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Security considerations for the Minister’s Office

Your security, as well as that of your office, is a priority for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (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 briefs all newly-appointed ministers on their security responsibilities. 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 clearance (at a minimum) 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 security screening for Ministerial officials are coordinated by the Department. Both PCO and the DFO Security 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, DFO Security Staff will be available to assist in the completion of security screening forms for any incoming staff. The processing times for security screening may vary; however, special arrangements have been made for a 48 to 72 hour turn-around for incoming Minister’s office staff (this timeframe may vary depending on the complexity of an individual’s file).

The Department will also work with the RCMP, which has a duty to protect Ministers, to conduct a security consultation of your principal residence, as warranted by your preferences. [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act.] For your personal safety, the Department can also provide advice to help you remove your personal contact information from the white pages if you so choose.

Identification and access cards, office keys and access codes to cabinets, secure faxes and secure telephone will be provided by the Department to staff members (including Parliament Hill staff members) who require access to Departmental offices. Should sensitive government information need to be handled outside of the office, the Department will ensure that the necessary security equipment (e.g., secure briefcase or cellphone) and IT systems are provided.

As the Department is apprised by your office (Chief of Staff) of your travel plans, 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.

In accordance with RCMP’s mandate to provide protection to Ministers of the Crown, Ministers should contact the RCMP Protective Policing at [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act.] / [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act.] to provide: schedules; travel plans and or contact information. Their assessment-led service that focuses on treat-risk provides: security consultations; alarms and alarm monitoring; close personal protection; and international protection officer.

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