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Information Management - Information Matters

Inputs to Stage 5: Maintenance, Protection and Preservation

There are many key inputs that IM practitioners must consider when designing procedures for the maintenance, protection and preservation of records and information:

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 use and dissemination of records and information.

Retention Plans
Record retention periods are set by each department according to their unique business, classification system, and information models. Retention periods prescribe the length of time for which records must be kept before they are allowed to be disposed of.

Disposition Submissions
Records cannot be disposed of without the prior consent of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. Permission is granted after a disposition submission is provided by the department outlining the types of records it keeps and its recommended retention periods for each type of record. The submission is reviewed and negotiated between Library and Archives Canada and the department, after which Library and Archives Canada issues a Records Disposition Authority with a set of terms and conditions that guide the disposition of records.

Security of Information
All Government of Canada departments and organizations are subject to strict legislation, policies and procedures for the security of information. Your department's unique security measures will be reflected in your department's IM plan. The Department of Justice's web page provides information on the Security of Information Act.

Migration Plans
As data formats evolve paper to electronic, each department should include a plan that prescribes a migration path to the preferred format. Procedures and resources will need to be prescribed and allocated to support the migration plan.

Records Disposal Plan
As an accompanying tool to the Records Disposition Submission, each department must develop a records disposal plan to ensure that sensitive documents can be disposed of in a safe and secure manner that supports security requirements.

Access and Privacy
All Government of Canada departments and organizations are subject to strict legislation, policies and procedures for the access and privacy of information. Your department's unique access and privacy controls will be prescribed in your department's IM plan. The Department of Justice's web page provides information on the Access to Information and Privacy Act.

Disaster Recovery Plan (Including Essential Records)
Business Continuity Plans prescribe ways to assure that the effect of interruptions to business systems is minimized through mitigative activities and through the establishment of planned recovery procedures. It should address potential loss of equipment, facilities and data (including electronic files). As part of this disaster recovery plan, essential records must be identified and managed to guarantee their availability in the event of disaster or data loss, usually through multiple levels of redundancy in their backup routines.

Information Models
An overriding information model 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.

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

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