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Proposed bill would preserve federal electronic communications

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  1. Freedom of Information
Three Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation (H.R. 5811) today to modernize the requirements of preserving crucial electronic records from the White…

Three Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation (H.R. 5811) today to modernize the requirements of preserving crucial electronic records from the White House and other federal agencies. 

The bill, introduced by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), instructs the national archivist to set up a standard procedure for the recordkeeping of such electronic communications and to ensure that the White House follows those measures.

The bill comes in the wake of the ongoing investigation into the failures of the current electronic recordkeeping system.

“Too often over the past several years, our investigations have revealed weaknesses in government preservation of e-mail that could leave substantial gaps as future historians examine White House and agency decision making," said Waxman in a statement. "As more and more official business is conducted over e-mail, these records must be preserved as a vital part of our history.”