A recent survey revealed that whereas 80% of UK companies have a document retention policy in place, only 41% of those policies demonstrated compliance with electronically stored information (ESI) disclosure. ESI disclosure is the capacity to present computerised information to assist in legal investigations whenever requested and within a given timescale.
One of the obstacles preventing businesses from implementing these policies is the sheer volume of data which needs to be stored and a lack of resource to maintain archives for long periods of time. Another issue is who should take responsibility for e-Discovery rules, some arguing that it should fall under the remit of the legal department, others claiming it should be an IT duty.
There are currently relatively few penalties for European companies but losing a legal case because information has ‘gone missing’ could present an irresponsible and careless image which is not good for business. Many companies in the US have been severely penalised and there is no doubt that it is only a matter of time before the same financial penalties will be enforced in Europe.
For advice on electronic document storage and email archiving, please contact The IPC Group on 08081 45 46 47.