In this audit, we focused on whether the Canada Border Services Agency has managed its information technology investments to ensure that their projects meet their objectives. The Canada Border Services Agency manages the access of people and goods to and from Canada, and it relies on technology to carry out this work. The Agency’s current portfolio of information technology projects is made up of 30 projects with a budget totalling more than $1 billion.
In December 2013, the Canada Border Services Agency put in place a portfolio approach to strengthen the management of its information technology investments. We found this approach was strong and comprehensive. However, our review of five projects against this new framework showed that it had not been put fully into practice. This has resulted in several issues.
For example, the information provided to senior committees tasked with overseeing the information technology project portfolio did not contain accurate financial information, project status information, or timelines. The Agency identified that for 77 percent of projects, it had minimal or no information on whether benefits would be realized or aligned with strategic objectives. In addition, projects often lacked clear requirements and at times duplicated effort.
As a result, the Agency faces significant challenges in ensuring that projects are delivered on time and on budget to support its strategic objectives.