Organizations face literally tens of thousands of record retention requirements domestically, and many more additional country-specific requirements globally. Records may exist in paper, email, electronic files, databases, or other media, often with the same record maintained by multiple groups in multiple formats. Furthermore, companies want to ensure that high-business value information is retained, while also staying compliant with privacy and other requirements. Finally, organizations must create policy and schedules that are practical and executable.
Contoural’s records management consulting professionals help clients create and effectively communicate compliant, comprehensive, standardized and practical policies and retention schedules that apply to all information the client’s possession, custody or control - throughout its lifecycle - from creation to distribution and storage to disposition.
Contoural’s records management consultants work with the client to define what a record “is” for the client, based on its business or legal value; establish the periods of time for which various records should be maintained; specify processes for storing and destruction of records; describe roles and responsibilities of RIM professionals, IT staff, and employees; and outline procedures for ensuring compliance with the RIM program. The policy is inclusive of all information types, including drafts, convenience copies and non-records.
If the client has an existing policy, we review new external and internal realities, such as regulations, case law and media types, and recommend changes to bring policies and procedures up-to-date.
In addition to records, Contoural can assist in creating policies that address document retention, management and disposition for both records and non-record documents. We help clients refresh document retention policies to ensure that information is kept only as long as is necessary. Further, we make sure that the policy is enforceable and auditable, useful for litigation readiness, and can be defended against charges of spoliation.
Success of a record retention program starts with a well-designed Record Retention Schedule (RRS). .Contoural and the client prepare a detailed schedule that ensures compliance with federal, state and industry-specific as well as country-specific international record mandates. Our approach can be customized to provide detailed, record-specific record classes, or easier to execute, “big bucket” record classes. Schedules can include minimum retention periods, retention trigger events, applicable laws and regulations, and descriptions of the paper and electronic records that the client maintains in the regular course of business. Schedules are designed to meet each client’s specific legal, regulatory, industry, and company-specific cultural requirements.
We help clients refresh their record retention schedules to accommodate new standards and the growth of electronically stored information.
We identify relevant standards, legal citations and regulations, including taxation, privacy, labor, environmental, civil, and securities rules (among others) that should be called out in the records policy and RRS. We also develop country-specific citations for global record retention schedules.
Email systems are often repositories for official business records subject to classification and retention. We define policies for handling email that are consistent with the RRS without imposing undue burdens on end-users.
We work with the client to identify what electronic information should be classified and retained according to RRS categories and retention periods. Policies that discourage inappropriate use of personal storage and “underground archiving” are proposed.
We work with the client to identify what information generated from social media and collaboration tools should be classified and retained according to RRS categories and retention periods. Guidelines for the proper use of social media and collaboration tools are outlined.
Retention policies and schedules applicable to United States typically define the “high watermarks” (e.g., longest retention periods) that are often more stringent than those of other countries. We identify country-specific standards, case law, and regulations to adjust the baseline as needed.
Existing policies are evaluated with respect to the client’s specific needs and external requirements. We facilitate harmonization of existing policies, based on an analysis of conflicting or inconsistent guidelines, and prepare a set of recommended changes to policies.
Our consultants help the client develop a hierarchical structure for organizing documents and associated metadata so that information can be classified consistently and readily retrieved.
EIM is an overall approach for using information to support decision-making and routine business operations based on a combination of compliance, privacy, discovery, business unit and cultural requirements. We work with the client to build an EIM framework and ensure that RIM policies and retention schedules are consistent with it.
Contoural sells no products, receives no referral fees, does not provide document storage, nor offers document review or other matter-specific “reactive” eDiscovery services. Our Policy and Schedule Development services help clients organize information so that they can ensure compliance, reduce risks, lower costs and increase employee productivity.
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Metrics Based Information Governance
Outlines a metrics-based approach that focuses on results in five key areas: compliance, privacy, disposition, litigation readiness, and employee prod...
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