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Document and Data Management Considerations for Private Companies

The need for written documents, highly structured policies, and data management policies are becoming increasingly important for every private company. 

They are required to keep written records of certain aspects of their personnel and operations to manage public, non-profit, or private business and data privacy laws for companies.

The controversial Patriot Act requires the disclosure of certain customer information to the federal government and can file a lawsuit against a disclosure company if the customer has not been adequately informed about the possibility of such disclosure. 

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The proposed amendment to the federal civil procedure code requires lawyers representing litigants to discuss their client's document management system before each trial. 

Attention is also needed to keep written records of claims or litigation by employees in which the company is involved. Employee emails are generally considered the property of the company, and the company's HR and employee policies must clearly state this. 

Therefore, employers must ensure that copies of all employee e-mails and instant messages are kept in case of employee litigation. For the same reason, in the event of a dispute with the third party, the company must not only keep a copy of the contract and written correspondence but also keep a copy of all e-mail and electronic document exchange (EDI) transactions with suppliers and customers.

The organization must develop a disaster recovery plan and test the recovery of all important data and information. An electronic display of physical documents must be standard.