Rather than trying to decide what information you should destroy, it is often easier to turn the question on its head and think about the reasons for keeping it.
Asking yourself the following questions may help you to come to a decision:
- Does it contain useful information that I or others will need to perform a specific and known task or role?
- Have you or a colleague referred to this information in the last six months?
- Is this the only place where such information is available?
- Is it likely that an auditor would wish to see this information?
- Are there legal or regulatory reasons for keeping this information?
- Is it likely that future generations are likely to be interested in this information as a historical record?
If the answer to any of the above is ‘yes’ this may indicate that it is information that is worth keeping – at least for the time being. If the answer to all the above is ‘no’ it is unlikely that it is required and serious consideration should be given to removing it. If you are in any doubt you should consult your records manager or archivist if you have one.