Disposing of Electronic Records - Survey Redux

By Susan Cisco posted 03-15-2012 17:45

  

Do organizations require pre-approval prior to destruction or deletion of records whose retention periods have expired and for which there are no legal or tax holds? Last December, we released a survey on the topic, and the response rate was two percent. Several blog readers  mentioned that the holiday season was probably not the best time to release a survey and suggested we try again ... which we did. Responses were about the same; however, we added a few new questions, so we have new data.

In general, the results were about the same for the both surveys. Nearly all respondents (96%) in both surveys had a pre-approval process for destruction of physical records stored off-site, and the majority (78-82%) had a pre-approval process for physical records stored on-site.  The most frequent roles involved in pre-approval process for the destruction of physical records were RM, Legal, Tax, and the department that owns the records.

A pre-approval process for the deletion of electronic records was more likely to be applied to digital records stored on-site (73% in the 2nd survey), especially for high-volume repositories, than for digital records stored off-site or in the cloud (61% in the 2nd survey).

John Phillips proposed four new questions which generated an emerging practice for pre-approval of record destruction or deletion. We learned that among our respondents, RM does not usually have final responsibility for resolving issues and making the decision to follow the retention schedule. Rather, it is more likely to be the business unit owning the records or a collaboration with the business unit. RM is next most likely role to have final responsibility.

Q2  For physical records stored on-site, who has final responsibility for resolving issues and making the decision to follow the retention schedule?  (n = 44)

Q2 Business Unit/Owner 32%; RM 23%; Collaboration 20%;

Q4  For physical records stored off-site, who has final responsibility for resolving issues and making the decision to follow the retention schedule?  (n = 45)

Q4 Collaboration 33%; RM 22%

Q6  For electronic records stored on-site, who has primary responsibility for the pre-approval process?  (n = 46)

Q6 Collaboration/Business Unit/Owner 22%; RM 19%

Q8  For electronic records stored off-site and/or "in the cloud", who has primary responsibility for the pre-approval process?    (n = 37)

Q8 Collaboration 30%; RM/Business Unit/Owner 16%

These findings suggest that to make records disposition/deletion efficient and effective in enterprise content and records management systems, we need the ability to generate a workflow to enable a collaborative approval process. I checked with our SharePoint GimmalSoft Compliance Suite experts and learned that out-of-the-box (OOB) workflows have one disposition approval step. If organizations want to add more than one approval, they can modify the OOB workflows using SharePoint Designer.

 Survey Sample - This Zoomerang survey was emailed to approximately 2,200 contacts with "record," "information manager," "records officer," or "information officer" in their title. There were 49 responses (2%) to the first survey and 46 responses (2%) to the second survey.  Government agencies and oil and gas companies were the most frequent respondents and  represented one-third of the responses in both surveys.

 



#ElectronicRecordsManagement #dispositionofelectronicrecords #Records-Management #informationlifecycle
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06-14-2013 03:07

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