House Passes "Electronic Message Preservation Act" backed by historians





On July 9, 2008, the House of Representatives passed the “Electronic Message Preservation Act” (H.R. 5811) by a vote of 286-137, despite a threatened veto by the White House. The bill would direct the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to establish standards for the capture, management, preservation and retrieval of federal agency and presidential electronic messages that are records in an electronic format.
The National Coalition for History endorsed the passage of H.R. 5811.
NARA would have 18 months to promulgate the regulations to implement the bill’s requirements. Federal agencies and the White House would then have no more than four years to comply. NARA would then be required to report to Congress on White House and Federal agency compliance.
There would be an additional requirement for presidential records. One year following the completion of a President’s term in office, NARA would be required to report to Congress on the status of the transition of that President’s records into his or her archival depository.



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Maarja Krusten - 7/11/2008

I would have used a different header, stating "backed by history organization" rather than "historians." The National Coalition for History did indeed endorse passage of this legislation. Here on HNN, issues related to email and federal records retention are not discussed or debated by the historians who blog and post here. So it is not clear where historians stand on this issue.

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