The types of organisations that use Hotkey include consultants, accountants, legal practices, technology companies and real estate agents.
Although these businesses are all very different to each other, their operational issues are similar. Hotkey helps to improve the way they do business by providing solutions that, for example, extend the reach of their customer service offerings, or assist them to adhere to the Privacy Act.
How secure is your business?
A 2006 study by the Australian Institute of Criminology showed that only 10% of respondent organisations reported they were managing computer security issues reasonably well. In fact, 59% respondents reported laptop theft had occurred within their organisations within the past 12 months, 50% reported virus or worm infections, 29% reported insider abuse of email and computer resources and 6% reported theft or breach of confidential information.
What about your critical information?
Price Waterhouse Coopers research has shown that professionals spend 5% – 15% of their time reading information but up to 50% of their time looking for relevant data.
The average organisation also:
- Makes 19 copies of each document it produces
- Looses 1 out of every 20 documents
- Spends 25 hours recreating each and every lost document
- Spends 400 hours per year searching for lost files, and
- Spends $120 in labour searching for each misfiled document¹
¹IDM: Image and Data Manager, September / October 2003
There are a number of legal obligations regarding the retention and destruction of e-mail and other electronic records. For example, the Corporations Act requires items to be held for seven years and Applications for Employment need to be kept for six months.
There are also risks associated with retaining records for longer than is legally required or retaining records in conflict with our privacy laws.
New document destruction law
A new law in Victoria, passed by the lower house on February 28 last year, will see individuals or corporations spend up to 5 years in prison for intentionally destroying documents to prevent evidence being used in court.
Companies in other states may find that they also fall under this legislation, if they have a Victorian office or deal with a Victorian company.
Various Occupational Health and Safety records are required to be kept for statutory periods ranging from 5 to 30 years. When producing food items, batch information also needs to be kept. Student records, in some instances, need to be kept for 30 years and information associated with real property sales may need to be kept for 100 years.
Immediate recovery of information is often needed in a crisis or in the case of an ‘event’, such as flood or fire.
What does retention and disposal mean?
The length of time a record is required to be kept before it can be legally destroyed depends on the significance of the records concerned. The more important a record is to a University or State or Federal Government, the longer it needs to the kept. Records of great public interest are normally kept for a long period of time, if not forever.
There is no ‘retain for seven year rule’ – some records may be destroyed immediately they are created and others may need to be kept for 100+ years.