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Records retention program

I am wondering what department within a midsized to large-sized company should be responsible for a records retention program. Should it be IT, procurement, legal, tax or audit? What is the best practice, who should be responsible for such a program? At the same time, who should write the policy on records management for the corporation?

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As a best practices approach, any midsized to large-sized organization should have (and usually does have) a records management department. I know for a fact that many government agencies have records management departments due to the fact that they have to manage confidential information about the public regularly -- ranging from health to tax information.

Within the private sector, the almost forgotten records management department, once relegated to the basement, is currently being revitalized due to the demands of regulatory compliance. It would be this department's task to interface with the various other departments within the organization -- legal, tax, audit, executive, etc. -- to help develop records management and retention policies suitable and applicable to their organization.

This was first published in April 2006

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