HOME 5 Data Governance 5 Your Data Governance Framework


A Data Governance Framework is the principal document that outlines your government’s data governance structures. Think of it as the high-level guide that shows how the detailed data governance processes, policies, legislation, and regulations fit together.

The BC First Nations Data Governance Initiative (BCFNDGI) has developed an excellent Data Governance Framework template. Use the BCNFDGI template as an example of how your framework can be drafted, including the following components:

Vision, principles, and objectives: What are you trying to achieve? Information on how to develop these components is in the Getting Started section of this site

Governance structure: What is the structure that will guide decision making around how data will be collected, used, and managed? Some parts of this governance structure will apply to your organization’s overall information management program. For more information, see Introduction to Information Governance and Management. The governance structure should include the following elements:

  • Types of data: describe the kind of data that will be covered (e.g. is it limited to health or employment data, or does it include all personal data about citizens?)
  • Decision making roles: how will decisions be made and who is responsible for making them? See Why this Toolkit is Needed for ideas about what leaders need to hear about data.
  • Support roles: What are the supporting staff roles needed to do the work? See Staffing and Training for more information.

Roles & Responsibilities: Who Does What?

Examples of decision-maker responsibilities include:

  • Leading the development of a consistent approach to tracking and storing data across the SGIG. Ensuring that policies, procedures, standards, strategy, and legislation reflect the approach.
  • Overseeing the development and maintenance of IT systems.
  • Ensuring that data management practices are consistent with policies, procedures, and legislation. Identifying compliance challenges and recommending actions for these practices.
  • Building support for data governance practices within the government through relationship-building, communication, and engagement.

Examples of support team responsibilities include:

See Staffing and Training for more information on key support roles.

Accountability mechanisms: How will decision makers and support staff show that they are meeting their responsibilities? See the BCFNDGI Data Governance Framework template, pg. 40, for examples of accountability targets and metrics (how progress towards the target will be measured).

Policy documents: What policies are already in place in your organization that may affect data governance? Where are the gaps in your framework that require new policy development? Your framework should contain a list of your government’s data governance policies. Look to the BCFNDGI Data Governance Policy Manual and the BCFNDGI Privacy and Security Policy Manual for handy template policies covering many areas of data governance and management.
Legal instruments: Includes relevant legislation of your own government, relevant legislation of other governments, and any relevant contracts or agreements. For more information go to Legislation and the Duty of Privacy Protection and Contracts and Agreements.

Best Practices: Internal Relationships

Good coordination amongst all departments is critical. All departments should be aware of what data other departments are tracking to avoid duplication or inconsistency. All departments must use coordinated systems to collect and store data and must follow consistent procedures around privacy protections and information access. See Data Security and Privacy and Legislation and the Duty of Privacy Protection.

Key relationships and partners: Internal relationships ensure the needs of all partners are met and support for data collection is maintained. External relationships with other organizations help prevent duplication of data collection and ensure that data management processes are meeting the needs of partners. We recommend you consider these questions:
  • How will you build trust among community members in the data collection process? Will community input be used to guide data collection? If so, how will you get that input? See First Steps: Visioning and Mapping a Path Forward.
  • How will you ensure that reporting to community members is relevant and accessible? See Using Data: Learning and Reporting.
  • What are your key inter-departmental relationships? Relationships between departments must encourage data-sharing so that all departments buy-in to data collection and management.
  • What are the lines of communication between departments?
  • What are your key inter-institutional relationships? Some examples include Statistics Canada, provincial and territorial statistics agencies, school boards, regional health authorities, other Indigenous governments, or agencies such as First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC), INSTAT (Statistics and Research Unit of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)), and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). See External Data Sources.
  • For each agency, what data are they collecting about SGIG citizens? What formats do they use? Can you access the data? See External Data Sources.
  • How will relationships be maintained? How can you make relationships formal, for example, through data-sharing agreements or MOUs? See Contracts and Agreements.

The webinar below is a presentation by Harmony Johnson and Laurel Lemchuk-Favel on data governance. For more webinars covering content in this toolkit click here.

Data Governance