Information Management

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How to use this tool:

  • This tool is designed for IM specialists to use with relevant business areas when identifying information resources of business value (IRBV) and retention specifications.
  • The IRBV and retention specifications contained in this document are recommendations only and should be customized to apply in each institutional context. The complete document should be read before using any recommendations.
  • This Generic Valuation Tool does not provide Government of Canada institutions with the authority to dispose of information. Generic Valuation Tools (GVT) are not Records Disposition Authorities (RDA) and do not replace the Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities (MIDA).

Validation:The business processes and IRBV of this tool have been validated by subject matter experts from the following departments: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Statistics Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Defining the Activity

According to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) information management services involves:

“activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency, and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations. Information management is the discipline that directs and supports effective and efficient management of information in an organization, from planning and systems development to disposal or long-term preservation.” Footnote1

The Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the Library and Archives of Canada Act provide a legislative framework for Information Management Services, while the Policy on Information Management, the Directive on Information Management Roles and Responsibilities, and Directive on Recordkeeping provide a policy framework.

This Generic Valuation Tool (GVT) provides recommendations on business value and retention specifications related to internal information management (IM) services only. It does not apply to strategic and/or horizontal business processes related to IM that are performed on behalf of the entire Government of Canada (GC), such as those carried out by the Chief Information Officer Branch of TBS.

This GVT is one of several that provide information resources of business value (IRBV) and retention recommendations (see below) for information resources addressed by Multi-institutional Disposition Authority (MIDA) 98/001 for the General Administration Function. In order to align with the TBS document Profile of Government of Canada Internal Services, the content of MIDA 98/001 has been divided into three separate GVTs: 1) Information Management Services; 2) Information Technology Services; and 3) Travel and Other Administrative Services. This GVT addresses Information Management Services only.

It should be noted that although this tool addresses business processes found in MIDA 98/001, it does not replace the disposition authority granted by MIDA 98/001.

This GVT does not have an impact on MIDA 2010/004 Surplus Publications in Government of Canada institutions. Institutions should continue to apply the MIDA to enable the disposition of information resources meeting the definition of a surplus publication.

This GVT should be used in conjunction with the GVT for Management and Oversight Services, which contains the recommendations for business value and retention for information resources relating to policy, standards, and guidelines.

Relationship to Other GVT

Business processes and activities often overlap. When the IRBV from an activity is identified in another GVT, there is a note in the table of IRBV and retention recommendations (below) to direct the user to the proper tool.

Business Processes

The Profile of Government of Canada Internal Services was first developed in 2008, in the context of the Policy on Management, Resources, and Results Structures (MRRS), which mandates the development of the Program Activity Architecture (PAA). This document defined the following six service groupings for the sub-sub-activity Information Management: Information Needs Management; Information Structure Design and Maintenance; Information Acquisition; Information Organization; Information Provisioning; and Information Protection, Preservation and Disposition.

These groupings have since been refined in 2010, following the development of the Government of Canada Profile of Information Management (IM) Services, developed by the TBS Chief Information Officer Branch’s Information Management Division in collaboration with the IM Internal Services Working Group (15 departments) Footnote2 and the IM community at large.

The IM Internal Services Working Group identified eight IM service groupings at the sub-sub-sub-activity level. They are:

1. Records and Document Management Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve efficient and effective records and document management by an organization or person for business purposes, legal obligations, or both.

Business processes typically include the creation, acquisition, capture, management in departmental repositories, and the use of information resources of business value as a strategic asset to support effective decision making and facilitate ongoing operations and the delivery of programs and services. Footnote3

2. Data Management Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve the efficient and effective management of data and associated metadata that supports business information requirements of government operations and administration.

Business processes typically include the development and execution of architectures, policies, practices and procedures to support the full data lifecycle needs of an organization. Footnote4

3. Web Content Management Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve the efficient and effective management of Web content in support of government program or service delivery.

Business processes typically include the collaborative creation, edit, review, version control, storage, organization, search, retrieval, publication and archiving of Web content to support the management and control of large, dynamic collections of Web material (including text, graphics, video or audio, and application code) that support government operations and administration. Footnote5

Note that Web Content Management Services should not be confused with Web Services, which falls under the Communications Services sub-sub-activity of the Governance and Management Support sub-activity.

Web Content Management, as it relates to IM Services, is the management of the architecture and content rather than the design of websites. All information resources relating to content management of websites, as performed through IM Services, are addressed in this tool.

4. Archival Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve the efficient and effective management of information resources that have legal or historical long-term value. 

Business processes typically include the organization, preservation and provision of access to archives to support evidence needs and the corporate memory of an organization. Footnote6

It should be noted that the sub-sub-sub activity Archival Servicesengaged in by GC institutions should not be confused with the archival services provided by Library and Archives Canada as part of its legislated mandate.

Within GC institutions, Archival Services involves analyzing corporate information resources to determine their long-term value to the institution and ensuring they are preserved until such time as they are disposed, whether by destruction at the end of the retention period, alienation, or transfer to Library and Archives Canada. GC institutions may also engage in Archival Services if their collections of information resources are designated to have very lengthy retention periods and if their institution is managing access for business or research purposes.

Note: Only Library and Archives Canada may determine what are considered information resources of enduring value (previously known as archival or historical value), in accordance with the Library and Archives of Canada Act.

5. Business Intelligence and Decision Support Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve the efficient and effective management of information used to support proactive decision making, priority setting, reporting requirements, and anticipatory actions.

Business processes typically include information capture, organization, mining, protection, business analytics, query and reporting. Footnote7

6. Library Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve the efficient and effective management of published material in order to assure access to these information resources. 

Business processes typically include the acquisition, classification, usage, preservation and disposition of published material to support research, internal services and public program/service delivery. Footnote8 

7. Access to Information and Privacy Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve the efficient and effective management of practices and procedures that ensure authorized access to government information records and the protection of personal information.

Business processes typically include identification of required information, the conduct of comprehensive searches of government information records, preservation and protection of requested information, the identification of necessary exceptions, and the disclosure of information available to the public to support the right of access to information and the protection of personal information. Footnote9

8. Information Architecture Services:

Are services undertaken to achieve the efficient and effective development of business solutions to ensure the effective use of information resources in the delivery of programs and services.

Business processes typically include the structuring of the information components of an enterprise, the identification of interrelationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time to support the sharing, reuse, horizontal aggregation, and analysis of information. Footnote10

Recommended information resources of business value (IRBV) were determined using a business process analysis approach, which examines the business processes that support an activity to determine business inputs and outputs. The Government of Canada Profile of Information Management (IM) Services was used to determine inputs and outputs, which were then evaluated to identify those information resources that provide the best record of evidence within a business process.

Retention

Recommended retention specifications in GVTs are determined based on traditional or best practices, a review of government-wide legislation and policy, and validation with subject matter experts. Retention periods are suggestions only; departments must take into account their own legislative requirements and business needs.

Legislated retention specifications were identified by a thorough review of the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the Policy on Information Management, the Directive on Information Management Roles and Responsibilities, and the Directive on Recordkeeping.

Business Value and Retention Recommendations

1. Records and Document Management Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Creating, acquiring, capturing, managing in a departmental repository, and using information resources of business value as strategic assets

Approved procedures

Rules and specifications

5 years after superseded

User Security Profiles

Use/permission transactions

Note: these IRBV could be found instead within IT or security processes and would instead have business value within those processes.

2 years after last administrative use  

Metadata definitions

Controlled value sets

Classification structures, taxonomies and indexing systems

Retention and Disposition Schedule

Records of transfer (alienation)

Records of transfer (to LAC)

Record of destruction

10 years after information resources transferred or destroyed  

Disposition authority (related information resources)

2 years after Disposition Authority is superseded or amended by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada  

2. Data Management Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Developing and executing     architectures, policies, practices and procedures to support the full data lifecycle needs of an organization

Business rules

Procedures

5 years after superseded

Value chain analysis

Data requirements

Structural Design Models

Information and functional models

Metadata Application Profile

2 years after last administrative use  

Program/Business Unit specific data structures

Reference data values

Controlled value sets

Metadata definitions

Metadata registry/repository

Classification structures

Data Management Registry

Catalogue of information artifacts

Metadata retention criteria

10 years after data transferred or destroyed (based on traditional practice for Records Management

3. Web Content Management Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Creating, editing, reviewing, version controlling, storing, organizing, searching, retrieving, publishing and archiving Web content

Procedures

5 years after superseded

Strategy and plans for Web content architecture

Web content information risk profiles

Web content development workflow

2 years after last administrative use  

Web content architecture

Web content accessibility structures

Web metadata

10 years after Web content transferred or destroyed (based on traditional practice for Records Management)

4. Archival Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Organizing, preserving and providing access to archives to support evidence needs and the corporate memory of an organisation

Transfer policy

5 years after superseded

Assessment of information resources of long-term or continuing value

Availability requirements

Preservation requirements

Technical specifications for transfer

Record of lending

2 years after last administrative use  

Thematic Guides or Finding Aids

Descriptions

10 years after information resources transferred or destroyed (based on traditional practice for Records Management)

5. Business Intelligence and Decision Support Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Capturing, organizing, mining, protecting, analyzing, querying, and reporting information

Business rules

Business vocabulary

5 years after superseded

Data quality requirements

Metadata requirements

Classification System of Record

Reports on corporate operational data

2 years after last administrative use  

Relational and multi-dimensional data structures

Data schemes

Data sets, data stores and data cubes

10 years after data transferred or destroyed (based on traditional practice for Records Management)

6. Library Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Acquiring, classifying, using, preserving, and disposing of published material

Collection policies

Procedures

Library function rules

5 years after superseded

Client needs assessment

Records of selection and acquisition (purchase, subscription, exchange or donation)

Record of loans (internal or inter-library)

2 years after last administrative use  

Controlled subject vocabularies and taxonomies

Catalogues

Indices

Library repository

10 years after publications transferred or destroyed (based on traditional practice for Records Management)

7. Access to Information and Privacy Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Identifying required information, conducting comprehensive searches of government information records, preserving and protecting requested information, identifying necessary exceptions, and disclosing information available to the public

Departmental ATI policy requirements

Rules

Procedures

5 years after superseded

Best practices

Personal information banks

Information structures about personal information banks

Privacy Impact Assessments

2 years after last administrative use  

Request (access to information)

Record of decision of information collected

Correspondence with requester

Disclosure of agency submissions

Recommendations

Affidavits in support of litigation responses

2 years after last administrative use  

Request (access to personal information)

Record of decision of information collected

Record of privacy incident or breach

Assessment of privacy incident or breach

Correspondence with requester

Disclosure of agency submissions

Recommendations

Affidavits in support of litigation responses

2 years following the date on which the request was received (based on the Privacy Regulations, section 7)

8. Information Architecture Services

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period

Structuring of the information components of an enterprise, the identification of interrelationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time to support the sharing, reuse, horizontal aggregation, and analysis of information

Rules

5 years after superseded

Plans

Record of consultations, advisories

Enterprise information architecture master plan

Enterprise metadata strategy

2 years after last administrative use  

Enterprise Information Model

Subject area information models

Enterprise taxonomies

Enterprise metadata definitions

Enterprise reference data values

10 years after information resource transferred or destroyed (based on traditional practice for Records Management)

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