Effective disposition of government records yields five key output choices:
Transfer of Archival Records to Library and Archives Canada
Records deemed to be of archival or historical value must be transferred to the care and control of Library and Archives Canada. Each record must arrive in a fully controlled and described state according to the terms and conditions of your department's Records Disposition Authority (RDA). Refer to your department's RDA or contact us to obtain a copy or to inquire about its terms and conditions.
Destruction of Records
Records that are deemed to be no longer of business value or use, and which have not been deemed to be of archival or historical value, can be destroyed. Refer to your department's Records Disposition Authorities (RDAs), and to your department's Records Retention Periods, which provide guidance on the length of time that individual records must be kept before being disposed of. Departments are responsible for determining their own Record Retention periods based on their business needs.
There are approved policies and procedures related to the destruction of records within the Access to Information and Privacy Acts in 1983, the Library and Archives Canada Act 2004, and last but not least, the implementation of the Management of Government Information Holdings Policy by Treasury Board in 1989 -- the combined effect of which represents a legislative, regulatory and policy framework which condones records destruction by government subject to certain terms, conditions and limitations.
Contact us to learn more.
Transfer of Control from the Government of Canada (alienation)
Section 12(1) of the Library and Archives Canada Act (the Act) states that no record of a government institution, which is subject to the Act, can be destroyed or disposed of (including by removal or alienation from the control of the Government of Canada) without the authority of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. Alienation means "The act of transferring property or title to it to another" or "A transfer of title, or a legal conveyance of property to another". More can be learned within the Department of Justice's website.
Return to Sender
For records on loan, a simple "return to sender" officially acknowledges that the record has been returned and is still under the control of the originating party. Sufficient documentation should be kept to ensure that records returned in this manner can be traced to the originator should the need arise.
Transfer of Surplus Publications to Library and Archives Canada
The National Library of Canada, now incorporated into Library and Archives Canada, is a federal cultural institution located in Ottawa. It was established by Parliament in 1953 to acquire, preserve and promote Canadiana which is part of the published heritage of Canada for all Canadians, both now and in the years to come. The Library serves as one of the nation's foremost centres for research in Canadian Studies and as a showcase for Canadian literature and music.
Library and Archives Canada is responsible for storage and preservation of all Canadian publications as well as surplus publications. For Government of Canada organizations, this means that at least 2 copies of each publication are filed with the Library when they are created, and that surplus publications should not be destroyed - rather, they need to be transferred to Library and Archives Canada.
For more information on transfer of surplus publications to Library and Archives Canada, contact the Legal Deposit team at 819-997-9565, via email at email@example.com, or visit our web site at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/legal-deposit/041008-0200-e.html.