Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

April 18, 2007 11:34 ET

PWGSC: Canada, Finland Sign Industrial Security Memorandum of Understanding

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - April 18, 2007) - The Honourable Michael M Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, announced today that Canada has signed an Industrial Security Memorandum of Understanding with Finland that is expected to generate millions of dollars in trade opportunities for Canadian industry.

The agreement allows private sector industries in Canada and Finland to bid on and participate in each other's sensitive government contracts and projects.

"This agreement opens the door for Canadian industry to pursue security-related business opportunities offered by the government of Finland," said Minister Fortier. "It is Canada's first international agreement to govern the security of classified information and assets which are part of military and non-military contracts. This agreement illustrates the importance Canada and Finland each place on the security of classified information and on their trade relationship."

"Finland is pleased that our two countries have signed a path-breaking Industrial Security Memoradum of Understanding that permits private Finnish and Canadian companies to participate in sensitive public procurements in each country by protecting classified information and assets that forms part of military as well as non-military contracts. This opens up new possibilities for trade and industrial cooperation between Finland and Canada", says His Excellency Pasi Mikael Patokallio, Finland's Embassador to Canada. "It also sets a new standard that Finland and Canada are proud to promote internationally."

Agreements such as this one provide participating nations with the assurance that their sensitive information will be properly safeguarded while in the custody of each other's private sector organizations.

Sensitive contracts include those dealing with satellite systems or certain types of information technologies.

This is the 13th Industrial Security Memoradum of Understanding to date that Canada has signed with other countries. The 12 other Memoradum of Understanding pertain exclusively to the security of classified information, which forms part of military contracts.

Minister Fortier added that Canada and Finland will promote this Memoradum of Understanding as a model for other Multinational Industrial Security Working Group countries, as they begin to negotiate industrial security agreements which go beyond strictly military contracts.


Public Works and Government Services Canada is the Government of Canada organization responsible for ensuring that sensitive government information, assets and goods are properly safeguarded while in the hands of the private sector. This is carried out in accordance with various national and international laws, regulations and policies, including many bilateral/multinational international industrial security agreements and related protocols.

Canada has had an Industrial Security Program since World War II, with follow-on commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and related national and international industrial security mandates.

This Program directly supports the Government Security Policy and public safety and security. It ensures that classified and protected information and assets are safeguarded while in the custody of industry. Most companies gain access to classified/protected information and assets as a result of contractual obligations with governments with identified security requirements.

Canada recognizes the security processes of all NATO member countries, as the NATO Security Policy and supporting directives contain obligations for member countries to safeguard sensitive information and assets. In addition, Canada has signed MOUs with 13 countries in the area of industrial security, since 1963, of which Finland is the most recent.

The MOU with Finland covers important aspects such as the transmission of classified information between governments, reciprocal personnel and facility security clearances, and the extent to which each government will conduct compliance / oversight inspections and audits.

This MOU sets an important precedent and is a historic departure from previous international industrial security agreements. However, it is Canada's first international agreement to govern the security of classified information and assets in industry, beyond the military context.

Furthermore, the MOU will be promoted by Canada and Finland at an upcoming international meeting on September 4, 2007 of the Multinational Industrial Security Working Group (MISWG) as a model for other countries. The MISWG consists of senior government officials responsible for industrial security from all of the NATO countries (except Iceland) plus Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. The Working Group is charged with negotiating and developing international standards in security practices and procedures.

About the countries

Canada and Finland have much in common. They are northern bilingual parliamentary democracies with similar geography, climate and natural resources. There is a strong sense of shared values and domestic policy interests, increasingly reflecting each country's status as leading-edge information societies.

Canada and Finland also have similar priorities in areas such as the promotion of international security, environmental protection, social policy and the use and regulation of information technology. This has enabled the two countries to work closely together in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Canadian exports to Finland include minerals, passenger vehicles, gas turbines, office machinery and pulp and paper. Imports from Finland include information and communications technology, as well as machinery and electronics, paper and paperboard, medical instruments and passenger vehicles.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Fortier
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations