"FAQ #2 Your Recordkeeping responsibilities"
Corporate Information Management Branch Frequently Asked Questions # 2 Email: Your Record Keeping Responsibilities Email: Your Record Keeping Responsibilities Do government records • FOIPPA and litigation management standards apply to requests. email? • Maintained in the most space Yes, these standards apply to all efficient manner possible. types and forms of government records, including electronic. Email The following frequently asked must comply with existing questions should help you to government legislation, regulations, determine these responsibilities. policies and standards (e.g., Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP Do I have to file every email I Act), Document Disposal Act (DDA) receive? and Core Policy and Procedures Manual (CPPM) Chapter 12). See No, you do not. Sometimes email FAQ #1: Government Email: An is only of temporary use and is Overview for more detailed therefore considered a transitory information about policy and record. An example of a transitory legislative requirements. email record may be “Is this morning’s meeting still on?” or It is important to know who has personal email, such as a lunch responsibility for ensuring that message sent by a friend. emails are: For more information check the • Classified under Transitory Records Schedule , ARCS/ORCS or other Unsolicited Records Schedule and approved schedule. Electronic Mail Schedule in ARCS on-line • Filed appropriately in the [http://www.lcs.gov.bc.ca/cimb/arcs/adm corporate record keeping in/main.asp]. system (paper or electronic). • Retained and disposed of in Who is responsible for classifying accord with approved and filing outgoing email schedules. messages and attachments? • Accessible to authorized staff and available in response to ARCS 312-02/FAQ #2 Approval date: 2006/03/22 page 1 Corporate Information Management Branch Frequently Asked Questions # 2 Email: Your Record Keeping Responsibilities The initiator (the sender) is • What individual or section in responsible for classifying the email your office is responsible for and filing, or arranging to have it the subject or function filed, in the office filing system covered by the email? That (physical file folders, LAN, TRIM or section is responsible for the other electronic records “official office copy” and management application). should classify and file the email record and all attachments. All other Who is responsible for classifying recipients should manage and filing incoming email and their copies as transitory attachments? records. You are. If you send or receive an • Were you sent a ‘cc:’ (carbon email message you are responsible copy) or bcc: (blind carbon for managing it. How to manage it copy) copy of the message? will depend on the answers to the In most cases you can delete following questions: these types of messages once it is no longer required • Is it a government record or a for business purposes. personal email? If personal, delete it promptly from the • Was the email widely government email system. distributed? Some emails, such as committee agendas • Is the email of only temporary and minutes, or ministry- and or transitory use? If yes, then government-wide notices, are it does not need to be filed received by a large number and may be disposed of of individuals. These records under the Transitory Records need to be managed to avoid Schedule. the retention of multiple copies. • Is it an external email (e.g., from another branch, ministry An example of how to or group)? Whether one or manage a ministry-wide several individuals receive email notice is as follows: the email, one “official” copy must be classified and filed. • The initiating office is All other copies within the responsible for office are duplicates and may classifying and filing be treated as transitory the official copy of records. the email, complete with transmission and receipt information. ARCS 312-02/FAQ #2 Approval date: 2006/03/22 page 2 Corporate Information Management Branch Frequently Asked Questions # 2 Email: Your Record Keeping Responsibilities unmanaged in an • All other ministry individual’s email folders. recipients will either treat the email as a • Email and all related “convenience copy” records, are linked and dispose of it under together as they are the transitory records classified and filed within schedule; or file the the office record keeping email under the system. A complete file of appropriate non-OPR a specific activity, case, or classification in ARCS. topic is maintained. That isn’t possible if records are • Is it part of a discussion or scattered across various chain? It is often sufficient; if individual email accounts. participants have consistently used the reply function (e.g., Benefits to government include: all earlier email replies are included in new email), to • The ‘’official copy” of an only retain and file the final email is managed and email in the series of email retained within the office exchanges on the topic. record keeping system. For advice and guidance on • Email is “disposed” of in classifying and filing email, contact accordance with approved your Ministry or Corporate Records records schedules. Officer. [http://www.lcs.gov.bc.ca/cimb/committe • Email server space usage e/default.htm#mroc] is reduced as duplicate and transitory emails are promptly deleted from the Classifying and filing my emails email system. sounds like extra work; what are the benefits? • Authorized staff can locate all email records required Benefits to individual users are: to comply fully with FOIPP Act or litigation requests. • You and your co-workers have access to the records you need to do your jobs. What is the “official record”? Email is classified and filed in the official record A branch/office must designate one keeping system, not left copy of each incoming or outgoing inaccessible and email as the “official record”. This is ARCS 312-02/FAQ #2 Approval date: 2006/03/22 page 3 Corporate Information Management Branch Frequently Asked Questions # 2 Email: Your Record Keeping Responsibilities the email that is classified and filed Attachments and FAQ #5: in the office filing system. Duplicates Distribution and Filing of Email with and convenience copies of an email Attachments. may be “transitory records” and kept only as long as they are needed. When can I delete an email? What For more information on transitory rules do I need to apply? records check out Transitory Records Schedule After you copy an email to a shared [http://www.lcs.gov.bc.ca/CIMB/special/s LAN directory, EDRMS or print it for pec1.asp] located in ARCS Online filing in a physical file folder, you [http://www.lcs.gov.bc.ca/CIMB/arcs/ad must delete the email from your min/main.asp]. personal email account. If you need to retain a copy in your What should I do with documents personal email account for attached to government email? convenience or reference purposes, you must promptly delete them once Attachments must be classified and that purpose has ended. Do not filed in a way that maintains the link keep convenience or reference to the email message. The size and emails longer than the official office format of the attachment should file version. determine how you file it. If you have added notes, or Contact your Records Officer for annotations or other information that details on ministry policies and is not captured elsewhere, then you procedures for managing email and have created a new record, and email attachments. must file it in your office filing system. General examples on how attachments can be managed Check with your Records Officer to include: find out who is the contact person • Printing attachment to paper responsible for applying retention and filing with the printed and disposition schedules to your email message; office’s email records. • Moving the attachment to the Contact your Records Officer for LAN folder or TRIM folder with details on ministry policies and the email message; procedures for applying records schedules. For more information on this topic see RP #4: Managing Email with ARCS 312-02/FAQ #2 Approval date: 2006/03/22 page 4