E-mail subject to same disclosure requirements as paper documents
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Electronic mail of the federal government must be created, maintained and disposed of under the Federal Records Act just as paper records would be, according to final rules issued in late August by the National Archives and Records Administration.
NARA, which issued proposed rules on federal e-mail in March 1994, rejected comments from several agencies that they are not yet ready to accommodate electronic recordkeeping principles even though they are using e-mail.
John Carlin, Archivist of the United States since June, emphasized that the law requires documentary materials, regardless of media, to be maintained if they concern agency business and are evidence of government activities, functions or policies, or contain information of value.
NARA received 92 comments on the e-mail proposals and published a lengthy report responding to commenters along with the new rules. (Final Rule, Federal Register, August 28)