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New Criteria to Obtain and Renew Security Clearances For Contracting With the Federal Government

March 23, 2022

Effective May 2, 2022, the Government of Canada’s Contract Security Program (CSP) is narrowing its eligibility criteria to obtain, renew or upgrade organization security clearances to focus on organizations that require security clearances as part of an active federal procurement process or contract.

Specifically, CSP will screen new organizations and renew or upgrade existing security clearances for organizations that have responded to a government solicitation with security requirements, will be awarded a contract or subcontract with security requirements, or are involved in a multinational program.

CSP will also introduce a new, provisional security clearance for organizations requiring access to sensitive government information or assets during a pre-solicitation phase of a procurement process (for example, to access classified requests for proposal). Only Canadian organizations are eligible for provisional security clearances, and provisional clearances will remain valid for the duration of the bid solicitation stage only. Where access to sensitive information or assets is only required to execute a contract, and not before, organizations will have until the date a contract is awarded to obtain a security clearance.

As of May 2, 2022, all organizations bidding on a solicitation or being awarded a contract with security requirements will be required to complete and submit an Application for Registration form PSPC 471.

Organizations currently in the CSP will be reassessed at the time their security clearance renews to determine their continued eligibility for the program based on the new criteria. Screening requests that are currently in process will also be reviewed against the new eligibility criteria. Additionally, security clearances will terminate at the end of their validity period (two years for designated organization screenings and one year for facility security clearances) if the organization is not participating in another procurement process or executing a contract or subcontract with security requirements at that time.

These changes are in response to CSP findings that the overwhelming majority of organizations and personnel screened for security clearance do not require clearance in connection with a contract or subcontract containing security requirements. CSP anticipates reduced processing times for security clearances as a result of these changes.

For more information, please contact:

Alexis Levine    416-863-3089
Ora Morrison   416-863-2712

or any member of our Public Sector Crisis & Compliance group.