In order to ensure that Canadians receive the benefits to which they are properly entitled, Service Canada has had a long-established Integrity Services Branch. On average, over 400,000 reviews and investigations are conducted every year.
Since the early 1970s, as part of its legislative mandate, the department has been conducting file reviews in order to confirm the accuracy of information provided by clients.
The Integrity Services Branch uses different means to communicate with clients, such as mail, in-person meetings and telephone calls. Where circumstances warrant, surveillance may be required.
However, surveillance is strictly a last resort measure and requires the authorization of an Integrity Services manager or team leader. When surveillance is appropriate, it must always comply with all applicable laws.
Last year alone, Service Canada was able to address almost a half billion dollars in ineligible payments related to the Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security programs.
It is important that benefits are only paid to those who are qualified for them and Service Canada takes this responsibility very seriously, on behalf of taxpayers, in order to protect the integrity of our programs.