Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Auditor General Report on Library and Archives Canada

Federal Auditor General Michael Ferguson released his Fall 2014 report Tuesday which includes a critical audit of activities at Library and Archives Canada.

Among the findings:
  • Library and Archives Canada is not acquiring all the archival records it should from federal institutions. It does not have up-to-date disposition authorities—that specify which records should be transferred and by what date—for all federal institutions. At the time of the audit, only 30 of 195 institutions had renewed their disposition authorities since 2009. Disposition authorities specify which records can be disposed of when no longer needed and which records must be transferred to Library and Archives Canada at the end of their retention periods. Each institution must have all records from its program activities covered under disposition authorities  to ensure that the government’s documentary heritage is not lost or destroyed
  • Of those records it had acquired, Library and Archives Canada had a backlog of some 98,000 boxes of government archival records as of April 2014, and does not know when it will be able to complete the processing of these records and facilitate public access to them
  • Library and Archives Canada states in its operational planning documents that digital records will represent the 'format of choice' by 2017. Therefore, when federal institutions create records digitally, they must transfer the records to Library and Archives Canada in a digital format at the end of the records’ retention periods. Library and Archives Canada does not have a corporate digital strategy for the preservation of digital data. In addition, despite having spent $15.4 million on developing and implementing a trusted digital repository from 2006 to 2011, the institution still did not have an integrated system to manage the electronic transfer, preservation, and storage of digital information, and provide digital access to its collection by Canadians
  • The trusted digital repository was shut down in November 2012 without documentation from management on the rationale for the decision. Officials at Library and Archives Canada explained that the institution had changed its approach from a custom-developed solution and was planning to implement a hybrid approach, which would include a commercially available solution. Library and Archives Canada informed us that most of the hardware and software from the previous, unused system—valued at approximately $975,000—was repurposed for other projects and services
The audit includes recommendations as well as Library and Archive Canada's response to many of the findings.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:23 pm


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