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    Mandatory Electronic Fingerprints Requirement Now in Place for Government of Canada Contractors

    As part of the security screening process for Government of Canada contractors, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) (formerly Public Works and Government Services Canada) requires a criminal record check. On February 1, 2017, PSPC put in place a new criminal record check process for contractors. Applicants who require a new personnel security screening clearance or a renewal or upgrade to their clearance are subject to the new process and will be required to provide electronic fingerprints.

    The new criminal record check process applies to any organization that works or intends to work on Government of Canada contracts with security requirements issued by PSPC. The process applies to all levels of security screening request, including Reliability, Secret and Top Secret clearances.

    PSPC’s Contract Security Program conducts criminal record checks through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). As of February 1, 2017, the RCMP will use only electronic fingerprints as a means to search their criminal record database. If an individual from an organization refuses to provide their fingerprints, PSPC will not be able to complete a personnel security screening request.

    Company security officers will direct their employees to service providers to have their fingerprints taken prior to submitting a personnel security screening request.  For a description of the steps in submitting the request, refer to the Mandatory electronic fingerprints webpage.

    Validity of Clearances

    The validity of an existing PSPC-issued personnel security clearance is not affected by the new criminal record check process.

    The criminal record check results and the associated document control number (DCN) sent to PSPC are both valid for one year from the date the fingerprints were taken. Within that year, the same document control number (DCN) can used for a new personnel security screening request as well as for a renewal or upgrade request, provided the DCN was generated for a personnel security screening processed through PSPC. A DCN cannot be transferred to or used by other departments or agencies.

    Third-Party Processing Fee

    The RCMP does not charge a processing fee for fingerprints taken for criminal record checks for federal employment or contracts. The third-party fingerprint service provider will charge an applicant the market rate, typically between $40 and $65, for their processing services.

    How PSPC Manages Fingerprints

    PSPC does not receive copies of applicants’ fingerprints. The third-party service provider submits the fingerprints electronically to the RCMP. The RCMP uses the fingerprints to search their criminal record database, and provides PSPC with the results of a given search. PSPC uses the RCMP results as part of its security clearance process to determine whether or not an applicant can be granted a personnel security screening clearance.

    The RCMP does not retain copies of the fingerprints in their system. Once the criminal record check results are produced and shared with PSPC, these results are deleted from the RCMP system. Civil fingerprints are not kept in the RCMP database; and are not kept by the third-party service provider.

    The network connection between an RCMP-accredited service provider’s system and the RCMP’s database has been certified as secure.

    Criminal record check results are protected and are used in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act and the Policy on Government Security. Criminal record check results can be accessed only by the PSPC analysts responsible for processing an applicant’s personnel security screening request. Results are never released.

    More Information

    PSPC offers free webinar training for organizations bidding and working on government contracts with security requirements. To learn more about the changes related to the criminal record check, register for a one-hour webinar Changes to the criminal record checks. Webinars in English and French will be presented by subject matter experts, and allow for a question and answer period at the end.

    For further information, email TPSGC.dgspsctransformation-dobcsptransformation.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca or contact the PSPC Contract Security Program.

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