Article

Accounting for the Future or the Past?: Developing Accountability and Oversight Systems to Meet Future Intelligence Needs

Stuart Farson and Reg Whitaker

in The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195375886
Published online September 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195375886.003.0041

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Accounting for the Future or the Past?: Developing Accountability and Oversight Systems to Meet Future Intelligence Needs

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This article discusses the development of accountability and intelligence culture. It begins with the contentious issues that have prevailed in the field of intelligence. It defines the use of certain terms such as accountability and responsibility within the context of intelligence. The article also looks at how systems of oversight and accountability have developed in Canada's longest and most enduring intelligence partners. The focus here is on the causes, legislative practices, and shortcomings. Following the discussion on the systems of oversight and accountability in Canadian intelligence, the article proceeds with a discussion on how Canada has developed its own systems. The emphasis here is on the external procedures and independent institutions. The purpose in this section is twofold: first, is to illustrate that even close allies have followed different paths and, second, is to show that Canada, while initially getting off to a sound start, has failed to keep pace not only with its key intelligence allies but also with the changing threat environment. Finally, the article suggests what a system of oversight and accountability that will meet Canada's future needs might look like and what it would do.

Keywords: accountability; intelligence culture; contentious issues; responsibility; systems of oversight; Canada; causes; legislative practices; shortcomings; external procedures

Article.  11811 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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