Roles and Responsibilities

Data Publishers Data Custodians Data Managers Data Stewards Metadata Editors

With the publication of the Data Management Policy, the roles and responsibilities listed in this page have been updated and some roles are no longer relevant. For Contact information purpose, we recommend only consider the following options as we remove the obsolete roles:

  • Generic Business unit email
  • Point of Contact
  • Data Custodian

This is a guide for Data Custodians and their delegates. It explains why these roles are important, and their associated responsibilities. It also describes how business areas can use the BC Geographic Warehouse (BCGW) to make their data holdings accessible to clients.

The page covers the following topics:

  • Getting the most out of the data we collect and manage
  • The role and obligations of Data Custodians and their delegates
  • Using the BC Geographic Warehouse (BCGW) to distribute data
  • Where to find more information

Table of Contents

It is all about the information

This guide is about managing information within the DataBC Program and making it available for decision making. The following points provide some context.

  • We use a lot of information
    • The Province collects and uses a wide variety of information.
    • Much of this information is collected by business areas that have a responsibility for inventory and providing access to this information.
  • Information is used for making decisions
    • It is the reason we collect and provide it.
    • The wider its access, the greater its potential.
  • Information integration adds value
    • The power of information for decision-making increases significantly when it is integrated with other related data.
    • Base mapping and other foundation data play a crucial part in providing a common geographic context for analysis and decision making.
  • Information standards are important
    • Standards provide the basis for information processing, integration and access using common sets of tools.
    • Lack of adherence to standards severely limits data use.
  • Information is costly
    • The Province spends considerable money, time and resources to collect information and manage it.
  • Information needs to be understood
    • Information used properly can provide immense value.
    • However, it can have the opposite effect if used inappropriately. Users need information about the data they intend to use in order to assure themselves of the data is fitness for purpose.
  • Information needs to be managed
    • Data are not static.
    • Over time, they are added to, updated, deleted, and reformatted, and so on.
    • Keeping information in usable form is not a trivial task. It requires active management.
  • Information needs to be protected
    • In many respects, information is a fragile resource.
    • It is easily corrupted and misused, and loses its value if it goes out of date, or is not properly described.
    • Some information is confidential, and needs to remain so.
    • Someone has to set the rules for using information and, having done so, step up to ensure the information is made available according to those rules.

The Data Custodian

Definition: Data Custodian

Am I a Data Custodian?

If you are a director with responsibility for the business (i.e., if you have authority based on legislation or policy), then you are probably also the Data Custodian.

Unless this custodianship role is formerly assigned to someone else, you have the obligations and accountability described here.

  • For the purpose of managing data in the BC Data Catalogue, you are a Data Custodian if you are an Executive Director of a branch.

Responsibilities of a Data Custodian

Per the Data Management Policy, if you are a Data Custodian, you have these responsibilities:

  • Oversee the management of data throughout its lifecycle
  • Ensure intended users of the data are supported and trained appropriately
  • Meet the requirements of applicable laws, policies, and standards, including this Policy

For the purpose of managing data in the BC Data Catalogue, a Data Custodian has the responsibilities to:

  • Approve or reject a request to grant a user editor privileges to your branch
  • Approve or reject a request to transfer records to another branch
  • Approve or reject a request to receive records from another branch


The Data Manager

The Data Steward

BC Data Catalogue roles and responsibilities


An Editor is someone who can create and maintain BC Data Catalogue records and resources on behalf of a Data Custodian. Editors must be approved by the Data Custodian for the Branch/Division in which they will be creating and/or maintaining records. To request editing access within a Branch/Division in the BC Data Catalogue, see How do I get authorization to publish records in the BC Data Catalogue?

Metadata Contacts

Contacts listed in metadata records play a key role for end-users. When a question, issue or concern with a dataset arises, the best way to get resolution is to reach out to a Contact in the metadata record.

Contacts can be listed as Custodians, Business Experts, Distributors or Points of Contact. See the Glossary for the definition of these roles.

For Contact information purpose, we recommend only consider the following options as we remove the obsolete roles:

  • Generic Business unit email
  • Point of Contact
  • Data Custodian

Group Admins

A Group Admin is someone who can add BC Data Catalogue records under a similar theme to a group for easy access.

Due to CKAN design, a Group Admin will also need to obtain the editor privileges for the branch to add its records to a group, or be granted sysadmin level access.



Other documents explaining guidelnes, roles and responsibilities: