Network Drive / Email Dispostion

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I would be interested in knowing if anyone has conducted disposition of electronic files on network drives but without any specialized software.
Relying on commonly available software to larger organizations.
How did you prepare for disposition? For example, assign record class codes or retention info via file metadata, or create folder structures to assist in disposition.
How did you conduct disposition? For example, any disposition notifications applied to folders, or manual review by subject matter experts and mass deletions.
How did you record the deletion of electronic files as a certificate of destruction?
Any thoughts, reflections, cautions, or advice would be appreciated.


Glen Hogard
The City of Calgary

Hi Glen,
I have done network drive/ shared repository disposition both the painful way (manually) and with tools.  Here are some things I would think about when doing it more manually.
1. The business has to be engaged and responsible for reviewing items for disposition (this is a perfect opportunity for lessons learned on file structure, accountability, disposition timing, and internal SLAs for cooperation.
2.  Each business function or org/ depending on how your corporate taxonomy is established should have some kind of steward/custodian role.  That role should know key stakeholders who need to review data and agree to disposition before legal reviews for final approval
3. File structures should be assigned to a job function/ person to do investigation and purge readiness exercises
4.  You should have annual established time frames to carry out disposition – in my old position we did August thru November for fiscal year planning and disposition and December thru February for calendar year end.  It was well established and slotted into project schedules/ overall operational timelines so resources were available to do the work
5. For recording the disposition, we used screen shots and file counts and attached them to the disposition log to go thru the legal review and approval process.  Currently we still collect an index and run it thru a Service Now workflow for review/approval/completion

Unless you have a good crawler and can utilize some policy application to the data, human review is the best bet because we all know people do not and should not use retention as the primary driver in any file structure and many orgs are very lacks on audit and true accountability when it comes to correct usage of a file plan.  I would be happy to share more insights with you if you would like.

Amy Harrelson
Director, RIM

we are beginning clean-up of shared drives in preparation for our EDRMS. Our shared drives have never had a systematic approach to clean-up. The following “DRAFT” job aid was developed which may be helpful.

The quick training session for staff is also attached.

Leanna Kerswell
The District Municipality of Muskoka


AD-200-2017-03-03-02 Electronic Record Disposition-2019-0…pdf   164K 1 version

AD-904-2017 Completing Destruct Auth Form-2019-07-24.pdf   363K 1 version

Record Disposition Training 2019-07 V3 SIMON.pdf   1.56MB 1 version
Original Message

This is great info! We’re gearing up to do some migration and cleaning and I haven’t done any drives yet so this was super helpful!


Thanks Amy and Leanna. We are looking at approaches to begin reviewing, classifying, applying retention and processing through disposition ALL of our unstructured data across shared drives, archival storage and email. The approaches you provided will help in customizing an approach that suits our records management mandate, technical limitations and end user involvement. Thanks so much.

Glen Hogard
The City of Calgary


If you’re looking for local assistance, please let me know.









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