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Update on the Federal Security Clearance Process

​I believe it’s important to be involved and contribute to advancing the interests of the industry for the betterment of both clients and competitors, in addition to Eagle. To that end, in addition to my ‘day job’ at Eagle, I serve as the local Chapter President of the NACCB, our industry association that represents those interests and, here in Ottawa specifically, the majority of that focus audience is with the Federal Government. We are instrumental and very active in representing the IT Services industry in issues like Procurement and Contract Vehicles, CRA Employee- Employer concerns and, of most concern of late, Security and Federal Government Security Clearances. The Security Clearance process for independent contractors and vendors in Ottawa has become a very slow and cumbersome process, so much so that many contracts are delayed in being awarded and often cancelled altogether due only to the Security Process.

While all around Ottawa and the Federal Government there is consolidation, see Shared Services Canada, consolidation of Procurement vehicles and a National Procurement strategy, Security has gone the opposite way by becoming more complex and with different departments rendering and implementing their own Security Clearance processes. CISD, the organization that is responsible for Security Clearances, has recently engaged industry associations like NAACCB on a regular basis. To that end I would like to share some of their updates:

  • The new CISD Call Centre is in place and claims to have reduced delays and sped up their Clearances times against their own target metrics. For a simple clearance, ie. Reliability, CISD targets the process to be completed in 7 days or less and they hit that target 73% of the time on a target of 85%.

  • Complex Clearances ( ie. Secret Clearance) their target is to have 85% of applications completed in 120 days or less and they exceed that at 95%.

  • Overall backlog of requests have been reduced from 28000 to 18000.

  • PSOS (Private Sector Organization Screening), which all independent incorporated contractors must have in addition to their Personal Security Clearance, has increased 40 %. Contractors need to begin this process ASAP if they wish to be awarded Federal Government contracts.

  • With so many inaccuracies in forms (up to 95 %), CISD is receptive to a webinar on how to obtain a Security Clearance as well as a YouTube instruction.

  • Finally, beginning this summer fingerprints will be required for all Security Clearances and this requirement will be implemented over the next 2 years.

Hope this helps and stay tuned for further updates!