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1.4 Retention Guidelines for Common Administrative Records of the Government of Canada

National Archives of Canada
June 2000

You are viewing a document archived by Library and Archives Canada. For the most recent version, please visit Retention Guidelines for Common Administrative Records of the Government of Canada.

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Table of Contents

Overview

Introduction

Part 1 General Administration Function

Part 2 Real Property Management Function

Part 3 Materiel Management Function

Part 4 Comptrollership Function

Part 5 Human Resources Management Function

Index


Overview

These interim guidelines are issued to address the retention of common administrative records of the Government of Canada until such time as new guidelines are developed in accordance with the functional arrangement of the National Archives of Canada Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities (MIDAs). They replace the General Records Disposal Schedules of the Government of Canada (GRDS), Fourth Edition 1986, PAC 86/001 in their entirety for all matters dealing with the retention of common administrative records of the Government of Canada.

Disposition authority for the disposal of records covered by these guidelines is documented in MIDAs covering common administrative records. Schedule 2 of the GRDS, however, continues to serve as the disposition authority for Buildings and Properties until superceded by the release of a new MIDA for Buildings and Real Property.

The guidelines apply to records of institutions subject to the National Archives of Canada Act when those records are collected, created or received to support internal administrative functions. The guidelines do not apply, however, to records which are collected, created or received by an institution in carrying out a government-wide administrative function on behalf of the Government of Canada.


Introduction

Purpose and content of these Guidelines

This instrument presents retention periods for common administrative records based on best practices established over the last thirty years, and as well, contains Treasury Board policy direction on the retention and disposal of records containing personal information. Where destruction of records is not authorized, this instrument provides information which helps an institution identify the appropriate disposition authority or as required secure a new disposition authority. Although these guidelines include essential information to facilitate the disposition of common administrative records, National Archives of Canada Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities (MIDAs) will need to be consulted when records are excluded.

For each of the five administrative functions contained in this instrument, the subject groups and subjects of the records are intentionally arranged in alphabetic order to circumvent the variety of information classification structures and retrieval systems in government institutions thereby simplifying the retrieval of retention information.

Use, interpretation and review

Records retention information is presented in the document under the heading of Retention Guidelines and/or Remarks.

Recommended retention

When records are governed by an existing MIDA the retention information offered in this instrument takes the form of retention guidelines expressed in months, calendar years and fiscal years.

Exclusions - not authorized for disposition

The guidelines also contain an extensive number of exclusions, that is records which are not specifically authorized for disposition by a MIDA and as such are not allocated a specific retention period within these retention guidelines.

This primarily occurs because, either:

  • the records can be more logically connected to the institution's operational mandate and should therefore be included in an Institution-Specific Disposition Authority (ISDA) governing the records of that institution; or
  • because the records can be more logically grouped under another administrative activity and should therefore inherit the retention period of that new activity.

A list of the type of records which would normally be excluded under each of the administrative functions is contained in the introduction to parts 1 through 5.

Ultimately, institutional representatives are accountable for determining whether the disposition of records is authorized either in a Multi-Institutional Disposition Authority (MIDA) or in an Institution-Specific Disposition Authority (ISDA).

Where records clearly do not have a disposition authority or where there is some doubt regarding disposition, consultation should take place between representatives of the institution's corporate records and/or information management office located at the Headquarters, and representatives of the National Archives, Government Archives and Records Disposition Division (GARDD). A Records Disposition Business Centre point of contact is provided for these purposes.

These guidelines can be used "as is" by government institutions. When the guidelines do not meet institutional records retention requirements, they can be adjusted to accommodate specific institutional needs. Both the retention and disposition of records containing personal information about federal employees, however, are non-discretionary and are addressed under the heading of Personal information.

Assistance

When it is determined that records are not authorized for disposition or when disposition authority cannot be determined, institutional representatives should consult the appropriate Information Systems Analyst of the Government Archives and Records Disposition Division (GARDD) of the National Archives.

Federal Records Centres

When institutions use Federal Records Centres (FRCs) to manage records on their behalf, representatives of FRCs will agree to accept the records only when they are covered by valid disposition authorities or where there is a plan in place which will result in a valid authority in a reasonable time. If these conditions are not met, FRC representatives will refer institutional representatives to GARDD and alert the appropriate Information Systems Analyst in GARDD.

This approach will assist client institutions in determining proper disposition authority for records and facilitate the application of Federal Records Centre policy on the management of records on behalf of client institutions.

Review

Institutional representatives are invited to share with the National Archives any retention requirements not currently addressed by this guidance.

In addition, the National Archives has established the following review mechanisms. When government institutions request FRCs to manage common administrative records on their behalf, and institutional retention requirements for common administrative records exceed the retention time frames offered as guidelines in this instrument, representatives of FRCs will request from institutional representatives justification for deviating from the guidelines.

Personal information

The retention and the disposition of records containing personal information are governed by the Privacy Act and regulated by the Treasury Board which publishes descriptions and retention and disposal standards for such records.

These guidelines include Treasury Board's retention and disposal standards for records described in Standard Banks and published in its publication entitled Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information. The retention and disposal information from standard Banks is compulsory and must be adhered to. The authority for retention and disposal standards for records containing personal information about federal employees is the Treasury Board of Canada.

Application

Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities for common administrative records apply to the administrative records of institutions subject to the National Archives of Canada Act, provided that such records, collected, created or received in the conduct of business, are not used to support a government-wide administrative function carried-out on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Institutions mandated to perform a government-wide function on behalf of the Government of Canada, are referred to as Offices of Primary Interest (OPIs). They are defined as government institutions to which the authority, responsibility, and accountability to perform a particular function - for the purpose of this instrument, an administrative function - on behalf of the Government of Canada have been specifically assigned by legislation, regulation, policy, or mandate.

Offices of Primary Interest create two sets of administrative records. The first set of records consists of those records which relate to their role in the Government of Canada as a leading government body or central agency in a given field, for example, Public Works and Government Services Canada in the area of real property management. For such records, the guidelines contained in this instrument do not apply. OPIs must therefore seek separate disposition authorities for the records they create which are not common and therefore not authorized for disposition in MIDAs covering common administrative records.

The second set of records OPIs create is their internal administrative records which can be classified as common administrative records. These guidelines apply to such records. For example, the Department of Finance cannot apply these retention guidelines to its financial management records which relate to its mandate as a central agency on behalf of the Government of Canada, but can apply the retention guidelines to its internal financial management and other administrative records.

The covering page of each of the five functions in this instrument provides examples of those institutions for which the retention guidelines only apply to their internal administrative records.

Implementation advice and assistance

Ultimately, individual institutions are accountable for the establishment and implementation of retention periods, and for applying records disposition authorities. Advice and assistance, however, can be obtained from the National Archives.

Use of these Guidelines

For advice and assistance on the use of these guidelines and any other matter related to the management of government records, contact the Office of Government Records.

Application and interpretation of MIDAs

For any matter concerning the application and interpretation of MIDAs, the appropriate Information Systems Analyst, Government Archives and Records Disposition Division, can be contacted directly or when the person's name is unknown, through the following Centre:

Records Disposition Business Centre
Telephone: 613-947-1483
Email: IMGI@bac-lac.gc.ca

Regional contacts

In the regions, institutional representatives can contact the nearest Federal Records Centre.

Pacific Region
Mr. Terry Kirk
Head, Accessions and Disposal
Pacific Region Federal Records Centre
National Archives of Canada
2751 Production Way
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 3G7
Telephone: 604-666-1661
Fax: 604-666-4963
Email: Pacificfrc@bac-lac.gc.ca

Prairies-Northwest Region
Mr. John Perry
Head, Records Management
Prairies-Northwest Region Federal Records Centre
National Archives of Canada
8707-51 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5H1
Telephone: 780-495-6691
Fax: 780-495-2259
Email: john.perry@bac-lac.gc.ca

Manitoba Region
Mr. Todd Panas
Accession and Disposal Coordinator
Manitoba Regional Service Centre
National Archives of Canada
1700 Inkster Blvd
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2X 2T1
Telephone: 204-983-4496
Fax: 204-983-4649
Email: AtlanticFRC@bac-lac.gc.ca

Ontario Region
Ms. May Fischetti
Head, Accessions and Disposal
Ontario Region Federal Records Centre
National Archives of Canada
190 Carrier Drive
Rexdale, Ontario M9W 5R1
Telephone: 416-675-2557
Fax: 416-675-2862

National Capital Region
Ms. Susan Clarke
Head, Reference and Disposal
National Capital Region Federal Records Centre
National Archives of Canada
Building #15
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N3
Telephone: 613-954-5906
Fax: 613-952-3973
Email: AtlanticFRC@bac-lac.gc.ca

Quebec Region - Montreal
Mr. Serge Charland
Unit Head, Accession and Disposal
Quebec Region - Montreal Federal Records Centre
National Archives of Canada
645/655/665 Montée de Liesse
Ville St. Laurent, Quebec H4T 1P5
Telephone: 514-283-2273
Fax: 514-283-7347

Quebec Region - Quebec City
Mr. Guy Ricard
Chief, Reference and Accessions
Quebec Region - Quebec City Federal Records Centre
National Archives of Canada
75 de Hambourg
Quebec, Quebec G3A 1S6
Telephone: 418-878-2825
Fax: 418-878-3123

Atlantic Region
Mr. Robert Graham
Head, Accession and Disposal
Atlantic Region Federal Records Centre
National Archives of Canada
270 Bluewater Road
Bedford, Nova Scotia B4B 1J6
Telephone: 902-426-4982
Fax: 902-426-8970
Email: AtlanticFRC@bac-lac.gc.ca

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