Audit at a Glance—Chapter 2—Support for Combatting Transnational Crime

Audit at a Glance
Chapter 2—Support for Combatting Transnational Crime

What we examined (see Focus of the audit)

We examined whether the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) established priorities for serious and organized crime and aligned its international programming with those priorities, and whether the RCMP and the Department of Justice Canada (Justice Canada) have in place the systems and practices necessary to address their international requirements. Between 1 April 2010 and 31 May 2014, we examined the management of the RCMP Liaison Officer Program and its systems and practices for addressing its international requirements.

What we found

Program operations and performance

Overall, we found that the RCMP aligned the operations of the Liaison Officer Program to respond to priorities for serious and organized crime, but had not developed a process to assess the overall performance of the Program. Such a process would help the RCMP know whether it is using the Program efficiently and help to ensure its continued ability to adjust to changing criminal trends and national priorities.

  • The RCMP does not have the information it needs to assess the Liaison Officer Program (see paragraphs 2.18-2.23)

    Recommendation. The RCMP should assess the performance of its Liaison Officer Program to ensure that it gets the best use of its limited resources.

Information sharing and cooperation

Overall, we found that RCMP liaison officers cooperate with domestic and foreign partners to access and share information, but that the RCMP had not assessed the potential of greater participation in Europol and did not generally have access to information about Canadians detained abroad. We also found that Justice Canada processes formal requests for extradition and obtains evidence from abroad appropriately, but does not monitor the reasons for delays in the process. Information sharing and cooperation are key elements in helping to advance criminal investigations within Canada and abroad in order to protect Canadians from transnational criminal activities.

  • RCMP liaison officers have advanced Canadian investigations through their information sharing practices (see paragraphs 2.26-2.30)

  • The costs and benefits of increased Europol participation have not been assessed (see paragraphs 2.31-2.38)

    Recommendation. The RCMP should assess the costs, potential opportunities, and challenges associated with greater participation in Europol.

  • Justice Canada processes extradition and mutual legal assistance requests appropriately, but does not monitor timeliness (see paragraphs 2.39-2.48)

    Recommendation. Justice Canada, in consultation with domestic and foreign partners, should assess the reasons for significant delays in processing requests for extradition or mutual legal assistance and develop strategies to mitigate them where possible.

  • The RCMP could not generally access information about Canadians detained abroad (see paragraphs 2.49-2.56)

    Recommendation. The RCMP and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development should work together to identify information related to Canadians arrested, charged, convicted, or released from prison abroad that can be shared legally and put in place processes to share this information with the RCMP.


The audited entities agree with our recommendations, and have responded (see List of Recommendations).

Why we did this audit

The international character of serious crime is facilitated by the expansion of technology, increased mobility, and the adaptive nature of criminal networks. These trends are evidenced in the types of serious crimes being committed in more than one country, such as drug trafficking, corruption, theft, money laundering, child pornography, identity-related crime, mass-marketing fraud, human trafficking and migrant smuggling. To address these crimes, it is important that the RCMP work with its international counterparts to obtain and share information that advances their criminal investigations and those of other police forces in Canada.

Details of the audit

Report of the Auditor General of Canada
Type of product Performance audit

Justice and Law Enforcement

Audited entities
  • Department of Justice Canada
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Completion date 31 May 2014
Tabling date 25 November 2014
Related audits

For more information

Ghislain Desjardins
Manager, Media Relations
Tel.: 613 952 0213, extension 6292

Twitter: OAG_BVG

The Auditor General’s Comments

The RCMP and Justice Canada work well with foreign law enforcement to support criminal investigations that affect Canadians

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