Document retention policy


  • Provided by TechRepublic Premium
  • Published February 13, 2020
  • Topic TechRepublic Premium
  • Format PDF

Establishing proper timeframes for the storage of sensitive or private documents is essential to efficient company guidelines. Keeping documents for too short a period of time may negatively impact business operations or customer interactions. On the other hand, retaining documents for too long a period may violate rules or legal requirements and expose data to risk.

Furthermore, the accidental or intentional destruction of these private documents during their specified retention periods could result in fines and penalties, obstruction of justice charges, inference of spoliation of evidence, contempt of court charges, and serious disadvantages in litigation.

The company must retain records which contain information that has enduring business value (for example, it provides a record of a business transaction, evidences the company’s rights or obligations, protects the company’s legal interests, ensures operational continuity or which must be kept to satisfy legal, accounting or other regulatory requirements).

The purpose of this policy from TechRepublic Premium is to provide guidelines for appropriate retention and disposal of physical and electronic documents.

From the policy:

For purposes of this policy, “records” shall mean any tangible form of expression including books, papers, files, notes, confirmations, account statements, correspondence, memoranda, reports, journals, registers, analyses, plans, manuals, policies, faxes, telephone logs, minutes, notes or transcriptions of conversations or communications or meetings, press releases, contracts, agreements, calendars, date books, appointment books, diaries, notices and summaries, and also includes “electronic records”, which include any of the above listed records held in electronic form, tape, recordings, and other media storage devices.

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