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Retention Guidelines for Common Administrative Records of the Government of Canada

Section 1, Part 1

General Administration Function
(Function-based arrangement)

Section 3 - Exceptions to the General Retention Guideline - General Administration Function:

Function/Description

Retention Guidance
Always apply the General Retention Guideline unless specified otherwise

3.1 Management of Government Information

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions within the context of the life-cycle of information; that is, from its creation, organization, retrieval, use, access, storage, and protection, to its disposal. More specifically, this sub-function includes ten core programs or activities which are common to all government institutions: Access to Information; Protection of Privacy, Records Management, including the Essential Records Program; Management of [Information] Technology; Library Services; Correspondence Management; Forms Management; Manuals Management; Mail and Messenger Services; Correspondence Management; and Photocopying and Printing Services.

 

Access to Information and Privacy

 

This programme/activity generally includes the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions in relation to the administration of the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act. More specifically, it includes individual requests for access to records under the acts.

 

Access to Information

 

- individual Case Files

2See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Main Book Standard Personal Information Bank PSU 901, Access to Information and Privacy Requests, for additional information on this standard bank.

- reports, registrations

2 years

Protection of Privacy

 

- individual Case Files

See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Main Book Standard Personal Information Bank PSU 901, Access to Information and Privacy Requests, for additional information on this standard bank.

- reports, registrations

2 years

Records Management

 

This programme/activity generally includes the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions to manage their corporate records. More specifically, it includes the essential records programme, and the micrographic and imaging programs, and comprises elements such as developing, adopting and implementing classification systems; procedures and techniques for maintaining records; records inventories and records disposition authorities; it excludes the actual records that are designated as essential and which must be covered by Institution-Specific Disposition Authorities, and the actual records which are microfilmed or imaged.

 

Master Numerical Index Cards or Master Control Records

2 years after superseded

Records Disposition Authority Files

2 years after Records Disposition Authority files are superseded or amended by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.4

Records Inventory Files (including lists, indices and registers of files or records destroyed)

10 years after files or records are destroyed

Management of [Information] Technology

 

This programme/activity generally includes the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions relating exclusively to common administrative functions for the management of technology. More specifically, it includes electronic systems development, maintenance, and technical assistance for office systems and databases that support common administrative function; it excludes activities or records that support operational functions or operational automated information systems, or any mixture or operational and administrative functions.

 

Library Services

 

This programme/activity generally includes the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions relating to the delivery of library services, sometimes referred to as documentation or reference services. It excludes the activities and records which form the actual intellectual holdings of these libraries, documentation, or reference centres. The disposal of "grey literature" and other reference support materials, including pamphlets, unpublished reports (no ISBN number), various media such as posters and films, may be the subject of another MIDA.

 

Other Information Management Activities and Services

 

This programme/activity generally includes the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions relating to correspondence management; forms management; manuals management; mail management; mail services; photocopying and printing services.

 

Forms Management

 

- Individual function files

1 year after superseded or obsolete

Mail and Messenger Services

 

- Mailing Lists

1 year after superseded

- Registers and Registration Related to Mail, Postal and Messenger Services

1 year

Photocopying and Printing Services

 

- Duplication and Publication Job Files

1 year after job completed

3.2 Security

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by federal institutions relating to the primary components of security such as classification and designation; security and risk management; control of access; personnel security; safeguards; and security breaches and violation. More specifically, this sub-function includes the classification of sensitive information in the national interest; the administration of security clearances on government employees and contractors; all aspects of physical security related to sensitive or classified information; the secure handling of information assets.

 

Security

 

Breaches

6 months

Electronic network monitoring logs

See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Main Book Standard Personal Information Bank PSU 905, Electronic Network Monitoring Logs for additional information.

Identification and Building-Pass cards

See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Standard Bank PSE 917, Identification and Building-Pass Cards for additional information on this standard bank.

Physical Security - Buildings, contingency planning, equipment, grounds, guards, etc…

 

- Routine correspondence

2 years or 1 year after requirement ceases

Regulations and orders

5 years after superseded or revoked5

Reliability Checks and Security Clearances - Individual Case Files

See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Standard Bank PSE 924, Personnel Security Screening (Reliability Screening/Security Clearance), for additional information on this standard bank.

Reliability Checks and Security Clearances - Visits and visitors

Reliability Checks and Security Clearances - Visits and visitors 1 year

Reports and returns - Inspections, surveys etc.

5 years

3.3 Administrative Support

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions relating to the most routine aspects of the General Administration Function. More specifically, it includes the management of travel and administrative support services such as word processing, stenographic, and translation services.

 

Books, Pamphlets and Publications - Compiling, Editing, Printing, Binding, Selling and Distributing

 

- Individual publications

1 year after publication appears or is cancelled

Office Services6

 

Drafting services - Individual drafting items

1 year after drafting is completed

General and internal office procedures and services, including information processing

 

- Routine correspondence

1 year

Secretarial and Stenographic Services

 

- Routine correspondence

1 year after services provided

Word Processing, Typing and Transcribing Services

1 year after services provided

- Routine correspondence

1 year after services provided

Parking

 

- applications and permits issued to individuals or to/by institutions

See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Standard Bank PSE 914, Parking, for additional information on this standard bank.

2 years after permit expire. This retention is governed by the Privacy Act and must be adhered to. See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Standard Bank PSE 914, Parking, for additional information on this standard bank.

 

Telecommunications Services

 

Translation Services

 

- Routine correspondence relating to requisitions for…

1 year after services provided

Travel

 

Arrangements for tickets, passage, taxi services, fares and tariffs, etc.)

1 year

Baggage - Lost, Damaged or Unclaimed

1 year

Effects (Air, rail, road and water ) - Property and goods

 

- Routine correspondence

1 year

Freight and Express (Air, rail, road and water)

 

- Routine correspondence

1 year

Freight and Express - Rates, Tariffs, Schedules, etc.

Until superseded or revoked

Hotel Reservations

6 months

Personnel (Air, rail, road and water)

 

- Routine correspondence

1 year

Visits and tours

 

- Routine correspondence

1 year

- Routine itineraries

6 months

2. As per the Privacy Act, under Privacy Regulations, Section 7, the "head of a government institution shall retain for a period of at least two years following the date on which a request for access to personal information is received by the institution under paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Act

(a) a copy of every request received; and

(b) a record of any information disclosed pursuant to such a request."

Section 8 (2)(e) of the Privacy Act deals with requests made by an investigative body specified in the regulations.

3. As per the Privacy Act, under Privacy Regulations, Section 7,the "head of a government institution shall retain for a period of at least two years following the date on which a request for access to personal information is received by the institution under paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Act

(a) a copy of every request received; and

(b) a record of any information disclosed pursuant to such a request."

Section 8 (2)(e) of the Privacy Act deals with requests made by an investigative body specified in the regulations.

4. Former retention guidance provided stated "Until superseded or amended." Suggested retention change to 2 years in keeping with the change in the subject heading from RDA's to "RDA files" (the former of which are not considered common administrative records).

5. Former retention guidance provided stated "Until superseded or revoked." New retention guidance of "5 years after superseded or revoked" applied as regulations and orders can be linked to Policy and Procedures and should therefore inherit the same retention period.

6. Previously "Duplication and Reproduction Services - Requisitions" identified under this heading (retention period, 6 months). As requisitions are financial in nature the LAC teams feels they fall more appropriately under the retention guidance provided for the Comptrollership function for financial records, which is 6 years. As such, this item is not part of the General Administrative function and should be pulled. The Comptrollership Function suggests a standard retention period of 6 fiscal years for financial transaction records such as vouchers, invoices, claims etc... This retention is applied after all administrative actions have been completed. Also, what LAC is currently investigating, is whether there are any legislative or policies in place which bolster the need to apply the same retention period to common administrative records that support or document a financial action. References: the 1996 Treasury Board "Policy on Electronic Authorization and Authentication" Appendix A, Guidelines, iii Audit states that "The electronic authorization and authentication system and processes should be designed to ensure complete auditability. The audit trail should include delegation matrices, user profiles and all the electronic authorization and authentication data and files required to reconstruct the sequence of events and the transactions processed" and the Treasury Board "Policy on Internal Audit" (takes effect on April 1, 2006 and will replace the 2001 Policy on Internal Audit) under section 5. Policy Requirements, 5.5 states that "Deputy heads of all departments are responsible for:" under 5.5.3 "Ensuring that the audit committee receives all of the information and documentation needed or requested to fulfill its responsibilities, subjecvt to applicable legislation."

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