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Anonymous
1 year ago

If have an additional thought to add to the Security section. What you have written is definitely true. The oversight agencies (internal to departments and government-wide) have been holding their nose about the relaxing of standards below requirements for Secret or otherwise sensitive documents throughout the pandemic. However, it is difficult to really use this as a consistent and agreeable return to work argument when many departments were operating well outside the standards pre-pandemic.

I work in ATIP and have seen the ADMs’ and Deputy’s emails when they show up in records responsive to requests. The senior officials were sharing PPT slides planned for Cabinet presentations and marked as secret, and similar stuff, over email long before the pandemic (not even encrypted email…). Maybe the lower level staff were following all the rules, but when time and expediency became the focus, the most senior officials were already flouting the rules regularly.

Now we are seeing working on Secret records as a reason to RTO while in the office we don’t have a secret network nor are our photocopiers approved for Secret records. All of this makes the undoubtedly reasonable security policy concerns seem arbitrary or at least arbitrarily use against workers when convenient.

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