The United States Federal Government mandates retention rules for private sector entities. This is prevalent in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Section 164.316(b)(1) HIPAA requires that organizations:
“(i) Maintain the policies and procedures implemented to comply with this subpart in written (which may be electronic) form; and (ii) if an action, activity or assessment is required by this subpart to be documented, maintain a written (which may be electronic) record of the action, activity, or assessment.”
Section 164.316(b)(2)(i) also says:
“Retain the documentation required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section for 6 years from the date of its creation or the date when it last was in effect, whichever is later.”
Even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires retention of individual tax returns and related documents for 3 years:
“Keep records for 3 years if situations (4), (5), and (6) below do not apply to you.”
If the government has the authority to mandate records retention requirements for private entities, we the people ought to invoke our authority to require reasonable records retention periods from our government.
Is 24 hours reasonable? The Rio Grande Foundation does not agree.
As such, the Foundation has filed a complaint with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas after recent discovery of the executive retention policy of Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration. In January of 2021, the executive branch issued a directive mandating automatic records deletion of all instant messages sent through the state’s messaging platform after 24 hours.
We find this to be an egregious assault on openness and transparency in government and implore the Attorney General to take immediate action.
You can find a copy of the original complaint here.