As I wrote for an article in the forthcoming November 2014 issue of Legal Routes, “When Sue Shutrump and Charley Kennington asked about including my 2003 Information Report for NASDPTS, “Sharing Student Health and Medical Information with School Transporters” in the Appendix of the NHTSA 8 hour course, I frankly balked at their publicizing this 10-year old document in light of subsequent changes in law, regulation and guidance. When Sue and Charley were kind enough to grant me extra time to update the Report if I wished to do so, I could hardly say no.”
Do you have “old messages” floating around? Do you have veteran employees who remain very attached to things you – or a predecessor – said a long time ago, but certainly would want to disavow now? What about outdated policies, or manuals, or bus conduct rules, or anything else you really wouldn’t want to “own” at this time? Personal notes and emails between staff members can be tossed or deleted if they’re not the subject of current or predictably imminent litigation. Why have these items around to embarrass you, or be used against you? Will trainers find dated and now inaccurate training programs on the shelves, and will they use them with drivers just because the programs are there?
It’s highly likely you won’t have the advantage of a request, or an event of some sort, to trigger your realization that these stale items are out there. I’ve talked about self-audits in other contexts. As I reflect on my experience with the NASDPTS Information Report, I realize that it would be a good idea for you to find “old news” that needs to disappear. But let me repeat and highlight – anything that is reasonably likely to be related to ongoing or forthcoming litigation must be kept!