Accountability

Published Date: April 01, 2016
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Obligations & Expectations

Training and Service Providers

Records Retention

AUTHORITY

Income and Employment Supports Act, Section 21
Training Provider Regulation, Section 4
Training Provider Regulation, Section 5
Records Management Regulation

INTENT

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act and the Records Management Regulation (RMR) under the Government Organization Act specifically govern accountability in relation to information and records. RMR establishes controls over how public bodies manage their records and information, in general. FOIP establishes controls over how public bodies manage personal information and ensures the right of access to public records.

Alberta Human Services must comply with the provisions of the FOIP Act, which has the following basic objectives:

  • to ensure that public bodies are open and accountable to the public by providing a right of access to records, and

  • to protect the privacy of individuals by controlling the manner in which public bodies collect, retain, use, keep accurate, protect, disclose and dispose of personal information (See Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information).

Alberta Human Services follows the provincial records management program, established under RMR, which includes records and information management policies, standards and procedures for the creation, handling, control, organization, retention, maintenance, security, preservation, disposition, alienation and destruction of records in the custody or under the control of Human Services and for their transfer to the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

POLICY

This policy applies to all Human Services approved training providers.

Training providers must keep records that are considered to be under the control of Human Services for all learners in Skills Investment programs.

A record is considered to be under the control of Human Services if Human Services has the authority to regulate the record’s use and disposition. IESA and Training Provider Regulation establish this authority.

For these records, including hardcopy and electronic versions of learner files and program files that contain learner information, training providers must comply with the requirements in the Records Management Regulation and the FOIP Act.

Training providers must produce these records upon demand of any representative of the Minister, and permit inspection, copying and extracting from these records.

Training providers must provide access to other records that are not under Human Services’ control, but are required for risk-based auditing and monitoring purposes.

If, in the Minister’s opinion, a training provider is not complying with the requirements of these records policies, the Minister may provide the training provider with written notice requiring it to remedy the situation to the satisfaction of the Minister within 20 working days.

PROCEDURE

If a request made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) Act is received for any of these records, the Provider shall forward the records, at the provider’s expense, to the Minister within five calendar days of official notification of the Minister.

Assessment and Service Management records, and other records referred to in Section 4 of the Training Provider Regulation, must be closed at the termination of the individual’s training program, after the 180 day follow-up is completed. Once closed, the records must be kept on-site for one (1) year and then transferred to Alberta Records Centre in accordance with established Service Alberta protocol for inventorying, packing and transferring records.

Records are considered to be:

  • active while training is in progress, required for day-to-day business use, and maintained in active-office space.
  • semi-active during the follow-up period, required for limited current business operations, and maintained in active office space.
  • in-active during the one year retention period after file has been closed, must be kept for FOIP, financial and legal purposes, and maintained in an on-site office space.

Inventorying Records

Providers must complete a Records Inventory Form following the format set by Service Alberta.

The same filing sequence (i.e. alphabetical) used in the providers’ records system, should be maintained in the inventory and boxes.

Packaging Records

The training provider work site responsible for inventorying the records is also responsible for the proper boxing of the records according to Service Alberta specifications, using special high volume storage boxes that can be ordered through the designated regional contact.

Transferring Records

The transfer process may be initiated by either:

  • the training provider contacting the regional representative, or
  • the region sending an annual letter to the training provider.

The training provider’s responsibilities include:

  • closing the files and retaining for one year before sending to Alberta Records Centre, on behalf of Human Services
  • annually reviewing record holdings to determine if any have served the required on-site retention
  • boxing and inventorying the files
  • photocopying the completed inventory and filing a copy for future reference purposes.
  • sending a letter to the designated regional contact, that includes:

    • Start to finish dates
    • Number of boxes
    • Type of records that are being transferred

  • attaching the master copy of the completed inventory to the letter
  • shipping the records after receiving correct inventory # and delivery address from region
  • signing the letter from region confirming that all records listed on inventory have been returned and electronic records have been removed/deleted.

Providers should refer to the FOIP Guidelines and Practices 2009 Edition website for general policy guidelines and best practices for FOIP compliance. Providers should refer to the Records Management Regulation for general policy guidelines and best practices for records management compliance.