Generic Valuation Tools

Generic Valuation Tools (GVT) provide Government of Canada institutions with a starting point for meeting two key requirements of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Directive on Recordkeeping (2009), namely the identification of information resources of business value (IRBV) and the establishment of retention specifications.

The GVT Overview is a foundational document and should be read before proceeding with any Generic Valuation Tool.

Important

The GVT do not provide the authority to dispose of any documents, whether through destruction, alienation to another institution or transfer to Library and Archives Canada (LAC). The authority to dispose is granted through a disposition instrument signed by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Overview

  1. Introduction
  2. Format
  3. Identification of Information Resources of Business Value (IRBV)
  4. Retention Specifications
  5. Authority to Dispose
  6. For more information

1. Introduction

The present overview serves as the foundational document for all Generic Valuation Tools (GVT). It provides an introduction to the GVT, situates them within accountability requirements of Government of Canada (GC) institutions, explains their purpose and format, and outlines conditions for their use.

GVT promote efficiency and consistency across the government by providing GC institutions with guidance on information resources related to a series of common business activities, in support of the fulfillment of requirements under the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Directive on Recordkeeping, issued in 2009 under the Policy on Information Management.

Broadly, GVT support effective recordkeeping across the GC to ensure accountability and stewardship, and to support effective decision making on behalf of all Canadians. As part of effective recordkeeping, GC institutions must use and manage information resources of business value as strategic assets.  To this end, the GVT assist GC institutions in meeting their obligations under the Directive by setting the groundwork for two specific requirements, namely (1) the identification of information resources of business value (IRBV) and (2) the establishment of retention specifications.

GC institutions are responsible for the management of risk related to their operations, including any risk to information resources. Risks related to information resources may include, among others: privacy, litigation and security. GC institutions retain responsibility for any risk related to the identification of information resources of business value and the establishment of retention specifications. GVT are designed as generic tools to be customized according to the specific context of an institution’s business. They have been designed to streamline the process by which GC institutions identify  IRBV and related retention, but not to replace it.

2. Format

Individual GVT address specific business activities that are commonly carried out in the GC. Each Generic Valuation Tool consists of two elements:

  • Context of the Activity, which provides a definition and analysis of the business activity and related processes.
  • IRBV and Retention Recommendations, which is a table listing business processes, recommended IRBV and suggested retention specifications.

There are two types of Generic Valuation Tools:

Internal Services

These GVT address each of the 11 internal services identified by TBS:

Management and Oversight, Communications, Legal Services, Financial Management, Human Resources Management, Information Management, Information Technology, Real Property Management, Materiel Management, Acquisitions Services, and Travel and Other Administrative Services.

Common Operational Activities

These GVT address a number of operational activities that have been identified to be commonly performed by multiple GC institutions.

3. Identification of Information Resources of Business Value (IRBV)

The draft TBS Guideline on Information Management Identifying Information of Business Value references the GVT to provide examples of information resources of business value (IRBV) linked to common activities in the GC.

The IRBV recommended in the GVT are aligned with the draft Guideline and were validated by existing communities of practice and/or horizontal leads in government in order to ensure consistency across the GC. They were developed by conducting a high-level review and analysis of TBS directives, policies and standards; and by leveraging any existing business analysis developed by subject-matter experts or where required, by developing a business analysis with communities of practice.

The IRBV recommendations are designed to apply to multiple institutions and are thus generic and not exhaustive. Institutions will need to review the recommendations in light of their specific operational context in order to finalize their identification of IRBV.

4. Retention Specifications

The draft TBS Guideline on Information Management Setting Retention Specifications informed the development of retention specifications for the GVT.

Retention specifications were identified following a thorough review of all generally applicable acts and regulations, and of Treasury Board policies and related TBS directives, standards and guidelines. Where retention is prescribed by any of these instruments, this is indicated in the GVT. More generally, the retention of personal information is to be managed according to Section 6 of the Privacy Act and Sections 4 and 7 of the Privacy Act Regulations. Legislation specific to a given institution must also be reviewed for retention instructions that are specific to that institution.

The remaining retention specifications were determined based on traditional practices and through consultation with related communities of practice. In addition to respecting legislative and GC policy requirements, each institution must consider its own business needs when setting retention specifications for its information resources of business value.

5. Authority to Dispose

GVT are not disposition authorities and as such do not provide GC institutions with the authority to dispose of information resources. The authority to dispose is provided to institutions through Records Disposition Authorities (RDAs) signed by the Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada. RDAs can be Institution-Specific Disposition Authorities  (ISDAs) or Multi-Institutional Disposition Authorities (MIDAs) and are issued by the Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada. In some instances GVT will have associated MIDAs, while in other instances the content of the GVT will inform the valuation and disposition process through which Library and Archives Canada provides an ISDA.

6. For more information

Liaison Centre
Library and Archives Canada
Telephone: 819-934-7519 or 1-866-498-1148 (toll free in Canada and the US)
Fax:819-934-7535
Email: Liaison Centre

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