I have a question that, hopefully, the learned members of the listserv can
As we work to develop an email management tool to allow us to retain and
dispose email records according to our retention policy, and mirror our
paper records management system, I have run into the following dilemma...

If we have a record with a retention period of 1Y, in the paper world that
means we retain the record for the year it was created, plus one year of
retention, plus one day.  So all records created ANYTIME during 2002 would
be eligible for disposal on 1/1/2004.  It matters not if the record is
from 1/1/02, 5/15/02, or 12/31/02, they all come due for disposal in

In the electronic world, the system we propose will dispose the email
record exactly 365 (plus one) days from creation.  Thus an email from
1/1/02 would be disposed on 1/2/03, one from 5/15/02 would go on 5/16/03
and 12/31/02 would go on 1/1/04.

So, in the hard-copy world, we keep records in complete year sets, whether
the are calendar years, fiscal years or whatever.  All documents from a
year are all disposed together.   In the electronic world, individual
records would be disposed as they individually come due for disposal.

This is the difference between 1Y retention and 365D retention.  Hard-copy
is managed by the year-set, I would imagine, for two main reasons: 1) It
would be impossible to do otherwise, with paper  and 2)  it allows users
to keep complete yearly sets of information which makes sense,
human-nature/comfort wise.  The IS folks prefer that the 356 day retention
be used... its easy to do electronically, it frees up more server space
quicker, and, to them, it makes more sense since it better manages the
record to the retention schedule... that is, if you say you keep a record
for 1Y, then you should keep it one year... not one year plus however much
of the year is left.

Hard-copy disposals cannot be done daily.  Electronic disposals can.  IS
doesn't want to retain e-records any longer than necessary.

If we go with IS's preference, we will have an inconsistency with our
retentions.  An email record of the same record series would likely not
exist for as long as the paper record, even though they are within the
same record series, with the same retention period (the retention periods
should be media-independent, correct?)  Is this a huge problem?  Do we
insist that IS dispose in the same manner as paper, dumping huge volumes
of records twice a year (to mirror the Calendar and Fiscal year-end paper
purges)?  Or do we just accept the difference, and be happy that we are
managing email better than before?

My mind is boggled.
Dan Jones
Honda of America Manufacturing
Records Information Center
937/642-5000 X1239

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