Principle of Integrity
An information governance program shall be constructed so the records and information generated or managed by or for the organization have a reasonable and suitable guarantee of authenticity and reliability.
Integrity of a record is directly related to the ability to prove that a record is authentic and unaltered. Authenticity requires proof that a document comes from the person, organization, or other legal entity claiming to be its author or authorizing authority.
An organization’s executives are ultimately responsible for business records, as they are strategic and operational assets. Proper corporate governance and integrity of the information are important, and it is necessary to maintain the authenticity of records in all media over time. Investors and government regulators alike should expect the integrity of an organization’s records and information.
Integrity of records in a recordkeeping environment should include the following:
- Correctness of and adherence to the policies and procedures of the organization
- Reliability of the information management training and direction given to the employees who interact with all systems
- Reliability of the records created
- An acceptable audit trail
- Reliability of the systems that control the recordkeeping including hardware, network infrastructure, and software
Correctness of and adherence to the policies and procedures of the corporation
To defend corporate governance and achieve legal and regulatory compliance, organizations must have implemented formal recordkeeping policies and procedures that have been approved by senior management. If formal support has not been obtained, records may be at risk of not being accepted in evidentiary value.
Reliability of the information management training
All employees are responsible to comply with the records management program and should be trained on the meaning, importance, and usage of the corporate policies and procedures.
Reliability of the records created
To ensure records are created, used, and managed in the usual and ordinary course of business, organizations must have consistent recordkeeping practices throughout the records life cycle.
An acceptable audit trail
Audit trails are essential in proving reliability of the recordkeeping actions of the organization. Acceptable audit and quality assurance processes should be in place.
Reliability of the system
The recordkeeping system must be reliable to prove reliability and integrity of the records. A record is only as reliable as the system in which it is maintained.