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Guidelines for transfer of records to the Regional Service Centres

Table of Contents

Introduction to Regional Service Centres
Service Standards
Locations and Service Areas of the Regional Service Centres
Functions of a Regional Service Centre
Entrance Criteria for Storing Records Updated! November 6th, 2009
Accessioning Records
Packing Records for Shipment to a Regional Service Centre
Labelling Containers
Personnel Records
Essential Records Storage
Electronic Records Libraries Services
Archival or Historical Records - Direct Transfers
Delivery of Records
Reference and Consultation
Procedures for Requesting Records
Archival or Historical Records
Electronic Records
Interfiles and Refiles
Disposition of Records
Disposal of Classified and Designated Documents (Non-Accessioned Disposal)
Glossary

Full text for printing [PDF 272 KB]

Forms

Accession Forecast Report [RTF 2,579 KB]
Request And Authorization for Access to Archival Records [RTF 292 KB]
Electronic Record Service Form [RTF 417 KB]
Regional Service Centre - Control and Request [RTF 295 KB]
Request for Non-Accessioned Disposal [PDF 51 KB]

Downloadable Formats


Introduction to Regional Service Centres

The Regional Service Centres (formerly known as Federal Records Centres) of the Library and Archives Canada are a network of regional centres that manage records in all media on behalf of over 90 federal government departments and agencies. Centres are located in Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. They take in records of continuing value to government institutions when it is no longer cost effective for them to be maintained in departmental premises. Centres economically store and protect the records, retrieve them when required for reference or research, and destroy other records in a timely and secure manner when they are no longer required. Centres also hold backup copies of electronic records which are deemed essential, in the event of disaster or emergency, to the operations of government and the protection of rights. Finally, the Centre in Ottawa manages the records of former military personnel, and the Centre in Winnipeg manages the records of former federal public servants.

This document offers suggestions and outlines requirements for properly transferring all types of information media to the Regional Service Centre.

For information on the services offered to the public, such as consulting, please refer to Government Records Accessible Outside Ottawa.

Service Standards

Regional Service Centres are committed to meeting the standards for Accessioning, Reference and Disposition services described below, 95% of the time.

Services Description Service Standards Fees Activities
REGULAR ACCESSION An accession is a group of records, which meet LAC entrance criteria, approved for transfer by an eligible government institution to the appropriate Regional Service Centre (RSC) for storage and management. The accessions documentation is to be dispatched to the approved departmental custodian within a maximum of 10 working days from the receipt of the accession. N/A Accession records that meet the entrance criteria:
  • receive and place the containers on shelves
  • enter tombstone and all other related accession information into the appropriate RSC database in a consistent format
  • preparation, verification, approval and distribution of all associated paperwork for LAC and client
REGULAR REFERENCE A reference is a request, re-file and/or interfile. Normal activity is considered less than 1 reference activity per container in a fiscal year, accessioned in the Regional Service Centre network. A request received before 12:00 noon for the records in any medium will be ready for pick-up by the end of the next business day.
(NOTE: subject to volume limitations, please contact the appropriate RSC) Electronic media, where call-backs have been pre-arranged with the government department, are ready for pick-up by a pre-arranged date and time.
N/A
  • request - record(s) is removed from the container and prepared for shipping/pickup as per clients instructions
  • refile - record(s) returned and re-filed in the original location or as per client instructions
  • interfile - record(s) received that meet our entrance criteria will be interfiled; time permitting and available space in the container. If there is not enough space available in the container, the record will be returned.
REGULAR DISPOSITION The disposition process authorizes physical destruction, archival preservation or the return of records. Upon receipt of an approved 'Consent for Disposal' (CFD), RSC's will code all containers within 10 business days. N/A
  • identify records eligible for disposition
  • determine whether disposition is authorized
  • mark containers for disposition
  • update appropriate databases
  • appropriate disposition, as indicated by the department: return to the department (transportation at their cost) secure shredding
  • transfer for archival preservation
COST-RECOVERY ACCESSION A cost-recovered accession is a group of records, which fails to meet LAC entrance criteria, approved for transfer by a GC department to the identified Regional Service Centre (RSC) for storage and management. The accessions documentation is to be dispatched to the designated departmental custodian as per the terms and conditions of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between LAC and the appropriate GC department. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year. Accession records that fail to meet our entrance criteria and covered by an approved MOU:
  • receive and place containers on shelves
  • enter tombstone and all other information related to the records into the appropriate RSC database in a consistent format
  • preparation, verification, approval and distribution of all associated paperwork for LAC and client
COST-RECOVERY REFERENCE A cost-recovered reference is a request, re-file and/or interfile on any records that fail to meet LAC entrance criteria. Reference rates are higher than regular reference activity in a Regional Service Centre. A cost-recovered request will be managed as per the RSC Service Standards for Regular Reference or will be processed as per the terms and conditions of the approved MOU. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year.
  • request - record(s) is removed from the container and prepared for shipping/pickup as per clients instructions
  • refile - record(s) returned and re-filed in the original location or as per client instructions
  • interfile - record(s) received that meet our entrance criteria will be interfiled as per the terms and conditions of the MOU.
COST-RECOVERY DISPOSITION ** The disposition process authorizes physical destruction, archival preservation or the return of records that fail to meet LAC entrance criteria. The disposition process will be completed either as prescribed in the RSC Regular Disposition Service Standards (above) or as per the MOU between LAC and the appropriate GC department. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year.
  • identify records eligible for disposition
  • determine whether disposition is authorized
  • mark containers for disposition
  • verify the boxes are removed from the shelves
  • update appropriate databases
  • appropriate disposition, as indicated by the department:
    • return to the department (transportation at their cost)
    • secure shredding
    • transfer to archival custody
PERMANENT WITHDRAWAL Withdrawal of records from a Regional Service Centre by a GC department who fails to meet LAC entrance criteria or has decided to remove all their records before the end of the retention period. To be negotiated as part of the terms and conditions of the MOU. The amount invoiced to a GC department as per a MOU and/or the LAC Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule for the current fiscal year.
  • remove containers from the shelf before the end of the retention period
  • prepare containers for transport to a location determined by client and at the client's expense
  • preparation, verification, approval and distribution of all associated paperwork for LAC and client
  • update appropriate RSC database

** Note: Supplementary action and additional resources may be required and will be negotiated via an MOU prior to the cost recovery disposition, which may include but not limited to:

  • re-boxing (CR-03)
  • creation of lists (CR-03)
  • pulling and re-shelving boxes (CR-03)
  • segregation (CR-04)
  • supervision (AS-01)
  • progress reports (AS-01)

Locations and Service Areas of the Regional Service Centres

For information on the services offered to government by specific centres, first determine which centre serves your location, then use the following contact information.

For information on the services offered to the public, such as consulting please refer to Government Records Accessible Outside Ottawa.

Atlantic Region, Halifax
Serves federal offices in the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, including Labrador.

Québec Region, Québec City
Serves federal offices located in the centre and the eastern part of the Province of Quebec.

National Capital Region, Ottawa
Serves federal offices in the National Capital Region, including Gatineau and areas of the Province of Québec within approximately 50 km of Gatineau, and that part of Ontario that lies north of a line running between Belleville and Gravenhurst and east of a line running from Thunder Bay to Fort Severn.

Ontario Region, Toronto
Serves federal offices in the Greater Toronto Area and that part of Ontario that lies to the south and southwest of a line running from Belleville to Gravenhurst, including these cities.

Manitoba Region, Winnipeg
Serves federal offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba and the part of Ontario lying to the west of a line running from Thunder Bay to Fort Severn, including these cities.

Pacific Region, Vancouver
Serves federal offices in British Columbia and Yukon.

Functions of a Regional Service Centre

Each Regional Service Centre performs the following functions:

  1. Accessions all records transferred to it from eligible federal government institutions located within its service area.
  2. Safeguards accessioned containers of records economically and efficiently.
  3. Prepares accurate client accession reports.
  4. Provides limited research on records in its custody. Also provides a reference service for these records. Both these services operate under access restrictions as determined by the client institution.
  5. Disposes of records under approved Records Disposition Authorities after obtaining concurrence from the client institution.
  6. Provides assistance and guidance to government institutions in three ways:
    • offers advice on records description, arrangement, transfer and disposition;
    • encourages and promotes the fullest use of the Regional Service Centre facilities and services; and
    • distributes materials to help clients use the Regional Service Centre services more effectively.
  7. Provides safe, secure, economical storage and management of electronic data media.

    Note: Government security regulations stipulate off-site storage for back-up (security) copies of electronic information.
  8. Safeguards the essential records of eligible federal institutions, and provides advice for preparing these records for shipment to a Regional Service Centre.

Entrance Criteria for Storing Records - Updated! November 6th, 2009

Before records are accepted into storage by any Regional Service Centre (RSC) of Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the records must meet all of the following criteria:

1. Records must be under the care and control of any legislative or judiciary branch of the federal government, or of any institution or agency subject to the Access to Information Act and/or the Privacy Act (and thereby subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act). [NOTE: Exceptions must be approved by the Regional Service Centres Division of LAC];

2. Records must be dormant:

ARCHIVAL-VALUE RECORDS, whether covered by an Institution-Specific Disposition Authority (ISDA) or a Multi-Institution Disposition Authority (MIDA):
-- closed for 2 years or more; and
-- 2 years or more since date of last administrative action;

NON ARCHIVAL-VALUE RECORDS, whether covered by an ISDA or a MIDA:
-- closed for 2 years or more; and
-- 2 years or more since date of last administrative action; and
-- 2 years or more remaining in their retention period;

3. Records must be covered by a valid (i.e. neither revoked nor superseded) ISDA or MIDA. [NOTE: If it is not clear to the Accessions Officer as to whether or not a valid Records Disposition Authority (RDA) covers the records in question, the appropriate archivist for that institution is to be sent an e-mail asking for clarification/confirmation of coverage and of archival/non-archival value];

4. Records, both archival and non-archival, must: (a) be identified, and have "reasonable" retention periods assigned, in the institution's records classification system or records retention schedule (approved by the institution's senior official responsible for records management), which must be made available to all RSCs via LAC's disposition coordinator; and/or (b) be identified, with retention periods assigned, in a valid (i.e. neither revoked nor superseded) RDA or addendum.

[NOTES: (1) For the same records, retention periods identified in a current records classification system or records retention schedule take precedent over those in a less-current ISDA. For the same records, retention periods identified in a valid ISDA or addendum take precedent over those in a valid MIDA, even if the MIDA is more current]; and
(2) Records on which a moratorium exists will be accepted into storage provided that: (a) the records meet all other RSC entrance criteria for storage; (b) the moratorium clearly identifies and describes the records it covers (i.e. not a broad moratorium); and (c) the client produces a written promise to provide regular, quarterly updates to the RSCs on the moratorium's status];

5. Records of archival value must be segregated in separate containers from records having no archival value;

6. Records must be in good physical condition (e.g. free from mould, water damage, insects, chemicals, hazardous waste, etc.). Any issues with the physical condition of records must be made known in advance to the Accessions Officer. If damaged records have archival value according to a valid RDA, the Accessions Officer will consult the appropriate archivist;

7. Accessions must be well-organized to facilitate both retrieval (ex. records arranged in strict alphabetic or numeric sequence within each individual container) and disposition (ex. containers organized according to disposition year/month);

8. Accessions must be accompanied by a detailed electronic listing containing the following information for all records contained therein: container number; record name (title)/number; volume number; opening and closing dates; RDA number; retention period; and disposition date. If it is not practical for your department to provide this information for non-archival records, please contact the Senior Manager, Regional Operations (sm-regions-gp@bac-lac.gc.ca) to discuss the information required;

9. All previously-accessioned records stored in any RSC across Canada on behalf of any office of the same branch/institution/agency need to have been approved for disposition upon expiry of their retention period(s);

10. Only approved containers are acceptable when transferring records.

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