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The RCMP says it has mandatory training, particularly after the arrest of a civilian accused of disclosing confidential information.
The Canadian Press
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) says it has mandatory training to better educate its personnel on security issues. This is one of several changes following the 2019 arrest of a senior civilian executive accused of disclosing confidential information. p>
The federal police add that it is now easier for an employee to report security breaches.
She also gave a more high visibility internally to the activities of its security division and has taken further steps towards the creation of a program to reduce the risks of a staff member disclosing secret information .
These steps were taken following a 2020 review that recommended significant changes to the security culture within the RCMP up to senior levels.
This report, of which The Canadian Press obtained a copy last year under the Access to Information Act, made 43 recommendations, including updated training, compliance stricter compliance with federal screening standards as well as the possibility of authorizing random body searches.
The exam was written by a retired RCMP superintendent. It was requested following the September 2019 arrest of Cameron Jay Ortis, then director general of the RCMP's National Intelligence Coordination Centre.
Mr. Ortis is accused of contravening the Protection of Information Act. He allegedly attempted to disclose secret information to a foreign organization. He is also accused of breach of trust and of having committed a computer offense. His trial is expected to begin soon in Ontario.
While emphasizing that the allegations against Mr. Ortis had not yet been proven in court, the former civilian executive had obtained the trust of several senior RCMP officers.
The review found in particular that security awareness training was not mandatory in the RCMP. Another troubling fact: there was a widespread attitude that security restrictions had to be circumvented in order to do one's job.
The author of the report also noted the lack of standards in the management of devices like laptops. Access to computer systems like the Canadian Top Secret Network was permitted even to employees with insufficient security clearances.
The report indicated that employees appeared reluctant to report security breaches for fear of consequences for themselves or their colleagues.
Several portions of the 78-page document were redacted.
A spokesperson RCMP officer Marie-Ève Breton recently told The Canadian Press that several of the report's recommendations have already been implemented. Others were in the process of being.
One example: the federal police created a website to allow employees to report security incidents, threats and potential breaches, says Ms. Breton.
Mandatory training has also been instituted for all RCMP personnel, civilians and police officers alike, to increase their awareness of their security responsibilities.
Other measures are being implemented. Thus, the RCMP is limiting to the strict minimum, where possible, the number of high-security locations that provide access to a confidential network on operational activities across the country. . In addition, an internal risk management program is being created.
The RCMP is confident in its current security screening process, emphasizes Ms. Breton. She points out that it has many elements, including credit history checks, criminal record checks, interviews and field investigations.
As risks and threats evolve, the RCMP is committed to continually reviewing the process and strengthening its practices to protect information, assets and employees placed under his responsibility.
A quote from Marie-Ève Breton, spokesperson for the RCMP
These measures were implemented in a difficult context for the Canadian intelligence services.
The RCMP has also opened an investigation into violations to the Protection of Information Act regarding recent media reports of allegations of foreign interference.