Department of Justice Guidelines on Security for Domestic Legal Agents: Protected Information and Assets

Annex B: Company Security Officer (CSO) and Alternate Company Security Officer (ACSO) Responsibilities

  • 1. In relation to a Designated Organization Screening (DOS), the CSO/ACSO is responsible for:
    • 1.1 ensuring that the ACSO(s) are security screened to Reliability status, at a minimum;
    • 1.2 training the ACSO(s);
    • 1.3 reviewing the security requirements defined in the letter of appointment and ensuring that all security requirements are adhered to;
    • 1.4 designating an ACSO (where more than one is appointed) to act as the CSO in his/her absence; 
    • 1.5 ensuring that the legal agent firm maintains compliance with DOS requirements, and that a request for renewal is submitted if and as required;
    • 1.6 notifying the Department of any changes in the firm’s ownership, legal structure or address, or changes to the CSO or ACSO(s); and,
    • 1.7 retaining on file, all documentation related to the granting and maintenance of a DOS.
  • 2. In relation to Individual security screening, the CSO/ACSO is responsible for:
    • 2.1 ensuring that all individuals who require access to Protected information, assets and secure work sites, and have a need to know pursuant to a legal agent appointment, are security screened to Reliability Status, at a minimum;
    • 2.2 facilitating the accurate completion of the individual security screening documentation for each individual, verifying the applicant’s identity and background information, and submitting the documentation to the Department for security screening or validation;
    • 2.3 submitting the documentation required to facilitate the validation of an existing individual security screening;
    • 2.4 facilitating resolution of issues and arranging interviews with individuals, as required;
    • 2.5 ensuring that individuals receive security briefings upon notification of having been granted a Reliability Status screening, and that individuals sign the Security Screening Certificate and Briefing Form (TBS 330-47) confirming that the briefing has occurred and that he/she understands and agrees to comply with requirements; and signing and returning the Formto the Department;
    • 2.6 ensuring that the Department is notified of changes in an individual’s personal circumstances that may affect the status of the individual’s Reliability Status; and,
    • 2.7 maintaining a current list of all security-screened individuals and ensuring that individual security screening files are properly safeguarded.
  • 3. In relation to a Document Safeguarding Capability (DSC), the CSO/ACSO is responsible for:
    • 3.1 coordinating with the Department, and compiling the information and documents required to demonstrate that a legal agent firm’s premises is in compliance with physical security requirements and to facilitate a physical safeguarding assessment, in accordance with the provisions of the Guidelines;
    • 3.2 ensuring that only individuals security screened to the appropriate level and who have a need to know, have access to Protected information, assets and secure work sites in accordance with a legal agent appointment;
    • 3.3 ensuring security awareness and training is provided to all individuals within a legal agent firm;
    • 3.4 ensuring that all Protected information and assets are safeguarded and handled in accordance with the legal agent appointment security requirements and the provisions of the Guidelines;
    • 3.5 ensuring that the firm maintains compliance with DSC requirements, as applicable, and ensuring a request for renewal is submitted if and as required;
    • 3.6 ensuring that periodic physical security inspections are conducted of the firm’s premises and safeguarding procedures, and that records of these inspections are retained;
    • 3.7 coordinating with the Department, audits and site inspections pertaining to all aspects of physical security, as required;
    • 3.8 notifying the Department prior to any physical move or new construction on the firm’s premises which could affect the safeguarding of Protected information and assets;
    • 3.9 maintaining on file, all documentation related to the granting and maintenance of a DSC; 
    • 3.10 ensuring that all suspected security violations, breaches and compromises are recorded and immediately reported to the CSO, and that records are maintained for a period of two years following the incident for inspection by the Department if and as required;
    • 3.11 conducting a preliminary inquiry into the reported incident to determine the circumstances; and, 
    • 3.12 notifying the Department’s Deputy Departmental Security Officer, via the Security Control Centre’s hotline (613-946-9999), within 24 hours of the date of discovery, of any actual violation, breach or compromise, and submitting a full written report covering the preliminary inquiry and any subsequent investigative results.
  • 4. To ensure that security issues are properly addressed and coordinated, the CSO, ACSO(s), and/or the Managing Partner, shall communicate all security- related matters to the Department by contacting:

Litigation Practice Management Centre
National Litigation Sector
Department of Justice
50 O'Connor Street, 6th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8


Facsimile Number: 613-941-5879

Telephone Number: 613-670-6379

All confirmed security violations, breaches and compromises shall be  communicated to:

Deputy Departmental Security Officer via
Security Control Centre
Department of Justice

Telephone Number: 613-946-9999

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