Approximately two out of three responding IT managers and administrators responsible for managing backup data and archived messages, indicate that they are aware of the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) which went into effect on December 1, 2006, according to the survey. The survey further revealed that 90 percent of schools have yet to initiate an FRCP compliance preparedness plan at this time.
Overall, the survey results demonstrate a marked disconnect in school district awareness of the issues surrounding FRCP rules and the legal discovery preparedness of school districts. While most school districts are fully aware of legal amendments, many of them have yet to establish policies to address electronic discovery for schools. By not appropriately complying and managing their ESI according to federal rules, district administrators are thus exposing their school districts to potential litigation risk and costly legal action.
The new federal rules represent an urgent call to action for educators and school information technology officers to understand how information that is sent and received on school owned equipment might be used in litigation, said Mike Ivanov, senior director and head of CommVaults Archive Center of Excellence. The cost of litigation can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, potentially draining public school districts of valuable education funds. To reduce the impact of such threats, school technology leaders need to become students of these new rules themselves and take stock of their e-mail policies and existing technologies to ensure compliance.
CommVault Systems Inc.