I’d go with the RM Policy. If the email is a record, then get it on the system and retain it permanently. Not every email is a record.
I am trying to think of a position in between yours and that of Barclay in his comment.
Could we say that if an organisation can be confident that it has adequately captured business email correspondence from the individual into another system then it can proceed with the automatic deletion of email from the account. But if it cannot be confident that it has adequately captured business email elsewhere then it should not proceed with the auto-deletion of email from the individual’s account (and especially not if the individual is occupying a role of historic importance).
It concerns me that the auto deletion of email in UK government seems to be unconditional – it does not depend on whether email is adequately captured or not.
Actually, there are several tried and tested approaches to that sort of problems 🙂 One is “stick and carrot”. Include a clause in the contract with the chief economist that he will be fired and fined for the failure to preserve his emails, and will bear shared responsibility for any future losses and damages due to incorrect retention. Season the “dish” with a bit of “carrot” to your taste 🙂
I hope I haven’t got the poor guy the sack
Neither. I would a) keep the Records Retention Rule essentially as is b) update the email policy and related procedures and technologies to reflect a NARA Capstone-inspired role-based approach wherein all email created/received by the senior economist (and those like him) would be retained permanently (except those messages proactively deleted by him, or which there are likely very few). Human-dependent classification is a fantasy. Always has been, always will be and we are doing our organizations and indeed our profession a disservice by pretending otherwise. NARA’s Capstone approach is is important not because it is perfect, but because it is an admission by a “high church” of RIM that a) human classification is imperfect at best and b) email IS actually unique compared to other environments when it comes to records declaration and management, and thus requires a different approach – essentially breaking decades or RIM orthodoxy.
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