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This document is intended to identify the Government of Canada's standard executive correspondence metadata and the related metadata application profile. It is based on the requirements identified in the Functional Requirements for Executive Correspondence Version 5.0 (FREC), the Executive Correspondence Management Functional Requirements Gap Analysis Version 5.0 (Draft), and Executive Correspondence Management Use Case Specification - Manage Correspondence from Receipt to Resolution Version 1.0 (DRAFT) (ECMUCS) produced by PWGSC's RDIMS Office.

The document contains a list of 34 standard metadata elements, an application profile for each element, an analysis of when elements are used in the workflow of executive correspondence, and a logic model to show the relationships between metadata elements.

In general terms, metadata is structured information about the characteristics of an analog or digital resource which helps identify and manage that resource. It is information about a resource [e.g., a folder, a task, an attachment, an agent (user) or a correspondent] constructed for a purpose to fulfill an activity.

The use of metadata helps government institutions identify, authenticate, describe, locate and manage their resources in a systematic and consistent way to meet business, accountability and archival requirements. In this respect, the metadata schema plays the same role as descriptive information captured in the registry tools used in the paper-based environment to apply intellectual and physical controls to resources.

An application profile delineates the use of metadata elements declared in an element set. While an element set establishes concepts, as expressed via metadata elements, and focuses on the semantics or meanings of those elements, an application profile goes further and adds business rules and guidelines on the use of the elements. It identifies element obligations and constraints, and provides comments and examples to assist in the understanding of the elements.

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