About e-mail appraisal

see my comment to a blog post by Bob Larrivee on AIIM ERM Community:

http://ermcommunity.org/erm/blog/email-and-policy-oil-and-water#comment-131

Jürg

There is not enough clarity how to qualify an e-mail as a business record. Basically e-mail is a media and not a record per se. People should be trained in applying a simple method to identifiy the business value (& purpose) of an e-mail. A lot of organizations have introduced a simple Q&A loop to go through in order to end up with a decision whether an e-mail is a record or not. However there are several methods in this field and there is no generic answer. Apply the defined methodology within your business scope and you will be fairly compliant. But remind: in an e-discovery case, potentially all e-mails become a record.
In general, some research findings have shown that the percentage of compliance relevant e-mails is higher than expected (20-30% on an average).
The current NARA regulation might not be sufficient, but the related decision tree will do the job:
http://static.twoday.net/jhagmann/files/E-Mail-Mgmt-NARA.pdf (page 17)
- Agencies must inform staff that e-mail messages are potential records.
- Staff must be capable of identifying federal records.
- E-mail transmission data and distribution lists must be preserved.
- Agencies must state that draft documents circulated on e-mail systems are potential federal records.
- E-mail must be stored in an appropriate record-keeping system and staff must be
informed of how these records, regardless of format, are maintained in that system.
- Agencies must provide instruction on how to copy e-mail identified as federal records from an e-mail system to an official record-keeping system.
- E-mail systems must not be used to store record-keeping copies of e-mail messages identified as federal records.
- Agencies must not use e-mail backup tapes for record-keeping purposes.
- Staff must be educated on the management and preservation of e-mail records sent or received from nongovernmental e-mail systems.

These rules are either applicable in the private sector. (just replace "federal" or "agency" by "company")

And it's not hopeless:
http://ermcommunity.org/erm/blog/hopeless-records-management-email

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