NEWS

No Document Security Required, Says Contractor of Canada's Counterterrorism Center

By Matthew Harwood

The contractor building Canada's new $17.3 million USD counterterrorism center says there were no industrial security requirements for its work after blueprints for the building turned up in the trash on an Ottawa street last week, reports National Post.

Thomas Sullivan, president of M. Sullivan & Sons Ltd., said the work his company performed was "non-secure." The blueprints in the trash were discovered on the same block as the office of a subcontractor working on the project. Questions to the subcontractor, Smith and Andersen Consulting Engineering, went unanswered, the article said.

Lax security requirements and procedures within the Canadian government and its contractor community are nothing new, the story says:

Auditor General Sheila Fraser revealed in October that sensitive government information and assets entrusted to industry, including defence construction projects, are being seriously compromised by poor security practices.

Construction of the new North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) complex in North Bay, Ont., for example, was built by unscreened contractors and workers who had free access to the plans and construction site. The Defence Department launched an investigation and decided it had to make "modifications" to ensure the complex could house the sensitive and classified material for which it was built.

What's more, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, in its latest annual report last week, noted a persistent national security problem continues to be efforts by foreign governments to collect classified federal government information.

Despite this, the Defence Construction Canada, which is responsible for the management and construction of National Department of Defence projects, has no industrial security obligations.

The plans found on the street included 26 pages of blueprints and showed a range of sensitive information, from where the security fences would be located to the "electrical grid scheme of computer offices for the unit's various troops."

There is no indication whether the breach will result in a redesign of the facility, which will house Canada's Joint Incident Response Unit - the country's counterterrorism response team.

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