Washington, D.C. (Mar. 13, 2019)—The House of Representatives passed without opposition H.R. 1582, the Electronic Message Preservation Act, authored by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, to modernize how the federal government preserves email records.
“I introduced this bill with the goal of modernizing the Federal and Presidential Records Acts and to help ensure that email records from federal agencies and the White House are preserved,” Chairman Cummings said. “This legislation would provide accountability to encourage every president to have the controls in place that are necessary to preserve emails and other electronic records. This bill has passed the House with bipartisan support several times before, including last Congress. I urge my colleagues to support the bill again today, and I hope the Senate will act on the bill and send it to the President’s desk before the end of the year.”
The Electronic Message Preservation Act would:
The bill would put into statute what agencies are already required to do under a directiveissued by the Archivist and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in 2012.
According to a 2018 report from the National Archives and Records Administration, approximately 35% of federal agencies continue to print and file hard copies of e-mail messages making such records more likely to get lost and harder for agencies to retrieve during searches under the Freedom of Information Act.
Click here to read Chairman Cummings’ full statement as entered into the Congressional Record.