During legal action

Managing documents and information has always been essential to the operation of any organisation and, in most organisations standards for filing and maintaining documents exist as a matter of course. Sometimes those standards are formalised in a plan that describes how and where documents will be kept and when they will be destroyed. Other times, standards evolve as a matter of practice, informed by the need for organisation, space, and compliance with laws unique to a given industry governing retention of records.

In theory, managing electronic records should be no different than managing the paper records. However, electronically stored information wreaks havoc on ordinary records management procedures because of its sheer volume, the unique challenges of accessing and storing ESI, and its temporary nature. Of course, the staggering volume of electronically stored information in the workplace, from email to web pages to Word documents is widely known. Approaches There are two types of policies: (1) ad hoc and (2) systematic retention.

Under an ad hoc system, each employee decides whether to keep or discard documents based on personal preference. The main disadvantages of this method are as follows: individuals keep certain documents, but destroy other documents that give context to the remainder; individuals mistakenly get rid of documents that they no longer use, but which could benefit the company during legal action. As such, most companies with a document retention policy have implemented a systematic retention program whereby certain categories of documents are disposed of by the same personnel on an established time schedule.

Benefits The advantages of implementing a document retention policy are as follows: reduce costs to store and maintain documents that are unnecessary for business and not required to be kept by law; safeguard documents against theft; reduce eliminate redundant documents; prevent electronic server capacity from being used up; organize records for easier accessibility; eliminate unnecessary personal information mixed in with business work product; and identify relevant documents that may be required for any legal action.

The disadvantages of developing a document retention policy include: noncompliance by a few employees will render the policy useless and such breaches would discredit the policy; the cost to maintain and implement policy each year; retention policy creates its own set of documents, including a log of destroyed documents; selective enforcement of policy could result in civil sanctions or criminal penalties. Document Retention Companies are not required to have any document retention program; it is voluntary.

Although some government agencies require certain types of documents to be kept for a period of time, an employer has sole discretion to keep or get rid of its documents after that time based on several factors including, but not limited to: anticipated or current legal action, business needs and efficiency, and conservation of time and space. For example, an employer cannot destroy documents in its possession that are relevant to legal action, or potential legal action. Thus, the purpose of a document retention policy is to maintain records in accordance with various laws and to support the company's basic day to day operations.

The document management program adopted by ITS is the ESI system and is managed by the Quality section. All documents must be submitted to the section for review before they can be uploaded onto the Company Intranet. ITS has a file tracking system whereby each document has an individual ID and Issue number allocated. This system ensures that all employees are using the correct and current documents and the system can be controlled and managed effectively. b. Create a document to itemise the research for your report.

Select the most appropriate style of document to clearly present the information, which should include:A File Retention Policy held by a company/organisation means to ensure that the right information is available to the right people at the right time, within the right context to make it meaningful and useful, for as long as it is considered necessary by management to retain it for access, having due regard to legislative, legal and evidential requirements and the way in which it is maintained. 3. Explain two ways that an organisation's external documents could create a good impression.

Any publication that is to be used outside the organisation must convey a professional image. Documents must be well presented and accurate. The information must be current, relevant and informative to the user.  Many organisations now support the use of recycled products to help to contribute to the Greener ethos. To reduce the amount of paper we use where possible, producing leaflets, letters or publications, will demonstrate a commitment to use 100% recycled or FSC certified paper wherever possible, and source paper from within the UK. 

Identify four components that may be incorporated into a document template. A document template is a collection of pre-defined styles that ensures documents have a coherent structure and presentation. A company logo can be added and a series of styles for the title, subheadings, lists, headers and footers etc. These styles give a uniform look to various parts of the document. Templates can also be used for spreadsheets, for example a timesheet template where formulas can be pre-set on a template to ensure correct calculation of working hours when input by the user.