The Super Bowl’s over. But the investigation into whether the New England Patriots intentionally decreased pressure in footballs to gain an edge during the AFC championship game, or what has become known as “Deflategate,” continues. The main unanswered question: Who was holding the pigskin immediately before kickoff?
In information management lingo, it’s a chain of custody question. If your business ever becomes the subject of an inquiry about your document handling, you’ll need to have a better answer about your practices than the Patriots currently have about the oversight of their footballs.
The Best Defense Is a Strong Offense
Once you’re ready to dispose of your sensitive documents, for example, you’ll want to destroy them with as much transparency and care as you used to create them. To do that, work with a trusted partner that can help you:
- Make a successful hand off. Just as NFL investigators aren’t willing to simply accept the Patriots’ assurances that nothing suspect happened to their footballs, regulators want actual proof that you’ve shredded documents properly. A savvy partner can provide a certificate of destruction and chain of custody details to eliminate any doubts.
- Know the score. Before Deflategate, only referees knew a football’s proper inflation rate. Likewise, industry rules and government regulations are often poorly communicated and can change over time. Which documents do you need to keep? Which ones must you absolutely shred? Working with an experienced partner that has the institutional knowledge and resources to stay abreast of new requirements will mean you’re never caught off guard.
- Strengthen your blocking. You may have heard the rumors that a rogue equipment manager deflated the footballs. You don’t want that kind of thing happening within you operation. A trusted partner can thoroughly vet and train everyone who comes in contact with your sensitive documents. Its team can also institute safeguards to keep unauthorized personnel from handling your documents as they await shredding.
Only the passage of time and the results of the NFL’s investigation will determine whether Deflategate will tarnish the Patriots’ last-second Super Bowl victory. Companies that enlist the support of a trusted shredding partner can savor all their wins and be confident that their legacy will never be in jeopardy.