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House Committee Chairs Urge Federal Agencies to Observe Data Preservation Measures

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More than 50 federal agencies have received communications from top House Democrats requesting their compliance with record and document preservation requirements as the representatives prepare for the presidential transition, Government Executive reported Tuesday.

Leaders of the lower chamber’s 21 committees asked agency heads to observe federal law-mandated measures for collecting, retaining and preserving all documents, communications and other records.

In their letters to 53 agencies, the House committee chairs emphasized the government’s obligation to save and archive any Congress-requested information “in a manner that is easily retrievable.”

Agency officials were asked to ensure that potentially relevant information must be returned from individuals who have access to it, and that deleted but potentially important electronic data must be recovered and preserved.

“[Agencies must] remind all relevant individuals…that any federal records sent or received using a nonofficial account must be forwarded to the agency for proper archiving,” the letters read.

The departments of Defense (DoD), Homeland Security (DHS) and Energy (DOE), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) were some of the letter recipients.