Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Internal Audit and Evaluation Bureau - Audit of Electronic Record Keeping

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Appendix C: List of Leading Information Management Practices

In conducting this audit, several leading or strong practices in support of information management (IM) activities were noted. These were identified through a combination of interviews and documentation reviews and were then validated with the Enterprise Information Management Services group of the Information Management and Technology Directorate.

This is not a comprehensive list of practices within the Secretariat, and we acknowledge that other leading or strong practices may exist in the sectors included in this audit, as well as other parts of the Secretariat.

Summary MAF Element Description and Analysis
1. Champion, Lead IM Representative, or IM Working Group
  • Accountabilities
  • Learning, Innovation and Change Management

Several sectors/divisions have begun to define/delegate specific IM responsibilities within their organizations. In so doing, these organizations have tended to develop stronger practices. The delegated individuals were frequently asked to lead, develop and/or implement new IM tools or processes, with the goal of improving IM practices in the sector.

IM may be able to leverage these tools and practices to encourage further dissemination and/or development of IM practices as well as to support its monitoring and reporting needs.

2. Case Management System
  • Stewardship

We found that several groups within the Secretariat whose main activity was to provide review, advice and comments did so by developing an electronic system to track this, which they called a case management system. These systems were used to control the information sharing process and helped ensure that activities undertaken were consistent and documented.

Organizations that had implemented case management systems frequently obtained senior management support and sought user engagement to develop a solution to facilitate their IM needs in order to better support their IM life-cycle practices. They:

  • planned for their needs;
  • identified a solution;
  • implemented the solution; and
  • developed and defined supporting tools (manuals, quick reference guides, etc.) to facilitate the use of IM practices.

While our review found several types in use, and given that this is a common activity for the Secretariat's sectors, there may be some opportunities to expand the scope of these systems in other parts of the Secretariat.

3. Mandatory Training
  • Learning, Innovation and Change Management

Sectors and divisions that were more mature in their IM practices, relative to others in the Secretariat, had developed and implemented mandatory learning activities to ensure that all staff responsible for IM were aware of their responsibilities, tools and practices as well as how to use them. Furthermore, learning frequently accompanied an impending change process and therefore was employed to support change management activities.

4. IM Reference Materials
  • Stewardship

Within the Secretariat there are general reference materials that support good IM practices. These tools provide general guidance for all the Secretariat staff on IM-related topics, including expectations, roles and responsibilities, and guidelines on how to establish more specific IM practices.

Sector/division-specific reference materials have been developed by several sectors and divisions and build on other IM guidance documents. In some cases, they serve to amalgamate and integrate multiple policy documents to provide a single point for users to locate all relevant information. They also provide more specific guidance on:

  • Information storage to facilitate search and retrieval within the sector; and
  • Documentation of the information workflows of the division.
5. Standardized naming convention
  • Stewardship

Several sectors have implemented or are developing standardized naming conventions. Use of a standardized naming convention allows and facilitates information storage, search and retrieval among users who follow these practices.

A departmental standard would support greater information storage, search and retrieval across the department. Individual and independent processes may create artificial barriers to information storage, search and retrieval across user groups.

6. Policies and procedures for retirement and disposition
  • Stewardship
  • Accountabilities

Different parts of the organization have instituted practices to dispose and transfer information resources from their sector. Disposition helps ensure costs for storage do not continue to increase and are in line with requirements.

However, without departmental disposition activities being in place, the amount of information in the Secretariat's possession will continue to grow.