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Retention Guidelines for Common Administrative Records of the Government of Canada

Section 2, Part 4

Comptrollership Function
(Subject-based arrangement)

Section 3 - Exceptions to General Retention Guidelines

Subject Group Subject and Description Retention Guidelines and / or Remarks
Always apply the General Retention Guideline unless specified otherwise
3.1 Accounts and Accounting Appropriations, disbursements, etc.  
Suspense accounts including ledgers and registers 1 fiscal year after transfer to the appropriate account
3.2 Accounts payable (Expenditures) Invoices  
  • Commercial firms, hospitals, suppliers, insurance2 etc.
6 fiscal years
  • Imprest account invoices
1 fiscal year
Ledgers and registers  
  • Expenditures including Imprest account
6 fiscal years
Services rendered to the institution  
  • Advisory, professional, technical (consultants, doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc.)
6 fiscal years
Services to other institutions 6 fiscal years
Utilities  
  • Energy, telephone, cable
6 years
Vouchers and Journal Vouchers  
  • Abstracts, bills of lading, cheque requisitions, contracts, credits to advances, facings, imprest accounts progress payments, purchase orders and requisitions including local, refunds, removal and travel claims, travel warrants, commercial firms, hospitals, suppliers, loans and investments, old age security, open accounts, death benefit etc.
6 fiscal years
  • Legal payments made record
1 fiscal year
  • Loans and advances to employees
3 fiscal years
3.3 Accounts receivable (Revenues) Credit notes and refunds  
  • For return of goods and containers, etc.
6 fiscal years
Ledgers and registers  
  • Including refund and drawbacks ledgers for security deposit, soldiers' settlement (WW1) etc…
6 fiscal years
Vouchers and Journal Vouchers  
  • Bills, credits, official receipts, receipt forms, sales slips, etc., from all sources including accounts recoverable from concessions, claims, fees, rentals, loans and investments etc…
6 fiscal years
  • Legal payments made record
1 fiscal year
  • Loans and advances to employees
3 fiscal years
3.4 Agreements and Arrangements Agreements with other levels of government (Federal, provincial, municipal)  
  • Agreement files containing the pure financial management records related to accounting and control of expenditures / revenues, payment verification, budgeting and budgetary control of programs including ledgers and registers related to such agreements as the Fisherman's Indemnity Fund, harbour dues and holdback.
6 fiscal years
3.5 Allotments Ledgers and registers 6 fiscal years
Vouchers  
  • Transfers between primaries
6 fiscal years
3.6 Allowances Educational, foreign service, marriage, northern and isolated post, risk, subsistence, terminal, etc. 6 fiscal years
Entertainment 1 fiscal year
Ledgers and registers  
  • Canadian Pension Commission
6 fiscal years
  • Family allowance and war veterans allowance
6 fiscal years
3.7 Alternative service delivery Includes records that document the following specialized form of program planning activities in support of common administrative functions: reviewing programs as candidates for alternative service delivery options; securing prior Treasury Board or Cabinet direction on proceeding; carrying out an initial feasibility study in relation to a specific program or activity; analysing options and selecting a preferred option; making a proposal to Treasury Board to implement the preferred option; implementing the decision consistent with Treasury Board direction; and conducting audits and reviews of the results.  
Contracts, acceptance of tender etc…  
  • Case files re purchases, rentals, services etc…
6 fiscal years after completion and non-renewal
  • Ledgers and registers
6 fiscal years
External user charges/fees  
  • Records regarding the recovery of a part or all of the cost of providing goods and services
 
3.8 Annual Reference Level Updates (ARLUs)3 Detailed plan for monitoring and controlling allocation of resources within planning frame-work.  
Individual ARLUs  
  • Directorate, Branch or Division
2 fiscal years
  • Institutional
6 fiscal years
3.9 Audits and auditing External audits and/or program evaluations (does not include audits conducted by private sector consultants. See section C.3.2 of Appendix I MIDA 1999/004)  
  • Conducted by a central agency, common service agency or by the Auditor General
6 fiscal years
Internal audits, program evaluation records, working files and other audit files documenting methodology, procedure, interdependent liaison, and interaction with central agencies. Note: This sub-function includes internal audit and program evaluation records and working files documenting methodology, procedures, interdependent liaison, and interaction with central agencies but does not include final internal audit and program evaluation reports and files documenting management response, corrective action, and follow-up. See sections C.7.1 and C.7.2 of Appendix I MIDA 99/004. 3 fiscal years
3.10 Banks and banking Exchange rate  
  • Bank of Canada
1 fiscal year
Statements (and reconciliations)  
  • Cheque Redemption Control Division
1 fiscal year
  • Imprest accounts
6 fiscal years
Vouchers  
  • Receipts, copies of transfers of funds, etc…
1 fiscal year
3.11 Bonding (of employees) Of employees 2 fiscal years
3.12 Budgets Individual budgets  
  • Branch or Division
2 fiscal years
  • Institutional
6 fiscal years
3.13 Cash accounting Ledgers and registers  
  • Cash blotters, cash books, cash summaries, receipts, registers, ledgers and wharfage books
6 fiscal years
  • Cash control records
1 fiscal year
3.14 Cheques Abstracts  
  • Attached to supporting vouchers
6 fiscal years
  • Copies and others than those attached to supporting vouchers
1 fiscal year
Actual cheques paid (cashed) including like instruments 6 fiscal years
Bank statements and reconciliation 6 fiscal years
  • Imprest banking accounts
6 fiscal years
Election warrants 6 fiscal years
Lists and transcripts (all)  
  • Cancelled cheques
1 fiscal year
  • Deposited to bank accounts
1 fiscal year
  • General lists
6 fiscal years
  • Returned cheques
1 fiscal year
  • Subsequently cancelled
1 fiscal year
  • Subsequently paid
6 fiscal years
Lost  
  • Statutory declarations
2 fiscal years
Receipts for 1 fiscal year
Registers 6 fiscal years
Returned Cancel after 6 months then retain for 6 fiscal years
  • Undeliverable
6 fiscal years
Transcripts 6 fiscal years
Vouchers  
  • Interdepartmental settlement advice
6 fiscal years
  • Journal and journal registers
6 fiscal years
  • Returned
1 fiscal year
  • Security deposit release forms
1 fiscal year
  • Stores issue
2 fiscal years
3.15 Claims By and against the Crown  
Individual claim files  
Vehicle, ship, boat and aircraft accident and other claim files by and against the Crown finalized or authorized to be deleted or transferred to an inactive account receivable 6 fiscal years after the settlement of individual claim. See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Standard Bank PSE 908, Vehicle, Ship, Boat and Aircraft Accidents for additional information on this standard bank.
3.16 Coding Technical coding procedures and conventions for classification of accounts  
3.17 Contracts Agreements, acceptances of tender, etc.  
Individual contract files  
  • Capital plans and projects (included records related to contracts and contracting activities associated with capital plans and projects. Excludes major capital plans and projects with a budget equal to or greater than $10 million)
6 fiscal years after completion and non-renewal
  • Case files re purchases, rentals, services, etc.
6 fiscal years
Ledgers and registers  
3.18 Duties and tariffs Customs, excise, exports, imports and forms 2 fiscal years
3.19 Encumbrances Adjustments 1 fiscal year
Individual encumbrances 1 fiscal year
Ledgers and registers (other than for Eskimo loan or establishment) 1 fiscal year
Transfers  
  • Sub-allotment
1 fiscal year
3.20 Estimates Individual estimates  
  • Directorate, Branch, Division
2 fiscal years
  • Institutional
6 fiscal years
3.21 Funds Non-public  
Schools  
3.22 Grants, contributions and transfer payments Pure financial transaction records related to accounting and control of expenditures / revenues, payment verification, budgeting and budgetary control of programs related to transfer payments, grants and contributions. 6 fiscal years
3.23 Ledgers and registers Encumbrances  
  • Eskimo loan
6 fiscal years
  • Establishment
6 fiscal years
General Ledgers  
3.24 Pay Payroll records are disposed of according to MIDA 98/045 Human Resources Management Function, and generally adopt the retention period for the personnel employee file i.e. retained by the employing institution for the duration of employment plus five (5) years4, then transferred to Library and Archives Canada, where the file is kept for (80) eighty years or after the individual's death if there is no further action pending  
Accounts  
  • Retirement fund (individual)
2 years after death provided all estate matters have been settled.
  • Superannuation opening balances as of 1 January 1954
Until age 80 provided 2 years have elapsed since the last administrative action on the file.
Allowances and deductions  
RCMP authorization forms 6 fiscal years
Assigned pay  
  • Documentation
6 fiscal years
Canada Savings Bonds  
  • Pledges
2 fiscal years
Cards  
  • Complete pay record of employee service for classified, casual, locally engaged, part-time, prevailing rate, seasonal, sessional employees
 
  • Annuitants ledger
2 years after cessation of payment to the annuitant or heirs provided no action is pending or anticipated.
  • Earning records
Until age 80 provided 2 years have elapsed since the last administrative action on the file
Certificates for pay, records regarding allowances and deductions 2 years after expiry of fiscal year, for general pay and deduction documentation and for correspondence, except in instances where there is a need to settle overpayments, to collect debts owed the Crown or to enforce orders of garnishment, attachment or diversion of funds, in which case records are retained until the overpayment is settled, the debt collected, or the garnishment, attachment or diversion order is no longer in force. See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Standard Bank PSE 904, Pay and Benefits, for additional information on this standard bank.
Income tax  
  • T4s and TP4s
6 fiscal years
Lists  
  • Cheque lists detailing salary cheques for:
 
  • Casual, prevailing rates, etc., employees (where full earning record cards are maintained)
6 fiscal years
  • Classified employees (including living allowances)
6 fiscal years
  • Deduction
2 fiscal years
  • Superannuation and pension payment cheque lists
6 fiscal years
  • Where earning record cards either do NOT exist or do NOT contain all the information required.
64 years from the date of the pay period
  • Deduction remittance
2 fiscal years
  • Pay lists
 
  • Annuitant deduction
2 fiscal years
Pay files  
  • Annuitants: Service records, benefit authorizations, life certificates and deduction notices (terminated files).
3 fiscal years
Pay input records 2 fiscal years
Payroll time summaries, controls and deduction authorizations. 6 fiscal years
Pension  
  • Locally engaged employees
Until age 80 provided 2 years have elapsed since the last administrative action on the file
Refund  
  • Individual
Until age 80 provided 2 years have elapsed since the last administrative action on the file
Salary warrants 6 fiscal years
Statements  
  • Annuitants earning records
2 fiscal years
  • Cash gratuity
6 fiscal years
  • Salaries
6 fiscal years
3.25 Petty Cash   2 fiscal years
3.26 Postage accounts Including bulk payment system  
Ledgers and registers  
  • Daily records and advance accounts
1 fiscal year
  • RCAF treasury accounts cards
6 fiscal years
3.27 Receipts For goods and services received, letters of acknowledgement, lists, routine individual receipts, etc. 1 fiscal year
3.28 Regulations and orders Individual payments 6 fiscal years
3.29 Revolving Funds Revolving funds operate on the basis of a continuing or non-lapsing authorization by Parliament to draw on the Consolidated Revenue Fund for working capital, capital acquisitions, and temporary financing of accumulated operating deficits of an operation or program that is funded by users.  
3.30 Risk Management Risk management is part of the planning process, and analyzes potential threats (and conversely opportunities) to an organization, its staff, and its materiel. Risk management analysis records describe different scenarios to permit comparisons and choices between options.  
3.31 Signing Authority Lists and signature cards Until superseded
3.32 Statements, summaries, reports and statistics Accounting  
  • Miscellaneous
 
  • Not otherwise identified
 
  • Daily, monthly, quarterly
1 fiscal year
  • Yearly
6 fiscal years
  • Published in the Public Accounts
2 fiscal years
Accounts payable and receivable (expenditures and revenues)  
  • Listings by vote, primary, sub-allotment, financial encumbrance, or establishment
 
  • Monthly
3 fiscal years
  • Yearly
6 fiscal years
3.33 Taxes Federal, provincial, municipal, other than income tax  
  • Amusement, property, sales taxes, etc…
 
3.34 Travel Allocations, expenditures, etc.  
Expense claims - Individual  
  • Advances, requisitions, warrants, etc. concerning mileage, relocation, travel, etc.
6 fiscal years following the fiscal year in which the travel or relocation claim was settled. See Treasury Board's publication Info Source: Sources of Federal Employee Information, Main Book Standard Personal Information Bank, PSU 908, Hospitality, and PSU 909, Travel, for additional information on these standard banks.
Ledgers and registers  
  • Travel advance (treasury bills, trust, veteran's benefit, etc.)
6 fiscal years
3.35 Trust Accounts Includes interim financial statements and accounting documentation such as original receipts, vouchers, or ledgers for any trust accounts, and records documenting short-term trust accounts that arise from the administration of contracts related to administrative activities of an institution or the pay or other financial aspects of the Human Resources Management Function.  

2. "Insurance" has been removed as a main subject as it may be confused with the activities associated with the Human Resources function. Insurance invoices/payments are associated with Comptrollership and as such, have been included as part of the descriptive for Invoices under Accounts payable.

3. Formerly called "Multi-year operational plans" or MYOPs… Confirmed by Chantale Larocque from LAC that the transfer of the former MYOPs descriptive and retention guidance to the ARLUs is applicable.

4. As per the new Public Service Employment Act which came into force on December 31, 2005, under the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument, Conditions of Delegation, it states that "In exercising delegated authorities, you and your sub-delegated officials will: …ensure that appointment and appointment-related decisions are fully documented and are accessible for a period of five years from the last administrative action."

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