Legislation (HR-745) has been reintroduced in the House to strengthen records-keeping requirements for federal agencies, including specifying that they would have to capture, retain and make searchable any electronic messages that qualify as federal records.
Also, the bill would modify the categories of record removal or destruction that obligate federal agency heads to notify the National Archives and Records Administration and initiate actions to recover removed records through the Department of Justice. Agencies also would have to notify NARA of concealments or falsifications of records, and publish a general description of records at risk of loss or that have been lost.
Further, the bill creates a process for the suspension and removal of federal employees if an agency inspector general determines that they have “willfully and unlawfully concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, falsified, or destroyed any record, proceeding, or other thing in their custody” or have violated prohibitions against creating or sending records using nonofficial electronic messaging accounts.
In addition, agencies would have to designate a senior records management official responsible to ensure compliance with records management requirements, and the GAO and agency IGs would have to regularly monitor agency compliance, among other requirements.