Email preservation standards extremely lax, GAO finds

Email preservation standards extremely lax, GAO finds

Summary: It just keeps looking like the Bush Administration is intentionally keeping shoddy records to avoid public accountability. After all of the missing White House and RNC emails, including a dearth of messages sent by and to Karl Rove, the Government Accountability Office reports that federal agencies and officials consistently fail to properly preserve government email, according to the Washington Post.

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It just keeps looking like the Bush Administration is intentionally keeping shoddy records to avoid public accountability. After all of the missing White House and RNC emails, including a dearth of messages sent by and to Karl Rove, the Government Accountability Office reports that federal agencies and officials consistently fail to properly preserve government email, according to the Washington Post.

Investigators looked at four agencies -- the Homeland Security Department, the Federal Trade Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development -- and found that all used an inefficient and insecure process of "print and file": printing e-mails and storing them in paper form. Only one agency, the EPA, was converting to an electronic system to store e-mail records.

Print and file? Nice. So, doesn't someone watch agencies to make sure they're following proper procedures? Nope. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA stopped making inspections shortly after President Bush took office in 2000, the report said. The House is now considering legislation to require the national archivist to regularly inspect record-keeping systems at every agency and the White House and certify that they comply with the law.

"This will impose upon government agencies to put in place a system to keep track of their e-mails and be able to retrieve them," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "This bill sets out the opportunities for a periodic review of whether agencies are complying with the law, so we don't find out at the end of an administration that records are missing," Waxman said.

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  • .....

    Can we say DUH! It has been pointed out time and time again that the Bush administration has absolutely no respect for the Constitution nor do they care to adhere to the laws they create. The "we are above the law" mentality and the fact that the greater majority of Americans have just gone right along with it, are exactly why we are in the world of shyte we are in now.

    The next president will be no better either since the precedent has been set that you can get away with murder, corruption and starting illegal conflicts for personal gain. When are you people going to wake up and realize that the Republic is faltering and heading into (if it isn't already) Fascism? Sound far fetched?

    [url=http://oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm]Seems pretty accurate...[/url]

    [url=http://www.spiritone.com/~gdy52150/fascism.html]Good read as well...[/url]

    So are you a patriot or a fascist? ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • Don't know about that one

      Given that both of the presumptive major party presidential candidates are sitting members of Congress (first time this has ever happened, I believe) and both have been critical of the current administration, and given the unpopularity of the current president, I think this particular aspect of the doctrine of executive supremacy will be leaving office along with Vice President Cheney.

      I do predict a massive shredding party on January 19, 2009, no matter who's elected.

      BTW: The fact that we have two sitting members of Congress running against each other brings up an interesting point. Only three sitting members of Congress have ever been elected president (Garfield, Harding, and Kennedy) and none lived through his first term. My suggestion to both Sens. McCain and Obama is thus: "Choose your running mate well!".
      John L. Ries
  • RE: Email preservation standards extremely lax, GAO finds

    It's hilarious to watch this debacle.

    Any company...ANY company can easily start archiving all of their e-mail today. There are applicances that can be added to the routing path that will capture everything as well as additional products that quickly and easily plug into all the standard e-mail systems today and will start capturing e-mail immediately. This isn't a complicated process and it does not require a huge amount of time. We're talking a single day for smaller companies and no longer than 30 days for even huge, 25k enterprise companies. I personally installed over 12 compliance systems MYSELF in the past year while the White House has accomplished practically nothing in this regard. Adding Archiving is really no big deal and relatively straight-forward. Adding compliance should be easy too...keep everything, right?

    It's obvious that the government is actively interferring in getting these systems installed. There's no other explanation or excuse that we should accept at this point since it's been YEARS. It's an embarassing shame really.
    lawryll@...
  • Bush isn't the only one keeping shoddy records

    "...the Government Accountability Office reports that federal agencies and officials consistently fail to properly preserve government email..."

    Richard Koman, are you familiar with the term 'yellow journalism'? Yes, it's true that people don't like Bush. We all know how bad his approval ratings are and it should come as no surprise that the GAO is rightly complaining about his actions. However, let's remember all those people in congress who are enjoying the most abysmal approval rating in history, which is a mere fraction of Bush's already low rating. Considering all the officials, support staff, and lobbyists who are involved in congress, the problem the GAO is pointing out is one that is exponentially worse particularly in congress.

    People need to wake up and realize that both the Bush administration AND congress are screwing us over and covering up shady activity. It's shameful to give congress a free pass on this like this article and so many others do. This accountability problem affects more than just the Bush administration and a couple of agencies. It's a widespread lack of transparency that continues to earn all federal bureaucracies poor approval from the people they rule over in tyranny. It is both a Republican problem and a Democratic problem. The lead parties have had years to get this email stuff right -- the internet has been around for quite a while. Unfortunately, neither lead party has bothered.

    Let's put the blame where it belongs. The white house AND congress AND federal agencies ALL share this blame and have been sharing it for many years through different administrations and elected officials.
    BigDragon
    • Yeah but...

      ...the Bush administration is raising the bar when it comes to lack of accountability or even care. To paraphrase Cheney's response to the fact that most people want us out of Iraq; "So...?" (parenthetical who gives a frog?)
      wmlundine
    • Intent

      From what we've found out the federal agencies that have the problem keeping records have one thing in common. They stopped keeping the information soon after contact with the executive branch on certain subjects. We understand the business so we're more upset. It's apparent that this is intentional loss of data and intent is the problem.

      The administration came in and pulled the plug on oversight and transparency. Logs on who entered the executive offices are no longer kept by COMMAND. The congress was complicit because they allowed it to happen. Yes they are at fault for not doing their jobs. It's worst to give the command. Oh and the COMMAND was given well before 9-11 so let's not say that everything changed. Who was in charge of congress when the oversight stopped.
      clif@...
  • RE: Email preservation standards extremely lax, GAO finds

    I think it's no surprise, really. Hell, our gummint critters hardly know how to spell e-mail, less about using it, and nothing about security. It's a "someone else will do it" world for them.
    It's the ones that claim/pretend to understand it that scare me. I won't mention those that actually do since the number is too small to count.
    All e-mail is handled by flunkies anyway; the ones that actually run the gummint of this here newnited stakes.
    The COULD understand, but choose not to. Unless the buzzwords can get them some mileage in a campaign, what's the impetus for them to care? Zip. None.
    lol, I can just see the file cabinets upon file cabinets full of printed e-mails now! And the filing system they use? That's even funnier to think about.
    twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988