In this age of automation more data and documents are created and managed every day which are humanly impossible to manage them manually. Therefore, it is a need of the hour to practice or policy to store and manage these documents.

The necessity of retention of data starts from an entrepreneur and goes to public and private sectors as Tax, Health Care, Human Resource or internal business. Due to these factors:

  • Statutory or regulatory retention periods,
  • Active litigation
  • Government investigation/ audit
  • Imminent lawsuit

Furthermore, it enables the organization to retrieve its damaged, destroyed data in any natural calamities as floods, earthquake, fire, etc.

There are 6 steps to develop a good data retention plan

The data retention laws in states differ but the goals, motives, and what makes a solid retention plan are the same.


1. Identifying the types of documents that you have, form media, to written records, not just original documents but copies or even any electronic format like email.


2. Identifying the needs of these documents and setting a retention period for those documents form months to years. A lot of times retention time is dictated by federal or state law like in Tax, Health Care, and Human Resource. Despite of it the internal business should retain that document until the internal business needs for that document whether to prove up its position of dispute or be able to the terms of its contract.


3. Address creation, distribution, storage, and retrieval of documents, within the organization the reason that these documents are needed that these aspects of a documents lifecycle is to make the process easier on the road, when you have to pull these documents out in particular request for production in a government investigation or a lawsuit. Knowing where the documents are and understand the circumstances under which you have to produce are all things you should think about in advance, will it’s important to think about what other businesses in your industry are doing? what’s most important is what you are able to implement there is no one size fits all every policy does need to be tailored to the organization think about what your software capacities are your hardware capacities are and your organizational capacities and make sure that you put something together that you can actually implement.


4. Destruction of documents.
It is perfectly acceptable stage in documents lifecycle. One can destroy a document so long as it has no further business need for it and is under no legal obligation to retain it,

    • Statutory or regulatory retention periods,
    • Active litigation
    • Government investigation/ audit
    • Imminent lawsuit

If a business destroys a data, while it is under a legal obligation to retain it opens itself up to a claim of spoliation of evidence, this is essentially a separate claim that the business has destroyed evidence and can expose it to penalties and sanctions, including most significantly what’s known as an adverse inference.

To avoid any question as to the motive for the document destruction, a document retention policy should set forth the condition for when and how a document will he destroyed this might even include automatic destruction of documents or automatic deletion of electronic information after a set period of time consistent with a document retention schedule.

Whatever document destruction policy a company decides to implement whether it is automatic deletion or scheduled deletion it needs to have some process in place where it can suspend that destruction in the event that litigation or an investigation or an audit.


5. Documentation and Implementation

It should not be lengthy, but it needs to be clear. It needs to be followed and implemented as written. If you do not follow as written can be just as problematic as having no policy at all, and could even be worse. Your actual practice is always going to trump what’s in writing, and if you not follow what you put in writing; it will always give rise to a question as to whether or not you are aver following the policy in the first place.


6. Ongoing management

Data retention policies are always going to be evolving just like the law, and just like your business. Someone within the organization needs to review the document retention policy periodically, to make sure that the retention periods are still appropriate in light of current legal standards and your current business needs.

Thus it is necessary to develop a good retention plan to save the data of document scanning, microfilm conversion, cloud hosted documents through free consultation from imaging services like our own TierFive Imaging.

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