Stewardship Policy Framework

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1. Effective date

2. Application

3. Definitions

4. Context

5. Purpose

6. Principles

7. Roles, responsibilities and accountabilities

8. Planning, Monitoring and Performance Assessment

9. Consequences

10. Inquiries

Appendix A: Definitions

Appendix B: Related Documents

1. Effective date

This Policy Framework has been recommended by the Management Board and approved by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada and takes effect on July 12, 2013.

2. Application

The Stewardship Policy Framework applies to all stewardship activities across LAC.

This Policy Framework and its related suite are informed by and must be applied in a manner consistent with other LAC policy frameworks and instruments listed in Appendix B.

This Policy Framework is the foundation of a policy suite encompassing all LAC stewardship policy instruments including the Policy on Holdings Management.

3. Definitions

See Appendix A.

4. Context

As set out in the Library and Archives of Canada Act (LAC Act), one of LAC’s primary objectives is preservation. LAC is mandated to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada, and to act as the permanent repository of Government of Canada publications and records of historical or archival value. LAC also has broader responsibilities beyond managing and caring for its own holdings, including facilitating the management of information by government institutions, supporting the library and archival communities, and working with those engaged in preserving documentary heritage. LAC’s approach to stewardship encompasses all of these legislated responsibilities.

LAC operates in a rapidly evolving digital and networked environment, with an over-abundance of information and rapid emergence and obsolescence of new technologies, as well as blurring frontiers between property and access. This poses significant new challenges, which LAC aims to meet through its Stewardship Policy Framework.

LAC’s approach to stewardship is based on whether or not documentary heritage is under its care, custody, or control, and/or whether it is the property of the Crown. The concepts of care, custody, control, and ownership are referred to in the LAC Act, but require full clarification to allow LAC to define its responsibilities more precisely, and the limits thereof, for stewardship of documentary heritage. An essential part of the Stewardship

Policy Framework is therefore to interpret the concepts of care, custody, control, and ownership for LAC.

LAC’s holdings comprise a vast collection of materials in a wide range of formats, both analogue and, to an increasing degree, digital. LAC’s task is to ensure the integrity and authenticity of its holdings and develop new approaches for preservation, while also ensuring that access requirements are met.

LAC’s stewardship role must extend beyond physical facilities and holdings, in order to explore and take advantage of new approaches required for the digital era; and leverage collaborative approaches to manage and preserve Canadian documentary heritage.

Further, LAC’s stewardship role also requires that it monitor information resources of enduring value originating in government institutions, and promote sound stewardship of documentary heritage held by others. In this way, Canada’s documentary heritage is preserved for the benefit of present and future generations.

LAC meets its mandate within existing Government of Canada legislation, regulations, and policies including the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act and other legislation and policies as outlined in Appendix B.

Purpose

Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, LAC is mandated to preserve Canada’s documentary heritage. The purpose of this Policy Framework is to articulate LAC’s approach and principles for achieving this mandate.

This Policy Framework sets LAC’s policy direction and ensures that principles underlying stewardship activities are clear; that roles and responsibilities within LAC are understood; and that LAC stewardship activities are effectively managed and evaluated, and are linked to the LAC mandate.

6. Principles

LAC strives for a responsible balance between ensuring the preservation of documentary heritage and facilitating access to documentary heritage for Canadians. In order to implement this stewardship approach, LAC will apply the following principles:

  • 6.1.1 Trustworthy
    • LAC upholds the public trust by continually ensuring that all of its holdings are relevant to Canadians, and that they can be accessed, used, and accepted as authentic over time.
  • 6.1.2 Sustainable
    • LAC makes responsible acquisition, access, and preservation decisions that account for the anticipated long-term preservation requirements of holdings.
  • 6.1.3 Collaborative
    • LAC participates with others to manage and preserve Canadian documentary heritage, and contributes to the development of documentary heritage stewardship in Canada.

7. Roles, responsibilities and accountabilities

The Librarian and Archivist of Canada approves the LAC Stewardship Policy Framework and Suite and is accountable overall for stewardship.

The Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Operating Officer are responsible for ensuring that stewardship policies developed and activities undertaken in their respective sectors are aligned with this Policy Framework and with LAC’s stewardship objectives.

The Chief Operating Officer is accountable to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada for the overall management of activities at LAC for stewardship.

The Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for policy advises the Librarian and Archivist of Canada and provides direction on stewardship policies, strategies, and approaches.

The directors general responsible for stewardship activities are accountable for implementing the Policy Framework and associated policy instruments, and making recommendations on decisions and activities to the senior managers responsible for those decisions and activities.

Managers and staff conduct stewardship activities and processes within the parameters set out in the Stewardship Policy Framework and related policy instruments, provide advice on stewardship as required, and are responsible for documenting their recommendations, decisions and activities.

8. Planning, Monitoring and Performance Assessment

Specific monitoring and reporting requirements are described in the individual policy instruments associated with this Policy Framework.

Audits and evaluations based on approved risk-based plans are conducted as required. Risks surrounding stewardship are reviewed when plans are developed.

The LAC business area responsible for policy will review the Stewardship Policy Framework, including related policy instruments, and assess their effectiveness in three years or as required.

9. Consequences

Consequences may result from non-compliance with the Stewardship Policy Framework, or for inadequate risk management or poor results. Authorities and consequences are outlined in subsequent related policy instruments associated with this Policy Framework.

10. Inquiries

Please address any questions about this Policy Framework to:

Director,
Policy Division
Library and Archives Canada
550 Boulevard de la Cité
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N4
BAC.Politiques-Policy.LAC@canada.ca


Appendix A: Definitions

Note: the definitions below are provided for the purpose of this Framework and related LAC policy instruments, including LAC's Policy on Holdings Management.

  • Acquisition
    • Acquisition is the process of acquiring information resources of enduring value and associated metadata. Acquisition takes place when a decision is made to preserve information resources for future generations, and subsequently to assume ownership, take control, and/or assume responsibility for the care and/or custody of information resources.
  • Authentic
    • Authentic is the quality of being genuine, not a counterfeit, and free from tampering, and is typically inferred from internal and external evidence.
  • Care
    • Legislated or contractual obligation to protect documentary heritage.
    • For clarity, LAC may apply its care function to:
      • Government information resources of enduring value not under LAC custody but subject to monitoring under LAC’s Disposition and Recordkeeping Program, and/or transferred elsewhere in the Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network
      • Government information resources of enduring value potentially at risk under section 13 of the LAC Act and not yet transferred
      • Information resources/documentary heritage in LAC custody or control
  • Control
    • The right to manage, preserve, and facilitate access to holdings.
    • For clarity, LAC may apply its control function to:
      • Everything transferred to LAC under sections 12 and 13 of the LAC Act;
      • Everything acquired on behalf of the Crown upon value authentication: Government and private fonds and accessions;
      • Long-term loans
  • Custody
    • The physical possession of material. It does not require control or ownership.
    • For clarity, LAC may apply its custody function to:
      • Information resources in LAC spaces, or in Crown spaces shared with LAC
      • Deposit program
      • Information resources managed in a digital portal (before value authentication)
      • Regional service centres
  • Enduring Value
    • Enduring value is the quality of having continuing archival or historical usefulness or significance to Canadian society.
  • Holdings
    • All documentary heritage brought under the control of LAC through the Library and Archives of Canada Act and Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations, and any master copies generated thereof.
  • Information Resources
    • Information resources are any documentary material produced in published and unpublished form regardless of communications source, information format, production mode or recording medium. Information resources include textual records (memos, reports, invoices, contracts, etc.), electronic records (emails, databases, Internet, intranet, data, etc.), new communication media (instant messages, wikis, blogs, podcasts, etc.), publications (reports, books, magazines), films, sound recordings, photographs, documentary art, graphics, maps, and artifacts.
  • Integrity
    • Integrity is the quality of being whole and unaltered through loss, tampering, or corruption.
  • Ownership
    • Documentary heritage obtained through purchase, donation, or transfer of property is owned by the Crown and acquired by LAC on its behalf.
    • For clarity, LAC may apply its ownership concept to:
      • Documentary heritage acquired by donation or purchase from outside the Government of Canada
      • Publications acquired under Legal Deposit
  • Preservation
    • Preservation is all actions taken to retard deterioration of or prevent damage to holdings; and to ensure that its access, use and meaning, and its capacity to be accepted as evidence of what it purports to record, are maintained over time.
  • Stewardship
    • Stewardship is the responsible management of documentary heritage in one’s care, custody, control and/or ownership in such a way that it can be passed on to future generations.

Appendix B: Related Documents

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat:

  • Policy Framework for Information and Technology
  • Policy Framework for the Management of Assets and Acquired Services
  • Framework for the Management of Risk
  • Policy on Government Security

Library and Archives Canada:

  • Library and Archives of Canada Act
  • LAC Access Policy Framework (2011)
  • LAC Evaluation and Acquisition Policy Framework (2012)
  • LAC Framework for Managing Partnering Activities (2009)
  • LAC External Engagement Policy Framework (forthcoming)
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