The purpose of a Document Retention Policy is to determine how you will preserve and destroy information. This streamlining will help you save time when searching out necessary information and will also help if documents are requested should litigation (be it a government or business dispute) come into play.
Typically, a Document Retention Policy is developed by the Company’s senior management, with input from all the employees in the business. The employees, being on the front lines and dealing with accumulating masses of data, should always be consulted. As well, the company attorney, who should know the legal retention time periods for your specific business, and your IT guy (or Information Technology professional) will also be involved.
The issues to consider include:
- What documents are involved?
- Where are these documents?
- How are they stored?
- Who has control over them?
- How long should the documents be kept?
- Who will decide which document are kept or destroyed?
- How will the documents be destroyed?
- Who is in charge of enforcing the policy?
As the records pile up a Document Retention Policy will help you to keep control over a mass of information.