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How Good Information Governance Can Save Lives

Good information governance (IG) in an organization is an obligation that is often overlooked. Frequently IG is an afterthought that is viewed as tedious and time consuming, offering little value. We, at MT>3, know this is not true. Properly managed information allows for effectiveness and efficiency within an organization, especially as the world becomes more information centric. We are producing more information than ever, and we need to be able to access critical information quickly and easily.

The Report of the Independent Civilian Review into Missing Person Investigations was released earlier this week. The Report of the Honourable Justice Gloria J. Epstein was an independent review of the Toronto Police Services Board’s handling of missing-persons cases, including those involving serial killer Bruce McArthur. The Report contains 151 recommendations in response to investigative flaws found during the investigation. Recommendations 20 and 21 refer to a recommendation for Records Management Systems. 

Justice Epstein recommends that information should not be siloed between police services. According to her, police services has used a confusing array of records management systems over the last few decades. A good records management system would have ensured that everyone involved in an investigation would have had easy access to the same crucial information while restricting access to information that should not be shared. If everyone had the same information, there would have been better coordination of the investigation. Patterns within the investigation would have been recognized sooner. This could have led to an earlier arrest of Bruce McArthur and saved lives. 

Although the Report talks about “records management,” we like to speak about “information governance.” Records management connotes the management of documents whereas we are now managing far more than just documents. In the case of the Toronto Police Service, information can include surveillance videos, audios from interviews, and wiretaps. In 2021, managing information is crucial for an organization’s success. Proper systems in place can help organizations navigate the enormous amount of complex data that sophisticated operations create and rely on.

Contact Susan Wortzman ([email protected]) or Lisa Chung ([email protected]) at MT>3 to learn how we can advise you on your information management system and how we can use machine learning to help you organize your records in a defensible manner.

Lisa Chung and Susan Wortzman


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