Organizations have invested millions in technology to manage structured, semi-structured, and unstructured information; in retention schedules to establish retention periods for records; and in information lifecycles to manage retention for everything else. Implementing retention management in technology tools is still a significant challenge, and most organizations default to keeping everything that’s not deleted by the organization’s employees on an ad hoc basis.
Depending on whom you ask, there may be obstacles for disposing of electronic content. Research on the RM perspective discussed earlier suggests that most RM professionals expect to apply the collaborative pre-approval process they use for disposing of physical records in boxes stored off-site to electronic records. Other RM voices think this is unrealistic and impractical.
In a new white paper that expands beyond the RM viewpoint, the IT perspective is voiced by Mike Alsup: “The cost of getting the enterprise view of information needed to responsibly delete electronic information compared to the risk of not deleting it encourages IT professionals to do nothing.”
From the legal point of view voiced by John Isaza, obstacles to electronic record disposition are the exception and not the rule. A cursory survey of authorization and disposition requirements in Federal statutes and regulations and in all 50 states produced few requirements. In general, the private sector may rely on compliance with the records retention schedule as evidence of authorization to destroy. However, for Federal and state government agencies, as well as the insurance sector, proof of authorization and/or of destruction may be required.
Thanks to all who participated in the surveys, conference calls, and who commented to the blog posts. Where does the conversation need to go next?
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This post and comment(s) reflect the personal perspectives of community members, and not necessarily those of their employers or of AIIM International