1 Page 1 of 12 Date of Issue: June 2014 Original Date of Issue: Subject: References: Links: Contact: June 2014 RECORDS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Policy 2196 Records and Information Management Policy 2197 Management of Personal Information Education Act Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ISO Classification and Retention Schedule File Plans Business Services 1. Purpose This procedure outlines how the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) complies with its legal and operational obligations and requirements to manage records and information in its custody or control. The purpose of the Records and Information Management Program is to: 1.1 set out a structure for the efficient and systematic control of board records through their lifecycle; 1.2 provide relevant, and accurate records to support The Simcoe Path, the SCDSB multiyear plan; 1.3 provide evidence to support planning, decision-making, policy development, and effective, efficient, and trustworthy program and service delivery; 1.4 provide evidence of activities, decisions and actions to support legal requirements; 1.5 manage and mitigate risk; 1.6 preserve corporate memory and organizational history; 1.7 to facilitate and sustain day-to-day operations; 1.8 secure and protect information for business continuity and the protection of privacy; and, 1.9 support transparency, accountability, public trust and confidence. 2. Definitions 2.1 Archival Record - a record of on-going historical or evidential value that is kept permanently once the original operational need for the record has ceased.
2 Page 2 of Classification and Retention Schedule (CRS) A schedule setting out a functional organizational structure for classifying official records and applicable retention periods developed through a review of board information assets and departmental consultation. It reflects legal requirements, operational needs and records management best practices. 2.3 Official Records Recorded information in the custody and control of the board relating to the mandate and functions of the board that have been identified for retention in the SCDSB Classification and Retention Schedule because of their legal, operational or financial value. An official record is evidence of the board s activities. 2.4 Record Recorded information regardless of physical format or characteristics, that memorializes and provides objective evidence of activities performed, events elapsed, results achieved, or statements made in the course of the organization s daily activities. Records include all recorded information within the custody and control of board that were prepared by board employees in fulfilling their assigned duties in keeping with the mandate and functions of the board and for the purpose of documenting services, transactions and evidence. 2.5 Records and Information Management (RIM) - The management of information assets in a manner that makes information easily locatable, accessible; securely protected and stored; and disposed of when no longer required in accordance with a Classification and Retention Schedule. 2.6 Transitory or Non-Records - Recorded information that does not need to be retained. In accordance with the SCDSB Classification and Retention Schedule. Transitory have short-time and have temporary usefulness; such as drafts, duplicate copies of official records or data collected that is summarized into a final report. The vast majority of will likely constitute a transitory record. 3. RIM Principles 3.1 Accessibility - Records and information will be readily available and accessible to individuals authorized to access the material. 3.2 Accountability and Stewardship - Accountability for managing records and information in the custody and control of the organization is clearly defined, communicated, and monitored. 3.3 Risk Management - Risks to records and information are managed, and practices and processes are in place to protect records and information. 3.4 Usability and Quality Control - Records and information meet the needs of staff and stakeholders. Information is timely, accurate, reliable, relevant, easy to use, and has integrity 3.5 Planning and Coordination - Coordinated planning for records and information management is linked to organizational goals, objectives, and financial planning. 3.6 Integration - The management of records and information is integrated with program planning and other business processes.
3 Page 3 of Protection - The protection of records and information shall be in accordance with the relevant legislation. Records and information that are classified as private, confidential, privileged, secret (as referenced in the Education Act s.266(10)) or essential to business continuity shall be protected with a reasonable level of security measures. 4. Relevant Legislation 4.1 Education Act - The Act sets out provisions for the creation and maintenance of the pupil record (s. 265 (1) and s.266) and for the establishment of a records management program (s.171(38)). The OSR guideline and board procedure APM7610 set out rules for the creation, use, transfer and retention of the OSR. 4.2 The Ontario Evidence Act - Sets out how records may be used as evidence in legal proceedings in a court of Ontario. 4.3 The Canada Evidence Act - Sets out how RIM may be used as evidence in legal proceedings in a court in a matter under federal jurisdiction. 4.4 The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) - MFIPPA addresses issues of disclosure of records under the care and custody of school boards/authorities, as well as the collection, use, and disclosure of records containing personal information. MFIPPA defines a record and also regulates the collection, use, disclosure, and accuracy of personal information stored in records and creates a process for obtaining access to recorded information. The MFIPPA has two key requirements that must be considered when defining and managing records: It sets a minimum retention of one year for personal information that has been used by an organization. To simplify compliance and organization of records, these types of records are managed on a school year basis. For example, a student mark records, verification reports and consent forms should be retained for the current school year, plus one additional year to provide for this legal right of access. The CRS reflects the minimum retention period for these types of records It supports a public right of access to records through the board definition of a record as any recorded information in the custody and control of the board. 4.5 The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) - PHIPA addresses the collection, use, disclosure, retention, and destruction of personal health information. 4.6 Other Statutory Provisions - Various provincial and federal laws may also include specific records creation and retention requirements. The requirements of these laws are reflected in the Classification and Retention Schedule. 4.7 Ministry Policy and Program Memoranda (PPMs) - Ministry of Education PPM s may include requirements for the collection, creation, use retention and destruction of RIM and these requirements are reflected in the Classification and Retention Schedule.
4 Page 4 of Scope and Application of the RIM Program 5.1 The RIM program applies to all records in the custody or under the control of the board related to the board s mandate and functions regardless of the medium (electronic or paper) they were created or are maintained in and includes: records relating to students and their educational programs; records collected or received by all board staff and third party contractors or agents on behalf of the board; and all business applications and information technology systems used to create, store, and manage records including , database applications and websites. 5.2 The RIM program does not apply to the following records that may be within the custody of the board: records of employee unions; trustee records not relating to the mandate and functions of the board; publications and personal communications of staff not related to the employment of an individual or prepared in the context of their assigned duties; and, personal communications of students and student work except as required to maintain order and discipline in the school and for assessment and evaluation purposes. 5.3 Notwithstanding the exclusions listed above, in accordance with A Appropriate Use Guidelines for Employees, any record found in the custody of the board or on any board-owned device may be subject to a requirement to produce records for legal purposes or may be used to prevent misconduct and ensure compliance with the law. 6. Roles and Responsibilities All staff plays a role in the effective management of board records. 6.1 All employees are responsible for: creating and maintaining accurate records as required for their assigned duties; managing records in accordance with the RIM program and the CRS; ensuring appropriate security measures are applied to protect them from damage, loss, theft or inappropriate disclosure. 6.2 Superintendents/managers/principals/supervisors are responsible for ensuring: departmental or school records are managed in accordance with the RIM program and CRS regardless of format or medium; staff are aware of and understand their responsibilities with regard to board records including appropriate use and disclosure provisions; and,
5 Page 5 of consulting with the Corporate Risk Officer, Privacy, Records and Information Management to classify and assign retention periods for any new types of records created and for inclusion in the SCDSB CRS. 6.3 The Corporate Risk Officer Privacy, Records and Information Management is responsible for: establishing and maintaining the RIM program including developing the Classification and Retention Schedule and classifying and assigning retention of new records; developing policies, procedures and training programs to support the RIM program; receiving and implementing legal holds to suspend the disposition of records; required for litigation or for access requests; conducting compliance audits; advising on the retention, protection and storage of records; the transfer of archival records to the Simcoe County Archives. 7. The Classification and Retention Schedule (CRS) The SCDSB Classification and Retention Schedule (CRS) sets out a functional organizational structure where records are organized by the function and activity they support. It sets out a standardized process classifying and retaining records and sets out retention periods for those records. The schedule is based on records management best practices and was developed through consultation with staff. Retention periods assigned reflect legal requirements, operational needs and legal needs. It is posted on the staff website Classification and Retention Schedule. The CRS will be updated to reflect new types or categories of records as they are created. 7.1 Records Functions Records are organized into thirteen functional areas based on the function or purpose of the record. Although functions may generally align with departments, this is not always the case, for example, payroll records are functionally financial records, therefore payroll records are classified as a financial record. The chart that follows lists and describes the functions. 7.2 Records Series Functions are subdivided into records series based on business activities and groups like records with like retention periods for ease of retention management and scope notes list the specific types of records included in each record series.
6 Page 6 of 12 Function Title Record Series ACE Adult And Continuing Education Records relating to programs and services that are not part of day school (MOE curriculum based). Excludes student or client records. See STU or HUM. ADM Administration Records relating to routine administration and office services functions. COM Communications/Public Relations Records regarding the board's relations with the public and media and includes records relating to the production and distribution of information to the public. FAC Facilities Management Records relating to the development, maintenance, construction and operation of board offices, properties, grounds and buildings. FIN Finance And Accounting Includes records regarding financial management, budgeting, accounting, purchasing and all matters concerning the allocation and control of funds to departments and school. Also includes tax records. GOV Governance Includes records regarding the establishment of policy and by-laws and the activities of the Board and school planning. HUM ITS Human Resource Management Information And Communications Technology Records regarding the board's relationship with its employees. Includes records regarding general staff programs as well as information on specific employees. Includes records related to managing information and communications technology to support the business and education needs of the board. Excludes purchasing and financial records (see FIN) and Contracts (see LEG). LEG Legal Records regarding legal matters as well as contracts and agreements, insurance and real estate matters. PLE Planning And Enrolment Records regarding facilities planning and enrolments. PRO Program Records regarding the planning and implementation of Ministry Program Policy and Curricula, long-range planning and course of study, program reviews and curriculum guidelines. RES Research Records relating to research and evaluation studies conducted or approved by the board. STU Student Records Records regarding the delivery of services to individual students, as well as records required under the OSR guidelines and other records pertaining to an individual student.
7 Page 7 of Responsibility Establishes responsibility for managing the official record. In most cases, responsibility will rest with the originating department, but not always. For example, the school originates payments from school basic budget, but Business Services is responsible for retaining these records including original invoices Determining What Format to Retain 7.4 Retention Many records are created in both electronic and paper form. To avoid duplicates only one should be managed as the official record and all other formats should be destroyed. When an electronic record is retained as the official record, it is important that processes are established to ensure that electronic data is migrated as software and technology changes for the lifecycle of the record. Consult with the Corporate Risk Officer Privacy, Records and Information Management to make a determination around which version shall be retained as the official version. Factors to consider when determining if paper or electronic will be maintained as the official record are: Access controls; Migration of electronic records and retention; Context (the record should be maintained with other information it relates to); and Comprehensiveness of the record Active - Establishes a period of time for which records should be maintained in the office or desk area. This is generally based on the frequency with which the information is likely to be accessed, and the goal is to minimize the amount of record storage space required in the primary work area. As a general rule, records that are referred to more than once per month are considered to be active In-Active Retention - Establishes a period of time where records may be stored in a designated storage area until the end of its retention period. Inactive retention includes near-line or off-line storage. Inactive storage areas must be areas that allow for the protection and preservation of records, and must be free of the risk of mold or water damage Total Retention - This column sets out the total retention period for the official record. 7.5 Non-Responsible Department Retention Period This column specifies a short-term retention by departments for copies of records. For example, school basic budget financial records such as cheque requisitions or field trip forms are official Records for Business Services, but the school as the originator of these records should keep copies (normally current school year). These types of records of referred to as transitory records as they have short term value.
8 Page 8 of Retention Rules Current Year Event Permanent Superseded Retain for current school year, plus any additional time specified. Specifies an action or event that triggers a retention period, for example retirement of student is an action that starts the retention for OSR records. The record is permanently retained. The record stands until a new one is issued to replace it. 7.7 Notes The notes column defines the event or action that triggers the retention. It also identifies records series that may be selected for retention as an archival record. 8. Lifecycle Management of Records - A Five-Step Process 8.1 The Records Lifecycle
9 Page 9 of Step 1 Create or Receive All staff shall create official records as required by their duties and responsibilities Staff that receive official records from the public or vendors that are official records of the board shall ensure that these records are managed in accordance with the retention schedule. 8.3 Step 2 - Classifying Records The Classification and Retention Schedule (CRS) - The CRS is the framework for managing all records of the board File plans are a listing of the records that are typically managed by each location for ease of reference. As file plans are developed they will be posted on the staff website Setting up a file structure that reflects your departmental file plan, is an important first step to classifying records. This file structure should be reflected on paper based records as well as electronic records (share drives and s) Official records shall be classified according to the schedule and transitory records may be disposed of by secure methods. 8.4 Step 3 File and Maintain File official records using the departmental/school file plan Where retention for the record is year-based, a new folder should be created for each year and the year should be included to simplify disposition Active records should be available for routine access, as required Case/Incident Files Case files are a series of uniform files, where each pertains to an individual, a particular instance, an investigation or administrative activity. Examples of case files routinely used include the OSR, psychological and social work files, investigation files, project files, emergency response records, etc Files related to incidents, investigations and emergency response may be required as evidence in legal events, therefore it is important that they are comprehensive and accurately document events. Case files containing personal information must be handled confidentially in order to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned.
10 Page 10 of Closing Files The closure of a file can be triggered in a number of ways: by date (for year-based retentions), by event (retirement of staff or student) or at the discretion of the department, for example when a program or project ceases Archival Records 8.5 Step 4 - Retain Records that preserve the history of the board or school have been identified as designated for archival selection. Examples of archival records include the Director s Annual Report, minutes of trustees meetings, board policies, commencement programs, honour rolls, lists of award winners, student photos (electronic and paper), a listing of school principal and school staff and any records documenting the history of the school or building, etc In some cases a representative sampling of these materials is sufficient to illustrate the activity being identified. Questions regarding the appropriateness of retaining certain materials can be directed to Corporate Risk Officer Privacy, Records and Information Management The proper preservation of archival records requires appropriate storage to prevent loss and spoilage. In some cases delicate records may be transferred to the Education Centre or the Simcoe County Archives for storage and preservation. Contact the Corporate Risk Officer for more information Records may be retained as active or inactive as noted in the Classification and Retention Schedule. As a general rule an active record is one that requires ongoing access, for example active students in the school or the current year financial records. An inactive record is a record that is no longer required for operational value and may be moved to an inactive storage area, such as a file room. When determining a storage location for inactive paper records, consideration shall be given to protection and security for the record to prevent, damage, loss or inappropriate access Electronic Records The SCDSB Information Technology network and infrastructure is the primary storage area for official board records. Storing records on network drives ensures that these records remain the possession and under the control of the board by ensuring they are accessible and protected from damage or loss through back up processes.
11 Page 11 of Using share drives supports the management of records as departmental resources and makes the records available to all staff with assigned access. Maintaining a share drive requires coordination and oversight. When using a share drive, consideration shall be given to the nature and content of the information and who has access to it. In some cases, it may not be appropriate for confidential information to be stored on a share drive The manager/principal/superintendent/supervisor shall assign an individual to be responsible for each share drive as follows: setting up the required records structure on the drive so that records may be classified appropriately; support staff in classifying and managing the records on the drive; establishing access controls to information at the file folder level where required; supporting standardized naming conventions; applying retention and disposition of transitory records as required presents special challenges because they are records that are unstructured and often informal. The vast majority of will likely be transitory records or reference material An that relates to the board s mandate and functions, or is evidence of a transaction, activity, decision or communication with the public, may be an official record A best practice for filing and retaining records is to store a copy of the with the file that it relates to, where one exists to ensure the record is comprehensive and complete Where an relates to a file that is paper-based, include a printed copy of the in the file Where the relates to an electronic folder, on the share drive, a copy of the mail may be saved in its native format using File Save As in Outlook. Using this method will also retain a copy of any attachment with the s may also be printed as a PDF and saved on a share drive. This method will not save a copy of any attachments For ease of management in the short term, staff may wish to set up their file plan structure in the and file records accordingly. If this process is used, it is important that staff make a connection between the s stored in Outlook and other files.
12 Page 12 of Step 4 Disposition of Records The Responsible Department for the record, shall manage the disposition of their official records Staff shall conduct an annual review of all records (paper, share drives or ) for disposition in accordance with the retention period on the CRS Transitory records may be destroyed after their purpose has been served, for example draft copies of reports may be deleted when the final report is completed and issued Transitory records not yet disposed of that relate to records scheduled for disposal should be disposed of at the same time as the official records since they should not outlive the documents that resulted from them Records containing confidential and/or personal information must be handled securely when storing, maintaining, transferring, or destroying them. They are to be securely disposed of which normally includes shredding for paper-based records, and erasing, deleting, reformatting or destruction of electronic media In the event of a school closure/consolidation, the Principal will work with the Corporate Risk Officer - Privacy, Records Information Management Officer to ensure proper management and storage of student, administrative, and archival records If there is a potential, pending, or ongoing lawsuit, investigation or audit, related documents will be retained beyond the approved retention requirement, set out in the Records Retention Schedule, until further notice. First Issued June 2014 Revised Issued under the authority of the Director of Education
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