Concerns about spoliation have been in the news lately. In British Columbia, a public servant alleged that emails were deleted in light of a Freedom of Information Request. The National Post commented that in B.C., statutory requirements exist concerning retention of records. (http://news.nationalpost.com/news/b-c-government-destroyed-records-on-highway-of-tears-after-request-to-access-them-former-staffer-says)
The Globe and Mail reported on June 2nd that Trillium Power Wind Corp. recently amended its claim against the Ontario government to include allegations of spoliation. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/trillium-accuses-liberals-of-destroying-wind-farm-lawsuit-documents/article24735413/) Among its claims, Trillium alleges that certain communications or internal discussions were excluded from the government’s production. The Ministry of Energy indicated that it has implemented significant record-keeping reforms and that new legislation is in place responding to recommendations of the Privacy Commissioner.
The best way to avoid or minimize the risk of spoliation of evidence is through the development of a comprehensive information governance strategy. Challenges arising from managing information, cybersecurity, privacy, e-discovery and risk management would be alleviated. An information governance strategy will greatly assist an organization in managing the many risks associated with the growing volume of electronic information. Knowing what you have, and where it is located is the starting point for such a strategy.
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