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I have been following this discussion for days and there so many comments
on which I would like to respond. And on top of this it is Friday.  But I
will try and restrain myself.

In answer to Virginia Jones comments about "why saving records is often
considered only a legal
liability and not a legal safeguard"

The answer is that the liability has little to do with wrongful behavior.
The liability is tied up in costs of reviewing records by attorneys.  Why
keep such records around when you are no longer legally required to
preserve them and they are not needed to support your business activities.
 Add to this is the question -- will the absence of such records in crease
or decrease the ability of potential plaintiffs to initiate litigation
that is both frivolous and without merit.

It is well to remember that while the traditional a retention schedule
model uses the archival value as one of the analytical categories -- no
business is required to have an archives.  In many business organizations
the archival value is always or nearly always set to 0.  This is an area
where there is a real divergence between government and non government
records management programs.  A government agency needs to preserve its
information in order to demonstrate its accountability to the taxpayers.
This is a reason why government agencies have freedom of information
programs and other organizations do not.  Even a professional organization
like ARMA, to which many of us belong, does not have a freedom of
information program.  Nor are they legally required to.

In contrast records management organizations in the private sector are
largely evaluated in the same way as other business programs -- in their
ability to support  the objectives of the firm.  In the USA this is
largely a measure of financial value provided to stock holders.

Regards and happy Friday

Dave Gaynon

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