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Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities (MIDA)

3.5 Appendix I - Terms and Conditions
for the Disposition of Common Administrative Records in support of the Human Resources Management 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.

Human Resources Management Function (of the Government of Canada) - Encompasses the functions, processes, activities, and transactions of administrative business concerning the management of human resources commonly conducted 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 Human Resources Management Function includes the Financial Administration Act, the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Reform Act, and the Public Service Staff Relations Act. For the purposes of identifying and explaining records disposition requirements, the Human Resources Management Function has been divided into the following eleven sub-functions: staffing; training and development; performance assessment; occupational safety and health; staff relations; compensation and benefits; human resources planning and utilization; classification; official languages; employment equity; and special programmes. (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.

Personnel or employee file - The official institutional file  --  containing documentation on service of an individual employee of the Crown  --  made or received by the institution in which that person is employed. According to Federal Employee Information Banks, an individual employee's personnel file is often divided into parts.

B.  Scope of the Authority

  • Authority No. 98/005 applies to all common administrative records in support of the Human Resources Management 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 5 (Personnel) of the GRDS (PAC 86/001).
  • Those subjects and records descriptions found in Schedule 5 of the GRDS (PAC 86/001) are all covered in this new Authority for the Human Resources Management Function. In the new Authority, the Human Resources Management (HRM) Function has been divided further into the following eleven sub-functions: staffing; training and development; performance assessment; occupational safety and health; staff relations; compensation and benefits; human resources planning and utilization; classification; official languages; employment equity; and special programmes.
  • Institutions which have specific operational mandates as Offices of Primary Interest for aspects of the HRM Function shall not apply Authority No. 98/005 to their operational records concerning those aspects of the HRM Function. If, for any reason, an institution subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act creates, collects, or receives HRM 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 this Authority (that is No. 98/005) or any other Multi-Institutional Disposition Authority must be covered by operational authorities granted to individual federal institutions as arranged through the Multi-Year Disposition Plan process. For example, Treasury Board and the Public Service Commission, as two Offices of Primary Interest for the Human Resources Management Function, should use this Authority only as it applies to their common administrative records concerning that Function, not their operational records.
  • Authority No. 98/005 applies to all institutions subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act, whether or not their Human Resources Management 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 Human Resources Management Function, yet these institutions are subject to the Act.
  • Authority No. 98/005 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, institution-specific) also include the disposition of some common administrative records. The Terms and Conditions for the application of these Institution-Specific Disposition Authorities remain in effect.
  • Authority No. 98/005 does not apply to records series or groupings or collections which mix common administrative and operational records.
  • It is incumbent upon each government institution to understand and apply legislation, including its own specific extant legislation, concerning the retention and disclosure of information. Each government institution is required to determine the appropriate retention periods for its records (for instance, those human resources records covered by Authority No. 98/005) by taking into account all relevant legislation, including the Privacy Act.
  • When an employee is transferred from one institution to another, the official institutional personnel records of that employee shall be forwarded to the receiving institution; when an employee leaves the government, the official personnel records of that employee shall be forwarded to Library and Archives Canada Manitoba Region Federal Records Centre, in Winnipeg, one year from the date of retirement or separation. Personnel files of deceased personnel shall be sent to the Federal Records Centre once all legal aspects have been completed.
  • Operational authorities  --  also called Institution-Specific Disposition Authorities or ISDAs  --  may exist which preserve specific categories of the personnel file containing archival value because of the special mandates of particular institutions. Such operational authorities are the means by which to dispose of a particular exception to the generic personnel file.

C.  Authorization to Destroy

All records created, collected, or maintained in any medium by federal institutions in support of the Human Resources Management 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 this Authority 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 each institution according to its legal and operational requirements  --  have expired.

A strict application of the above definitions, 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 Human Resources Management Function of the Government of Canada. Except for the personnel or employee file, all such records may therefore be destroyed upon the expiry of their retention periods established for them within each federal institution.

The personnel or employee file shall be retained by the employing institution for the duration of employment plus one (1) year; the institution shall then transfer it to Library and Archives Canada Manitoba Region Federal Records Centre [Contact the Personnel Records Unit at 204-983-4495 for complete instructions]. Library and Archives Canada will destroy the civilian personnel file when the individual turns eighty (80) years of age or after the individual's death, assuming there is no further action pending.

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