Friday, October 26, 2018

CSE budget jumps to $682.9 million

The Supplementary Estimates (A) for FY 2018-19, tabled in Parliament yesterday, show a significant proposed increase in CSE's spending authorities of some $58 million, to $682,903,093. The Main Estimates for FY 2018-19, tabled in April, showed a budget of $624.9 million for the agency.

It takes a bit of digging through the documents to get an idea of where the changes took place, but this is roughly how it breaks down:

$624,893,953 (Main Estimates)

+ $1,923,668 (additional funding for Long-Term Accommodation Project)

- $442,771 (transfer to DFATD for liaison offices)

+ $6,941,780 (compensation adjustments)

+ $20,668,322 (operating budget carry-forward)

+ $35,703,582 (establishment of Canadian Centre for Cyber Security)


= $689,688,534

—which for reasons entirely opaque to me is actually $6,785,441 larger than the overall $682,903,093 figure reported in the Supplementary Estimates (A). Perhaps the compensation adjustment figure isn't included in the total for some reason, although that would still leave a discrepancy of over one hundred thousand dollars. I probably missed something somewhere.

In any case, the big additions are the $20.7 million carry-forward from last year's budget and the $35.7 million added for the launch of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.

I'm a bit surprised we didn't see any transfer of funds from the Department of Public Safety and Shared Services Canada accompanying the transfer of personnel and duties from those departments to CSE. Maybe that will come later.

[Update 6 March 2019: Yep, the funds transfer took place in the Supplementary Estimates (B).]

Recent CSE testimony suggests the agency now has roughly 2500 people, up from 2300, which if accurate is presumably primarily a result of these transfers.

The new figure makes CSE's budget about 4.1 times as large (after inflation) as it was prior to 9/11.

[I've updated the figures above a couple of times in the hour since first making this post, but I still can't make them add up.]

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Canadian Centre for Cyber Security launched

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the official launch of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS) on October 1st.

The Centre, which I blogged about earlier here, was created by amalgamating Public Safety Canada's Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) and Get Cyber Safe public awareness program, elements of the Shared Services Canada Security Operations Centre, and the entire IT Security branch of CSE. The CCCS will remain a component of CSE, but it will have its own head (former Deputy Chief IT Security Scott Jones), its own public identity, and, as of 2019, its own headquarters building in the National Capital Region.

The separate building will enable the Centre to interact more with industry and the public, Jones told the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on September 20th:
[W]e're making sure that we have a facility where people can come in and work. If you come and visit CSE now, we take all of your technology away because you're entering a top secret building. The cyber centre will not be that way. The physical facility for this will be a place where people can come and collaborate and, frankly, bring their stuff so we can see how it works and we can work together on things.
Jones anticipates that the RCMP's new National Cybercrime Coordination Unit, although not a part of the CCCS, will be co-located in the same building.

Not mentioned, although perhaps also a factor in the decision to house the Centre in a separate facility, is the possibility that CSE's new headquarters building, which was itself completed only in 2015, may have been running out of space as a result of anticipated staff increases in both the cybersecurity and the SIGINT sides of the agency.

[Update 13 November 2018: The new facility will be located at 1625 Vanier Parkway.]

You can read more about the Centre and its launch here and here.

News coverage:

Jim Bronskill, "New cybersecurity centre assesses threats to Canadian electoral system," Canadian Press, 1 October 2018.

Howard Solomon, "Canadian Centre for Cyber Security opens, to be focus for federal safety efforts," IT World Canada, 1 October 2018.