Records retention

All Jargon Busters
  • Records retention is a practice by which organisations maintain confidential records for set lengths of time, and then employ a system of actions to either redirect, store or dispose of them.
  • Records can be considered evidence of a decision or transaction that took place within your business operations, or an individual associated with your organisation, and should be kept as long as required – or for as short a period as necessary – as specified by regulatory, legal or organisation governance. Record retention is driven by a system of policies, scheduling and infrastructure that enables records managers to comply with governing regulations, laws and business best practices.
  • There are many benefits to keeping good records. It can help you to:
  • • Ensure you do not breach privacy requirements relating to individuals including customers and staff
  • • Know where your valuable data is, who is doing what to it and be able to protect it against cybercrime
  • • Keep track of key business metrics to support good business decisions
  • • Meet tax and superannuation obligations and manage cashflow.
  • An organisation that keeps information and records for longer than required is exposed to three major risks:
  • • Cost – the costs of maintaining, accessing and preserving information and records are significant
  • • Efficiency – systems work less efficiently if they contain too much information and too many records, making it harder and more time-consuming to find the information and records needed to carry out business functions
  • • Reputation – not disposing of information and records responsibly and on time puts organisations at risk of non-compliance, and increases the risk of inappropriate access or release.