Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Dateline Detroit. “GM Staffers Questioned on Recall,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2014 B4 http://on.wsj.com/1lmZdGg Federal prosecutors are all over GM like cheap suits, exploring documents and emails about the failure to recall cars with defective ignition switches. States soon to follow. Everyone has been told that to destroy anything relevant can lead to criminal charges.

Dateline Washington, DC. “IRS Says Emails Lost in PC Crash,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2014 A5 http://on.wsj.com/1hUg5nn A year after the Congressional investigation started, we learn of a 2011 hard drive crash that apparently wiped out Lois Lerner’s emails. No backup, apparently. Interesting that the IRS doesn’t backup emails on its servers, despite federal laws on records. No federal prosecutors involved yet.

If the directors allowed a company to operate without backups, they would be in breach of their duty to protect company assets. If this happened in the middle of a government investigation, the company, and its managers and employees would be subject to prosecution under 18 USC 1519, among other federal criminal statutes, as Kurt Mix discovered.

What’s your company’s process? Where do you operate?

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Filed under Board, Controls, Duty of Care, Governance, Internal controls, IT, Oversight, Protect, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Risk, Security

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