Dallas County's proposed e-mail deletion policy draws concerns. "Dallas County's proposed policy of automatically deleting all county e-mail after 90 days has drawn criticism from trial lawyers and concerns from some county commissioners.
Unlike many other local governments, Dallas County stores all of its e-mail on computer tapes at an off-site warehouse.
But county officials say maintaining the tapes is expensive and impractical. They are proposing to automatically delete all e-mail after 90 days except those messages saved by employees to meet state-required retention periods.
Open-records advocates, as well as lawyers who increasingly rely on e-mail as key evidence in lawsuits, oppose some automatic deletion policies, saying e-mail should be kept longer.
Under such policies, employees are put in the position of having to decide which e-mails are important and should be saved from destruction. That, critics say, places too much discretion in the hands of employees and can result in the improper destruction of official records if employees are not properly trained. . . . "