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Quiz: True or False?
Q. My information technology department automatically deletes all e-mail in the system after 90 days, so I am not responsible for keeping e-mail beyond that period of time.
A. FALSE: We don’t keep all paper records for only 90 days. If an e-mail message is related to a contract, we need to keep it as long as all other contract records. If the message is related to a personnel issue, we need to keep it as long as all other personnel records.
Q. I am the only person who can see the messages in my government e-mail account. It is private.
A. FALSE: Information technology staff and management may choose to monitor the activity in your e-mail account. In addition, the messages may become the subject of a FOIA request or litigation. If this happens, legal staff may review your e-mail messages to find evidence.
Q. If I am one of 50 people who receive a message, and I do not have to fulfill an assignment as a result of that message, then I can destroy it.
A. TRUE: The sender should retain the message, as well as any employees who are assigned a task as a result of the message.
Q. I should create a folder called “e-mail” and store all of my e-mail messages in it.
A. FALSE: E-mail messages should be stored in topical folders with other paper or electronic records that document the same business process.
Q. It is best to save all e-mail messages that I send and receive, in case I need to prove I did something.
A. FALSE: It is best to destroy e-mail messages that have fulfilled their retention period so they do not waste space on the computer system. Also, these messages could become a liability if a FOIA request or litigation discovery request is received.