The Records Management department made considerable progress in 2016/2017 in a number of operational areas, from cemetery management and FOIP training to laserfiche correction.
Cemetery Operations and Management
There are 31 Cemeteries total within the boundaries of Lac Ste. Anne County. Lac Ste. Anne County is responsible for the maintenance and management of the following five cemeteries, the remainder are either owned or operated by Churches or private Associations:
- Onoway Municipal (open)
- Fern Valley (open)
- Lac Ste. Anne County (closed)
- Hillside (closed)
- Riverview (closed)
Historically, Lac Ste. Anne County would assist some of the cemeteries with the grass mowing. To make this a fair opportunity for all organizations, we created the Cemetery Assistance Grant. This grant, in the amount of $250/year per cemetery, is for maintenance assistance. The only requirements for receipt of the funds is to fill out a survey pertaining to the current operations of the cemetery, and an application form by the deadline of June 30th each year. The funds can be utilized by the groups for whatever they wish within the cemetery; if they wish to build a bench, plant a tree, pay a summer student to assist mowing the grounds, it is the choice of the association.
Over the course of the last four years we have also been able to create new Policies and Procedures pertaining to the operations and maintenance of all county owned cemeteries. We have created an up-to-date data mapping system, which has allowed us to survey the location of each plot and enter the coordinates into an electronic map, followed by permanently staking three blocks in the newer section of the cemetery. The purpose of this is to allow Public Works to accurately mark the plots in the correct locations and to keep the integrity of alignment within the cemetery blocks.
We are currently in the process of recording all of the permanent records pertaining to the burials into an electronic records management system to ensure the safety of these records for years to come.
Cemetery Operations and Management
Within the last four years, we have been able to implement training for all new staff (and existing) to properly understand and comply with FOIP legislation as it pertains to a public body. There was extensive review resulting in the creation of Policy and Procedure to ensure that all information will be collected, used and released appropriately as per legislation.
New policy and practices were put into place to differentiate how Information Requests (information publicly available), and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy requests are received and handled to better allow for transparency.
Records Management – Implementation and Management of Documents
A review all of records and documents has been conducted and life cycle information has been applied to all records. Department meetings were done and reviews were conducted to understand process and practicality in order to draft a new Disposition and Retention Schedule to replace the historical one that was in place.
Policy and Procedures have been created to identify records and the process for retention and disposition along with current legislation. This has allowed us to take giant steps forward in the management of information, allowing for a more transparent and compliant governance. Moving forward this year, we are excited to be implementing an Electronic Records Management system that will truly capture and save our records in a safe and functional manner.
Laserfiche Back File Correction Project – RICOH
While reviewing and re-establishing the records management strategy, we were able to move forward with our electronic records management (ERM) system.
In 2011-2012, RICOH was hired to complete a data capture project (land files and subdivision files). This would allow for all of our historical information along with current information to be captured in an electronic format making it searchable and organized in a system that would comply with all records management legislation. Unfortunately, after completion of the project, while working in the system it was decided that the project had in fact been completed incorrectly. Metadata fields were not created and templates did not exist, rendering our information unsearchable and useless in an electronic management system.
After many meetings and much consultation, I am happy to report that RICOH has agreed to re-do the project from 2012 in its entirety. Much work has gone into preparing the data, coordinating the RICOH teams and the process, but as of September the project will be underway.