Some data requests sent by the US Congress sound like they require some metadata fields to be populated attached to files, “unmodified”.
For example, this request (as do other similar ones) says:
Responding to Oversight Committee Document Requests
Documents produced in electronic format should be organized, identified, and indexed electronically.
Electronic document productions should be prepared according to the following standards:
d. All electronic documents produced to the Committee should include the following fields of metadata specific to each document, and no modifications should be made to the original metadata:
BEGDOC, ENDDOC, TEXT, BEGATTACH, ENDATTACH, PAGECOUNT, CUSTODIAN, RECORDTYPE, DATE, TIME, SENTDATE, SENTTIME, BEGINDATE, BEGINTIME, ENDDATE, ENDTIME, AUTHOR, FROM, CC, TO, BCC, SUBJECT, TITLE, FILENAME, FILEEXT, FILESIZE, DATECREATED, TIMECREATED, DATELASTMOD, TIMELASTMOD, INTMSGID, INTMSGHEADER, NATIVELINK, INTFILPATH, EXCEPTION, BEGATTACH.
Assuming this is sent to a small company, it is quite possible the documents are stored on employees’ work (or even personal) computers, possibly as just Word documents. It is unlikely that they are organized in a database that would contain these fields.
These fields seem to be mentioned by a discovery service provider company, but I have not been quickly able to understand where these fields come from, or why Congress seems to have an expectation that the respondent will have the documents organized with these fields.
I’m neither a legal professional or from the US, so out of personal curiosity (and professional curiosity in the field of IT), I am trying to understand:
Is there is an actual standard that proscribes these fields?
Is there an actual federal US legal requirement to either maintain documents with this metadata (or at least generate it on export)?
If this applies only to businesses of certain size, what is the threshold?
That is: do I need to worry about storing small business or large corporation’s documents centrally and annotated with these fields?