Real Property Services

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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 GVT have been validated by subject matter experts from the following departments: Parks Canada (April 2013), Public Works and Government Services Canada (July 2013), Department of National Defence (October/November 2013), Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (November 2013), and Transport Canada (January 2014).

Defining the Activity

Real Property (RP) Services are identified at the sub-sub-activity level of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS)Profile of Government of Canada (GC) Internal Services (Profile Footnote1) and are common across the Government of Canada (GC). It is one of the three sub-sub-activities comprising the Asset Management sub-activity, the other two being Acquisition Services and Materiel Services. According to the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act, real property is lands, including mines and minerals, and buildings, structures, improvements, and other fixtures on, above, or below the surface of the land and includes an interest therein. The Act has application within and outside Canada (e.g., embassy lands and buildings). In the Province of Quebec, real property is referred to as an “immovable.”Footnote2 Real Property Services are all activities undertaken to ensure real properties are managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner, throughout their life cycle, to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

This tool will form part of an Asset Management suite of GVTs as a result of the interrelationships between Real Property, Materiel Management and Acquisition Services.

This GVT is to be used by departments who are managing real property as part of their internal services as either a Custodian Footnote3 or a Tenant Footnote4 department.

“The Profile of Government of Canada (GC) Internal Services outlines a common vocabulary and taxonomy of the GC’s internal services for supporting a common government-wide approach to planning, designing, budgeting, reporting and communicating GC internal services.” Footnote5 This tool is designed primarily for use in relation to internal services, but may also be used as a starting point for those institutions mandated Footnote6 to operate real property as they proceed with the identification of their IRBV. In these cases, this tool should be used with close evaluation of the processes and IRBV to ensure that they are accurate for the activities of that institution.

All federally owned buildings more than 40 years of age are required to submit to an evaluation process to determine if the building or site contains elements of historical, architectural or environmental significance. The evaluation of the submission is performed by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO), part of Parks Canada. If the submission scores within a certain range, a recommendation that the structure be granted a heritage designation of ‘Classified’ or ‘Recognized’ is made to the Minister of the Environment. Once a real property is designated, there are implications in many of the activities related to the management of real property; these are highlighted accordingly in the listing of business processes and IRBV.

When the disposal of real property is undertaken, the nature of the property must be considered. Whether the property is routine or strategic in nature, will affect the process followed and IRBV created. According to TBS criteria, a strategic property is one where the size or value of the property is significant enough to affect local markets, the value of the property can be increased significantly through subdivision or other alteration, a partnership may offer the best mechanism to realize the value of the property or if sensitive policy issues exist concerning the property.

The business processes for the planning and management of real property projects will be found in Management and Oversight.

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.

Management and Oversight: The Investment planning and monitoring phase of real property management is integral to the “…overall departmental decision-making framework and [must] be considered along with strategic planning for other physical assets” (section 3.2.2 TBS Guide to the Management of Real Property). As the level of planning is not at the operational level but is strategic in nature, the IRBV related to this activity are found in Management and Oversight.

Legal Services: Contains the processes for all legal agreements related to the sale or otherwise transfer of real property in the GC.

Acquisition: Contains the processes related to the procurement of real property, and should be consulted whenever the acquisition of real property is being considered.

Financial Management: Many of the real property activities involve payment of funds for services rendered. In these situations, all IRBV related to these activities will be captured in the Financial Management GVT.

Communications: During the disposal activity, departments who are planning on disposing of real property must communicate details about the property to other departments, municipalities, Aboriginal groups, and special interest groups (such as heritage or conservation groups) to ensure that these groups are not interested in acquiring the property, prior to its release on the open market.

In addition, any real property activities that involve Duty to Consult must be certain to capture the IRBV as noted in the Communications GVT. Duty to Consult is the legal requirement to consult with Aboriginal peoples in situations where there is a potential impact on Aboriginal or treaty rights.

Business Processes

1. Plan:

To adequately prepare for a real property asset, it is essential that there be an appropriate level of planning to determine the need for the asset by evaluating existing assets and resources as well as conducting assessments of current and future organizational needs.

2. Acquire:

Acquiring real property involves all activities undertaken to procure the necessary real property asset. This includes examining what the supply options are on the market, and managing the approval process.

3. Operate and Maintain:

(Called operations and management under the TBS profile of internal services).

The operation of a real property asset involves all activities taken to ensure a clean, efficient, properly allocated, properly utilized and safe workplace for all occupants, ensuring all policies and standards are adhered to, and that user needs are met. This includes managing the site in an environmentally sound manner, protecting the site from environmental damage and disclosing relevant environmental information to potential occupants.

Operating real property also includes routine maintenance activities and inspections and upkeep of the buildings, grounds, signage and utilities. Routine maintenance activities involve all actions taken to ensure a clean workplace and to prevent its deterioration; activities range from dusting and vacuuming to window cleaning or changing light bulbs. In addition, many elements of real property requires regular inspections (e.g., boilers, elevators); these activities are captured under the ‘inspect and maintain’ business process. Emergency planning must also be considered in this activity; this entails all actions to keep occupants of a building safe in the event of an emergency and the development of disaster and threat response plans as well as routine activities such as reports on fire alarm drills or evacuation exercises.

4. Investigate:

In situations where there is an incident involving real property (such as a fire) and an investigation must be undertaken, then the IRBV, which are created as a result of this ‘administrative’ investigation, are captured in this GVT. These are internal investigations to determine cause as opposed to criminal investigations.

5. Improve:

These are activities taken to improve or replace building components, such as replacement of carpets, new paint or replacement of windows and doors. In this activity, care must be taken with real property assets that are subject to the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act Footnote7 or that have been granted a heritage designation. All interventions (which are improvements to Classified buildings) must be reviewed by FHBRO to ensure that the heritage characteristics that led to the designation are not being altered.

6. Manage Real Property Agreements:

Part of the “operate and maintain” activity is the management of real property agreements between custodians and tenants in which real property arrangements and dispute resolution procedures are formalized. This particular activity does not include any legal documents such as leases, land purchase agreements, etc.

7. Monitor Real Property Agreements:

In accordance with the Policy on Management of Real Property, real property must be systematically and regularly assessed for functionality, utilization, physical and financial performance in an accurate and timely manner.

8. Dispose:

The final stage in the management of real property is disposal. This is the step most affected by the nature of the property: the steps in the process will vary if the asset is deemed strategic or routine in nature. If the property is strategic, then TBS and Justice Canada will be involved and the land will be considered for sale through the Canada Lands Company (CLC) Limited. Footnote8

As departments proceed through the disposal process, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account regardless of the nature of the property; public safety and security concerns regarding the property in question, confirmation of all legal obligations (including Aboriginal rights, title or treaty rights), and environmental considerations concerning disposal must be addressed. As with improvements, if a real property has been recognized or classified, then early contact must be made with FHBRO to determine the best course of action.

The disposal process for real property does not begin when the property has reached obsolescence: there is a linkage with the long-term planning that should be taking place for every piece of real property; departments should identify current and future surplus real property, plan for the renewal in advance of obsolescence, and identify properties in the long-term capital plan.

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.

The retention recommendations pertaining to health and safety were taken from the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, the National Joint Council (NJC) Occupational Health and Safety Directive and the Standard for Fire Safety Planning and Fire Emergency Organization.

Business Value and Retention Recommendations

1. Plan

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period
Investment Planning for Real Property For IRBV please see Management and Oversight GVT For retention please see  Management and Oversight GVT
Submission to Treasury Board of Real Property Management Framework For IRBV please see Real Property Management Framework Suite of documents – see  Management and Oversight GVT For retention, please see Real Property Management Framework Suite of documents – see  Management and Oversight GVT

Assessing and planning real property requirements

Evaluation of existing assets and resources

Assessment of current and future organizational needs

For IRBV please see Acquisition Services GVT For retention please see Acquisition Services GVT

2. Acquire

Business Processes Recommendations: Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) Recommendations: Retention Period
All activities involved in the acquisition of Real Property For IRBV please see Acquisition Services GVT for the process of acquiring Real Property, and the Legal Services GVT for the legal documents surrounding the acquisition For retention please see the Acquisition Services GVT and the Legal Services GVT

3. Operate and Maintain

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

Meet user needs by

Ensuring that policies and standards are adhered to

Seeking exemptions to standards where necessary

Allocating space according to user needs

Architectural or engineering documents

As-built drawings and specifications

Land survey information resources

Asset inspection reports

Asset condition assessments

Photographs related to condition of building

Consultant reports

Commissioning reports

Technical reports

Planning documents

Reports

Statistics

Internal procedure documents for seeking exemptions to accessibility standards

Documented rationale for exemptions to accessibility standard

Code compliance inspections

Engineering reports

Health and safety reports

Occupancy permits

Repair logs

10 years after disposal of property

Contracts related to repair or maintenance

Please see Acquisition Services GVT for all processes related to contracts.

Please see Financial Management GVT for all processes relating to the payment of contracts.

For retention please see Acquisitions Services GVT and Financial Management GVT

Manage the site in an environmentally sound manner

Pollution prevention, controlling toxic substances, controlling pollution and managing waste

Greening governmental activities

Sustainable development strategy policies, standards, etc.

5 years after last administrative action

Reports on initiatives

2 years after last administrative action

Response to environmental incidents (spills, contamination)

Incident reports

Remediation plans

10 years after disposal of property

Inspect and maintain (grounds, buildings, signage) for all assets

Maintenance records (e.g., boiler inspections, elevator inspections, emergency generator, emergency lighting system, etc.)

The retention of information resources related to routine maintenance and inspections are prescribed under the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHS) and it is recommended that you refer to this legislation for specifics

Code compliance inspections

Health and Safety monthly and annual inspection reports

Sprinkler, fire, alarm system reports

 

2 years after last administrative use

Procurement and payment of contractors engaged in routine maintenance activities

For IRBV please see Acquisition Services and Financial Management GVTs.

For retention please see the Acquisition Services GVT and Financial Management GVT

Emergency planning

 

Disaster/Threat response plans (including flood, fire, earthquake, evacuation, etc.)

Fire Safety Plan

Memos to occupants on COHS regulations, fire code regulations, etc.

5 years after superseded

Fire/Evacuation drill reports

2 years after date of evacuation or drill

Manage building security

Threat and risk assessment
Security plan
CCTV camera recordings
Security logs
Facility security committee meeting minutes

3 years after superseded

Submit to FHBRO for buildings more than 40 years of age

Evaluation meeting (if required)

Request for evaluation (introductory letter, preliminary information sheet, photographs, plans for each structure to be evaluated)

Copy of Historic Report

Response from FHBRO (including decision not to recognize)

Copy of Building Evaluation Record

Minutes of Evaluation meeting

Copy of recommendation for designation as sent to the Minister of the Environment

Copy of approval of designation as received from the Minister of the Environment

Copy of Heritage Character Statement

10 years after disposal of property

4. Investigate

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

Investigate incidents as part of administrative activities

Fire, flood, theft or other damages

Notification of the Fire Protection Program of any fire occurring in the facility (major or minor incident reports to the Office of the Fire Marshal)

Fire investigation report
Implementation plan
Revised Fire Safety Plan
Revised Evacuation Plan

Major fire – 5 years after report made to the Office of the Canadian Fire Marshal

Minor fire – 2 years after report made to the Office of the Canadian Fire Marshal

Investigation reports on incidents

3 years after investigation completed

5. Improve (Betterments)

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

Building Alterations (for structures that are not Classified under FHBRO)

Planning documents (including architectural or engineering documents)

Specifications

As-built drawings/specification

Documentation of alterations

10 years after disposal of property

For IRBV related to procurement process for alterations please see Acquisition Services GVT

For IRBV related to financial aspects of alterations please see Financial Management GVT

For retention please see Acquisition Services GVT and Financial Management GVT

Interventions to a Classified structure

Seek advice from FHBRO before proceeding with betterments / interventions on any designated structure

Submit a request for a review of intervention

Correspondence with FHBRO on betterments

Correspondence with heritage conservation professionals

Review of intervention report

Copy of review of intervention report (if required by FHBRO)

Documentation of alterations (as required to demonstrate changes to a designated building)

For Classified buildings, retain until 10 years after disposal of property

6. Manage Real Property Agreements

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

Manage agreements between custodian and tenant

Formalize real property arrangements

Formalize dispute resolution procedures

Custodial agreements (including documents that demonstrate a common understanding of respective roles, responsibilities and financial commitments)

25 years after expiry of agreement, or sale of property

7. Monitor/Report

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

Monitor the condition of the Real Property

Condition Assessment

Condition Report (including engineering or architectural drawings, photographs)

Facilities Condition Index (FCI)

Building Condition Index (BCI)

Real Property IM system (database)

Engineering Management Systems (EMS) suite of tools

Report on functionality

Report on utilization

Facilities operating Current Replacement Index

Facilities Operating Gross Area Index

Operational performance reports

Building efficiency reports

Asset condition – Facility index

Net book value reports

Unit cost reports

10 years after disposal of property

User satisfaction surveys

Vacancy rate reports

2 years after last administrative action

Inform TBS of the official contact and data submitter for the Directory, Inventory or database

Update the Directory of Federal Real Properties (DFRP)

Update the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory (FSCI)

Update Real Property Information Management System

Correspondence with TBS regarding official contact and data submitter for the Directory, Inventory or database

Annual certification of the completeness and accuracy of the records and contact list

2 years after last administrative action

Copy of current, complete and accurate information placed within the Directory, Inventory or database

10 years after disposal of property

8. Disposal

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

Proactive planning for disposal

Develop processes to identify current and future surplus real property

Plan for renewal or disposal before RP reaches obsolescence

Identify properties in the long-term capital plan

Make “best effort” attempts at identifying alternate uses that protect the heritage character when considering the disposal of a designated building

Performance assessment of the functionality and utilization of real property

Functional Assessment Investment Plan and Business Plan

Disposal strategy documents

5 years after sale, transfer, expiry of lease
(EXCLUDING legal documents)

For legal documents please see the Legal Services GVT

Disposal of Routine Asset

Contact TBS

Communicate with Justice Canada to address all legal titles and risks

Contact the FHBRO

Obtain determination of value – obtain consideration

Identify public safety and security concerns

Verify no Aboriginal rights, title or treaty would impact the disposal (Aboriginal treaty rights information systems – ATRIS)

Communicate availability of property to other departments, crown corps or municipalities

Correspondence with TBS (when required)

Correspondence with Justice Canada (when required)

Cost-benefit analysis document

Determination of value document (consideration)

Correspondence with FHBRO

Report from department (justification of inability to protect heritage buildings prior to destruction)

Copy of Best Efforts Letter

Results of search for Aboriginal treaty rights

5 years after sale, transfer, expiry of lease
(EXCLUDING legal documents)

For legal documents please see the Legal  Services GVT  

For IRBV related to communicating the sale of RP please see Communications GVT

For retention  related to communicating the sale of RP please see Communications GVT

Disposal of Strategic Assets

Identify strategic property

Contact TBS

Contact CLC

Contact Justice Canada

Contact the FHBRO

Establish and communicate the process for management of horizontal issues related to disposal

Prepare a disposal strategy and recommendations

Obtain approval of the strategy

Custodial department implements strategies of withdrawal or interim use

Conduct research on title, the property’s environmental and physical conditions (including wildlife), archaeological or heritage findings, and the market value of the property

Communicate availability of property to other departments, crown corps. or municipalities

Communicate with Deputy Head (when required to demonstrate due diligence)

Sends to Justice Canada document depository copies of all transfers of administration and control and acceptances of such transfers

Correspondence with TBS

Cost-benefit analysis document

Correspondence with CLC

Correspondence with FHBRO

Report from department (justification of inability to protect heritage buildings prior to destruction)

Copy of Best Efforts Letter

Horizontal issues document

Call for Interest document (final)

Expressions of Interest

Correspondence with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Correspondence with Deputy Head

Copy of Business plan created by CLC

Strategic Analysis report (not sure who creates this – CLC or the department)

Current estimate based on highest and best use of on RP

Current estimate of market rent

Portfolio valuation

Appraisal form (Narrative Appraisal Report (1B1), Summary Narrative Appraisal Report (1B2), Form Appraisal Report (1B3) or an Update Report (1B4)

Disposal strategy and recommendation

Approval documents

Correspondence with Justice Canada

Investment plan (approved by TBS)

5 years after sale, transfer, expiry of lease
(EXCLUDING legal documents)

For legal documents please see the Legal Services GVT

 For IRBV related to communicating the sale of RP please see Communications GVT

For retention related to communicating the sale of RP please see Communications GVT

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