Transfer of Records to a Different Medium

Records may go through several phases before they are finally destroyed. In many cases there may be value in transferring data from one medium to another (i.e., paper to electronic or online to hard storage). Considering data transfer is often undertaken in order to be able to destroy the original document the transfer should be carried out in accordance with strict procedures and guidelines.

Some considerations that might be taken into account when developing procedures include:

  • The timing of the transfer:
    • some types of documents might automatically be transferred and others might be required to be retained in original form;
    • someone can be designated to determining which records should be transferred and when;
    • how the document is likely to be accessed in future;
    • data access needs to be compatible with technology used by employees if the data needs to be frequently accessed; and
    • documents must be able to be copied and provided to applicants when requests for disclosure are made.
  • Length of time the document will be stored:
    • records that require long term storage may need monitoring to ensure that data does not deteriorate and remains accessible with current technology.
  • Ability to protection the privacy of data during the transfer process:
    • using commercial or third parties to manage the data will require contractual assurance that privacy will be maintained.

  • The accuracy of the transfer of information:
    • the board of education should be confident that the technology being used will be accurate and will not harm or distort the original data in any way.

  • Where the data will be stored:

    • security issues should be addressed (i.e., if the data is stored offsite is it in a jurisdiction with the same or similar privacy protections as we have in Saskatchewan?)

Legal and evidentiary issues should also be considered. A document that is required to be retained can be kept in electronic form if the following conditions are met:

  • the information or document is retained in the format in which it was created, provided or received, or in a format that does not materially change the information or document;

  • the information or document will be accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference by any person who is entitled to have access to the information or document or who is authorized to require its production; and

  • where the information or document was provided by or received, information, if any, that identifies the origin and destination of the information or document and the date and time when it was sent or received is also retained.