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General Chat Thread, E-mail retention policies in General; Hi, I'm just starting to think about what we need to do to take ownership of our own E-mail system ...
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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    E-mail retention policies

    Hi,

    I'm just starting to think about what we need to do to take ownership of our own E-mail system (currently provided to by our LEA). One of the questions I'm unsure of is the law regarding e-mail retention. What should we be making sure is not deleted, how do we go about archiving relevant e-mails, and how long for?

    Has anyone here looked in to this? Do you have a e-mail retention policy? Do you run your own e-mail system and if so, how do you archive e-mails (if at all)?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Retention of any information is based not on a specific policy for a system, but on the retention schedule for that information (eg HR, finance, SEN, etc).

    Some companies / bodies will archive / retain data based on that (eg retain all emails for 15 years) but others will ask staff to manually archive the data (eg save a copy of mail messages into particular folders on their network shares, print off hard copies of mail messages), or to ensure that it is put into a different system which also records the origin of the data. This allows them to instruct staff to delete emails which are no longer required as they are not required for retention and / or retained elsewhere.

    Also remember that the data you retain is also available for FoI requests ... and if you have a mass of emails then it can take a significant to to process the request for data ... and you are legally obliged to do so. It can even be the case that you miss the allocated deadlines and a complaint is made.

    Not an explicit "you must do x" answer ... but probably as close as you are going to get.

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    tmcd35 (8th February 2013)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Thanks,

    I pretty much guessed there wasn't a specific "you must do X" kind of answer. What I'm interested in is what other schools do with regards to e-mail? Do you allow staff free reign on their accounts and hope they don't delete something important? Do you archive everything and what are the disk space implications of that? Do you just target specific members of staff like the SEN Officer or Finance Officer? Or do you have a written policy that all staff are expected to adhere to with regards to e-mail and what they shouldn't be deleting from their inboxes?

    I know there are schools that are going to be at various points along that fence, but I'd like to get a feel of best practice so I know what to spec up in terms of e-mail provider/exchange server and what to be writing in to our AUP and data protection policies.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 8th February 2013 at 03:38 PM.

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