Generic Application Guide for the Disposition Authorization for Transitory Records (DA 2016/001)

Print Version, PDF 367 KB

The purpose of this generic application guide is to provide general guidance on how to apply the Disposition Authorization (DA) for Transitory Records 2016/001. It should be considered as a starting point and not a definitive or exhaustive list of all types of records that could be considered transitory. Individuals should consult their Information Management staff to determine the applicability of the DA within their specific institutional context, and for assistance in identifying the business value attached to information resources.

The DA states:

A.2   Transitory records are not of business value. They may include records that serve solely as convenience copies of records held in a government institution repository, but do not include any records that are required to control, support, or document the delivery of programs, to carry out operations, to make decisions, or to provide evidence to account for the activities of government at any time.

Note that while publications are a form of “information resource,” they do not meet the definition of “government record” under the Library and Archives of Canada Act and are therefore not subject to the disposition requirements under Section 12. As a result, DA 2016/001 would not apply.

Questions?

Questions concerning the application or interpretation of Disposition Authorization 2016/001 may be addressed to: BAC.Centredeliaison-Liaisoncentre.LAC@canada.ca.

The document types associated with transitory records

  • Personal Records

    Description:

    Records pertaining solely to the private lives of government employees that do not support any aspect of government business

    Examples:

    • Personal correspondence
    • Records relating to professional associations in which one takes part as an individual rather than as an official representative of a government institution
  • Blank Information Media

    Examples:

    • Paper and electronic forms
    • Stationery
    • Pre-printed media that were not used to record information
    • Erased storage media, such as video or audio tapes, diskettes, compact discs, digital video discs, magnetic tapes, hard drives, and other analogue or digital storage media
  • Advertising and Promotional Material

    Description:

    Solicited and unsolicited information received from businesses or individuals acting in a business or professional capacity that advertises or promotes products and services

    Examples:

    • Product bulletins
    • Course and seminar announcements
    • Company profiles
    • Sales letters
    • Flyers, brochures, menus and catalogues
    • Free trial CDs or DVDs
    • Price lists
    • Direct mail or email notices, also referred to as junk mail and spam
    • Email messages advertising goods and services


    Note:

    Does not include:

    • Material that has been created by the GC institution
    • Advertising or promotional material required to document and support a specific transaction or purchase such as price quotations, price and product comparisons
  • Externally Sourced Material from a Bulletin Board or Listserv

    Description:

    Mass distributed information, not individually addressed to the recipient or the agency

    Examples:

    • Information received due to membership in a discussion group or listserv
    • Listserv emails and discussion threads
  • Circulated Internal Information

    Description:

    Mass distributed information not meant to result in direct action from the recipient

    Examples:

    • Bulletins, e-bulletins
    • Team newsletters
    • Institutional newsletters
    • Memoranda and messages addressed to all staff (e.g. large internal distribution lists) about holidays, charity events, office parties, special events, retirements, IT help desk notifications, fire drill notices, etc
  • System Backup Files

    Description:

    Routinely made for security of information and emergency system recovery purposes, typically on a daily, weekly, monthly and / or annual basis.

    Note: System backup files are only required for limited periods of time to meet the requirements of government agencies to restore the original data after a loss event (e.g, deletion or corruption).

  • Failed Output Records

    Description:

    Records that are unusable as a result of a failed output or duplication process

    Examples:

    • Failed print jobs (printer, photocopier, facsimile, photo finishing)
    • Failed audio or video reproductions
    • Outputs resulting from abnormally ended jobs, improper selection criteria and/or programming errors
    • Photographs eliminated immediately after creation because of poor quality or repetitiveness
  • Data Input / Data Entry

    Description:

    Forms or other records used to enter data into an electronic system

    This designation generally applies to information that has been initially recorded in a standardized format.

    Content from the standardized formats is then transferred into an electronic system, where it is subsequently maintained and used as an information resource of business value.

    Examples:

    • Filled in paper forms
    • Punch cards
    • Electronic transaction files used to update a master file


    Note: These examples are not automatically transitory records per se. They should only be considered transitory records if the system(s) that they feed have been identified as the official information resource of business value.

  • Facilitative Records

    Description:

    Records that are used solely in the preparation of other records and are not needed once the preparation of other records is completed.

    Examples:

    • Negatives created solely as an intermediate stage in printing operations (such as negatives used to create lithographic or photo off-set plates)
    • Minor administrative messages such as confirming meeting times
    • Dictation audio tapes and shorthand notes used by secretarial and processing services, including internal requests for service
  • Records of Short-term Purpose

    Description:

    Records created or received for very minor or short-term informational purposes only, not used to support or document mandated institutional activities

    Examples:

    • Basic communications (e.g. phone calls, emails, SMS, texts, etc.) such as “please return my call,” “I’m on my way,” “I’m running late”
    • Routing slips, routine notices
    • Contact, telephone and distribution lists
  • Drafts

    Description:

    Preliminary products that the writer creates in the initial stages of a writing process including incomplete material where a more complete document exists.

    Examples:

    • Document versions showing only editing of spelling and grammar, formatting and/or stylistic changes
    • Comments on drafts of internal memoranda, routine correspondence, and reports that were incorporated into a final draft
    • Versions not circulated beyond the author


    Note:

    Not all drafts are automatically considered transitory. Drafts are not transitory when they provide information at key decision points that are not included in the final version of the document.

    In some cases, offices that draft policy, legislation, standards, guidelines, procedures, legal documents, audit reports, etc. may need to track the evolution of the final product very closely.

    Various drafts may therefore need to be kept in order to have a record of the changes made and why.

  • Personal Working Materials

    Description:

    Rough notes, calculations, statistics, figures, etc. used in the creation of a more substantive record and not communicated beyond the individual who created them.

    Examples:

    • Personal notes
    • Flip charts, white boards


    Note:

    Personal working materials are not transitory if they provide evidence of:

    • formal decisions and approvals
    • reasons for actions

Transitory Records Decision Diagram

Transitory Records Decision Diagram 

  • Text version

    Transitory Records Decision Diagram

    Question 1: Is the material a blank form (form/stationery that has not been filled out with information)?

    Answer: Yes

    Result: Not a government record under LAC Act; DA 2016/001 applies to these records

    Answer: No

    Result: Go to question 2

    Question 2: Does the record (electronic, paper or other format) document an activity of the Government of Canada?

    Answer: No

    Result: "Not work related (personal correspondence, documents relating to private life). DA 2016/001 applies to these records."

    Answer: Yes

    Result: Go to question 3

    Question 3: Does the record (electronic, paper or other format) have any of the following characteristics: Is it advertising/promotional material, externally sourced material from a bulletin board or listserv, or circulated internal information (mass distribution)? Is it a routine system backup file, a failed output (e.g., a print job), or a form of data input to an existing electronic system? Was it used solely to prepare other records and is not needed when preparation of the other record is completed? Was it created or received for a very minor or short-term informational purpose only, not used to support or document mandated institutional activities?"

    Answer: Yes

    Result: "Yes, it is a transitory record. DA 2016/001 may be used to dispose."

    Answer: No

    Result: No, do not use DA 2016/001 to dispose; consult Information Management for the correct authorization for disposition.

Date modified: