updated 3/30/2004 3:07:10 PM ET 2004-03-30T20:07:10

The Canadian government has not tightened its security procedures sufficiently after the Sept. 11 attacks, leaving its border and airports vulnerable to terrorist infiltration, a key official said Tuesday in unveiling a new report.

Auditor General Sheila Fraser said the lack of coordination among security agencies and the weaknesses at airports and border crossings need to be urgently addressed.

Fraser also found that authorities lacked an overall plan to focus on the most important threats, guide spending and choose between conflicting priorities.

“These are basic things that should be working more effectively than they are now,” Fraser told a news conference. “I would hope that this report will lead to corrective action.”

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the Canadian government allocated $7.7 billion over five years to bolster the fight against global terrorism, prevent extremists from taking haven in Canada and ensure the prosecution of extremists.

But Fraser found that departments and agencies are still unable to share some security information and not all of their systems can communicate with each other.

For example, information about the 25,000 Canada passports lost or stolen each year is not available to front-line officers, even though these passports could be used by terrorists or other criminals, the report said.

Watch lists used to screen visa applicants, refugee claimants and travelers seeking to enter Canada are “in disarray” because of inaccuracies and shoddy updating, Fraser found.

“There is no overall quality control of this vital function, which is spread over several departments and agencies,” the report said. “No one monitors delays in the entry or the quality of data on watch lists.”

The Immigration Department’s watch list was not updated between June 2001 and November 2001. When it was updated, more than 1,500 names were added, including those of two Sept. 11 hijackers identified by American authorities in August 2001, the report said.

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