Subcontracting security requirements

Are you hiring a company to work with you on a Government of Canada or foreign government contract with security requirements? The Contract Security Program will help you ensure that the subcontractor meets the security requirements of that contract.

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Responsibility of the prime contractor

The prime contractor is the organization that wins the bid to work on a Government of Canada or foreign government contract. The subcontractor is hired by the prime contractor to work on part of the contract.

It is the prime contractor’s responsibility to get approval from the Contract Security Program before awarding a subcontract with security requirements.

Getting approval

To get approval, contact the Contract Security Program.

The program will work with your organization to ensure that the subcontractor:

Subcontractor screening

The prime contractor’s company security officer (CSO) or alternate company security officer (ACSO) is responsible to:

Note: Each subcontract needs a unique subcontract number and security requirements checklist.

International subcontracting

Before you enter into a subcontract with a foreign organization, your organization must contact the program to:

Learn more about security requirements for international contracts and subcontracts.

Canada–United States subcontracts

You must obtain written approval from the program and the contract's procurement officer before awarding a subcontract to a United States organization.

To obtain approval, the prime contractor must provide the program with:

Completing the security requirements checklist

The security requirements checklist is a federal government form used to define the security requirements of a contract. The checklist must be completed for all contracts and subcontracts with security requirements.

Complete the security requirements checklist (TBS/SCT 350-103)

Your organization’s CSO is responsible for completing the checklist. The CSO will identify the security levels required with guidance from the procurement officer assigned to the prime contract.

The security level for the subcontract can be lower, but not higher, than that of the prime contract. Remember to include the prime contract file number in all subcontract documentation to avoid delays.

The image below shows you the top section of the security requirements checklist, and how to fill it out if you are subcontracting:

Screen shot of top section of the security requirements checklist. Image description below.
Description of the security requirements checklist image

If your organization is subcontracting, you must provide the following:

Reference sheet: Subcontract

Subcontract reference sheet - long description below
Description of the reference sheet: Subcontract

The title of the image is “Contract Security Program: Subcontract—Reference sheet.” The Public Services and Procurement Canada corporate signature appears at the top of the image. A disclaimer the reads “Note: Subject to change based on program updates” appears at the top of the image.

Responsibilities of the prime contractor

The prime contractor is the organization that wins the bid to work on a Government of Canada (GC) or a foreign government contract.

The subcontractor is hired by the prime contractor to work on part of a Canadian or foreign government contract. A subcontractor is not an employee of the prime contractor.

The prime contractor is responsible to get approval from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) before awarding a subcontract with security requirements and delegating work.

A Canadian prime contractor, wishing to subcontract part of the work, who has an active GC-sensitive contract, standing offer or supply arrangement and is in good standing with the PSPC must:

  1. sponsor the subcontractor by submitting the security requirements checklist (SRCL) and a request for private sector organization screening form (PSOS) to PSPC
  2. inform the subcontractor of their responsibilities
  3. ensure each subcontract has a unique subcontract number

Remember that the subcontract cannot be awarded and work cannot begin until the subcontract is approved by PSPC.

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Sponsor

When PSPC receives the subcontractor sponsorship request, they will review the request and:

  1. verify if the subcontractor is registered
  2. advise the prime contractor that work can or cannot begin
    • The subcontractor cannot begin work until their organization clearance has been granted and the subcontract approved by PSPC
  3. sign the SRCL, and provide security clauses
    • The subcontract may not necessarily have the same security clauses as the prime contract

The prime contractor will then:

  1. input the signed SRCL and security clauses into the subcontract
  2. submit a copy of the subcontract, SRCL and security clauses (including any amendments to the subcontract) to PSPC

The process must be adhered to by all contractors wishing to subcontract work, including subcontractors allocating work to another subcontractor.

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Screen subcontractor

Once the subcontracted organization receives their registration package, they will have 30 days to complete and submit all registration forms.

If required, PSPC will also initiate a document safeguarding capability (DSC) inspection process.

Once PSPC has approved the subcontract, the subcontractor’s company security officer (CSO) must obtain security screenings for all personnel who will be working on the subcontract and who will have access to the sensitive GC information, assets and worksite.

Processing times for personnel security screening requests

Before you enter into a subcontract with a foreign organization or get a classified contract from a foreign organization, your organization must contact PSPC. Click the link to read more about international subcontracting.

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Contact us

National Capital Region:
613-948-4176
Toll-free:
1-866-368-4646
Email:
ssi-iss@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca
Website:
Security requirements for contracting with the Government of Canada

At the bottom of the image, there is a link that reads “Return to the Contract Security Program roadmap.”

More information

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