While non-compliance to Sunshine archiving laws may not necessarily indicate a conspiracy, agencies often lack the resources to archive communications. But if the public record request response gap isn’t addressed appropriately, it can lead to litigation, reputational loss, and community distrust.
Capture Messages in Real-Time
Many mistakes can be made by relying on employees to save and archive text messages. It’s essential to plan. Workers in government might forget to store their text messages and may not have the training or the tools to delete the messages or erase them.
To meet the open records laws, agencies must archive electronic conversations and text messages regardless of whether they were government-owned devices. The content of the message determines if the data is public, not the format, which means that chats, voice calls, and instant messages are public records if they concern official government business.
Government agencies can ensure regulatory compliance by having a public records archiving tool that can capture mobile content. Also, the metadata associated with messages is retained to facilitate eDiscovery.
Employers should not be forced to answer for their actions. It is better to invest money in a solution that automatically captures all messages. If there is no robust archiving solution, employees may simply take screenshots of messages or use other methods that compromise context and metadata.
Make Data Discovery Easy
Because many agencies still use manual methods to search for public records, they often have difficulties finding them. While capturing and indexing text messages automatically is one aspect of the solution, being able to search for them easily is crucial. The discovery phase can be made easier by using eDiscovery technology to save messages.
It is vital to search for the message required and find results quickly. Government organizations find it beneficial to be able to search quickly for the conversation via keywords, contact information, and various content types.
An organization can make sure it is compliant with Sunshine laws by automating both data searches as well as archiving. The discovery phase can be speeded up by using automation to scan the archived messages. Legal and records teams will have an easier time finding the conversation they are looking for.
Seek Comprehensive Compliance
Government agencies must ensure that their archiving solutions meet their needs. With the increasing demand for more detailed data, agencies must keep compliance in view to be able to meet their requirements. There are many data retention laws in America, and they have changed over time. It is worth your while to ensure that you comply with all of them.
Companies must evaluate their IT policies and ensure they comply with all applicable data retention laws. Agencies must be able to retrieve records and capture all business-related communications quickly.