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Autopen procedures


Given the number of documents that a Minister of the Crown is required to sign, an autopen is frequently used. Since a signature from the autopen is considered a legal signature, and can therefore bind the Government and the Crown to certain decisions, its use must be carefully controlled. This document outlines the roles and responsibilities, as well as current security and functional procedures for the use of the Minister’s autopen at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Autopen roles and responsibilities

Autopen personnel are divided into two groups: those who can approve its operation (Authorizers), and those who operate it (Operators). An Operator can only use the autopen following the receipt of written authorization by an Authorizer.

The following is an overview of autopen Authorization and Operation. To ensure adequate coverage and flexibility, it is recommended that select departmental and ministerial staff be assigned Operator privileges.

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Ministerial authorization to use the autopen

Authorization and functional procedures

Security procedures

The following procedures are in place to ensure that the autopen is securely housed and its use is prioritized and monitored.
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