BIP 0008 British Code for Legal Admissibility and Record Retention
Prior to the invention of personal computers, and even well into the 1990’s, physically filing papers was the only way for businesses and individuals to ensure their documents were well organized and relatively secure. Thankfully, electronic document management (EDM) has now entered the scene. EDM makes life so much simpler because it enables organization and security, as well as time and money management. Ever since computers began to be so widely utilized, the pressing question on users’ minds has been which original documents must be kept, and which can simply be scanned and then destroyed? In order to answer these questions, the British Standard (BIP 0008) came into effect.
BIP 0008 Governs Electronic Records
Regardless of which governing body dictates EDM, the BIP 0008 decrees the requirements when converting physical paper documents to legally admissible electronic records. The BIP 0008 is a Code of Practice that was implemented and is to be used with the British Standard 10008. The BIP 0008 originated and was published in 1996 by the British Standards Institution (BSI), and in an effort to remain current with the changing needs of users, has been updated several times throughout the years. The Code is mainly concerned with the Legal Admissibility and Evidential Weight of Information Stored Electronically. The Code provides as much guidance as possible that scanned images can be legally accepted as evidence to the courts. Users must take great care to ensure legal guidelines are followed. Whenever a legal documents is reproduced, it must contain an accurate reproduction of the original document.
Once scanned, most original documents may be destroyed. However, this is dependent on the type of document in question. For most general business documents that must be saved for seven years, due to Value-Added Tax (VAT) purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Ministerial Department guidelines should be followed. The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) and investment companies’ requirements must be followed for general record keeping and are governed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The Law Society provides direction for law firms.
Key Aspects of the BIP 0008 Standard
The key principles contained in the BIP 0008 are:
1) Authenticity: Process and procedures under which systems must be operated.
2) Storage and access procedures: Steps that must be taken in the processes of administration, scanning, indexing, retrieval, archival, and storage of documents.
3) Demonstrability of adherence: A strict process which results in a Certificate of Conformity, once adherence has been demonstrated.
eFileCabinet follows BIP 0008 and is a premier document management company that can help any business ensure proper steps have been taken to meet the requirements for the Code. With over fourteen years’ experience, eFileCabinet ensures the electronic images produced are unalterable and that an accurate audit trail has been created, so scanned images can them be deemed as originals and used accordingly.
eFileCabinet helps significantly minimize the dependency on paper and facilitates the utilization of electronic document management. eFileCabinet offers efficient and effective desktop and cloud options, a mobile app, custom consulting and training and, on-going support. Our paperless software products are priced to fit any budget because we cater to what a particular business or individual requires. We are fully compliant with FINRA, HIPAA, NASD, and SEC requirements.
Some of eFileCabinet’s features:
- File Sync: Automatically and efficiently syncs with your local computer and eFileCabinet online.
- SalesForce Integration: eFileCabinet Online can be controlled within SalesForce. Drawers can be created for each SalesForce contact and files are automatically updated in both locations.
- Secure Cloud Document Management: Documents are securely stored online, which facilitates access and management of all files anywhere, anytime- with no server requirement. We offer state-of-the-art data centers (Level 1 PCI compliant with ISO 27001, SAS 70 Type II and HIPAA certifications) with advanced encryption and security. All data is encrypted, while being transmitted both to and from data centers.
- Easy Capture, Store and Search: User-friendly scanning, drag and drop storage, and templates for new and existing documents. There is extensive storage and unlimited cabinets and folders for users to accommodate information. Our OCR engine ensures all documents and PDFs can be quickly and thoroughly scanned.
- Compliance and Regulatory Tools: eFileCabinet Online provides a simple and sophisticated tool to ensure regulatory compliance. Document retention, audit-tracking, and role-based security are essential for compliance and are standard features with eFileCabinet Online. Data storage and back-up is provided by multiple data centers in many regions, in order to ensure data accessibility and reliability.
- Free Mobile Apps: eFileCabinet can be utilized through Android and iOS mobile apps via your smart phone. Quickly and easily take pictures of your important documents and upload them directly into the appropriate folder. When a client requests information, you are able to preview, search and share files in a snap, no matter where you are.
- eSignature Integration: In order to initiate a signature, simply click on the eSignature button on the menu. Signed files and documents are automatically received and filed under the appropriate file you designate. Digital signatures are legally-binding, provide bank-level security, and can be accessed via computer, tablet, or smart phone.
- Role-Based User Permissions: eFileCabinet Online allows standard users to be granted permission to create and edit files.
Please call eFileCabinet today or fill out the form on this page for help with ensuring that your business or organization has everything needed in order to become and remain BIP 0008 compliant.