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Directive on Recordkeeping

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To establish recordkeeping requirements for departments that will enable them to create, acquire, capture, manage and protect the integrity of information resources of business value that are authentic, reliable, and useable as a key strategic asset to support programs, services and ongoing operations.


  1. Analysis of business purpose and needs, based on business context
  2. Declaration of business value
  3. Recordkeeping mechanisms and tools

Implications for Departments

  • Need to align recordkeeping requirements with business activities and functions to address accountability, stewardship, performance measurement, reporting and legal requirements.
  • Establish and implement key mechanisms and tools to support the department's recordkeeping requirements throughout the information life cycle.
Chart indicating the relationship of Recordkeeping in the Government of Canada to various different documents and policies.

Information Resources

Why include published materials?

Published materials in all formats and media produced or acquired by government in the course of doing business are required to be managed as business assets since they are used both to inform decisions made concerning programs and services, and to inform Canadians about those decisions, programs, or services.

Why include data as information resources?

In general, data can consist of satellite imagery, meteorological tables, statistical tables of cost of living indices, the results of scientific research, etcetera …. It is simply another information resource potentially of business value and therefore must be managed appropriately.

Why include artefacts and objects?

In addition to records, publications and data, non-textual information resources are covered by this Directive. For example, corporate collections of natural objects and cultural artefacts (those which are collected, arranged, and maintained by departments as part of their business needs) provide different types of information for research purposes, evidence, exhibition, and etcetera. Such collections will have business value.

Annotated version of the Directive

The purpose of the annotated version of the Directive is to provide implementation guidance as well as templates for the documentation required. It is expected that the annotated guide will be augmented over time, based on knowledge gained during implementation of the Directive.

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