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Security considerations for the Minister's office

Your security, as well as that of your office, is a priority for DFO and upon your arrival we will ensure that all your needs are met.

Security is a joint responsibility between the Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Privy Council Office (PCO). While Ministers are responsible for the security of their staff and offices, as well as of sensitive government information and other assets in their custody, the Department provides assistance in ensuring that all security requirements are implemented for your office and safety.

Upon your arrival, you will be offered a security briefing by PCO, who brief all newly-appointed ministers on their security responsibilities (if applicable). Similarly, the Department will brief your Chief of Staff and your officials on requirements for the protection of personnel, sensitive information and other assets, including their security responsibilities with respect to Cabinet Confidences.

While the Departmental Assistant will work closely with your Chief of Staff to facilitate all human resources processes, please note that all individuals who work in or for a Minister’s office, irrespective of their work location (e.g., Parliament Hill, departmental or constituency office), require a Secret security clearance prior to the commencement of work. A Top Secret clearance is required for individuals who will have access to information classified at that level.

Security screening activities for Ministers and Chiefs of Staff are conducted by PCO, whereas screening for Ministerial officials are coordinated by the Department. Both PCO and the Department collaborate with the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), lead security agencies for the Government of Canada, for specific security screening verifications and assessments. To expedite the process, Security Advisors will be on-hand to assist in the completion of screening forms for any incoming staff. The processing times for security screening may vary; however, on average, a new security clearance may take up to 10 business days (this timeframe may vary depending on the complexity of an individual’s background).

[Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act.]

As the Department is apprised by your office of your travel plans, it will liaise with the RCMP to ensure the provision of an appropriate level of protection. Additionally, depending on destination, the Department may provide a security travel briefing or invite subject matter experts, such as CSIS, to address country-specific concerns.

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