IT Help Desk

 E-Mail Retention Requirements

Electronic mail (E-Mail) is subject to the same records retention rules that apply to other documents and must be retained in accordance with departmental records retention schedules.

  1. The retention requirement associated with any document is determined by its content, not the method of delivery. Each EPCC component should have a records retention schedule that specifies the retention period to be applied to various documents.
  2. The responsibility of retaining an internally created and distributed document (or message) most often falls on the author - not the recipients. Recipients may delete such received messages when their use has been fulfilled.
  3. Employees who receive messages from outside EPCC are responsible for proper records retention of those messages.
  4. Most casual email messages are "transitory records" and can be discarded as their purpose is served.
  5. For records retention purposes, electronic mail that is digitally signed must be filed electronically rather than on paper if the signature is of importance to the legal status or business usefulness of the document.
  6. Email that has been requested in a subpoena or public information request must be retained until the request has been addressed, even if the retention period has expired.

Electronic Mail Backup and Recovery. Information Technology creates electronic mail backup tapes daily (Monday through Friday) solely for the purpose of restoring the entire electronic mail system in the event of disaster. Tapes are retained for a period of one week. Backup tapes do not allow for restoration of individual mailboxes and cannot be used as a convenience to retrieve "deleted" messages.


Backup tapes do not serve the records retention function. Each EPCC department must make provisions to retain documents and messages in accordance with their departmental records retention policy