Records Management

Consistency is at the heart of defensibility

consistency-is-at-the-heart-of-defensibility

Records Management

Consistency is at the heart of defensibility

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We’ve learned over time that regulators, judges, auditors and other authorities place great stock in consistent practices. I’ve heard countless times from legal and compliance subject matter experts that it’s better to have no policy for records and information management than have one that no one follows - and that goes for destruction schedules, as well. There are myriad cases in which rulings have been made against organizations for inconsistent destruction practices - it’s what notoriously contributed to the end of Enron.

The vast majority of us rely on our employees to make manual decisions about destruction eligibility, either indirectly by classifying and applying dates to records, or directly through manual decisions to initiate shredding. These can be subjective actions, depending on how well an employee understands the records retention schedule and the minimum amount of information required to describe a file or box of records. It’s not surprising that over time you’ve accumulated legacy records that lack what you need to know about when they are no longer needed. Remember, subjective decisions can lead to inconsistent conclusions.   

By contrast, the more objectivity that is built into the destruction eligibility calculation process, the more consistent it will be. The ultimate goal is to remove the subjective human element as much as possible through the use of solutions such as Iron Mountain’s Smart Sort.  

Smart Sort uses three essential ingredients necessary to understand and identify destruction eligibility dates: an extraction of your organization's database which represents your physical paper records (i.e., identification number, from/to dates, etc.), your records retention schedule and Iron Mountain exclusive coding that matches the records to an appropriate retention rule, including event-based rules. Whether the eligible dates are past due or in the future, the calculation method is consistent.

It’s time to embrace the objectivity of Smart Sort for increased compliance and reduced risk.

To learn more visit: ironmountain.com/smartsort

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