Information governance is front and centre once again as Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, investigates the deletion of emails relating to the government’s cancellations of two gas-fired power plants. Her office launched an investigation in response to an MPP complaint after the legislative committee tasked with looking into the cancellations requested disclosure of government documents and was advised that the former Minister of Energy’s office had none.
As detailed in her report released today (June 5, 2013), Dr. Cavoukian not only found that the former chief of staff to two energy ministers “routinely deleted all of his e-mails, a violation of the Archives and Recordkeeping Act”, she also noted that knowledge of the existing record retention policies was lacking within both the Office of the Minister of Energy and the Office of the Premier.
Dr. Cavoukian wrote:
“I have seen many government organizations with strong policies and training materials in place to convey the policies to staff. However, all too often these same organizations have failed to adequately implement these policies.”
Information governance is more than just having policies in place – the information custodians must be adequately educated on the practices necessary to implement the policies. The routine auditing of retention practices should be carried out to ensure compliance and that best practices are met.
Dr. Cavoukian’s report can be downloaded from: