Preserving Records

Preserving Records

A well maintained electronic record keeping system is critical for making government more open and accountable: it allows information from across the government to be understood in context and makes sure records are not lost or improperly erased.  OpenTheGovernment.org works with our partners, the Administration, and Congress to develop and advocate for legislative and regulatory reforms to improve electronic records management.

 

Upholding the Right-to-Know in the Digital Age

Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email on a private server to conduct official government business sparked a storm of controversy. The email debate has served as a pivotal moment for the public to pressure the government to examine the way officials manage, preserve, and release information in the digital age.

Twelve Open Government Groups Call For Archivist and State Department to Review Clinton Email Server and Ensure Preservation of Federal Records

Today OpenTheGovernment.org and eleven other pro-transparency groups wrote to the Secretary of State and the Archivist of the United States, requesting that they independently verify the preservation of federal records among the emails in electronic form. The groups wrote, “the task of determining which emails constitute federal records should not be left solely to Mrs. Clinton’s personal aides.

FAQs: Federal Email Records Management

On March 2nd, the New York Times published a story reporting that Hillary Clinton had not used an official Department of State email account during her time as Secretary of State. Instead, Clinton and some staff members used a private email server. As OTG director Patrice McDermott told The Hill, “What she did was not technically illegal…[but] it was highly inappropriate and it was inappropriate for the State Department to let this happen.”

Lame Duck Looking Not So Lame for OpenGov

The lame duck session of the 113th Congress has already acted on one open government priority-- sending a bill to the President for signature that will help speed up the release of historical White House Records -- and leaders in the Senate have taken steps to push forward legislation to reform the National Surveillance Agency's (NSA) surveillance programs and to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

Presidential Federal Records Act Amendments Pass Senate

The Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 sailed through the Senate on September 10th, passing by unanimous consent. The bill underwent some changes since its unanimous passage in the House in January. Those changes must be approved by the House before the bill heads to the President’s desk.