Acts that require the Email Management Guidelines
While the following Acts do not specifically prescribe particular Email Management Guidelines or standards, they do set out certain legal responsibilities and obligations pertaining to the disclosure (and non-disclosure) and disposition of information, including electronic information. Definitions of electronic information include or may be interpreted to include information contained in email messages, metadata and attachments.
Email information may be required to support legal proceedings, and/or audit proceedings and may also be required to serve access to information requests.
The Email Management Guidelines herein are conceived to facilitate compliance with the responsibilities and obligations described in the following legislation.
With the exception of financial transactions, there is no duty to document the decision process or actions taken. However, if such records and information are kept, it is the duty of the institution to ensure that they are preserved for an appropriate period of time.
Access to Information Act
Provides a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific, and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.
Identifies government programs, services and activities and allocates annual funding for their development and operation. Department level planning information provides a basis against which results may be measured.
Information is included as a standard object of expenditure against which budgetary estimates are distributed. It includes three main categories of expenditure - advertising services; publishing, printing and exposition services; and public relations and public affairs services.
Identifies and funds department business lines - including the Treasury Board Information Management and Information Technology business line with a goal to provide strategic direction and leadership in leveraging information management and information technology to improve public access to government services and to meet Public Service renewal objectives.
Auditor General Act
Establishes the role of the Auditor General to audit government departments, agencies and Crown corporations, and the Accounts of Canada and to report the results to the House of Commons. Provides for an independent assessment of government activity which relies heavily on the availability of quality information. Makes observations and recommendations, at least in part, based on assessment of available information.
The Auditor General is entitled to access information, reports and explanations from departments and crown corporations necessary to fulfill his responsibilities and will identify in his annual report if required information was provided. (13, 14, 7)
Canada Evidence Act
Describes roles and procedures with respect to witnesses and documentary evidence in civil and criminal proceedings, and other matters where Parliament has jurisdiction. It identifies the nature and characteristics of information that is admissible as evidence and information that is not (See also the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act).
Identifies the types of documentary evidence that can be used in a legal proceeding. Makes provisions for information (original or copies) to be accepted as a certified original in legal proceedings, and describes the conditions for admissibility into evidence. Provides rules for the admissibility of electronic documents in evidence including the use of any standard, procedure, usage or practice concerning the manner in which electronic documents are to be recorded or stored.
Makes provision for objection to disclosure of information before a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of information by certifying orally or in writing to the court, person, or body that the information should not be disclosed on the grounds of a specified public interest.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Constitution is a series of documents that collectively establish the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, allocate government powers and define citizen rights. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is Schedule B of the Constitution Act, 1982. It guarantees the fundamental rights and freedoms of every individual subject to reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act
Establishes the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to investigate and advise government on activities that may constitute a threat to the security of Canada. It makes special provisions for access to information in the interests of national security.
To establish and protect ownership and the corresponding rights to produce or reproduce works or any substantial part of them in any material form; to perform them; or to publish them. The Act provides definitions for intellectual properties and provides rules relative to ownership of copyright. The Act identifies actions representing infringement; identifies remedies to which the owner is entitled in cases of infringement; establishes the Copyright Office to process copyright requests and to maintain a register of copyrights; and establishes the Copyright Board to administer the Act, rule on issues and certify royalties. Note: under the common services policy, Communication Canada is responsible for administration of Crown copyright
Crown Liability and Proceedings Act
Identifies the liability of the government and rules and procedures for proceedings, by or against the government. Information liability is specifically addressed in the context of invasion of privacy.
Emergency Preparedness Act
The Emergency Preparedness Act requires civil preparedness in Canada for emergencies of all types by defining responsibility for the development and implementation of emergency plans, including preservation of essential records and business resumption planning.
Financial Administration Act
Establishes the Treasury Board and Department of Finance and provides for the financial and human resource administration of the Government of Canada, the establishment and maintenance of the accounts of Canada, and the control of Crown corporations. It primary relevance for managing information is in the delegation of administrative authority and the provisions requiring maintenance of adequate government records and transactions. Availability of quality government information is required on a timely basis for decision-making, business delivery, evidential needs, historical purposes, access by the Public and for continual monitoring and improvement of program and service results. Note: Other statutes, such as the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Staff Relations Act, the Superannuation Act, and the Canada Labour Code deal very specifically with human resources.
The Library and Archives Canada Act
This Act defines the objects and powers of the Library and Archives of Canada, and legal requirements for destruction and disposal of government and ministerial records.
Official Languages Act
Provides for English and French as the official languages of Canada and makes provisions to ensure equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all federal institutions.
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
To support and promote electronic commerce by protecting personal information that is collected, used, or disclosed in certain circumstances, by providing for the use of electronic means to communicate or record information or transactions and by amending the Canada Evidence Act, the Statutory Instruments Act, and the Statute Revision Act. Some federally regulated institutions not covered by the Privacy Act, such as parts of Canada Post, are covered by this Act (see also the Canada Evidence Act).
Privacy Act and Regulations
To protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information held by a government institution and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information. Information requirements are summarized below and further detailed in the Appendix B mapping to the Framework for the Management of Information.
Public Service Employment Act
Establishes the Public Service Commission and identifies the principles and conditions governing the recruitment and appointment of personnel and other aspects of Public Service employment such as recourse, lay off, priority for appointment and political activity.
Security of Information Act
Defines the offences related to the disclosure of information of a nature that is prejudicial to the safety or interests of Canada.
Mandates collection, compilation, analysis, abstraction and publication of statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and condition of the people of Canada.
Federal policies and directives that require the Email Management Guidelines
The Framework for the Management of Information (FMI) in the Government of Canada provides strategic direction and practical guidance. It describes why and how to integrate the management of information with a wide range of GC activities to improve business delivery, legal and policy compliance, citizen access and accountability. FMI guidance may be used "as is" or modified to meet specific institutional requirements.
The Policy on Information Management requires government institutions to manage their records throughout their life-cycle.
The Directive on Information Management Roles and Responsibilities identifies the roles and responsibilities of all government employees with respect to information management.
Government Security Policy identifies requirements to ensure that all classified or designated information of the federal government is safeguarded in an appropriate manner.
There are many other policies that require the Email Management Guidelines, or which, themselves, prescribe standards or guidelines applicable to email.