During the term of a Parliament, each Member collects numerous documents, including financial records, constituency case files, and documents related to their parliamentary and constituency duties.

Information Management

The Digital Information Office (DIO) can advise Members, constituency offices and caucuses on the day-to-day management of information and is available to support Members and staff in developing effective practices when creating, receiving, organizing, securing, retrieving, transmitting, storing and disposing of electronic and physical records. The DIO also supports policy development and training in related areas, including the protection of privacy, confidentiality, and vital records. The contact person for non-financial records and information management is Mary McIntosh, Records and Information Management Specialist at DIO@leg.bc.ca.

Financial Records

Constituency financial records have a 7-year retention requirement. Following the move to a centralized payment and accounting model, some constituency offices will have a mixture of financial records from the pre- and post-centralization periods.

Under the new centralized model, Financial Services will maintain the accounting records and scanned copies of all invoices and receipts in perpetuity. Original documents pertaining to the current fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) must be retained for audit purposes until confirmation of completion of the financial audit for that fiscal year is received from Financial Services. It is recommended that these original documents be filed by the month in which they were uploaded to DocuWare to facilitate any retrieval requests made by internal or external auditors. Once notification has been received from Financial Services, destruction of such documents should be done in a secure and timely manner.

Some documents, such as invoices and receipts required for warranty purposes, should be retained in original form and not be destroyed.

Other financial records (those not scanned to DocuWare), such as contracts and agreements, should be retained by the constituency office for at least 7 years.

Financial Records – Prior to April 1, 2018 

Any financial records pertaining to the period prior to April 1, 2018 should be maintained by the constituency office for at least 7 years and provided to Financial Services at the end of a Parliament or upon closing of a constituency office.

Financial records include: a full print out of the general ledger from the date the constituency office opened until it was closed; all bank statements; cancelled cheques; bank reconciliations; supplier invoices; expense claim forms for in-constituency travel; and contracts and agreements.

The Legislative Assembly will assist Members in determining the retention requirements for their various files. The Legislative Assembly contact person for financial records management is Hilary Woodward, Executive Financial Officer at hilary.woodward@leg.bc.ca.

Archival Records Storage

The Legislative Assembly offers all Members free storage for their personal, political or constituency records for a period of up to 5 years after the date of their departure from the Legislative Assembly. After this, records will be transferred to the Legislative Library for permanent retention or destruction, subject to agreement between the Member and the Legislative Library. The contact person for archival records storage is Peter Gourlay, Director, Legislative Library at peter.gourlay@leg.bc.ca.

Key Contacts

Hilary Woodward, Executive Financial Officer

hilary.woodward@leg.bc.ca

Michael Burke, Director, Financial Services

michael.burke@leg.bc.ca

Peter Gourlay, Director, Legislative Library

peter.gourlay@leg.bc.ca

Mary McIntosh, Records and Information Management Specialist, Digital Information Office

DIO@leg.bc.ca

Protection and Security of Information

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act provides British Columbians with a legal right of access to records, with limited exceptions, in order to make public bodies more open and accountable to the public they serve. The Act also protects the privacy of personal information held by public bodies. Although the Act does not directly apply to the Legislative Assembly, its Members, and officers, some records created by the Assembly, its Members, and officers, which are shared with public bodies, including ministries and the offices of Ministers and the Premier, are subject to the Act.

Members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with good practices to protect the privacy and security of personal information. It is recommended that Members and their staff use information technology devices provided by the Legislative Assembly, rather than personal devices, in order to receive or send communications relating to their parliamentary roles. Unlike personal devices, devices provided by the Assembly can protect and encrypt files to ensure sensitive or personal information is secure. Additional security and privacy tips for mobile devices have been prepared by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Office of the Auditor General, and are available by clicking here.

Release of Personal Information

Members meet regularly with constituents and help those who have questions or concerns about provincial government programs, policies, and benefits. In order to assist constituents with these matters, personal information may need to be provided to a Member or a Constituency Assistant by a public body. A Member can request the release of personal information on behalf of an individual constituent who has directly requested their assistance by using a Certificate of Authority. Should a constituent request a Member’s assistance on behalf of a third party (e.g., a parent requesting information on behalf of their child or an adult requesting support on behalf of their elderly parent), Members can request the release of personal information by using a Third Party Consent form. Additional information on this process is available online or from:

Key Contact

Corporate Information and Records Management Office

Privacy, Compliance and Training Branch

250-356-1851

privacy.helpline@gov.bc.ca