Record keeping

​Guidelines on record keeping

  • A record is any information, however recorded, whether in printed form, on film or electronic (s. 2.1- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).
  • Create records with the expectation that they could be made accessible under FIPPA or in the course of a legal dispute.
  • Avoid quoting another person. Unless required for a specific reason (e.g., harassment cases, personnel issues) or an individual specifically requests it, records should be without attribution. Meeting minutes should be concise and objective with the decision clearly recorded.
  • Be objective and factual in what you write. Avoid recording unsubstantiated or subjective comments.
  • Clearly identify items (correspondence, minutes etc.) that contain advice or recommendations.
  • Mark records containing information requiring protection as CONFIDENTIAL and treat accordingly. Although a CONFIDENTIAL mark does not ensure a records will not be released, it does provide strong evidence for a decision not to release a document.
  • Collect/record only information you need. Write it down only if you are prepared to have it read.
  • E-mail messages are records. Manage them as you do any other record.
  • If a record has some ongoing administrative, financial, legal research or historical value, file the record at the time of its creation it in a way that facilitates retrieval by others.
  • Regularly dispose of records that have only short-term, immediate or no value except those which relate to a FIPPA access request or an ongoing legal action. The Privacy Officer of the Secretary of the University will notify you when records should be retained because of a FIPPA request.
  • Dispose of records containing confidential or sensitive information in a secure manner. Papers containing confidential or sensitive information should not be placed in recycling bins.
  • Handle requests for information quickly, informally and in the spirit of openness; using this approach may reduce the number of formal FIPPA requests.