Tech Tip: Zombie records can come back to haunt you (and the county!) BEWARE!

Brought to you by the King County Public Records Committee and the Records Management Program

no-zombiesRecords retained past their mandatory retention period could put you and the county at financial risk – not to mention risk of embarrassment.

Just like zombies, records can do the most harm after they have reached the end of their life.  Undead records lurk in basements, closets, on old floppy disks, and forgotten places on network drives – buried and lost amongst the clutter.  But, they will come back to haunt you in the event of a public records request or litigation action.

How to kill a hoard of zombie records in three easy steps

  1. Make sure they’re zombies Just because the records are on the older side and are no longer needed to support day-to-day business doesn’t necessarily mean they’re zombies.  For records to be a true zombies they must be past their retention period. This is different from archival records or records required to support current or imminent litigation actions or current public records requests.
  2. Acquire weapons needed to defend yourself Before you kill zombie records, make certain you can defend yourself from attack.  Documenting destruction of government records promotes both transparency and accountability.  In the event of a legal or audit challenge, this documentation provides crucial evidence of “defensible disposition” demonstrating that you were aware of and compliant with current records retention requirements.
  3. Kill them…. Kill them dead To truly kill zombie records you need to make them unreadable and irretrievable.  The King County Records Center offers free secure physical records shredding at their facility through the direct destruction program. To ensure complete destruction of a digital records, seek out and delete all copies.

Good records management practices keep zombie records from doing life-altering damage not to mention devouring your valuable time. Need a professional zombie records slayer?  Contact us today!