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I generate a large volume of statistical and performance reports for products. Many of these reports are, or will be generated automatically.

I would like to have a stock/canned disclaimer for this report to explain two things:

1) This report is accurate the best knowledge and information available at the time it was run.

2) This report is for internal use only.

I have check with my manager and other pertinent parties in the company. No one has such a disclaimer, but they do see the merit of such a disclaimer. Now it's up to me to generate one.

Now for the question(s):

Is there any typical format format to a disclaimer of this variety?

Are there any pitfalls, issues or problems that could arise from such a disclaimer?

TL:DR - How do I reasonably cover my bases with a disclaimer on reports?

closed as off-topic by Masked Man, gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, yochannah, mcknz Aug 13 '15 at 21:40

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    If this document is really going to be FIUO, then you can just write what you want as clearly as possible. You aren't going to have other parts of the company suing you because you didn't get the legal language right. – David K Aug 13 '15 at 17:01
  • @DavidK That's a good point. Thanks for pointing this out. The trouble is I'd like to shield myself in the event I hand a report to someone inside (lots of physical paper) and they decided to share it with a vendor. – BrownRedHawk Aug 13 '15 at 17:34
  • The first point sounds a little like excusing the poor quality of the record beforehand ("This is the best I can do"). Since it is expected that you will perform your best, maybe users will wonder if there are serious issues with the report that causes you to excuse yourself. – SJuan76 Aug 13 '15 at 21:13
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    I would just print the date of the data the report is based on. If you need to add some disclaimer, make them specific (v.g., "the data in the report does not include transactions pending the approval of the CEO", or "The report details the expenses reported to Accounting until the report date, but sometimes expenses are reported with a few delay so the data is still not defiinitive") Of course, they will vary from report to report. – SJuan76 Aug 13 '15 at 21:14
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What you've written looks good to me. If there are legal/personally identifiable information (SSN, DOB, etc.) issues, you should definitely check with you company's lawyer if there is one, or consult someone if there's not.

I would put this in big, bold letters, at the top of the email's body, so it can't be missed.

As for your questions:

  1. There's no 'standard' format, as warnings can be of different severity from company to company, and depending on the report's content. I've seen companies put a disclaimer at the footer of all emails (auto-generated and otherwise) stating that there could be legal repercussions for distributing to anyone outside the company. I've also, myself, added a CYA of the sort you're using on things I've done. Assess the reason that you feel you need the warning, and that should guide you to the appropriate wording.

  2. A potential pitfall: Managers/executives may not like this, if you haven't discussed it with them. You may find yourself being asked why you don't have faith in the reports you've created, or asked to nail down a specific accuracy %.

  • It's less about what I'd call sensitive information (Tax IDs, etc) and more about letting people know 1: reports should not be handed out to vendors, and if they are they are not to be reproduced and 2: If it was generated on May 1st, the information is no longer good by August (actual experience) – BrownRedHawk Aug 13 '15 at 17:23
  • Yeah, I would go with what you've got. And, I hear you about the info no longer being good. But, put yourself in the shoes of (say) a CEO: If I see a report come across my desk that states 'the information may no longer be accurate' I would at least want to know why, and who to ask about it. Not that it's saying anything negative, it's a simple fact. Just be prepared for the question is all. – DrewJordan Aug 13 '15 at 17:43
  • Thanks again. Absolutely. I answer questions to that effect all day. I'd rather be questioned on "What's up with this note" than "Why the heck are your numbers different than mine?" - PS What's with the downvote, without constructive notes? – BrownRedHawk Aug 13 '15 at 18:02
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Does your company have a legal department? They should be able to help you to draft something reasonable. If not, I would ask HR to help if I were in your shoes.

  • As I stated, I've talked to all available pertinent parties. Time to get creative. – BrownRedHawk Aug 13 '15 at 17:21

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