Category Archives: Records Management

Tracking empties

Sometimes tracking is a good thing.

“Tech to Track Errant Kegs,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2018 B4.  Sensors installed to reduce 10% shrinkage rate from theft or misplacement of beer kegs.  Could also track temperature.

Do you track similar information?  Is this more or less valuable than knowing what records you have and where you have them?


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Filed under Information, Records Management, Value, Governance, Protect assets, Controls

Current, accurate, and complete

When decision-makers want information upon which to make decisions, they would like to that that information be current, accurate, and complete.  Don’t we all?

“Court Backs Purge of Voter Rolls,” The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2018 A3.  Supreme Court allows Ohio to prune its voter rolls of people who haven’t voted in a long time and who don’t reply to an inquiry as to their status.

One would expect the government would take some care in maintaining its voter rolls.  Helps provide some integrity to the process.  Is that information governance?  But we want to make sure there’s a robust process to prevent inappropriate pruning.

Is this an analog for defensible deletion?

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Filed under Records Management, Governance, Controls, Third parties, Internal controls, Oversight, Duty, Accuracy, Government


A fascinating area for exploration is the drafts that led to the final version.  The dates, the wording, the recipients.  Why do people keep drafts?  Just because?

“Comey Originally Tougher On Clinton, The Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2017 A5.  A Republican Senator discloses that Comey’s early draft of the exoneration document used the language “grossly negligent,” the statutory test.

I’ve referred to July 5, 2016 as the Day that Information Governance Died.  That’s when the Director of the FBI announced his decision not to prosecute someone who had routinely violated the rules on handling secret documents, because “no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.”  Not to get into the politics of things, but how can you argue that following the rules is required when the Secretary of State isn’t held to the standards that apply to a Navy seaman?

That being said, why do people hold on to drafts?  Because it’s easy?  Or because it’s hard to get rid of them?  There is seldom a reason to retain them beyond when the document is final.  Maybe a phrase or a paragraph.  But the entire document?  How can we convince people not to keep drafts?



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Filed under Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Discovery, Duty, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Legal, Records Management, Risk

Problems in your industry

One of the early warning signs of most crises is a similar problem elsewhere in your industry.

“EU Officials Raid BMW’s Headquarters,” The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2017 B2.  Raid was apparently looking for evidence of antitrust violations in the industry, perhaps including agreements on emissions technologies.

Is this related to the emissions scandal at VW and other car makers?

If you’re a European car manufacturer, does this raise the risks of what’s in your information systems and files today?  How can you address?

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Filed under Definition, Discovery, Information, Legal, Records Management

How important is keeping records?

In September 2010, a pipeline exploded in San Bruno, California, killing eight.  PG&E, the pipeline’s owner, couldn’t find records of pipeline inspections required by regulation.  Lots of fines and civil damages.

As part of the resolution, or as part of their post-crisis communications plan, PG&E placed a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on March 21.

Here’s a pdf of the ad.  TheWallStreetJournal_20170321_B005

Doubt if the corporation has that ad in Lucite paperweights.

Does your corporation adhere to regulatory record-keeping requirements?



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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance, Legal, Oversight, Records Management, Requirements


For years, you have tracked information based on 14,000 categories.  Sort of like record retention categories.  But then they go and change from 14,000 categories to 70,000.  How do you manage the transition?

“70,000 Ways to Classify Ailments,” The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2015 B1.

Maybe not a big deal for you, but your doctor and nurse and hospital have been spending big bucks to get ready.


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Filed under Collect, Definition, Governance, Information, Management, Oversight, Protect assets, Records Management, Use

San Bruno, continued

In 2010, a gas pipeline ruptured in San Bruno, setting fire to a neighborhood and killing 8 people.  In the aftermath, PG&E, the utility responsible for the pipeline, couldn’t locate the required documents showing that 170+ miles of the 200+ miles of  pipelines had been properly inspected.  I’ve followed this for years.

Utility’s Fine for Explosions: $1.6 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2015 B1. After imposing the fine, the utility commission “want[s] to open a new investigation into the safety culture … after finding that [the utility] neglected its vast network of pipelines for decades.”

What was the fine for, then?  Or the lawsuits?  How many times can you dip?

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Filed under Business Case, Collect, Compliance, Compliance, Controls, Culture, Duty of Care, Governance, Internal controls, Management, Oversight, Protect, Protect assets, Records Management, Risk, Use