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.