Policy Manual


Data Archiving and Destruction      

Type: Procedure                 Category: Information Technology                 Level: Community Care 

Parties: Community Care employees and contractees

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Supporting References: 

Parent Effective Date Approval Level Revision Dates Last Reviewed
N/A  2-7-2005  Management Team  2/16/05  2-7-2005
Related Document Code Related Document Name Type

Procedure:  .

1.0              Responsibilities and Authority - Administrative Services Manager, Information Technology Department

2.0              Definitions -

2.1              Back-up, a process of creating a copy of the database for the purpose of data recovery in the event of a disaster or corruption of the database

2.2              Purging which physically removes data from the database with no intention of recovery or using the purged data again; and

2.3              Data archiving which removes data from the dynamic production database to a static system

2.4              Destruction - the act and method of irreversible removal of information. Destruction also covers the incapacitation of storage media.

2.5              Degaussing - A method of electromagnetic destruction of information.

3.0              Approaches to Archiving -

3.0.1        Data archiving assumes that the data will be needed in the future and therefore, archived data have the ability to be viewed in the future. From the definitions, it is clear that data archiving and data backup are distinctly different processes in which the stored data are targeted for different purposes. The backup data are for system recovery in case of a major system failure and are stored in a different form and on different storage media than the archived data. Also, backing up data in the database does not result in the ultimate removal of the data from the database, as is done in data archiving.

3.0.2        Databases - responsible provider will monitor database table growth, with IT assist, and determine which tables are the largest and also growing the fastest. From this information, the business process related to those fast growing tables can be determined and the appropriate archiving procedures established by IT.

3.0.3        Examine the business activity of various documents and determine the growth of those related business documents. The archiving candidates are then derived from the documents that have the most activity. It is then necessary to age the documents in the candidate business processes and determine where archiving has its most potential gain.

3.0.4        Determined by the business needs, documents can be dependent on other documents in such a way that archiving of one type of document without archiving other related documents can disrupt the business process. Hence, the aging of documents must be based on these dependencies. That means that all related documents must be eligible to be archived simultaneously. This dictates that documents to be archived must be placed into batches in which all related documents must be archived at once.

3.0.5        Reporting requirements must also be considered. While a report may not be needed for operational concerns, there could be needs for year-end reports. Obviously, standard reports that run on the production system do not reference any archived data. Hence, these reports must be analyzed before making archiving decisions to be sure that they do not rely on any data that may end up being archived. For example, for some documents, it may be appropriate to archive the data after they are six months old since the end users no longer need access to them. However, if a report uses these documents in an annual statement, then these transactions can not be archived until a later date.

3.1              Destruction

3.1.1        Information Destruction

  1. Information stored in data files, which the responsible provider has identified for destruction must be irreversibly destroyed from removable electronic media. Approved methods of destruction are by reformatting the media device, unconditional deletion and overwriting of all data files. Data files that reside on Agency network data servers must be deleted by the Owner using standard operating delete procedures.