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Administration faces big challenge in records preservation

January 15, 2008

Administration faces big challenge in records preservation

Government Executive, January 10, 2007

The National Archives and Records Administration and the White House have until February 1 to provide a status on its transition of presidential records to the National Archives in January 2009. The Presidential Records Act requires all Commander in Chiefs to keep records of all activities, deliberations, decisions and policies that relate to his or her term(s) in office. Some are worried, however, that the White House is not properly equipped for a records management endeavor of this magnitude:

“Serious questions have been raised about whether the White House has sufficient systems to preserve presidential records and to prepare for the transition to the next president,” said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the committee’s chairman, in letters to U.S. Archivist Allen Weinstein and Counsel to the President Fred Fielding on Dec. 20, 2007. “According to information received by the committee, the White House has failed to implement a robust system for archiving e-mails and other electronic records, despite several efforts to do so.”

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