Witness Protection Program Act – Annual report: 2006-2007
This is the eleventh Annual Report on the Witness Protection Program Act as required by section 16 of the Act. The content of this year’s report has been modified from previous years to now include all costs related to the administration of the Program. Whereas in previous years the reports contained only costs related to protectee’s relocation expenses, this year’s report provides a full account. This approach is reflected in the significant cost increase as outlined in the attached template.
The Witness Protection Program (WPP) continues to be an effective tool for law enforcement to combat terrorism and organized crime. We continue to see the benefit of the WPP as an important program in support of national priorities, including the dismantling of organized crime groups in Canada. Furthermore, the program is available to not only the RCMP but to all law enforcement agencies in Canada.
The statistics included in this report are based on the services provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) between April 1, 2006 and March 31, 2007. Protectees include individuals from RCMP cases, protectees referred by other Canadian police services and foreign protectees under subsection 14(2) of the Act. Protection given under subsection 14(2) is on a cost-recovery basis including the related expenses of RCMP personnel.
In order to not jeopardize the integrity of the Program, or the safety of any individual within the Program, statistics have been provided on the most relevant areas of the program, without details concerning individual cases.
During the course of the reported year, the following is a breakdown of services provided to the law enforcement community:
During this period the RCMP considered a total number of ninety-eight (98) internal cases for admission purposes. Twenty-six (26) protectees were accepted in the program with a secure name change, while six (6) protectees were accepted into the program but did not receive a secure name change. Nine (9) cases were provided with alternate methods of protection. The remaining cases did not proceed for various reasons.
There were six (6) instances in which the witnesses refused protection. The reasons stated for the refusals were, the numerous conditions imposed, and an unwillingness to relocate.
The RCMP has provided assistance to other law enforcement agencies during the last year, as provided for under subsection 6 (1)(a) of the Act. Although the RCMP does not monitor the cases assessed by other law enforcement agencies, we have admitted twenty-eight (28) protectees on the recommendation of other law enforcement agencies into the program. In addition, the RCMP has accepted witness(es) into the program from foreign countries.
The number of Canadian witnesses that requested voluntary termination decreased from twenty-one (21) last year, to seventeen (17) this year.
There were four (4) cases of involuntary termination that were reported as per section 9 of the Act, which is a decrease from last year’s figure of seven (7). These cases all involved serious breaches of security by the witnesses and their participation in the program was terminated following written notice.
No witness was refused admission to the program by the RCMP pursuant to section 10 of the Act.
There were four (4) civil litigations filed, and/or complaints filed with the Commission for Public Complaints, against the RCMP in relation to the program during the last fiscal year.
Furthermore, during this reporting period, the RCMP provided presentations to visiting foreign officials on the WPP and attended several conferences as invited guests in countries with similar law enforcement concerns.
Fluctuations related to admissions from year to year are largely affected by law enforcement activities during the fiscal year and may also be affected by variables outside the administration of the program.
Cost of the Program:
As noted in last year’s annual report, the RCMP is now providing Parliament with a more detailed list of the costing to administer the WPP, which is reflected in the attached appendix. Amounts provided are for those incurred by the RCMP only. These do not take into consideration expenses incurred by other law enforcement agencies.
The total cost of the administration of the program for the reporting year was $8.1M. As detailed, this amount includes wages for personnel, expenses, travel costs, administrative and protectee relocation expenses, as reflected in the appendix. It should be noted that award payments are accounted for in a separate budget, thus these expenditures are not reflected in the overall annual cost of the Witness Protection Program.
|Total Number of RCMP Cases assessed for the program
|Total number of Protectees accepted in the WPP
By other law enforcement agencies (28)
- By RCMP (26)
|Total secure identity change
|Refusal of protection by witnesses
|Lawsuits filed in court or complaints with the Commission for public Complaints against the RCMP in relation to the program