Information security


Removing protected material from your premises

Understand how to protect official information with protective markings when you take it away from your premises.

These requirements apply to all official information (with or without security classifications)

Follow these requirements to ensure your agency complies with the Protective Security Requirements for information security.

Putting policies and processes in place

If your agency wants to take (remove) protectively-marked information from your premises, you must have policies and processes in place to ensure it’s protected. You might want to take protected information to another agency or workplace for a meeting or to work from home.

However, protected information should only be removed from your premises when:

  • there is a definite need
  • the right level of protection can be maintained en route and at the destination.

Policy for ‘Top secret’ information

You must not remove TOP SECRET information for short-term work at home without approval from the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and the originating agency (if not your agency).

Removing protected information within New Zealand

Before anyone in your agency takes protectively-marked information from secure or authorised work areas, they must have approval.

Authorising removals

Your agency decides who can authorise removals. However, it should be the manager or equivalent person responsible for the information who gives approval.

The approver must:

  • be satisfied that a genuine need exists
  • brief the person removing the information on the risks involved
  • be satisfied that there are adequate arrangements for the safe custody of the information
  • be prepared to accept responsibility for the safe custody of the information.

Make sure you keep a record of all removals at TOP SECRET and SECRET levels.

Carrying protectively-marked information securely — briefcases and satchels

The NZSIS has a briefcases and satchels that are suitable for carrying protectively-marked information. Please contact the PSR team for details, as the Approved Products List is classified information.

When protectively-marked information is transported outside your agency in an approved briefcase or satchel, you must place it in an opaque envelope within the briefcase. 

The briefcase or satchel must be:

  • locked at all times
  • kept under the personal protection of the custodian.

To prevent keys being copied or locks being manipulated:

  • do not leave the keys in the lock
  • lock the briefcase or satchel, even when it is empty.

Protecting electronic media

You must protect electronic media, such as laptops, CDs, and USBs, used to process protectively-marked information to the same degree as paper-based materials.

The level of protection must be equivalent to the highest level of protectively-marked information ever placed on the media until it is sanitised. 

Working away from the office or off-site

For regular and long-term arrangements for people working away from the office:

·       follow the security requirements in Working away from the office

·       refer to the NZISM — Working Off-Site.

Sometimes you might need arrange for information to be transferred to a regional or branch office rather than allowing it to be taken to a place where you can’t guarantee its security. For example, keeping protected information in a hotel room overnight might not be secure enough in some cases.

Taking protected information outside New Zealand

Take special care when your agency plans to take protectively-marked information overseas. It can be exposed to far greater risks, so more security measures are necessary.

Read Security Zones before you authorise any of your people to transmit or handle protectively-marked information outside New Zealand.

Checking with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The international Diplomatic Safe Hand Courier Service is administered on behalf of the New Zealand Government by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under Articles 27 and 40 of the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations (1961) for the secure transportation of official material classified CONFIDENTIAL or above. The MFAT diplomatic courier network facilitates the secure, routine delivery of classified consignments worldwide. This is the preferred means of transporting all classified information outside of New Zealand. MFAT can provide additional details to any agencies wishing to utilise the Diplomatic Safe Hand Courier Service.

If using the Diplomatic Safe Hand Courier Service is not practical, your Chief Security Officer should contact MFAT to discuss alternative arrangements. 

Page last modified: 5/08/2019