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Retention Guidelines for Common Administrative Records of the Government of Canada

Section 1, Part 3

Materiel Management Function
(Function-based arrangement)

Section 3 - Exceptions to the General Retention Guideline - Materiel Management Function:

Function/Description

Retention Guidance
Always apply the General Retention Guideline unless specified otherwise

Assessing Requirements

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while evaluating existing assets and resources, assessing current and future organizational needs, and reviewing alternative means of satisfying materiel needs including the re-engineering business processes; monitoring and providing feedback on the implementation and effectiveness of Materiel Management policies; promoting the acceptance and use of environmentally sound products and practices by institutional managers; ensuring that Materiel Management complies with institutional policies and standards; and ensuring the effective and efficient management of all inventories and inventory cost distribution.

 

Planning Materiel Requirements

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while developing purchasing strategies, participating in procurement strategy reviews, short-term and long-term logistics planning, and life-cycle costing of acquisition alternatives; coordinating the development of materiel and logistics objectives and operational plans that are consistent with corporate goals, including environmental objectives, policy and legislation; and keeping inventories of materiel purchasing and holding costs using automated information systems (for example, the Assets Information Management system) and supporting technology when these systems are cost-effective and can improve the Materiel Management Function.

 

Catalogues, Manuals and Price Lists related to Planning

Until superseded or obsolete

Acquiring Materiel Assets and Related Services

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while procuring, purchasing, contracting, leasing, making, buying, reusing, and as much as possible selecting and ordering products which should be reusable and contain reusable parts, recyclable, and have a long service life or be economical to repair; putting in place an acquisition process that encourages competition, reduces costs and improves productivity; and ensuring delegation of Materiel Management acquisition authorities, as fully as possible, to line managers and other employees so that they can carry out their work in the most efficient and effective manner, including issuing acquisition cards to purchase materiel resources. This sub-function includes contracting for and procurement of services related to the management of moveable assets, for example, on maintenance services for vehicles or for moving, shipping and storage of furniture, equipment and supplies.

 

Acquiring Materiel Assets and Related Services2

 

Authorities, invoices, Notes of Credit, etc.

 

- routine correspondence

1 fiscal year

Clothing

 

- supply and records of issue

3 years

Contracts, Contract Demands, Purchase Orders, Tenders, Progress Reports, etc., related to…

 

- routine correspondence

3 years

Forms

1 year

Individual Standing Offer Agreements Related to Acquiring Materiel Assets and Related Services

Until offer expires

Office Equipment

5 years 3

Requisitions Related to Acquiring Materiel Assets and Related Services (for approved requisitions see the Comptrollership function)

 

- routine correspondence

1 year after requisition submitted

Stationery

1 year

Technical equipment (other than the equipment already listed)4

 

Heating plants, telecommunications

 

  • Minor

2 years

  • Major

5 years

Vehicles - Individual Vehicles

3 years

Operating Materiel Assets

 

This sub-function encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while solving daily operational problems related to manual, mechanical or technological equipment, vehicles and other machinery or devices which form part of an institution's materiel assets used to carry out and support its functions.

 

Operating Vehicles

 

Individual Vehicles

 

log books

1 year after disposal

operating instructions5

Until disposal of vehicle or transfer to new owner upon sale or donation

registering and licensing

Until superseded or obsolete

routine correspondence

3 years

Using Materiel Assets

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while ensuring that materiel is used to the fullest extent possible, by encouraging the transfer, sharing, leasing, sale or barter of materiel within and between institutions; managing a materiel resources inventory to identify, measure, and distribute inventory; keeping track of materiel in use, loaned or transferred; and effectively using facilities to stock materiel assets.

 

Inventorying and Accounting for Materiel Assets
(Stocktaking, Creating and Maintaining Inventories, etc.)

1 year after superseded or obsolete

Labelling Materiel Assets (Cataloguing, Identification, etc.)

Until superseded or obsolete

Loans (lending of materiel assets)

1 year after return or disposal of equipment

Issue - General and scales of issue regarding the release of materiel pursuant to a properly authorized requisition or instruction.6

 

3.6 Maintaining Materiel Assets

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while ensuring that materiel resources are properly maintained and used to extend the service life of the product; repairing, refinishing and reusing equipment and furnishings when economically feasible; shipping storing and handling hazardous materiel in accordance with applicable federal, provincial, and other applicable statutes and regulations.

 

Maintaining and Repairing Materiel Assets

2 years or 1 year after disposal of equipment

Maintaining and Repairing Vehicles

3 years 7

3.7 Replacing Materiel Assets

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while replacing parts or complete items when these assets are beyond cost-effective repair, and where a complete replacement is a better investment.

 

Routine Correspondence Regarding the Replacement of Materiel Assets

3 years

3.8 Disposing of Materiel Assets

 

This sub-function generally encompasses the business processes and activities which produce records created by government institutions while disposing of and writing-off all materiel that has been purchased, produced or acquired, irrespective of whether it is recorded in an inventory data base or is an intangible asset, due to inventory shortage, destruction, fire, theft, loss or other reasons; disposing of hazardous waste through a specialized waste management company; donating the asset when the cost of selling an item exceeds the probable proceeds; disposing in a manner that obtains best value, including trade-ins where fair market price must be negotiated, and with consideration to disposal alternatives, such as reusing, recycling or recovering.

 

Disposal and Surplus

 

Condemnation and Destruction

1 year after disposal

Routine correspondence

1 year after surplus declaration to Crown Assets Distribution Directorate, Public Works and Government Services Canada

Write-offs, Sales, Surplus, Donations

1 year after disposal, sale, or donation

2. In order to clarify the types of records which would appear in this function, the LAC team has decided to include/identify "Routine Correspondence" under those financial transaction records whose retention guidance falls below that of the standard 6 fiscal year period associated with original financial transaction records (Comptrollership). Please note "Request for Client Feedback" at the beginning of the table for considerations regarding rollup to 6 fiscal years for those records that support or document a financial transaction record. LAC team also queries whether these routine records should have a standard 2 year retention period as they were unable to find supporting policy, legislation or best practice which dictates otherwise.

3. As the function-arranged guidelines only list exclusions in the table, and LAC (LAC) team were unable to find specific policy or legislation dictating the retention of procurement, purchase and issue records for "Office Equipment" for 5 years, then the team recommends pulling this activity in the function guide and applying the "General Retention Guideline" for policy, procedure and routine records associated with this activity. Note that currently, 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, the team queries 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" (April 1, 2006) 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, subject to applicable legislation."

4. Original inclusion of "Acquiring Technical Equipment (Heating Plants, telecommunications)"pulled as these are fixed assets and are not considered to be a common administrative activity shared amongst institutions.

5. New addition to function guide… Originally grouped in the subject guide under one heading of "Routine correspondence, maintenance and repairs, operating instructions, procurement, etc…" with a retention guideline of 3 years. In consultation with LAC Materiel Management specialists, it was recommended this be broken down into its proper components and apply the same retention standard as per other material assets. i.e., disposal, maintenance and repairs, procurement etc... In keeping with "Disposal and surplus" retention guidance, "Operating instructions" has also been revised to reflect the needs and operations of fleet materiel management.

6. New inclusion as per subject guide. As per the "Glossary" in TBS' policy Materiel Management- Review Guide they define "Issue" as "The release of materiel pursuant to a properly authorized requisition or instruction." In order to provide clarity for the client regarding this activity, this definition was used to expand the descriptive for "Issue" in this function.

7. This activity was originally grouped in the 2000 version of the subject guide with operating instructions, repairs and routine correspondence… all had a retention period of 3 years. Perhaps we either need to separate or clarify the 3 year guideline. Add "after last administrative use" or "after disposal" In the case of the latter, it would seem funny to keep routine correspondence or operating instructions on a vehicle for 3 years after its disposal when the records associated with its disposal are only kept for 1. After consultation with LAC Material Mgmt specialists (Pierre Laplante and Jean-Maurice Cuerrier), LAC team broke this down to its proper components and applied the standard retention as per other material assets.

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