening.
In 2019, the Government of Canada committed to enhancing the PPP with a centralized screening solution, as well as a redress system known as the Canadian Travel Number (CTN). Since then, Public Safety Canada (PS), Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada (TC) and Shared Services Canada have been working collaboratively to develop and launch enhancements to the PPP.
What We Examined
The purpose of this evaluation was to examine the implementation of the project to enhance the PPP, including the centralized screening solution, the CTN and the Passenger Protect Program Operations Centre (PPOC). The evaluation also examined the impact of COVID-19 on the project, the effect of the project components on Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) factors, and the plans in place to transition the enhancements made to the PPP from the project phase to the operational phase. The evaluation covered the years from the launch of the project in 2019 to March 2022. Relevant documents produced between April and October 2022 were also included to ensure up to date performance data and relevant significant developments were included.
- There is a continued need for the PPP as threats to national security continue to exist and evolve.
- Project activities align with departmental roles and responsibilities and will continue to align following transition to steady state operations.
- The PPPOC at TC has been successfully established and is meeting the needs of the program.
- The centralized screening solution has been implemented and is operational.
- Outages of the centralized screening solution continue to be a challenge; however, a system to resolve these issues is in development.
- The centralized screening solution has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the PPP. Benefits have been realized for air carriers, partner departments and travellers.
- The CTN is providing a redress system for individuals identified as false name matches. While application processing delays were initially experienced, processing times have significantly improved.
- Communication about the purpose and intended use of the CTN was initially unclear, however the program implemented changes to communication materials which appeared to be effective.
- The introduction of the CTN has been directly responsible for improving the air travel experience for individuals who were falsely matched to the SATA List.
- Partner departments are actively engaging with project stakeholders, including the public, civil advocacy groups, the air industry and the travel booking industry.
- The implementation of the enhancements to the PPP has decreased the opportunity for biases to impact travellers.
- The governance structure established for the project was effective. While informal relationships and collaboration among departments were strong, there may be a need to explore program governance following the sunsetting of project governance committees.
- The project was delivered in an efficient and effective way in large part due to a robust governance structure, clearly defined roles and responsibilities and strong communication between partner departments.
- A transition plan for the PPP’s operations following the completion of the project is in place. Despite this, some concerns remain about specific aspects of the program going forward.
The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, National and Cyber Security, PS should:
- Work with partner departments to conduct a review of roles and responsibilities, program governance and resources within a year of the completion of the project, in order to ensure sustainability of the program following the addition of the enhancements.
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