We only retain appropriate documents in accordance with Data Protection legislation. It would be more cost effective for us to destroy our records once a client has received a copy, however in line with data protection legislation, there is a need to preserve evidence and work to comply with such relevant laws and standards.
The rules regarding the conduct of investigations require the retention of evidence or information gathered during the course of an investigation. For example, if a client makes a leniency application to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) they require the retention of all such reports. The importance of this approach is highlighted in the final recommendations within the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England & Wales (ICAEW) ‘Guidance to Audit Committees on Whistleblowing’. The guidance urges Audit Committees to consider “there are adequate procedures for retaining evidence in relation to each concern”.
In the majority of cases once the report is forwarded to the client it is not needed again. However on occasions we have needed to provide both our original notes and report to support clients in Criminal and Civil proceedings. Remember, a Safecall report and accompanying notes are often the first record of an issue and therefore its authenticity may be challenged in future proceedings.
It is our belief that the destruction of such material would not be in the best interest of your organisation.