From local councils to the security services, every government organisation has a responsibility to ensure that the data it’s dealing with doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Inevitably, for most government organisations, the data involved is personal or sensitive, which brings with it a whole wide range of compliance requirements. So, when it comes to choosing a shredding policy, there are some key details that every government organisation needs to bear in mind.
Cost effective document destruction
Budgetary constraints are significant for government organisations today, whether on a local or national level. It’s important to ensure that document destruction is comprehensive but that it also provides a way to keep costs down. The choice of shredding service will be key to this when creating a shredding policy – the more efficient the service, the more likely it is to be a cost effective solution that pleases the taxpayer too.
Ease of operations
Opting for an in-house shredding policy can appear to be the most secure option but it also puts a lot of pressure on operations. If staff who are responsible for document destruction don’t have the time to do it properly or aren’t conscientious in their work this can have disastrous consequences for the organisation. A lack of operational foresight when it comes to shredding can lead to data breaches and compliance problems. Sometimes, a shredding policy that relies on an outsourced on-site shredding service to dispose of documents is actually a more secure option. This requires a shredding policy that sets out how staff dispose of documents into the correct locked bins – but the rest is taken care of by the shredding company.
Security, security, security
A shredding policy needs to be clear about how the data in the documents that are being disposed of must be protected. Despite the obviously sensitive nature of many governmental documents, they are often disposed of in a haphazard way that could seriously compromise security. So, it’s crucial that a shredding policy emphasises the importance of careful handling and disposal of documents, from the moment they are created to the point at which they leave the hands of the person responsible for them. A focus on security in a shredding policy will ensure that opportunities for breaches and leaks are minimised.
How an on-site shredding service can help
There are many advantages for government organisations in using an on-site shredding service to handle document disposal. This kind of partnership can simplify a shredding policy and make it easier to meet requirements for security and compliance. Mobile document shredding ensures that documents don’t leave the premises in a condition in which they can be stolen or read, which considerably reduces the potential for data to be compromised. Given the importance of protecting sensitive data – as well as the vast volume of personal data that government organisations process – the best way to ensure a sound shredding policy and practice may well be to partner with an on-site shredding service.
Author: Mark Coombes, Follow me on Google+