While I agree fully with Dr. Doughty and Mr. Justice Gomery regarding the absolute importance of the official record and the pressing need for legislation, I believe legislation alone is not enough to achieve integrity. Proving both absence of records and criminal intent will be difficult. After my decades of experience in the public service and interacting with ministers' offices, it is clear that records issues are deeply ingrained in both the political and bureaucratic cultures. To achieve meaningful accountability, transparency, and open government, Canada should build on the example of the White House by
- setting email and document management systems in the offices of all ministers, deputies, ADMs and DGs so that no deletion is possible and so that the system is transferred intact to the Clerk or to the Archives as incumbents leave office.
- provide the technical capability and the search engine to manage all these records according to the archives, access to information and privacy laws.
- require in the Duty to Document legislation that all who are paid from public funds only use official email and document management systems for their official duties.
- disable the pin to pin function on all government owned cell phones.
- add a commitment to create and maintain a complete record to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.