A by-law to provide for the preservation and destruction of documents and records of the Regional Municipality of Peel and to repeal By-law Number 69-2000.

WHEREAS under Section 255 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, a municipality may by by law establish schedules of retention periods during which its records must be retained and preserved;

AND WHEREAS the Council of the Regional Corporation has by resolution passed the 23th January, 2003 authorized the passing of a records retention by law;

NOW THEREFORE the Council of the Regional Corporation enacts as follows:

1. In this by law,

"dispose" means either to destroy records or to transfer records to the Region of Peel Archives and "disposition" has the same meaning;

"disposition notice" means a notification from the Manager of Corporate Records for the destruction of records once the retention period has expired and they have fulfilled their legal, fiscal or historical value.

"inactive record" means records that are stored in the Inactive Records Centre which must be kept for legal, fiscal or historical purposes.

"office of record" means the office which is responsible for retaining specified records identified in the retention schedule;

"official records" means records that serve important functions of the Region, such as supporting program delivery or policy development, meeting legal, financial and other official requirements, or providing evidence of decisions and actions;

"records" means any recorded information, however recorded, whether in printed form, on film, by electronic means or otherwise, including correspondence, memoranda, plans, maps, drawings, graphic works, photographs, film, microfilm, sound recordings, videotapes, machine readable records, and any other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, and includes "official records" and "transitory records";

"records centre" means a low cost storage facility used to house inactive records of the Region and that complies with the ARMA International Guideline to Records Center Operations (1986), published by the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, Inc., as amended;

"retention period" means the period of time during which records must be kept by the Region before they may be disposed of;

"retention schedule" means the schedule prescribing how long specific records must be retained before they may be disposed of;

"signing authority" means a person responsible for the operation and management of a division or section and designated by an office of record with authority to approve the relocation or destruction of records in accordance with this by-law;

"transitory records" means records kept solely for convenience of reference and of limited value in documenting the planning or implementation of Regional policy or programs, such as:

(a) copies of miscellaneous notices or memoranda concerning routine administrative matters or other minor issues not pertaining directly to the office of record;

(b) information copies of widely distributed materials, such as committee minutes, agendas, and newsletters, unless the information copy has been annotated to reflect significant input or for other program purposes;

(c) preliminary drafts of letters, memoranda or reports, and other informal notes which do not represent significant steps in the preparation of a final document, and which do not record decisions;

(d) duplicate copies of documents in the same medium which are retained only for convenience or future distribution;

(e) voice-mail messages;

(f) electronic-mail messages and other communications that do not relate to Regional business;

(g) copies of publications, such as published reports, administration manuals, telephone directories, catalogues, pamphlets or periodicals;

(h) duplicate stocks of obsolete publications, pamphlets or blank forms;

(i) unsolicited advertising materials, including brochures, company profiles and price lists.

2. (a) The retention schedule attached as Schedule A forms part of this by-law.

(b) The Manager of Corporate Records shall administer the retention schedule and shall ensure that the schedule complies with all relevant legal requirements for records retention.

(c) In determining the retention period for any records, the Manager of Corporate Records shall consider, in consultation with the Regional Archivist, the Auditor, signing authorities, and the Regional Solicitor where appropriate,

(i) the operational value of the records, i.e. the period of time during which the Region uses a record to perform its functions;

(ii) the legal value of the records, i.e. the period of time necessary to meet statutory or regulatory requirements or requirements imposed by agreement, permit or similar document, or to ensure that records are available in case of litigation or investigation;

(iii) the fiscal value of the records, i.e. the period of time required for audit or tax purposes;

(iv) the historical value of the records, i.e. the long-term value of the records to document past events or the origins and history of the organization.

3. All employees who work with, create or manage records shall:

(a) comply with the retention periods as specified in the retention schedule;

(b) apply retention periods to official records for which their office has been designated as the office of record, and destroy records only in accordance with the retention schedule;

(c) ensure preservation and security of official records as directed under this by-law;

(d) ensure that official records in their custody or control are protected from inadvertent destruction or damage, in accordance with the measures established under clause 4(c); and

(e) ensure that transitory records in their custody or control are destroyed when they are no longer needed for short-term reference.

4. The Manager of Corporate Records shall:

(a) provide records centre services to all Regional departments and may provide such service to associated agencies by special arrangement;

(b) ensure the preservation, security and disposition of official records in the custody of the records centre, in accordance with the retention schedule; and

(c) ensure that reasonable measures to protect the Region's official records from inadvertent destruction or damage are defined, documented and implemented, taking into account the nature of the records to be protected

5. (a) The Manager of Corporate Records shall notify the signing authority for each office of record in writing, of the scheduled disposition notices of records stored at the records centre, including the scheduled disposition date and a list of the records eligible for disposition.

(b) The signing authority for the office of record shall notify the Manager of Corporate Records in writing, before the scheduled disposition date, whether records included in the disposition notice need to be retained further, and the reason why further retention is required.

(c) Where appropriate and taking into account the principles outlined in section 6, the Manager of Corporate Records shall re-schedule the disposition of such records for up to one year.

(d) Re-scheduling beyond a one-year period requires written notice from the signing authority to the Manager of Corporate Records, for each additional year.

(e) If no notice is received under subsection (2) before the scheduled disposition date, the records are deemed to be authorized by the signing authority for disposition.

6. The following principles govern the destruction of official records:

(a) When there are no further legal or business reasons for retaining them, official records shall be destroyed as a class rather than selectively.

(b) Official records pertaining to pending or actual litigation or investigation shall not be destroyed with the class of records to which they relate. The signing authority for the office of record shall separate such official records from other records to ensure that they are not destroyed.

(c) Official records disposed of at the end of a retention period, as well as drafts and copies of records disposed of on a regular basis, shall be destroyed in a way that preserves the confidentiality of any information they contain.

7. When the Regional Archivist deems official records to be of archival significance, the Archivist has the authority to stop a disposition or remove selected records from a disposition.

8. Official records in the custody or control of the Region must not be destroyed by any person unless such records are identified in a disposition notice and have outlived the required retention period of the retention schedule. Copies of official records may be destroyed at any time if the original records are being retained subject to a retention period.

9. The Manager of Corporate Records shall ensure that all disposition notices prepared pursuant to section 5 and certificates of destruction prepared pursuant to section 10 are preserved.

10. When official records have been destroyed pursuant to this by-law, the Manager of Corporate Records shall obtain written confirmation of the destruction.

11. The retention periods established in Schedule A to this by-law shall not take effect until they have been approved in writing by the Region's auditor.

12. By-law Number 69-2000 is repealed.

13. This by-law may be cited as the "Records Retention By-law".


C. Gravlev

Regional Clerk

E. Kolb

Regional Chair


(Appendix to By-law 1-2003 is available in Clerk's)