DAOD 7004-3, Document Preservation and Collection in Support of Claims and Other Legal Proceedings

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definition
  3. Document Preservation and Collection Processes
  4. Compliance and Consequences
  5. Responsibilities
  6. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2020-01-31

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).

Approval Authority:

Enquiries: Director Claims and Civil Litigation (DCCL)

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2. Definition

claim (réclamation)

A request for compensation to cover losses, expenditures or damages sustained by the Crown or a claimant. (Directive on Payments, Treasury Board)

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3. Document Preservation and Collection Processes


3.1  In this DAOD:

  1. “claim” refers to a request for compensation to cover losses, expenditures or damages sustained by the Crown or a claimant, civil litigation or other legal proceeding in which DCCL requires document preservation and collection; and
  2. “document” refers to any record that is under DND and CAF control, regardless of medium or form, and includes any paper document, photograph, map, chart, survey, plan, book, account, audio recording, video recording, film, computer file, electronic mail, electronic record and the metadata of any electronic record.


3.2 This DAOD provides direction for document preservation and collection processes that will permit the efficient use of resources and effective response to claims.

Initial DCCL Action

3.3 Upon notice of a claim, DCCL commences document preservation and collection processes in accordance with applicable court rules and legislation.

3.4 After consultation with litigation counsel, DCCL provides direction in the document preservation and collection process and takes the following actions:

  1. identifies the subject matter of relevant documents to be preserved;
  2. identifies level one advisor (L1) organizations, commands and units that may hold relevant documents; and
  3. sends the Form Document Preservation Action to, and requests its completion by, relevant L1s, commanders (Comds) of commands and commanding officers (COs), or their representatives.

3.5 Document preservation and collection may occur simultaneously. The scope of document preservation and collection may change as the claim evolves.

Electronic Documents and Metadata

3.6 If relevant, DCCL provides direction on the preservation and collection of electronic documents and metadata.

Document Coordinator

3.7 An L1, a Comd of a command or a CO, or their representative, who has received notification of the requirement to preserve and collect documents relevant to a claim must designate a document coordinator for document preservation and collection.

3.8 The document coordinator must:

  1. identify and contact applicable DND and CAF divisions, directorates, units and sub-units that are likely to hold relevant documents;
  2. direct the immediate preservation of documents and the ceasing of records disposal processes in their organization for the relevant documents; and
  3. complete and forward the Form Document Preservation Action to DCCL.

3.9 Once document preservation has occurred, the claim may move to the stage when it is necessary to prepare a list of documents. Once litigation counsel identifies a list of relevant documents to be collected for the claim based on the Form Document Preservation Action, DCCL provides this list to the document coordinator.

3.10 Upon receiving the list of documents to be collected, the document coordinator must:

  1. assemble the documents identified in the list, and any other relevant documents that have been created since the notification was provided by DCCL; and
  2. forward all copies and any required originals of the identified documents in unredacted form to DCCL.


3.11 If the document coordinator considers that redactions are necessary, the document coordinator must contact DCCL and identify where the redactions are recommended and the reasons for the redactions.

3.12 Redactions may be recommended for:

  1. "potentially injurious information" or "sensitive information" as these terms are defined in section 38 of the Canada Evidence Act;
  2. information that constitutes a "confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada" as defined in subsection 39(2) of the Canada Evidence Act; and
  3. information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege or litigation privilege.

3.13 Document collection under this DAOD is separate from the right of access to records requested under the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act. Accordingly, redactions may not be recommended on the basis of exemptions under these Acts.

Conclusion of the Claims Process

3.14 Once the claim process has concluded, DCCL notifies the document coordinator that document retention and disposal policies may be resumed with respect to the identified documents. DCCL returns any original documents to the document coordinator.

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4.  Compliance and Consequences


4.1 DND employees and CAF members must comply with this DAOD. Should clarification of the policies or instructions set out in this DAOD be required, DND employees and CAF members may seek direction through their channel of communication or chain of command, as appropriate. Managers and military supervisors have the primary responsibility for and means of ensuring the compliance of their DND employees and CAF members with this DAOD.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

4.2 DND employees and CAF members are accountable to their respective managers and military supervisors for any failure to comply with the direction set out in this DAOD. Non-compliance with this DAOD may result in administrative action, including the imposition of disciplinary measures, for a DND employee, and administrative or disciplinary action, or both, for a CAF member. Non-compliance may also result in the imposition of liability on the part of Her Majesty in Right of Canada, DND employees and CAF members by the court.

Note – In respect to the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.

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5. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

5.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:

The... is responsible for …


  • ensuring document preservation and collection for claims; and
  • issuing directives, as required for particular claims, to L1s, Comds of commands and COs on the preservation and collection of documents, including electronic documents and metadata.

document coordinator

  • coordinating document preservation and collection as directed by DCCL.

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6. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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