In 2008, ARMA International introduced the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® and the subsequent Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® Information Governance Maturity Model. The Principles identify the critical hallmarks of information governance. As such, they apply to all sizes of organizations, in all types of industries, and in both the private and public sectors. Multi-national organizations can also use The Principles to establish consistent practices across a variety of business units.
This is an ARMA definition of The Principles. I would add that The Principles represents a strategic framework for information governance in the same way that GAAP is the strategic framework for the accounting profession. Both are a principles based framework to identify and define those strategic areas that need be addressed in order to have successfully compliant organizations. The eight principles--Accountability, Transparency, Integrity, Protection, Compliance, Availability, Retention, and Disposition--are each and of themselves important, but must be also taken in total to ensure a comprehensive program. This is the wisdom of The Principles – all principles must be identified and accounted for in order to have a successful information governance program. A failure in any of the principles is a potential failure of the program. Now this does not imply that perfection is the goal. The goal is reasonableness. As long as an organization can show a clear strategy, definition of best practices and policies and procedures, and documented adherence to these policies it should be able to demonstrate reasonable compliance and be in a defensible position.