Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are Records?

Records are recorded information that provide evidence of business activities, decisions, and/or transactions related to the functions and operations of the government of New Brunswick, regardless of format or media.

Examples of records:

  • Minutes of meetings
  • An e-mail message of a decision or activity undertaken during government business
  • A memo to staff regarding a change in procedure
  • A report
  • A PowerPoint training presentation

Who owns records?

Records created or received in the course of the Government of New Brunswick's business belong to the province and must be properly managed.

Why are Records Important?

Records of the province are important because they are vital assets which form an important part of NB’s history and administration. They provide evidence of business activities, decision-making, and legal processes. Records help protect citizens’ rights and interests.

In general, records:
  • are required to support business activities and operations.
  • demonstrate that a business transaction took place.
  • are required to meet legislative requirements.
  • protect the rights of citizens and government.
  • provide evidence for accountability.
  • have on-going business, financial, historical, or research value.

What is Records and Information Management?

Records and information management is the responsible, efficient, and systematic control of the creation, capture, management, use, and disposition of records.

Why is Records and Information Management important?

  • It allows the orderly and efficient conduct of business.
  • It provides evidence of business activities and transactions.
  • It helps meet legislative and regulatory requirements.
  • It enhances accountability.
  • It facilitates consistency, cost reductions, efficiency, and productivity.
  • It helps minimize risks (protection and support for litigation).
  • It protects the rights of citizens and employees.
  • It helps maintain corporate strategy, identity, and memory.
  • It identifies and verifies roles and responsibilities.
  • It documents policies and procedures.

What is CPRS?

The Classification Plan and Retention Schedules for Common Records (CPRS) is the standard used for the management of common records of the Government of New Brunswick. It is a hybrid function-based, block-numeric file classification plan that provides a framework for the organization and description of records. The classification plan is accompanied by authorized retention and disposition schedules for those records. A schedule determines the length of time the record must be kept, and states what will be done with it when it is no longer required as an active record in office.

To whom does CPRS apply?

CPRS is issued in accordance with the Archives Act and is applicable to all public bodies as defined in that act.

What is a Records Retention and Disposition Schedule?

A Records Retention and Disposition Schedule specifies the length of time a record series:

  • must be kept in the office (active),
  • how long (if in paper format) it must be stored off-site at the Provincial Archives Records Centre (semi-active), and
  • how the records will be handled at the end of their life cycle (final disposition).
  • Disposition of all government records must be in accordance with an approved Retention and Disposition Schedule.

    What must be scheduled?

    All records created and used in performing government business are to be scheduled.

    Under what authority are schedules produced?

    The Archives Act assigns the Provincial Archivist the responsibility for “preparing records schedules governing the retention, destruction and transfer of public records to the Archives”. Generally, Retention and Disposition Schedules are drafted and agreed to jointly by the records-creating body and the Provincial Archives.

    The Records Management Policy(AD-1508) in the GNB Administrative Services Manual also refers to the requirement that all government records have approved retention schedules.

    Is records management mandatory?

    Mandatory management of government records is legislated by New Brunswick’s Archives Act and the Records Management Policy (AD-1508).

    Are there penalties for non-compliance with the Archives Act and AD-1508?

    Yes. The Archives Act, Section 12 states:
      “A person who unlawfully damages, mutilates or destroys any public record or removes or withholds from the possession of the Archives or a department any public record commits an offence punishable under Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedures Act as a category F offence.”

    Provincial Offences Procedures Act, Part II Section 56(6):

      “Where an Act makes an offence punishable as a category F offence, a judge shall impose a fine of not less than two hundred and forty dollars and not more than five thousand one hundred and twenty dollars.”*

    *This is for a first offence.

    What is the difference between the Records Centre and the Archives?

    The Records Centre warehouse is operated by the Provincial Archives, and provides temporary storage for semi-active paper records. The records remain under the care, custody and control of the organization that sent them. Only authorized employees of the transferring body may retrieve the records from the Centre. For example, Department of Health records can only be accessed by authorized employees of that department who are registered with the Records Centre.

    The Provincial Archives facility on the UNB campus provides permanent storage for records that have continuing value. When records are transferred to the Archives, the care, custody and control is transferred as well. Government of New Brunswick organizations cannot remove them from the Archives but may consult them. At the Archives, the records are arranged and described, selected, and sometimes reformatted. Ultimately, they are made available for use by the public, observing restrictions which protect privacy and confidentiality.

    What does “Selective Retention” mean?

    Records with the final disposition of Selective Retention (SR) are assessed by an archivist and appraised for their value to the corporate memory of the people and province of New Brunswick. Archivists determine whether some, all or none of the records will be permanently preserved. The selected records are then transferred to the repository at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.