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A number of initiatives within Library and Archives Canada (LAC) led to the formation of the Condition of Archival Records in Federal Institutions (CARFI) Working Group in 2005. In particular, there were two primary drivers:
Requirement for the Assessment
In her November 2003 report Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Federal Government, the Auditor General of Canada found that the Government of Canada has incomplete information on the nature and condition of archival records, and "has no assurance of obtaining all government records that are of historic interest or archival importance". The Auditor General recommended that the National Archives of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada)
should implement mechanisms to obtain comprehensive information on the nature and condition of archival heritage, whether it is under their own control or that of departments and agencies.
As part of its response to this recommendation, LAC is working with our colleagues in federal departments and agencies to gather the required information on the condition of archival records held across the government. The development of a questionnaire for the Assessment of the Condition of Archival Records held in Federal Institutions is a key step in this information-gathering process.
The questionnaire will be administered in 60 federal departments and agencies (including LAC itself), to provide baseline data on the condition of archival records held across the Government of Canada. The questionnaire will assist LAC in developing policies and in advising federal institutions with respect to records management issues. The questionnaire will form the basis of an ongoing monitoring instrument that will be used to provide regular updates on the condition of archival records held in all federal institutions.
Mandate of the Advisory Group
The Advisory Group (AG) is mandated to:
The AG will consist of 6-8 representatives from a larger sample of 60 federal institutions selected to participate in completing the questionnaire for the Condition of Archival Records in Federal Institutions.
Scope of Advisory Group Participation
The AG will work in conjunction with the CARFI Working Group, as well as with their corresponding portfolio archivists. The CARFI Working Group will chair the AG.