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Just another point that has nothing to do with risks, more with straight
costs: Beginning in the 1980's and continuing through the 90's, we went
through an extended period when retentions were reduced across a wide
range of record types, partially due to a de-regulatory trend. In the
county, the combination of HIPAA, and national security/justice concerns
beginning in the "oughts" have trended retentions in the opposite
direction. The longer we store records beyond their retentions, the more
likely we will end up having to store them due to increased retention
requirements anyways. One can argue whether this is a good or bad thing;
it can be, however, a significant cost factor, particularly if the
increased requirement applies only to a portion of a record series,
requiring some method of separation to effectively implement. This
creates a considerable incentive to get rid of records when we can.

I'm curious whether the private sector folks on this listserv have
noticed that trend of increasing retention lengths. It has definitely
been happening in the public sector. My sense is that the private sector
is not experiencing increasing retention requirements in terms of
length; rather, you are experiencing increasing requirements in terms of
compliance.

Dwight Wallis, CRM
Records Administrator
Multnomah County Records Management Program
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Gresham, OR 97233
phone: (503)988-3741
fax: (503)988-3754
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