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Governance Gauge: To Stay Compliant, Train

The ongoing Enron trial has highlighted one reason why companies should rethink the way they handle employee training.

The ongoing Enron trial has highlighted one reason why companies should rethink the way they handle employee training. Some of the problems for Enron and Arthur Andersen stemmed from employee acts such as shredding documents relevant to the government investigation into Enron.

What can you do to protect your organization from mistaken or intentional employee actions? Practice information management compliance. The basic elements are: good policies and procedures; executive-level program responsibility; proper delegation of program roles and components; and program dissemination, communication and training. Also important are auditing and monitoring to measure program compliance; effective and consistent program enforcement; and continuous program improvement.

Though all these components are important, employee training is particularly effective. ARMA's "Keeping Good Company" training program, for example, teaches employees how to handle common compliance issues. If you develop your own curriculum, make sure you cover any stated company policies.

One of Arthur Andersen's policies, which employees either ignored or weren't aware of, read, "Reasons for extended retention might include agency investigations (e.g., by the SEC), pending tax cases, or other legal action ... In such cases, material in our files cannot be altered or deleted."

— Randolph Kahn


Oracle Joins the Enterprise Search Fray

Oracle has long offered full-text search within its DB platform, but in early March it beefed up its enterprise search capability and broke it out as a standalone product: Oracle Secure Enterprise Search 10g. Contrasting enterprise demands with Internet search — and taking aim at Google Enterprise Search — Oracle emphasized hardened security features, but offered few details on advances over rival enterprise search products from vendors including IBM, Autonomy and FAST. Oracle's product will start at $30,000 per CPU and will tap into e-mail and file systems, document repositories, Web servers, portals or any source that can be reached via HTTP.

Business Objects Buys Data Quality Firm

Business Objects has acquired Firstlogic, a vendor of enterprise data quality solutions and services. The company said the deal will help it improve data quality and provide customers with a single, consistent view of their business, accelerating compliance initiatives. Firstlogic's technology addresses initial data assessment and measurement, data cleansing, data enrichment, matching and consolidation, and continuous monitoring.

EMC Rolls Out the E-Discovery' Solution

Storage Provider EMC has introduced 'e-Discovery' Solution, an integrated collection of information and content management software, networked storage and professional services designed to help companies better manage the legal discovery process. The software includes e-mail archiving, content management and tiered networked storage platforms.