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BASCS Guidance


There are a number of benefits to be derived from the promotion and adoption of good Information Management practices, as well as specific benefits related to implementing a function-based classification system such as BASCS.

Benefits of Good Information Management

According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), adoption of best practices in IM "... clearly shows how an organization can systematically and effectively improve its record keeping - and do so in such a way that the business objectives are supported. Senior management will be able to identify tangible benefits such as reduced costs and better managed risks, thereby contributing to better corporate governance."

Every day, the Government of Canada needs the participation of each of its employees to ensure that its information is accurate, complete, relevant, clear, accessible and usable over time. In recent years, Canadians have placed much greater demands on their federal government. They want government to provide one-stop, integrated access to information and information-based services via the Internet, telephone, mail, or in person.

Treasury Board's Management of Government Information (MGI) policy states that "Information is a valuable asset that the Government of Canada must manage as a public trust on behalf of Canadians. Effective Information Management makes government program and service delivery more efficient, supports transparency, collaboration across organizations, and informed decision-making in government operations, and preserves historically valuable information."

Improving the management of information will help your department to:

  • improve service delivery to clients;
  • maximize the business value of its information assets;
  • reduce costs by clearing un-needed records from storage facilities;
  • comply with federal IM policy and legislation; and
  • preserve records of archival or historical value.

Effective records and information life cycle management results in:

  • the right information, when you need it, how you need it;
  • reduced backlogs;
  • reduced storage costs for records; and
  • protection of historical records.

Benefits of Function-based Classification for Information Management

When records and information are properly classified, a business information system operates more effectively. Classification tools guide users to the most appropriate location for individual records.

Classifying activities through a function-based classification system is a powerful means of supporting each institution's business, as it:

  • enables the institution to demonstrate the relationships between the business activities and the evidence of those activities in an open and accountable manner;
  • establishes links between individual records that combine to provide a continuous record of institutional activity;
  • enables identification of records over time by ensuring records are mapped consistently to business activities;
  • assists retrieval of records relating to a particular business activity;
  • controls the language for identifying records in specific business contexts;
  • assists users to navigate from non-preferred terms to preferred search terms;
  • makes retrieval of information more effective;
  • determines security protection and access levels, or 'use' permissions, appropriate for particular sets of records; and
  • assists in managing retention periods and disposition activities for records.

Benefits of Function-based Classification for Managers

Function-based classification provides a number of benefits that are meaningful to managers, including:

  • turns information into true assets, by providing the right infrastructure for people to find information that helps them do their jobs;
  • enables better, more informed decisions every day, at every desk, by providing improved Information Management systems;
  • reduces costs related to unnecessary duplication and storage of records; and
  • provides enhanced support for governance, comptrollership, accountability, and Access to Information.

Benefits of Function-based Classification for Information Specialists

Function-based classification provides a number of benefits that are meaningful to information specialists, including:

  • increases the value of the IM role;
  • involves information specialists in all aspects of the business process;
  • promotes "cradle to grave" Information Management philosophy within the institution;
  • reduces the volume of duplicated information that must be managed;
  • eliminates the need to redesign classification systems that are based on organizational structures by introducing the more stable BASCS approach;
  • makes it easy to decide when to keep or destroy records;
  • saves time by reducing the need to ask for keep/destroy directions by archival specialists; and
  • helps you apply function-based Records Disposition Authorities (RDAs) and Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities (MIDAs).

Benefits of Function-based Classification for Users

Function-based Classification provides a number of benefits that are meaningful to users at every desk, including:

  • ability to find useful information to support their work;
  • helps improve the way they do their job;
  • makes it easier to quickly classify records at point of creation, contributing to institution's information asset base;
  • more efficient retrieval of information;
  • easier sharing of information within workgroups and across the Government of Canada;
  • facilitates access to tools, templates and best practices from other specialists within their functional communities;
  • better control over their documents;
  • helps users provide the documentary trail of evidence required of each Government of Canada employee under Treasury Board's MGI Policy;
  • enables users to keep records only as long as they are required from a business or legal point of view; and
  • enables every employee to be engaged in managing records through their life cycle.

Contact us for more information on BASCS or Information Management.

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