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Records management plan in the works

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The city will soon award a tender for the development of an information and records management strategic plan.

According to a staff report to Oshawa’s finance committee, the plan, also known as the “electronic document management strategy” will help in “advancing improvement of overall governance and management” of its information resources.

Staff have recommended a contract be negotiated with The Ergo Group Inc. to an upset limit of $125,339.

A total of 10 bids were received by the city for the contract, and were evaluated based on qualification and experience, quality of the proposal, understanding of project requirements and ability to meet deadlines, and pricing.

It is expected it will take approximately six months to complete the strategy.

Through the plan, the selected company will assess the city’s current information and record management practices, and identify challenges and future needs.

Structured and unstructured records and information for each of the city’s departments will be inventoried, with a focus on identifying “official, vital and transitory” records.

Recommendations will be made to the city on improving practices related to records and information management, and creating a plan to implement those enhancements.

As previously reported by The Oshawa Express, a review of the city’s records system and associated retention policy has been thrown around for years.

The review was first slated for the third quarter of 2015, and later pushed back to 2016, 2017, and then ultimately after the 2018 municipal election.

Resident Jeff Davis, a long-time critic of Oshawa’s handling of records management, blasted the current system at a meeting this winter.

In particular he stated several of his FOI requests made to the city that are under appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) are up to five years old.
“Part of the reason why our appeals are two, three, five years old is because the city cannot find records,” Davis stated. “The City of Oshawa has a long history of not being able to find records of doing an FOI request.”