2016 – More than 10,000 document security incidents in Trudeau government’s 1st year – Less We Forget!

2016 – More than 10,000 document security incidents in Trudeau government’s 1st year – Less We Forget!
March 21, 2018 editorial-team
In Report

Of the more than 10,000 incidents of improperly handled documents reported since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office, it is not known whether any of the incidents led to security or privacy breaches. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

There have been more than 10,000 incidents of classified or secure documents being improperly left or stored since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government came to office.

According to a document quietly tabled in the House of Commons, the highest number of incidents took place in Public Services and Procurement Canada, which reported 2,912 cases of documents not handled according to the security level dictated for the documents between Nov. 4, 2015, and Sept. 19, 2016. The Global Affairs Department was a close second with 2,712 incidents.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada’s spy agency, came third with 659 cases. The agency said 12 of the incidents were sent for further investigation.

It is not known whether any of the incidents led to security or privacy breaches. Nobody has lost their security clearance as a result of documents being handled improperly.

The full extent of the incidents within the federal government is also not known. While the government’s answer to a question placed on the order paper adds up to 10,239 incidents, it did not include answers from either the Canada Revenue Agency or the Justice Department, which have thousands of employees who deal with a lot of sensitive files.

Twenty-four departments reported they had no incidents of mishandling secure or protected documents.

It is not known how the numbers compare with the number of incidents under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government. The question from Conservative MP Gord Brown only dates back to the day Trudeau’s government was sworn in.

Most of the incidents occurred within departments and agencies, the result of public servants doing things like leaving sensitive papers on their desk at night or forgetting to lock a filing cabinet.

Some of the incidents, however, took place in the offices of cabinet ministers.

Rookie Democratic Reform Minister Maryam Monsef led the pack with 11 incidents of classified or secured documents not being cared for properly. They were among the 161 incidents that occurred in the Privy Council Office.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office had six cases during the time frame covered by the government’s answer. In total, the Public Safety Department had 272 incidents.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s office had two incidents while one occurred in the office of MaryAnn Mihychuk, minister of employment, workforce development and labour.

One common talking point ran through the answers provided by departments — the government’s commitment to security.

“The government of Canada is committed to maintaining the highest standards of document security. Security infractions are identified as part of the National Security Sweep Program, which is an ongoing awareness measure designed to continually improve document security.”

While many departments provided little more than the numbers requested, some also supplied explanations.

Read More with Incident Report: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-security-documents-incidents-1.3841061