Defence Information Management Plan 2019-2022

Versions and Amendments

Date Action
10 September 2018 First Draft
12 December 2018 Second Draft
14 January 2019 Comments from DGEAS incorporated

Message from the Deputy Minister

Judy Thomas

Information is a strategic asset for the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Timely, trusted and secure information that can be shared across the DND/CAF is the foundation of sound, evidence based decision-making. Analysis using authoritative information can tell us how well we are performing in DND business and how effective we are in CAF Operations.

The Defence Information Management Plan supports the Defence Information Strategy and outlines the activities which will establish the conditions necessary for supporting the DND/CAF in achieving information dominance in Operations and ensuring leaders and personnel have the evidence they need to deliver efficient and effective DND business. This aligns with Canada's Defence Policy:

Strong, Secure, and Engaged (SSE).

This Plan is an opportunity to align the DND/CAF with Government of Canada (GC) strategy, plans, direction and initiatives in the information domain, and ensure the DND/CAF embraces new and emerging approaches to Information Technology and its application to Information Management in support of business and operations.

Judy Thomas
Deputy Minisiter


Len Bastien

The Defence Information Management (IM) Plan is aligned to and supports the priorities of the Defence Information Strategy. It establishes a roadmap for the way the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) leverages information and data in support of timely, efficient and effective decision-making in business and operations.

The move from a paper-based analog business and operations environment to a digitally enabled future requires a change in the practices and tools we use to save, share, and find information and data in support of decision-making. It also involves cultural shifts by IM practitioners and professionals as well as DND/CAF personnel. How we manage this change will be a measure of our success in implementing this plan.

On this note, the Defence IM Plan will not be a question of implementing a new application or tool. It will not be a question of reducing the size of our information storage. And it cannot be a onetime effort to raise awareness of IM practices and procedures in compliance with a GC directive.

IM must be seamlessly integrated into business and operations through tools, practices and procedures that are nearly invisible to users but accessible to IM professionals. It must be an on-going, flexible, and responsive effort to user needs and deliver on organizational requirements.

The performance indicators in this Plan, are meaningful, measurable, repeatable, and consistent over time. Most importantly, they will not impose an additional burden on our clients and partners. Instead, we want them to see this as a means for improvement and, in response, maturing their IM processes to take better advantage of their information assets.

Len Bastien
Chief Information Officer (CIO)

1. Introduction

The profession of arms is now operating in the Information Age worldwide, and must use its information as a strategic resource: from the bird table to the battlefield, in the air, and at sea. The North-American Treaty Organization (NATO) describes IM in its primary directive as "the right information, at the right time, for the right purpose, to the right user, with the lowest possible cost, and highest possible quality, currency and security. As such, it is the responsibility of every public-service employee and every military member at the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) to ensure stewardship of information in all business processes, including in deployed Operations.

The purpose of this document is to set out the key initiatives for the next three years to mature the Information Management (IM) Programme for the DND/CAF. One of its key objectives is to embed the discipline of IM as an enabler for DND business and CAF operations by ensuring relevant and accurate information is accessible at the right time and by the right personnel to support timely decision-making. Information must be relevant and a valuable investment and capability for National Defence personnel and leadership.

This Plan seeks to entrench IM, as a discipline and as a grouping of services supported by the appropriate technology, in daily DND/CAF practices in order to ensure CAF operational success and support efficiencies in DND business. IM must be conceived, delivered, and embraced as a critical element for addressing a digital work environment with virtual transactions; and an operational environment where information superiority is a key determinant of operational success.

Assistant Deputy Minister (Information Management) (ADM (IM)) is accountable for the IM Programme and the Plan described here integrates with and supports the Defence Information Strategy of Timely, Trusted and Secure in line with SSE Defence policy. The IM Programme will also leverage the expertise and knowledge of DND/CAF IM practitioners and experts through departmental decision-making bodies, working groups, and communities of practice.

2. Context

A 3-year National Defence IM Plan was published in November 2016. Although the first of its kind, the Plan largely focused on traditional IM themes, objectives and performance measures; and while relevant at the time and reflective of activities in 2016, it predated new and emerging initiatives that are transforming IM. Namely, technological advancements are pushing the management of information from the analog to the digital and new direction from the Government of Canada (GC) Chief Information Officer (CIO) is bridging the IM and Information Technology (IT) divide in order to speak to user, business and operational requirements.

Numerous and significant developments have taken place since the initial IM Plan was published:

  1. New GC Strategy on digital operations.
  2. Publication of a new National Defence Information Strategy.
  3. Establishment of the Defence Digitization Programme (DDP) to support a standardized and certified approach and service to convert paper holdings into digital formats.
  4. Launch of an IM course for DND/CAF personnel and its deployment in the DND/CAF e-learning platform – the Defence Learning Network
  5. DND/CAF data and information release facilitated by the ADM (IM) Open Government Team.
  6. Support for a paper-free, digital work place 2.0 environment through GCdocs on-boarding at NDHQ Carling.
  7. Establishment of a DND/CAF Chief Data Officer (ADM(DIA)) whose role and function parallel and touch on IM issues and activities.
  8. Digitization of the battlefield through recent technological innovations.

DND/CAF requires a new IM Plan that incorporates these trends and identifies activities with indicators to measure performance over time. This will position the National Defence Information Management Programme for the future and anticipate emerging GC and DND/CAF priorities in digitally-enabled business and operations. It also represents a significant cultural change for the IM community.

3. IM Vision

The National Defence Information Management Programme supports effective and efficient decision-making in DND business and CAF operations by providing direction, advice, expertise, training, and tools to digitally save, share, and find trusted, secure and timely information.

4. IM Principles

The Defence Information Strategy cites IM as one of 5 (five) foundational tenets for the delivery on its information capabilities. IM principles guide the implementation of the GC and Defence IM Vision and as such, DND/CAF's IM Plan builds on ARMA International's Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles. These principles support efficient and effective management of information in program and service delivery and foster informed decision-making by ensuring that Defence leadership has timely access to accurate information. Building on these principles, National Defence will mature its IM capabilities with an eye to sustainable benefits realization, contributing to SSE Defence Policy, and, more specifically, to the information strategy: timely, trusted and secure.


The Defence CIO's oversight of the IM Programme and functions of governing boards will ensure that information governance is considered in all aspects of DND/CAF operations, all of which are conducted in a transparent manner. Policies and procedures are adopted to guide the Defence Team in effective IM practices and ensure that the Programme can be measured for performance and maturity. This, in turn, enables the DND/CAF to be more responsive and accountable in its missions at home and abroad.


Information governance is considered in all aspects of DND/CAF operations, all of which are conducted in a transparent manner. Business processes and activities should be documented in an open and verifiable manner, with the documentation available to all personnel and appropriate, interested parties.


Information generated and managed by the Defence team should have a suitable guarantee of authenticity and reliability to generate trust in the system. The implementation and use of electronic document and records management systems (EDRMS) will serve as integrity controls throughout the lifecycle of records. National Defence personnel will be responsible information stewards, by using the IM tools at their disposal to manage and use digital information as a strategic asset. This principle ensures that information is complete, accurate, current, relevant, and understandable, supporting sound decision-making practices.


The Defence IM Programme will ensure an appropriate level of protection for information assets that are private, confidential, privileged, secret, classified, and essential to business continuity, or that otherwise require protection. Information will be shared and re-used while respecting privacy policies and legal requirements.


Compliance with GC and DND/CAF IM policies, and industry standards enables IM maturity throughout the organization, placing emphasis on the value of IM as a tenant of delivering effective information capabilities and decreasing the risks associated with poor IM practices. Coalition IM standards will be understood and followed in order to build trust for Canada as an international IM practitioner in deployed operations


The Defence IM Programme will ensure that information management balances protection and availability. While classified and designated information is protected with necessary safeguards, all information is captured, well-organized, and readily available to those who need it, for timely access. Open access principles, balanced with privacy-by-design support both accountability and transparency without compromising information security.


IM is about managing information throughout its lifecycle in its designated system of record; from creation through disposition. Conditions will be created to ensure digital information creation, storage, and dissemination is the norm and the management of analog information is the exception. Records shall be preserved for appropriate periods of time, taking into account legal, regulatory, operational, and historical requirements.


Disposition processes are consistently applied, and effective, reducing the risks associated with retaining and accessing outdated and sensitive information, bearing in mind all applicable policies.

5. DND/CAF IM Governance

The National Defence Information Management Programme is led by ADM (IM), as the DND/CAF Chief Information Officer (CIO), and is implemented by Level 1 (L1) organizations across the DND/CAF. This means that while ADM (IM) provides IM direction, procedures, and enterprise tools; each L1 is responsible for implementing IM plans and activities within their respective operational areas. From implementing practices to reporting on performance, ADM (IM) and other L1 organizations cooperate, collaborate, and ensure IM requirements are met within the DND/CAF. This hybrid federated execution model in line with the Defence Information Strategy enables CAF to remain agile while ensuring the efficient use of resources.

As a foundational tenant for delivering effective information capabilities, IM is a key stakeholder in information system decision-making. The management of the Information Management Programme is the responsibility of Director Knowledge and Information Management (DKIM), which is the functional lead of IM enterprise practices and tools. DKIM is also responsible for fostering an IM practitioner community in order to establish a two-way communication channel and decision-making mechanism for IM Governance.

6. Objectives

The IM Plan has six objectives which support the objectives outlined in the Defence Information Strategy. Each objective has activities and performance indicators that are mapped from 2019 to 2022. These indicators provide an overall performance score for each objective.

1. Strengthen the Defence IM Programme

Strengthening the Defence IM Programme involves examining IM governance in the DND/CAF to continue gap analysis exercises, empower decision-making in governance bodies, and improve communication by disseminating clearer, more consistent and more frequent messaging across the DND/CAF IM community.

2. Mature IM Services

Transforming IM Services involves an assessment of DND/CAF IM services to measure compliance with current and emerging business and operational requirements, the standardization of services across DND/CAF, communication of IM services across the DND/CAF and the use of performance indicators to assess IM services for the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of client needs.

3. Develop and Implement Standardized DND/CAF IM Reporting

Regular and standardized IM reporting is necessary to monitor the DND/CAF IM Programme and take corrective action, as required. IM reporting will be based on clear direction and contain methodologies consistent with GC. In order to provide a complete and accurate depiction of the IM Programme, it must be conducted across the DND/CAF applying consistent methodologies. IM reporting will be implemented organizationally in each L1 and the DND/CAF as a whole.

4. Drive DND/CAF Digitization

The Defence IM Programme includes services to certify processes for the digitization of information in paper format. The Programme will continue to participate in activities and initiatives that support the digitization of DND/CAF business and operations. This contributes to the Timely, Trusted and Secure strategy by increasing the efficiency of resources spent to manage information as a strategic asset.

5. Increase Participation in Open Government

The DND/CAF is actively participating in Open Government, which promotes greater openness, accountability, and transparency by making government data and information more accessible to Canadians. The Defence IM Programme will continue to implement the Defence Open Government Plan while accounting for new developments and priorities in GC Open Government direction. It will also collaborate with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and Security advisors and business owners to identify processes and timelines to downgrade classified information in compliance with missionspecific, international, and coalition-based operational standards.

6. Establish IM Learning and Professional Development

DKIM, in alignment with ADM (HR-CIV) and Treasury Board Secretariat, has begun to identify, assess, and validate the roles and functions of the IM professionals across the DND/CAF, and build guidance on career progression and the skills, experiences and competencies needed at the different levels of professional development. This work will continue to evolve, especially in interpreting digital government, policies and standards and how these affect the IM profession.

7. Assessing Performance

Each objective contains several activities. These activities also have expected results or targets. Annex A summarizes key activities for each objective, while Annex B summarizes their expected results and implementation milestones per Fiscal Year (FY).

The expected results in each are considered sufficiently specific, realistic, attainable, and relevant to each objective. They can be tracked over time to measure progress. As well, these measures align with other DND/CAF IM direction, such as the ADM (IM) Functional Planning Guidance (FPG) exercise, and Treasury Board IM performance reporting activities.

Beyond quantifiable objectives, the principles above, paired with industry standards, provide measurable progress in information governance. Those will be used as indicators for a general overview of the department in its progress within the IM programme.

Finally, assessing performance will include feedback and reporting exercises in order to identify areas for improvement. Accordingly, activities for reporting performance have been identified as a priority in the Plan.

8. Conclusion: Building an Information Programme

Moving to a digital information environment where information is created, stored, and shared entirely electronically is a challenge that extends beyond the National Defence IM Programme. Supporting digital business and operations is not achieved by providing technical solutions alone.

The willingness to move to digital transactions, capture legacy paper Information Resources of Business Value (IRBV), and use new collaborative and document management tools, is also dependent on the appetite of all DND/CAF organizations. The involvement of business owners and their requirements are crucial to building, on-boarding, maintaining, and ensuring a successful IM Programme with high user acceptance of digital IM practices and tools.

However, the IM Programme relies on IM organizations and personnel to adjust processes and procedures as well as modify tools to meet user needs. The performance measures and reporting mechanisms stemming from this Plan not only serve as a report card for DND/CAF organizations, they also constitute an IM diagnostic that will be used to draw lessons-learned and identify areas for improvement.

The National Defence IM Plan is written as a snapshot in time. Its implementation will depend on departmental and GC priorities. Although it includes some specific activities, expected results and timelines, the Plan is expected to change over the next three years to reflect emerging priorities, requirements and needs.

Through the implementation of this Plan, DND/CAF strives to build an IM Programme that supports getting the right information to the right individual in an efficient manner using tools and procedures that reflect the requirements of the DND/CAF.

Annex A: Objectives and Activities

Objective Activity Description
1. Strengthen the Defence IM Programme 1.1 Appoint Full Time L1 Information Management Officer (L1 IMO) The appointment of full-time L1 IMOs supports IM governance through L1 working-level representation. Further, L1 IMOs are the conduit through which direction, advice and support to IM activities and processes are achieved across the DND/CAF.
1.2 Refresh IM Policy Suite The evaluation of the IM Policy Suite must be examined for accuracy and alignment with the GC Digital Policy.
1.3 Appoint Chief Information Architect (CIA) The appointment of a Chief Information Architect (CIA) is a key component of DND's support to the GC Enterprise Architecture Review Board. It is also part of the DND/CAF IM/IT Design Process. This position will contribute to ensuring DND/CAF business and operations are reflected in enterprise IM tools.
1.4 Define CIO & CDO Relationship The establishment of authorities, roles and responsibilities between the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Chief Data Officer (CDO) provides clarity on the exclusive and shared areas of management for IM and Data Management
1.5 Hold Regular KIM SC Meetings Regular Knowledge and Information Management Steering Committee (KIM SC) meetings support IM Programme governance.
1.6 Create forums for the DND/CAF IM Community The DND/CAF IM community often requires working groups, networks or other forums for sharing common IM practices, communicating direction, and gathering concerns and requests. Such forums would exist under and report to the KIM SC.
2. Mature IM Services 2.1 Implement Disposition Framework Project The Project will reinvigorate disposition processes and procedures for information assets held in both physical and electronic repositories.
2.2 Track DND/CAF Third Party Storage In order to obtain oversight of IRBV storage outside the department, L1s will report annual expenditure on third party storage of IRBV.
2.3 Decrease Amount of Paper IRBV stored in IRBV Storage Facilities In order to promote the use of electronic IRBVs, IRBV storage facilities will decrease the amount of paper IRBVs it stores from organizations that are onboarded to RDIMS or GCdocs.
3. Develop and Implement Standardized Reporting on IM Performance 3.1 Publish an annual DND/CAF IM Performance Report Using DND/CAF IM Health Check metrics, the Report will provide an avenue for accountability and the ability to make recommendations for corrective action in DND/CAF IM performance.
3.2 Deliver on other DND/CAF and GC reporting on DND/CAF IM Performance. Other DND/CAF activities that provide direction or guidance on IM performance, such as the FPG, will be aligned with the IM Plan and the performance measures in the annual DND/CAF IM Performance Report. Where feasible DND/CAF IM Performance Measures will be added and, or amended to reflect the IM portions of the GC Management AccountabilityFramework (MAF).
4. Drive DND/CAF Digitalization 4.1 GCdocs Implementation Regular reporting on the percentage of the total target of planned implementation provides insight on the success of GCdocs implementation across the DND/CAF.
4.2 GCdocs RDIMS Migration Regular reporting on the percentage of the total target of planned migration provides insight on the successful transition from RDIMS to GCdocs.
4.3 Implement Physical Objects in GCdocs The management of physical objects in GCdocs enables organizations to track physical objects using digital tools to increase efficiencies in managing these holdings and leveraging opportunities for automation.
4.4 GCdocs User Login Tracking per L1 Tracking user logins to GCdocs by L1 organizations that are on-boarded to GCdocs will help gauge user acceptance of the tool.
4.5 L1 Shared Drive Consolidation The consolidation of electronic content in L1 organizations with GCdocs and RDIMS will assist in the lifecycle management of IRBVs and transition from non-IM tools and interim repositories.
4.6 Digitization of IRBVs Each L1 organization enabled with RDIMS or GCdocs will include a Digitization Plan within their Annual L1 IM/IT Plan. The Digitization Plan will identify financial and human resources requirements for document preparation in order to reduce their physical IRBV footprint. Digitization Services will be reviewed for compliancy against DDP standards to ensure 100% compliance with legislation and the Canadian General Standards Board 72.34.2018 .
5. Increase participation in Open Government 5.1 Publish and Maintain Data Sets The Open Government Team has an annual target of data sets published on the GC Open Data portal.
5.2 Establish and Maintain Data Inventory The Open Government Team publishes a data inventory as required by their Plan and GC requirements.
5.3 Support Proactive Publishing in accordance with Access to Information Requirements The Open Government Team will support L1s in the proactive publication of information to the GC Open Government Portal, which is in accordance with changes to the Access to Information Act.
5.4 Establish processes for downgrading classified documents Processes are required for downgrading classified information. To be aligned with NATO procedures.
6. Establish IM Learning and Professional Development 6.1 Deliver IKMS Course The Information and Knowledge Management Staff (IKMS) course trains select personnel, both civilian and military, to advise and assist commanders, managers, and executives in the planning and conduct of IKM activities as an element of CAF operations. Delivering the IKMS course to all IMOs will raise the overall IM knowledge of the DND/CAF IM community.
6.2 Establish an IM Job Architecture The IM Job Architecture is a standardized catalogue of IKM positions within DND/CAF including job levels, job titles, and work descriptions. It provides an underlying framework to identify talent needs, clarify career path progression, motivate staff, and professionalize the IM function.
6.3 Create an IM Competency Profile The IM Competency Profile identifies core behavioral and technical competencies (e.g. knowledge and skills) in the domain of IM. It assists DND/CAF IM staff in career development, and DND/CAF leaders in building their IM Plans.
6.4 Develop the DND/CAF IM Training Strategy The IM Training Strategy defines training needs and identifies solutions for addressing knowledge and skills gaps within the DND/CAF IM community.
6.5 Build a DND/CAF IM Talent Management Program The DND/CAF IM Talent Management Program will provide DND/CAF wide advice, direction, and guidance to create a strong and sustainable IM professional community that meets current and emerging DND/CAF IM requirements.

Annex B: Performance Measures

Objective Activity Expected Results Milestones
FY 19/20 FY 20/21 FY 21/22
1 1.1 100% of L1 organizations have an L1 IMO and report the appointment to ADM (IM) 75% 90% 100%
1.2 Update IM Policy Suite (DAOD 6001 series) 50% 70% 100%
1.3 Appoint Chief Information Architect (CIA) Appointed and Staffed Appointed and Staffed Appointed and Staffed
1.4 Define, establish and review CIO/CDO relationship Yes Yes Yes
1.5 Hold two KIM SC meetings a calendar year 2 meetings held 2 meetings held 2 meetings held
1.6 Establish IMO WG and hold two meetings a calendar year. Established and 2 meetings held 2 meetings held 2 meetings held
2 2.1 Implement Disposition Framework Project Completed by end FY 18 / 19 New processes implemented throughout NCR New processes implemented Across DND/CAF
2.2 Track DND/CAF third party storage DND/CAF Report each FY DND/CAF Report each FY DND/CAF Report each FY
2.3 Decrease amount of paper IRBV stored in IRBV storage facilities To be confirmed. To be confirmed. To be confirmed.
3 3.1 Publish an annual DND/CAF IM performance report Report Published Report Published Report Published
3.2 Conduct reporting on DND/CAF and GC IM Performance Delivered on MAF Delivered on MAF Delivered on MAF
4 4.1 Complete planned GCdocs Implementation % of planned implementation completed. % of planned implementation completed. % of planned implementation completed.
4.2 Complete planned RDIMS to GCdocs Migration N/A To be confirmed. To be confirmed.
4.3 Implement module for physical objects in GCdocs Establish options for the DND GCDOCS and GC hosted GCDOCS migration Provide analysis and standard process on how to catalogue physical objects within GCDOCS L1s to proceed cataloguing their physical objects within GCDOCS.
4.4 Track GCdocs User Login per L1 L1 specific, user logins to GCdocs and engage with GCDOCS postimplementation L1 specific, user logins to GCdocs L1 specific, user logins to GCdocs
4.5 Consolidate L1 drives % of electronic IRBVs in GCdocs or RDIMS vs other storage medium % of electronic IRBVs in GCdocs or RDIMS vs other storage medium % of electronic IRBVs in GCdocs or RDIMS vs other storage medium
4.6 Digitize IRBV Liaise with Level 1's to establish Digitization strategy 100% of total planned actually digitized. 100% of total planned actually digitized.
5 5.1 Publish and maintain datasets Minimum 10 Datasets released Minimum 10 Datasets released Minimum 10 Datasets released
5.2 Establish and maintain data inventory Update Data Inventory Update Data Inventory Update Data Inventory
5.3 Proactively publish information to the GC Open Government Portal Track and report on information published Track and report on information published Track and report on information published
5.4 Procedures for downgrading classified information Establish and confirm processes Implement processes, measure number of documents downgraded Number of documents downgraded
6 6.1 Deliver IKMS course

Deliver minimum 1 IKMS course.

50% of L1 IMOs successfully complete IKMS Course.

Deliver minimum 1 IKMS course.

75% of L1 IMOs successfully complete IKMS Course.

Deliver minimum 1 IKMS course.

90% of L1 IMOs successfully complete IKMS Course.

6.2 Establish an IM Job Architecture Approved and published
6.3 Create an IM Competency Profile Approved and published
6.4 Develop the DND/CAF IM Training Strategy Approved and published
6.5 Build a DND/CAF IM Talent Management Program Launch Program
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