Response from Treasury Board President

Ms. Suzanne Legault
Information Commissioner of Canada
Place de Ville, Tower B, 22 Floor
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H3

Dear Ms. Legault:
Thank you for your letter dated April 8, 2013 and enclosures regarding your concerns about the information management practices of federal organizations that are being wound down or amalgamated with another institution.

As you know, the management of information in the Government of Canada is undertaken in accordance with the Library and Archives Canada Act and a suite of policy instruments such as the Policy on Information Management. These instruments and their obligations continue to be applicable during times of transition.
When an institution ceases to exist, the information is managed in accordance with the Library and Archives Canada Act which states that, ʻʻ the Librarian and Archivist shall have the care and control of all records of a government institution whose functions have ceased ˮ.

When institutions are amalgamated, the existing Records Disposition Authorities, as issued by Library and Archives Canada, survive and continue to apply within the new organization. The new organization typically continues to be subject to the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act. More specifically, where the amalgamated institution is a department as defined in Section 2 of the Financial Administration Act, such as the situation with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and Canadian International Development Agency, it continues to be bound by the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat policies on information management, recordkeeping, access to information and privacy for all its information holdings.

The Government of Canada continues to be committed to ensuring that Canadians can access information about their government`s activities and decisions in an open, comprehensive and timely manner including in times of transition such as those you raise in your letter. In my reply, I have copied the acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Mr. Hervé Dery, in the event you wish to follow up with him as well.

Again, thank you for writing.
Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

The Honourable Tony Clement, P.C., M.P.

cc.: Mr. Hervé Dery, acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Ms. Yaprak Baltacıoğlu, Secretary of the Treasury Board o f Canada