Email archiving compliance is a term that’s naturally associated with businesses. When people hear the names of laws associated with email archiving compliance, like Sarbanes-Oxley, they think of Enron and corrupt business practices. But the rules created by these acts relate to all organizations, even schools.
Schools carry sensitive information, about students, teachers or both. As a result schools do fall under the regulations that require email archiving compliance, like Sarbanes-Oxley.
Sarbanes-Oxley and Email Archiving Compliance
Ten years ago this law was brought in to ensure that all information held by organizations is accurate and to prevent potential financial mismanagement. The law contains many rules in relation to data storage and email archiving compliance. Most of these don’t apply to schools, but should act as guidelines in developing best practice for educators.
However, two sections of the law do apply to schools and they demonstrate the need for email archiving compliance. Theses are ‘Whistleblower Protection’ and ‘Document Destruction’.
1. Whistleblower Protection
This section of the act makes it illegal for anyone, schools included, to take action against someone because they are aiding law enforcement. The maximum punishment for a breach of this law is 10 years in jail.
Email archiving compliance with this law is indirect. Compliant email storage will help in disproving any allegations of wrongdoing under this act. Email is often a vital piece of evidence in any legal case. So by following email archiving compliance guidelines, schools can ensure there is no suggestions of wrongdoing.
2. Document Destruction
This section holds email archiving compliance requirements that govern all organizations, including schools. Under this section, it is illegal to knowingly destroy documents to ‘obstruct or influence’ an investigation. Email archiving compliance is vital in this area. Any email deleted outside archiving best practice, or any mail that might relate to a legal matter, will be under scrutiny.
Sarbanes-Oxley and email archiving compliance are issues that a lot of schools will ignore. Some will assume it’s nothing to do with them, others may not even be aware of either issue. But with some huge penalties contained within Sarbanes-Oxley, schools can’t afford to wait until it’s too late to check on their email archiving compliance.