John, the main danger with the policy you propose is the potential that
your customers may believe that you are destroying records "without
their permission". While I realize the notification process you are
describing should prevent this, its possible those notifications will be
ignored by many, and the destruction will only be noticed when someone
needs to find a record that was destroyed.

The primary danger is that some customers will begin to withdraw from
whatever records management system is in place. The county had a policy
similar to the one you describe when I first got here - very few
agencies were using the system because records management "destroyed
records without their permission". Changing the policy to one requiring
agency approval was a big factor in initially increasing our customer

Note that I'm speaking from an organization that is highly
decentralized, and subject to constant reorganization, budgetary
instability and turnover. Agencies have considerable choice in how they
want to do things, and the organizational memory in many areas is short.
If your entity is more centralized and stable, with a stronger, more
consistent "rules" environment, I think your policy has more chance of

Dwight Wallis, CRM
Records & Distribution Services Manager
Multnomah County Fleet, Records, Electronic & Distribution Services
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Portland OR 97233
phone: (503)988-3741
fax: (503)988-3754
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