The Information Technology Department supports Members and their staff with legislative office data management and the disposal of computer hardware and hard drives following a hardware failure.
There are two types of data: email and data files (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint and images). Both can exist in the Assembly’s email server or backup storage, PCs/Notebooks, iPads or smartphones. Additionally, data files can exist in the Assembly’s central data storage.
Email and data files stored on Legislative Assembly servers are backed up by the IT Department via the email server, central data storage or backup storage, using a combination of daily, weekly and monthly data backups to ensure that lost data can be restored, if required. PC notebook, iPad and smartphone use local storage and backups are managed by the user.
Daily and weekly backups allow the restoration of a file from any day in the previous 10 weeks. Monthly backup files are kept for 13 months and then they are deleted.
Data Backup and Restoration
For the period beyond the 10 weeks covered by the daily and weekly backups, files can only be recovered if they existed when the monthly backup was run on the first weekend following the end of the month. The IT Department is unable to recover any file deleted more than 13 months ago, although Members or their staff may be able to access such files if they remain in an email or network drive.
Members and their staff should contact the IT Department for support regarding hardware issues in legislative offices. In the case of a hard drive issue, the IT Department will have the computer repaired. The IT Department will remove the hard drive, insert a new hard drive, re-image the computer and return it to the user. The serial number of the old hard drive is recorded, and the old hard drive is then disposed in a secure manner.
Use of Email Accounts
All Legislative Assembly business should be conducted using the Member’s Legislative Assembly email account. The use of personal email accounts for official Legislative Assembly business is strongly discouraged.
Use of Cloud Storage
The use of Cloud Storage solutions such as iCloud and DropBox is not permitted for the storage of Legislative Assembly emails and data files due to security concerns, including the risk that the data will be stored outside of Canada. Data stored in another jurisdiction may be subject to that country’s legislation. This may impact a Member’s ability to protect the integrity, security and privacy of the data being posted or collected. However, these services can be used to backup photographs stored on Legislative Assembly tablets and mobile phones.