Revised date for changes to the Contract Security Program’s security screening process
Communiqué: September 1, 2021
On June 30, 2021, Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSPC) Contract Security Program (CSP) announced that it would be implementing changes to their security screening process. These changes will allow security clearances to be processed more quickly for suppliers participating in procurement processes.
To support government clients and stakeholders in adjusting their internal procurement policies, practices and procedures, the CSP will be implementing the changes in phases. The first phase will now begin on October 4, 2021, rather than the initially communicated date of September 1, 2021, to give you enough time to review the updated communications products and guidance prior to implementing any necessary changes in your organization.
In keeping with ongoing efforts to further enhance service delivery and advance procurement modernization, PSPC plans to implement all other changes communicated on June 30, 2021. However, to ensure a smooth implementation, these will come into effect at a later date.
October 2021 changes
Starting October 4, 2021, personnel security screenings will only be conducted for individuals who:
- require access to protected or classified information/assets/sites to perform work on an active contract, subcontract or lease
- require access to protected or classified information/assets/sites during the pre-solicitation stage of a procurement process
- have been identified as a resource in a bid submission and are required to hold the necessary personnel screening at the time of contract award
- are involved in a multinational program
Why this is important
Over the 5 five years, more than 80% of private sector personnel screened have not been associated with a contract or subcontract with security requirements. This means that those with a clear need for a security clearance are having to wait longer than necessary and important security services cannot be efficiently delivered.
Corresponding changes to the federal procurement process
All suppliers competing in a PSPC procurement will be able to apply for personnel screening when a legitimate requirement is identified.
Therefore, PSPC-led procurement processes will no longer require bidders to hold the necessary security clearances at the date of bid closing in their bid solicitation documents.
Instead, bidders will have until the date of the contract award to obtain the necessary security clearances. Other government departments that award contracts under their delegated authority should follow this same approach for the procurements they manage.
Removing the requirement for bidders to hold a security clearance before submitting a bid will not only allow faster security screening, it also removes a potential barrier for suppliers interested in participating in federal procurement processes.
Additional information products and tools
For additional information, prospective suppliers can consult the security requirements for contracting with the Government of Canada and Contract Security Manual or, contact the Contract Security Program's client service centre.
The CSP has updated the questions and answers document provided on June 30, 2021 to include:
- a list of scenarios accepted by CSP as justification to process contractor personnel security screening requests
- areas where the CSP will exercise flexibility
- information on corresponding changes to PSPC’s Supply Manual, Standard Acquisitions Clauses and Conditions and Standard Procurement Templates
- clarifications on standing offers and supply arrangements
Information about the latest questions and answers report is available on the phase 1 of changes to the security screening process.
As well, a company security officer guide to justifying security screening requirements is available. This tool provides step-by-step instructions on how to demonstrate the security requirement in section A of the Personnel screening, consent and authorization form (TBS/SCT 330-23E).
If you would like a copy of this guide, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Date modified: