Long-term archive: why and how to create it? TADetails
The companies which followed a way of digitalization even more often think of implementation of electronic archives. So far as concerns long-term storage of the electronic documents (ED), it is necessary to understand that case what requirements are imposed to document storage and as to provide them in conditions not until the end of the created regulatory base and rare the practician. In to what requirements the solution for long-term archive should conform how to provide the legal importance of ED even many years later and that it will give to business, in addition to economy on paper, business analysts of DIRECTUM company Guzel Mullakhmetova and Alexey Mikryukov helped to understand.
To what organizations and for what electronic archives can be required
Storage of the digitized copies of paper originals for the sake of simplification of access to documents and reduction of risk of their loss was initially main objective of electronic archive. Besides, information systems, were often used for management of archive of paper documents and automation of activity of archive services. ED created in the electronic document management systems (EDMS) and other information systems too sometimes got to such archives. But for ensuring long-term storage such documents had to be printed before signing and to store by a traditional method.
Today more and more documents are created and signed in electronic form. Respectively, there is a problem of their storage, including long-term. It is possible to say that the issue of storage of ED became relevant for all companies which followed a way of digitalization.
What requirements of the Russian legislation it is important to consider at document storage
Experts call the present period transitional. Today the organizations most often work both with paper, and with electronic documents, and it is important to business to provide their storage regardless of the information medium. Requirements imposed to paper archives and practice of storage of paper documents exist long ago. But just it is impossible to broadcast them for ensuring storage of ED. For storage of ED it is necessary to create own "rules of the game", taking into account the available experience and their features. At the moment the regulatory base cannot give definite answers on all questions. At the same time there was already a number of recommendations, and the issue of ensuring storage of ED is discussed more and more actively.
In practice it means that the enterprises are forced to develop often independently internal regulations and to register rules of storage of ED, relying on rules of law and the existing recommendations. And one of key characteristics which needs to be considered when developing such regulations is storage life of documents. All documents including ED, subdivide into documents of temporary storage life (up to 10 years), documents of temporary storage life (over 10 years) and documents of permanent storage life.
"Documents with storage lives as a rule are stored less than 10 years in divisions, on places at clerks. Therefore, when we speak about archives of long-term storage, we mean all documents with storage life over 10 years and documents of permanent storage life" — the business analyst of DIRECTUM company Guzel Mullakhmetova specifies.
The main objectives which the long-term archive should solve is ensuring safety, availability and reproducibility of information which ED for all storage life contain.
Other important aspect — ensuring the legal importance. In order that ED was considered as legally significant, a number of conditions should be satisfied:
- the document is processed according to an established procedure (obligatory existence of certain details);
- the contents of the document do not contradict the legislation of the Russian Federation;
- the document is signed by the person authorized for it;
- the integrity and authenticity of the document are provided;
- work with the document was carried out according to statutory rules.
One of important issues is existence of proofs here that the certificate using which the electronic signature (ES) was appended was valid and was not compromised at the time of signing.
"EDS certificate validity period, as a rule — one year. Therefore if we consider long document storage, then at the time of check certificate validity period, most likely, will already expire. And there is a question: how to confirm validity of the certificate at the time of signing? One of possible methods of such proof is use of technology of stamps of time" — Guzel Mullakhmetova tells.
How to provide the legal importance of the document throughout all term of its storage
To provide the legal importance of ED for all storage life, it is necessary to execute a number of technical and organizational actions which main objective is ensuring trust to them. The trust is provided as due to development of regulations, agreements during creation of the document, and a possibility of providing necessary proofs for all storage life of the document.
Confirmation of validity of the EDS certificate at the time of signing of ED, even after the expiration of its action, can be reached due to use of the international standard CAdES. It provides the special format of the archive EDS (CAdES-A) allowing to store necessary proofs of validity of the signature at the time of signing due to use of stamps of time and the mechanism of restamping.
The format of such EDS includes the signed attributes, a document hash, the EDS, time stamp confirming existence of the EDS on timepoint, proofs of validity of the EDS certificate (values of certificates and information on a response) and also an archive stamp of time confirming time when all necessary proofs were collected.
"Taking into account incompleteness of the national regulatory base, when developing the solutions, such as DIRECTUM "Long-term Archive", we are guided, including, on existing practicians and international standards. It allows to solve problems of long-term storage of ED already now. At the same time we attentively monitor possible changes and recommendations which appear in Russia" — the business analyst of DIRECTUM company Alexey Mikryukov explains.
What can be automated in work of archives
It is necessary to understand that the organization of archive is rather big complex of actions which requires the solution of methodical, organizational and technical tasks. Analysts believe that high technologies in this case are closely connected with work methodology. Modern solutions rely on IT and the developed archive practicians, and therefore cover all basic processes connected with archive storage.
"First, it is the procedures connected with preparation for document transfer and put in archive, direct completing of archive and also accounting and control of documents which are stored in archive. In particular, in the solution of DIRECTUM "Long-term Archive" processes of document transfer on storage, control of storage lives of documents, their timely guaranteed destruction, formations and approval of delivery inventories, annual sections of summary inventories and also creation of all obligatory accounting documents of archive recommended by Rules of the organization of storage, completing, accounting and use of documents are automated — Guzel Mullakhmetova gives an example.
Secondly, the solution automates all user procedures: document retrieval in archive, requests of archive references, statements, copies, providing temporary access to documents/affairs, providing documents on requests of individuals and state agencies.
We create long-term archive: the choice of the solution, the main stages that influences terms and cost
At first the company needs to decide on what archive is necessary to it. The first option — uniform electronic archive of all documents of the organization. It is more likely operational history, than long-term. A task of such archive — to transfer all work with documents in the enterprise to an electronic form. The second type of archives — financial. Here it is about the organization of storage of agreements, accounts and other finance documents. As a rule, such archives are necessary for fast providing on demand in the checking state agencies. And, at last, long-term archive which is implemented when it is about long storage of ED which should remain legally significant.
"During creation of long-term archive it is necessary to consider volumes and document types, quantity of information systems in which they are created, structure and business processes of the enterprise" — Alexey Mikryukov lists.
The choice of the solution — the standard history perfected in any company. Besides, the industry vendors which are well understanding business needs will help. For the enterprise everything begins with the analysis and a research of business processes, determination of the purposes and the expected indicators. Then there comes the design stage: processes are optimized, and project solutions are approved by all participants of implementation. The next stage — setup, adaptation and modification of solutions under needs of the customer and also test operation of a system. Then training of ordinary users and trial operation during which debugging of processes comes to the end will be organized, and a system is carried to perfect condition.
At the same time it is important to realize also need of completion of the internal regulating documentation for determination of the place and problems of an archive system in business processes of the enterprise.
What results for business are brought by automation of archive office-work
Key benefits are obvious, some of them have a direct impact on business, and some — mediated. For example, due to decrease in load of information systems IT infrastructure of the company is optimized. Preserving of the legal importance of ED during the term of their storage is guaranteed that in the long term can save business from many risks.
"Due to creation of a centralized system the cost of storage of electronic documents falls — Guzel Mullakhmetova adds — and thanks to process automation of archive office-work time expenditure of archivists is reduced and document retrieval becomes simpler. Also you should not forget about one benefit which cannot be estimated in one step is an accumulation of the knowledge base which contains at the enterprise".