The House of Representatives recently unanimously passed H.R. 1387, the “Electronic Message Preservation Act,” requiring the Archivist of the United States to promulgate regulations governing presidential and agency preservation of email (H. Rept 111-406) .
The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate. A similar bill to one passed by the House during the 110th Congress (H.R. 5811) died in the Senate.
Upon passage by the House, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero issued a statement saying:
“Effective records management, in our view, constitutes the backbone of the Administration’s Open Government Initiative. The Government cannot be open and accountable if it does not preserve – and cannot find – its records. I applaud the leadership of Chairman Towns and Representatives Hodes, Issa, Clay, and McHenry on this important issue of managing and protecting the records of our Government. We look forward to continued work with the Administration and the Congress to find the best solutions to the challenge of effectively managing electronic records throughout the government.”