Government of Canada information management

Note to reader

The Policy on Service and Digital and the Directive on Service and Digital took effect on April 1, 2020. They replace the:

  • Policy Framework on Information and Technology;
  • Policy on Management of Information Technology;
  • Policy on Information Management;
  • Policy on Service;
  • Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use;
  • Directive on Management of Information Technology;
  • Directive on Information Management Roles and Responsibilities; and,
  • Directive on Recordkeeping.

Other Treasury Board policy instruments under the Policy on Service and Digital are being reviewed and updated to reflect current information management practices and technology. The information on this page is provided for ongoing reference purposes.

Information management is a discipline that directs and supports effective and efficient management of information in an organization, from planning and systems development to disposal and/or long-term preservation.


In the Government of Canada, information is safeguarded as a public trust and managed as a strategic asset to maximize its value in the service of Canadians.


The vision is achieved through the implementation of the Government of Canada Information Management Strategy.

Policy instruments

Information management policies, directives, standards and guidelines support effective decision making and program delivery in the Government of Canada. These policy instruments apply to all federal government departments and are currently being revised under the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Policy Reset Initiative. The revised instruments will be posted on the Treasury Board Policy Suite website as they are approved.

The Policy Framework on Information and Technology sets out guiding principles for soundly managing information and technology practices across government. The framework also provides strategic context for policy direction on information management.

The objective of the Policy on Information Management is to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency, and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

Directive on Information Management Roles and Responsibilities
The objective of this directive is to identify the roles and responsibilities of all departmental employees in supporting the deputy head in the effective management of information in their department.
Directive on Recordkeeping
The objective of this directive is to ensure effective recordkeeping practices that enable departments to create, acquire, capture, manage and protect the integrity of information resources of business value in the delivery of Government of Canada programs and services.
Directive on Open Government
The objective of this directive is to maximize the release of government information and data of business value to support transparency, accountability, citizen engagement and socio-economic benefits through reuse, subject to restrictions for privacy, confidentiality and security.
Standard on Metadata
The objective of this standard is to increase the use of standardized metadata and value domains when managing government information resources.
Standard on Geospatial Data
The objective of this standard is to support stewardship and interoperability of information by ensuring that departments access, use and share geospatial data efficiently and effectively to support program and service delivery.
Standard for Electronic Documents and Records Management Solutions (EDRMS)
The objective of this standard is to manage information efficiently and effectively by using EDRM solutions. Such solutions should increase access to relevant, reliable and comprehensive information to make decisions when delivering programs and services. They should also make the most of Government of Canada investments in EDRM solutions by reducing the cost of implementation and of ongoing operations through standardization and economies of scale.


TBS Information Management Strategic Plan 2016-2019

In its commitment to espouse and apply foundational democratic principles of openness and transparency and to adopt innovative, agile, and collaborative solutions in its service to Canadians, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has developed a three year IM Strategic Plan for 2016-2019 which outlines the approach the department will take in using, disseminating, and safeguarding its most valuable asset: its information.

Guideline for employees: information management basics

The Guideline for Employees of the Government of Canada: Information Management Basics is designed for all Government of Canada employees and is relevant to a wide variety of environments.

There may be additional practices and procedures in place in your institution, so we encourage you to consult your manager and information management specialists, as needed.

This guideline will help you to:

  • Gain a basic understanding of information and records management concepts
  • Learn how you can start applying them today.
  • Shape the way you work with information. You will quickly discover both immediate and long-term benefits.


Metadata is a vital component of information management as it allows for increased searchability and sorting of relevant content.

Information management protocols

Information Management Protocols (IMPs) provide additional guidance and instruction on issues not specifically referenced by existing policy instruments. These mini policy explanations have been developed to respond to frequently asked questions and/or emerging information management challenges faced by many departments.

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