Keeping Records Long Enough

By Susan Cisco posted 05-19-2011 14:18


Todd Johnson, CRM, recently queried the RM Listserv, " In developing our retention schedule, I'm coming across multiple instances where the business need to retain certain records exceeds the compliance retention requirements by many, many years (i.e. 3 years v. Permanent) ... what are some of the approaches you used to make the end user feel like their needs were met, while at the same time ensuring records weren't kept excessively long?"

But not too long!
We have a solution for Todd's dilemma. Before starting the review of the draft updated retention schedule with key stakeholders, ask for and communicate a directive from the legal department/information governance steering committee mandating that legal requirements for record retention are not to be exceeded except for compelling reasons. Remind key stakeholders of the mandate during review sessions, and document requests to extend legal retention requirements (who, what, and why). The proposed retention period extensions accompany the updated draft retention schedule when it is presented to the legal review team for final review and approval.

When key stakeholders and decision makers are reminded of the mandate during review of the updated retention schedule, requests to extend retention periods are rare. This approach has worked every time! Here are results from two projects:

  1. At an international oil and gas company, there were 16 requests to extend retention periods of which about half were approved by the legal review team.
  2.  At a financial services company, there were six requests to extend retention, and a couple were approved. 

#electronic records management #retentionschedules #retentionmanagement #ElectronicRecordsManagement #recordretention