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MER 2012 Survey
Electronically Stored Information (ESI)- Legal Holds & Disposition

MER 2012 Survey<br> Electronically Stored Information (ESI)- Legal Holds & Disposition

This survey focuses on (a) destruction/deletion of information and (b) preservation in response to Holds (i.e., Legal Holds, Litigation Holds and Tax Holds), which are issued to stop destruction and preserve information needed for reasonably anticipated, threatened, or pending litigation, government investigation or external audit.

Registrants of the 2012 National Managing Electronic Records (MER) conference were invited to participate in this survey, and the results were compiled and referenced during final preparations for the MER 2012 Closing Keynote: Information Management and the Power of Positive Destruction. The results of clearly show:

  • Broad holds are in place at most (79%) organizations, which affect a large volume of information.
  • Information that is 20 years old or older (1992 or prior) is being preserved by over half (51%) of organizations.
  • The rate of "over preservation" of information is alarming, with 20% to 32% of participants having selected "We preserve everything," for various types of ESI (electronically stored information). – This is similar to the 20% to 30% of survey participants indicating that their organizations do not destroy/delete the listed types of ESI.
  • Organizations are "very reluctant to destroy / delete information" with 38% to 47% of responses indicating "very reluctant to destroy / delete" various types of ESI.
  • Nearly one-third (32%) of organization do not use the terms "destruction" or "deletion" and prefer a "softer" term, such as recycle, purge, disposition.

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