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Archives Gives OK to Discarding "Transitory" E-Mail Records

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  1. Freedom of Information
The National Archives and Records Administration has formalized a new regulation on e-mail record keeping, advising federal agencies that transitory…

The National Archives and Records Administration has formalized a new regulation on e-mail record keeping, advising federal agencies that transitory e-mails do not need to be kept beyond 180 days. NARA defines “transitory” as records that have “minimal or no documentary or evidential value” such as requests for information or publications, letters of transmittal that contain no new information, notices unrelated to official actions, and records of “routine activities” such as work-related trips. Some commenters argued that the rule could result in destruction of important documents with long term significance, but NARA said requiring all e-mails to be retained would be too burdensome. (3/8/06)