Monday, February 13, 2017

Metric Mondays #11: Records Retention Policy

This week's Metric Monday focus is again on Accountability & Transparency, as we look at a key policy that helps ensure organizational accountability.

The IRS Form 990's Part VI lists several policies, and organizations must report whether or not they have each policy. While not required by the IRS, these policies are critical to the accountability of an organization. The Records Retention Policy stands as a crucial measure for protecting data integrity within an organization. Such a policy establishes guidelines for the handling, backing up, archiving, and destruction of documents. An immediate benefit of this is that an organization with a full records retention policy commits to orderly, good data behavior, which can lead to better governance. It also helps promote consistent practices among staff members, leading to more orderly records and data collection. Finally, in the event that a document is required for legal reasons, a clear records policy will help facilitate the collection and inspection of documents that may be necessary in an investigation, and will help alleviate the concern that a document was deleted or destroyed illegally.

For this metric, our analysts check that the organization reports it has a records retention and destruction policy on its 990, Part VI line 14.

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