Records Management Strategy

Under the mandate of the Archives and Records Act, the Province of Prince Edward Island is bound to ensure records created and kept by government offices are managed effectively and disposed of responsibly.  Since a government-wide recorded information management (RIM) program was established in 1989, the Province has created and adopted 1,887 retention and disposition schedules, and 73,374 boxes of government records have been legally destroyed.  Both paper and electronic record numbers are increasing at a significant rate.  At this time, a review of existing records management legislation, policies and procedures is underway; improvements in staff training and implementation are ongoing; new employee checklists and exit procedures are being developed; and the implementation of an electronic document management system (EDMS) is being investigated.

Goal

The goal of the Recorded Information Management (RIM) Three Year Strategy is to increase the level of RIM compliance in government departments, agencies, and commissions.

Strategy

Government will implement the following:

  1. Existing legislation, polices, and procedures will be reviewed to ensure they are relevant, practical, and enforceable;
  2. Full time staff positions will be hired to facilitate departmental records management compliance;
  3. All government staff will be required to have records management training to ensure compliance;
  4. Capacity will be added to provide safe and secure storage for government records, both paper and electronic;
  5. A compliance and monitoring system will be adopted to ensure departments gain and continue compliance with legislation, policy and procedures.

Action area #1

Legislation, Policy and Procedures – Existing legislation, polices, and procedures will be reviewed to ensure they are relevant, practical, and enforceable.

The province’s existing legislation, policies, and procedures with regard to RIM are in need of revision to reflect current RIM trends and the needs of government.   The following exist at present:

  • Archives and Records Act (revised 2001),
  • Treasury Board Policy and Procedures Manual – Section 5 (revised 1998),
  • Email Account Policy (draft 2015),
  • Use of Wireless Mobile Devices (2015)
  • Managing Electronic Mail (2001).

The Archives and Records Act is being updated to provide the Minister responsible with the means to enforce compliance by departments. The RIM sections of the Treasury Board Policy and Procedures Manual is also being updated to reflect current and future government needs and practices.  The Email Account Policy, drafted in 2015, will be adopted so that government employees at all levels are aware of their responsibilities with regard to using email to conduct government business transactions and activities.  Policies and procedures will be strengthened on such topics as; managing draft records; managing email folders; managing Instant and text messaging records; Electronic Document Management System use; and Frequently Asked Questions about RIM.

Action area #2

Staff resources – Full time staff positions will be hired to facilitate departmental records management compliance.

Records Management

The Public Archives and Records Office will hire a Records Analyst who will assist and guide departments in the development of departmental RIM policies and procedures and assist in the writing of their retention and dispositions schedules.  The creation of this position will permit the Government recorded information management coordinator to devote considerable more time to providing training for all government employees.  A second Records Centre Clerk position will also be created to oversee the daily activities of the secondary Provincial Records Centre location.

Full-time Records Management Liaison Officers (RMLOs) will be hired for departments as opposed to having part time records management staff assigned. These full-time staff will gain formal RIM training.  All Senior Records Manager (SRM) responsibilities will be at the director level and will preferably hold the positions that also have fiscal responsibility for their departments.  The SRMs will then have the authority to devote the resources necessary to maintain an effective and efficient RIM program.  The SRMs will be fully trained in their RIM duties.

Software Applications/Tools

As electronic communication increases, the number of records that need to be maintained is increasing at a rate of 50 percent annually.  A strong paper records management system will provide a foundation for the integration of an electronic document management system (EDMS).  To supplement the configuration of government’s current document management software, a records management module will be purchased and an additional dedicated full time technical position will be established.  This position will configure, support and maintain the infrastructure of an electronic document management system (EDMS) to mirror department retention schedules and records management policies.    

Action area #3

Education / Training:  All government staff will be required to have records management training to ensure compliance.

Records management staff will all participate in formal and ongoing RIM training. They will also complete any ongoing training programs. Individuals who create and use provincial government records, including elected officials, senior staff, and all government employees, will be required to complete training in both RIM policies and procedures and in the use of electronic tools. 

Action area #4

Records Storage:  Capacity will be added to provide safe and secure storage for government records, both paper and electronic.

A secondary Provincial Records Centre (PRC) will be opened and staffed to accommodate the  paper records.  The new facility will have at least a ten-year capacity.

There will be an expansion of current document management software to include a records management module.  Management of e-mail will be achieved through an improved integration with the systems.  Hardware will be purchased to allow for the additional storage capacity necessary to adopt an enterprise EDMS.

Action area #5

Compliance Assessment:  A compliance and monitoring system will be adopted to ensure departments gain and continue compliance with legislation, policy and procedures.

A compliance and monitoring system will be developed and adopted.  This system will integrate regular RIM assessments and annual compliance reports from the Provincial Archivist to allow the Minister responsible to be aware of the level of compliance by government departments.  Supported by strong legislation, the Minister responsible will have tools to actively enforce records management.

Three Year Records Management Plan

The strategy will be implemented over the next three years so that government records are managed effectively and disposed of responsibly.

Year 1: 

  • Review and revise the Archives and Records Act;
  • Hire a Records Analyst;
  • Employ and train full time Records Management Liaison Officers (RMLOs);
  • Review and revise the Records Information Management (RIM) sections of the Treasury Board Policy and Procedures Manual;
  • Identify any other RIM related policies and procedures (Training, Email, Mobility and etc.)  that need to be updated;
  • Open a secondary Provincial Records Centre facility to accommodate the semi-active records.
  • Continue to create, approve, and adopt retention and disposition schedules for all government departments, agencies and commissions;
  • Continue to build on existing training offerings and develop new courses for government staff;
  • Pilot the implementation of an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) to effectively manage electronic government records including email;
  • Establish and evaluate training for staff during the EDMS pilot.

Year 2: 

  • Continue to employ and train full time Records Management Liaison Officers (RMLOs);
  • Continue to create, approve, and adopt retention and disposition schedules for all government public bodies;
  • Continue to build on existing training offerings and develop new courses for government staff;
  • Expand the implementation of an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) to effectively manage electronic government records including email;
  • Continue to apply retention schedules to all government records, regardless of format.
  • Develop an audit process and monitoring strategies

Year 3: 

  • Continue to employ and train full time Records Management Liaison Officers (RMLOs);
  • Continue to create, approve, and adopt retention and disposition schedules for all government public bodies;
  • Continue to build on existing training offerings and develop new courses for government staff;
  • Complete the implementation of an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) to effectively manage electronic government records including email;
  • Continue to apply retention schedules to all government records, regardless of format;
  • Implement audit process and monitoring strategies and publish compliance

Following the strategy implementation, government will continue to implement audit processes and monitoring strategies and publish compliance.

 

Published date: 
December 1, 2016
Education, Early Learning and Culture

General Inquiries

Public Archives and Records Office
4th Floor, Hon. George Coles Building
175 Richmond Street
PO Box 1000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7M4

Phone: (902) 368-4290
Fax: (902) 368-6327

archives@gov.pe.ca

June to September:
Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm

October to May:
Monday, Closed
Tuesday to Friday, 10am - 5pm
Thursday evenings, 6:30pm - 9pm

Closed weekends and holidays.

All visitors to the Coles Building are required to sign in at the Security Desk on the main level.

Wheelchair access is available through the ramp on the Church Street side of the building.