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Performance Assurance Audit: Reports

ARMOURY AUDIT REPORT

378-01-145
January 2002

PDF 93 kb

Performance Assurance Sector
Correctional Service Canada

 

Executive Summary

The Audit of Institutional Armouries is part of the Performance Assurance Audit calendar for the fiscal year 2000-2001. At the request of the National Audit and Review Committee a management tool was developed to conduct the audit. All CSC sites that maintain an institutional armoury and/or security equipment were asked to complete a compliance-oriented package. In total, 51 sites responded.

In reviewing the information submitted by the respondents, an attempt was made to classify the findings into three risk levels: significant, moderate or low in order to categorize the impact of the consequences of future outcomes/event resulting from identified practices and/or deficiencies. The following are the primary issues identified in reviewing the responses received:

Equipment and Investigations

Eleven sites (11) reported possessing equipment not or no longer on the National Scale of Issue. Although in a few cases the reported use of these items was for training purposes only, the majority of the sites did not provide this information. Possession of this type of equipment, mainly consisting of chemical agents/ inflammatory sprays, jeopardizes the safety of staff and offenders. The risk associated with the possession of unauthorized security equipment is significant.

Sites and/or regional headquarters were contacted to ensure that the above mentioned equipment was immediately removed from operations and disposed of accordingly. All the sites have confirmed that the above action has been taken. As a result, the risk associated with this finding has been minimized.

The audit recommended that the Service review the communication methods used to report the removal of equipment from the National Scale of Issue, especially given the recent decision by the Management Committee to immediately discontinue the use of CN gas at all CSC facilities (NHQMC Minutes 2001-02-05). This issue is being addressed in the "What's New" section of the Security Equipment Manual and in the "What's New" section of the CSC Infonet (in the Main Menu). All changes to the National Scale of Issue will be communicated via the Infonet, as well as the annual National Security Equipment Committee meetings.

Security Maintenance Officer Training

A moderate risk was identified with respect to ensuring that the appropriate training requirements were fulfilled according to policy. It was reported that only 55% of SMOs had completed mandatory refresher training. However, since the audit the Security Technology branch has reported that three of the five regions have received refresher training. The remaining regions will receive this training within the next fiscal year. As a result of this initiative the risk level has been minimized to a lower level.

Storage of Security Equipment

A moderate risk exists in ensuring that sites are aware of and have access to current policy requirements, specifically the Security Manual. A number of sites reported that they were confused with some of the requirements present in the management tool. They indicated that they either did not understand a requirement or could not locate the requirement in the Security Manual. After consultation with the field, it was discovered that sites did not possess the most recent version of the Security Manual or reported that they were unaware that their version was out dated. This can result in non-compliance with internal policies. Access to an up-to-date version of the Security Manual should be provided.

Two other risks were identified in this section. However, it appears that they are now at a manageable or lower level. One site indicated that security equipment was being stored at a hotel and was being used as training aids for CTP training. The region was contacted regarding this issue and action was taken to remove the equipment from the hotel and secure them at a CSC facility.

The second involved ensuring that visiting peace officers to store their firearms before entering the institution. Although, alternative measures were taken at some sites the practices were not all-acceptable alternatives. Assurance should be provided by all sites indicating that are available and offered to visiting peace officers for storage of their firearm.

The risk associated with the reported practices in the remaining sections appears to be at a manageable level. As a result, no major concerns were identified in the areas of access, shipping, inventory and disposal of security equipment.

Summary of Recommendations and Action Plans

Recommendation #1

a) Firearms, ammunition, chemical agents and inflammatory sprays not on the National Scale of Issue shall not be used by CSC sites, unless approved by the Technical Services, Security Technology Branch. All non-issue firearms, ammunition, chemical agents and inflammatory sprays must be immediately removed from CSC sites.

b) Review methods of communicating the removal of equipment, especially firearms, ammunition, chemical agents and inflammatory sprays, from the National Scale of Issue. Adopt a practice that will ensure that all CSC sites (regardless of the security level) are made aware of amendments to the National Scale of Issue.

Action by: Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services

Action plan:

  1. The Security Equipment Manual, available on the CSC Infonet (as of December 28, 2000) clearly defines the approved equipment available for use by CSC sites. All non-issue firearms, ammunition, chemical agents and inflammatory sprays have been removed from CSC facilities.
  2. On December 28, 2000, the Technical Services, Security Technology Branch released the Security Equipment Manual on the CSC Infonet. This document cites the Security Equipment Scale of Issue for use in CSC. The issue of communicating the removal of equipment from the Scale of Issue is addressed in the "What's New" section of the Security Equipment Manual and in the "What's New" section of the CSC Infonet (in the Main Menu). All changes to the National Scale of Issue will be communicated via the Infonet, as well as the annual National Security Equipment Committee meetings.

This report has been vetted by the Access to Information and Privacy Division of the Correctional Service of Canada. The vetted copy is only available in hard copy format. Please contact the Performance Assurance Sector of the Correctional Service of Canada for a copy of the report.