The headquarters move is months away, but I’m already concerned about an information management train wreck. The new space is impressive, yet has far less storage space, which is daunting given our overflowing file cabinets. I winced when our move provider said we should have several “Shred Days,” imagining just how brutally that would be mischaracterized in pending litigation.
I also know that storage costs will spike, and litigation costs explode, if records are simply boxed up and sent to off-site storage without controls. Telling employees to follow our old, out-of-date retention schedule is unworkable, and I’m not exactly comfortable with the thoroughness of our existing legal holds. This seems like a good time to get our information house in order, ease pressure on the move process, and start fresh at the new location.
With this many moving parts and exposures, you need a solid plan to safely manage records during the headquarters move. Key elements include:
- An up-to-date and legally validated retention schedule and a reliable mapping of the footprint of current legal holds;
- A clear process to identify records against the schedule and legal holds, routing the records to their proper destination: the new headquarters; new network file structures; off-site storage; legal review for preservation under hold; or secure and compliant disposal;
- Selection and training of the right people for the right roles to run the records move process; and
- Defensible documentation of actions taken.