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Information Management - Information Matters

Inputs to Stage 3: Organization

The key inputs that IM practitioners must consider when setting up organization frameworks for their records and information, or when enabling users to organize their own records and information include:

Departmental IM Plan
Your department's annual planning initiatives should include an overall Information Management plan, with supporting policies and procedures, that have been designed to support the organization's unique business activities and mandates. If one has not been created, refer to Stage 1: IM Planning for some helpful information on aspects to consider when developing frameworks for the organization of records and information.

Information Models
There is a need for an overriding information model that can provide a conceptual framework within which any information management data may be modeled. The ideal information model will not be bound to a particular implementation style and will allow for the interchange of information between different management systems (such as search engines) and applications (such as browsers or word processing programs). Your department's information model will likely be based on a standard model, and may have unique attributes that accommodate your specific needs.

Information Classification System Framework
Library and Archives Canada is working with government departments and agencies to advance the Business Activity Structure Classification System (BASCS) to help departments organize their information according to common business activities across the Government of Canada and with enough flexibility to accommodate each department's unique business activities. Contact us to find out more about BASCS.

Multi-jurisdictional Information Management Plans
There are many instances when multiple departments and/or external groups collaborate on projects, issues development, or areas of interest and expertise. It is helpful to put in place a multi-jurisdictional Information Management plan that reflects the distributed nature of information supporting these initiatives. Things to consider are common formats and legal control, access routines, retention periods, duplication of records, version controls, and disposition.

Information Architecture
Your information architecture provides another way of organizing information. It maps out the way that records or information bundles relate to one another to provide users with the complete information that they need. Information architectures help map out nested subjects, and provide a context for the level of detail needed at each level of the architectural map in order to enable users to get broad or detailed information as they need it. For IM specialists, this helps relate individual records to subject areas and workgroups, and guides each record's relationship with the appropriate policies, procedures, access routines, etc.

Documentation Standards
The level and depth of supporting documentation for records should be prescribed within the department's IM plan.

Stewardship and Ownership
Within the department's IM plan, there will be clear guidelines about stewardship and ownership of records. This implies the responsibility for legal control and accountability for the record's maintenance, preservation and disposition.

Policies and Procedures for Access, Privacy and Security
There are a number of government-wide policies related to privacy and security. A number of links and resources are provided on the Stage 3: Resources page to help you understand issues surrounding access, privacy and security. The Department of Justice's web page provides information on Access to Information and Privacy Act, as well as Security of Information Act.