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Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities (MIDA)

3.1 Appendix I - Terms and Conditions
for the Disposition of Common Administrative Records in support of the General
Administration Function of the Government of Canada

A.  Key Definitions

Common Administrative Records - Records created, collected, or received by a federal government institution to support and document broad internal administrative functions and activities common to or shared by all federal government institutions (for example, finance and the management of human resources).

Operational Records - Records created, collected, or received by a federal government institution to support and document business functions, programmes, processes, transactions, services, and all other activities uniquely or specifically assigned to that particular institution by legislation, regulation, or policy.

General Administration Function (of the Government of Canada) - Encompasses the functions, processes, activities, and transactions of administrative business concerning the administrative services commonly provided in and across all federal government institutions to facilitate the application of operational policies and the delivery of programmes and services. The main legislation underpinning the General Administration Function includes the National Archives of Canada Act, the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the Access to Information Act, and the Privacy Act. For the purposes of identifying and explaining records disposition requirements, the General Administration Function has been divided into the following three sub-functions: management of government information, security, and administrative support. (The Functional Profile provides a more complete description of these sub-functions).

Office of Primary Interest - The federal government institution  --  department, agency, board, office, or commission  --  to which the authority, responsibility, and accountability to perform a particular function on behalf of the Government of Canada has been specifically assigned by legislation, regulation, policy, or mandate.

B.  Scope of the Authority

  • Authority No. 98/001 applies to all common administrative records in support of the General Administration Function of the Government of Canada (that is records documenting common administrative business functions, sub-functions, programmes, and activities), regardless of how the records are organized or internally controlled within each institution; it entirely supersedes Schedule 1 (Administration) of the GRDS (PAC 86/001).
  • The scope of Authority No. 98/001 has been significantly reduced from the coverage under Schedule 1 (Administration) of the GRDS (PAC 86/001). A number of elements and categories of subjects, functions, record types, and records formerly covered have been excluded because they potentially involve disposition decisions for records which are created, collected or received by the institution to support and document policies, programmes, and services related to its operations. The subjects and records descriptions contained in Schedule 1 of the GRDS (PAC 86/001) and excluded from Authority No. 98/001 will be appraised separately within their specific common administrative or operational functional context.
  • Institutions with specific operational mandates as Offices of Primary Interest for aspects of the General Administration Function shall not apply Authority No. 98/001 to their operational records regarding those aspects of the General Administration Function. If, for any reason, an institution subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act creates, collects, or receives General Administration Function records that are not common or administrative, the institution must seek a separate authority (for operational records) to dispose of such records. All government functions, subjects, record types, and records excluded from the scope of Authority No. 98/001 or any other Multi-Institutional Disposition Authority must be covered by authorities granted to individual federal institutions in the course of the Multi Year Disposition Plan. For example, Authority No. 98/001 does not apply to the operational records of institutions which have specifically assigned legislative mandates in the sub-function of security (for instance, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Communications Security Establishment and, at a policy level, Treasury Board and the Privy Council).
  • Authority No. 98/001 applies to all institutions subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act, whether or not their General Administration Function activities follow Treasury Board or other central agency policies and guidelines. For example, some institutions, like Crown corporations, may not be required to follow central agency policies concerning the General Administration Function, yet these institutions are subject to the Act.
  • Authority No. 98/001 does not supersede other Authorities requiring the preservation of archival records. It should be applied after the Transitory Records Authority, any operational records disposition authority (also referred to as an Institution-Specific Disposition Authority or ISDA), and any Multi-Institutional Disposition Authority (MIDA) for generic groups of records such as posters, records from a minister's or deputy head's office, and records generated by imaging systems. Some operational records Authorities (that is, ISDAs) also include the disposition of some common administrative records. The Terms and Conditions for the application of these ISDAs remain in effect.
  • Authority No. 98/001 does not apply to records series or groupings or collections which mix common administrative and operational records.
  • Authority No. 98/001 applies to electronic records, databases, and office systems  --  and any related technical documentation or contextual metadata information  --  created in support of the General Administration Function in all government institutions. This Authority does not apply, however, to electronic records, databases, or office systems  --  or any related technical or contextual metadata information  --  created by government institutions in support of any function uniquely or specifically assigned to them by legislation, policy, or mandate within their operational context or as an Office of Primary Interest.
  • It is incumbent upon each government institution to understand and apply generally any legislation regarding the retention and disclosure of information and more specifically its own extant legislation. Each government institution is therefore required to determine the appropriate retention periods for its records, including those common administrative records covered by Authority No. 98/001.

C.  Authorization to Destroy Records

All records created, collected, or maintained in any medium by a federal institution in support of the General Administration Function of the Government of Canada may be destroyed provided that:

  • the records are not operational in nature;
  • the records are not of a mixed operational and administrative character;
  • the records do not support an administrative function in an Office of Primary Interest;
  • the records are not otherwise excluded from the application of Authority No. 98/001 by virtue of the definitions and scope statement contained in this Appendix;
  • the records are not anterior to 1946; and
  • the retention periods of the records  --  established by the institution according to its legal and operational requirements  --  have expired.

A strict application of the above definitions and exclusions, and the prioritized use of the various Records Disposition Authorities will ensure that there are no records of archival value amongst the remaining common administrative records in support of the General Administration Function of the Government of Canada.

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