Aiming to Achieve Document Management Compliance

Every organisation throughout the world is now facing increasing demand on information and data management compliance requirements. All of the data and documentation generated throughout an organisation has got to be handled under strict compliance with a increasing range of industry, national and international rules and regulations.

To allow organisations meet these challenges they need to make sure that they have a robust and progressive document management strategy in place.

Large multi-national organisations produce and distribute many thousands of documents. With so many documents in circulation serious issue are raises as to how they might control access to the often confidential subject matter of particular documents content.

Systems administration managers and their staff need to institute clear and robust access controls over such document. It is becoming more and more critical for an organisation to achieve compliance that only those individuals with the correct access permissions are able to see specific information are allowed to gain access to those documents that contain it.

A good Document Manager Software suite should address these issues and helps enforce the compliance codes of practice by enabling:

  • the organisation to effortlessly audit every action in associated with each and every document
  • impose strict access control over who has permission to view documents
  • manage which actions every user is authorised to undertake in relation to individual documents
  • Additional considerations regarding workflow functionality, which replicate digitally the physical path a paper document, should traditionally follow through the business. Unlike the paper process, digital workflow should enable strict user access control at each and every stage and requires no intermediary handling between the authorised users. This digital document workflow process accomplishes the same result much more efficiently and with far greater security than could ever be achieved with a physical hard copy paper system.

    The Legal Need for Document Management

    Addressing the legal need for document management allow an organisation to comply with legislation, it is vital that they implement an efficient and effective document capture and management system. It is, nevertheless, a common mistaken belief that simply by implementing a document management system will alone guarantee compliance.

    Document Management is one extremely important element but a organisation must deal with compliance holistically if they are to make certain their business meets and maintains the requirements of continually changing legislation.

    If an organisation where to find itself defending their position in a court of law, the judge will take into consideration whether:

  • Their Information management processes and procedures are clear and consistent. Consequently these processes and procedures have got to be implemented, clearly established and well documented. (frequently referred to as a Document Policy).
  • Are the processes and procedures imposed? This has got to be seen as a shared responsibility between both management and the selected Document Management system’s access and privilege controls
  • Can the organisation validate the claim to compliance? This rests heavily on the robustness and quality of the document management system’s audit trail provision
  • It is suggested that organisations implement the recommendations for Legal Admissibility as defined by BSI in BSI0008:2008 or ISO/TR 15801. There are many Document Management system’s that can be used in a compliant way to help organisations meet these recommendations but to a large extent responsibility rests with the business to define and control the process.

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