Friday, January 14, 2011

UNDE goes UNDEcover

The Union of National Defence Employees is continuing its campaign against the privatization of some 91 support jobs at CSE.

The union's latest move includes a website (Security for Sale) and a video commentary by an anonymous CSE employee denouncing the privatization move as a security threat:

UNDE has also prepared an "External Briefing Note" outlining its concerns about the project.

The briefing note makes the interesting claim that "at two previous points in history regular information transfers have been restricted from coming into Canadian possession, these restrictions were a result of perceived or real security breaches".

Is that a reference to these incidents? The examples that Aldrich refers to sound more like policy disputes -- particularly in the case of Operation FRICTION -- rather than security breaches, but maybe that's one way to perceive them. There was also the question of full Canadian access to Iraq War-related intelligence, but, again, that's not really characterizable as an issue about security breaches.

Is UNDE referring to something else entirely? The document states that all of the information in it is unclassified, but I certainly don't recall hearing anything about such breaches. Does anyone care to elaborate on this unclassified information?

Further information:
Colin Freeze, "Union accuses senior Tories of selling out national security," Globe and Mail, 14 January 2011

Carmen Chai, "National defence union fights government plan to outsource security jobs," Postmedia News, 14 January 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

December 2010 CSE staff size


(If you click through on the link and get a different figure, it's probably because the Canada Public Service Agency has updated its website; they update the numbers once a month.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CSE staff to decline -- upward

A slightly misleading headline in today's Ottawa Citizen:

David Pugliese, "New spy HQ going up, but staff numbers going down," Ottawa Citizen, 11 January 2011.

The focus of the story is the 91 CSE jobs that the government plans to privatize under the public-private partnership deal to build CSE's new headquarters.

But the implication of the headline at least -- that the number of CSE employees is about to decline -- does not appear to be true.

As noted here, CSE appears to be headed for a "staff complement" of 2000 employees or more (possibly many more) by the time its new headquarters is completed four or five years from now. That's significantly up from its current complement, most recently reported to be 1817.