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Policies for Ministers' Offices - January 2011

Part 2 — Security

2.1 Requirements

All individuals who work in or for the office of any minister, including exempt staff, other employees, contractors, students, and persons on loan, assignment, or secondment, regardless of their work location, require a Level 2 (Secret) security clearance prior to appointment. They must also comply with other requirements for the safeguarding of government information and other assets. Clearances and security briefings are arranged by the deputy minister and the departmental security officer (DSO). The Privy Council Office (PCO) briefs ministers and parliamentary secretaries on applicable security requirements, notably in respect to Cabinet documents (see also section 10.1).

All individuals who work in or for the office of any minister should receive a security briefing from the DSO.

A single senior contact point should be designated within the offices of ministers to co-ordinate security-related matters.

Advice on security clearances and other security requirements under the Policy on Government Security may be obtained from the DSO.

It should be noted that, in cases where contractors are required to obtain a security clearance in order to fulfill the obligations of the contract, this does not imply or constitute an appointment, nor does the requirement to comply with the Government Security Policy imply or constitute an employer-employee relationship.

2.2 Personal security

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provides material to ministers on security precautions they can take to ensure their safety. The RCMP also provides them with a 24-hour, seven‑day emergency contact number. In the case of a specific threat, the RCMP can offer additional protection (e.g. a driver, vehicle, and bodyguard).

The DSO should be informed of potential threats and future travel in order to liaise with the RCMP and ensure the provision of the necessary level of protection.

The Policy on Government Security requires protection measures for employees under threat of violence. The DSO can provide advice in this regard.

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