Many fed e-records lost

Most federal electronic records of historical interest are not being adequately preserved and may be permanently lost, according to a General Accounting Office report released in June.

The report, "Information Management: Challenges in Managing and Preserving Electronic Records," available at www.gao.gov/new.items/d02586.pdf, was commissioned by the House Government Reform subcommittee on government efficiency, financial management and intergovernmental relations and the Appropriations subcommittee on postal service and general government.

The House wanted the GAO to determine whether the National Archives and Records Administration, which is responsible for preserving documents of historical interest, was adequately saving the influx of e-records it was receiving from agencies.

Based on a 2001 NARA report, the GAO found federal agencies were not identifying and passing to NARA records of historical value. Guidance in handling these large volumes of complex records is incomplete.

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