Every organization should have a secure document destruction program in place. In fact, some rules and regulations require it. For example, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) details how businesses must dispose of information in consumer reports and records but only provides recommendations on what proper disposal involves. Meanwhile Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) requires accounting firms to keep audit work papers for seven years and imposes penalties if a business inappropriately destroys its records.
One of the decisions a company will have to make is whether document destruction should be completed onsite or offsite. Many think having destruction done onsite is a more secure solution, but that may not always be the case. In an onsite solution, secure, locked bins are placed throughout the office and documents are inserted inside for destruction.
The onsite document destruction provider then shows up at scheduled times to retrieve the bags from inside those bins. The bags are taken out to mobile destruction trucks for shredding. This has a few security holes:
- Documents are not secure as they make their way to the truck since they are usually transported in a draw string bag. Documents could be removed from the bags without anyone’s knowledge.
- Documents can fall out as they are being emptied into the truck.
- There is no tracking mechanism to show exactly when the bags were shredded. Most companies don’t have an employee watch and verify the document destruction process.
Bin Rotation Programs
These security holes and costs have made some companies take a look at bin rotations. In a bin rotation program, locked bins are placed throughout the office. During scheduled times, the document destruction company removes the bins, replacing them with new locked bins. Drivers do not carry keys to the bins and they are not opened until they are emptied at the offsite location for destruction.
For organizations that prefer to have the bins with the bags, there is also a secure option. The bags can be placed into a locking container for transport, or they can be attached with a locking draw string. This adds to the security of the document destruction process.
A bin rotation program should also include the ability to track the bins. Each bin should include a barcode that gets scanned upon removal from the office. When the bin arrives at the provider’s location for document destruction, the bin should be scanned once again. This enables tracking throughout the process.
Offsite Destruction vs Onsite
Another argument for offsite destruction vs. onsite relates to office cleanup projects. Large organizations often designate one or two days a year in which all departments clear out documents in bulk. Some are secure documents, but some are not.
Document management and destruction companies who offer bin rotation programs typically provide large lockable bins that are ideal for these projects. These companies have also found that onsite destruction for this type of office cleanup projects can be very costly.