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Principles on Data Access and Verifiability of Digital Documents (GDPdU)

The Principles on Data Access and Verifiability of Digital Documents (GDPdU) is a decree by the tax authority from 2001. It regulates which access possibilities the tax authorities have to have on DP systems and in what form tax-relevant data has to be stored. In this context there is also talk of another administrative provision, the Principles of DP-based Orderly Accounting / Bookkeeping Systems (GoBS).

The essential part of the GDPdU refers to original digital data from Financial Accountancy systems. These have to be kept in the uncompressed original form for the duration of the retention period (currently 10 years). Electronic Document Management hardly plays a part in this context. In practice, the ERP and Administrative Accounting systems have to be kept executable on at least one computer - even with a change of system - to keep original data evaluable.

The relevance of the GDPdU for electronic archives and Document Management Systems become important, when original non-digital documents - usually paper receipts - are only available in electronic form; the original receipts having been destroyed. In this case the basic archiving system must be audit-proof. Evidence needs to be given by a Procedural Documentation according to GDPdU on demand.

Special media or storage procedures are not stipulated by the GDPdU. Certificates, that prove a system to be GDPdU-conform, are not accepted by tax auhorities, no matter who it was issued by. There is only the Procedural Documentation which is stipulated according to the GDPdU. This has to be produced if paper documents are destroyed after scanning.

bitfarm-Archiv Document Management fullfils the requirements of the GDPdU (and the GoBS) and proves this with a technical procedural documentation. This still needs to be supplemented by an organisational part (practical procedure of archiving in the company), in order to prove complete GDPdU-conformity.

Further information

  • GDPdU.pdf - Grundsätze zum Datenzugriff und zur Prüfbarkeit digitaler Unterlagen (Principles on Data Access and Verifiability of Digital Documents), GDPdU (2001)
  • Questions and answers from the Federal Ministry of Finance on the GDPdU
  • GoBS.pdf – Regulation of the tax authorities: Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger DP-gestützter Buchführungssysteme (Principles of DP-based Orderly Accounting / Bookkeeping Systems), GoBS (1995)

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