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Our friends at CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) broke this story on August 7, 2020 about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) illegally destroying records and lying about it. Oddly enough, EPA didn’t destroy records because they were damaging to the agency’s reputation or were evidence of agency misdeeds. The records were originally damaged by a water sprinkler accident. But instead of acting quickly to dry the records, they let them fester for several months and get moldy. And then they didn’t follow protocol set under federal law requiring that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) evaluate and approve requests to destroy contaminated records. No, EPA just went ahead and destroyed the records and then the EPA lied to NARA to cover up their incompetence. This is a case that clearly points to the need for improving training and raising the profile and importance of record-keeping within agencies (2 recommendations put forth by the 2018-2020 FOIA Advisory Committee).
Americans must be able to trust that executive agencies are taking care of OUR records. Sadly, in this instance, EPA failed our trust.
The Environmental Protection Agency illegally destroyed records, deceived the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about that destruction, and falsely blamed the coronavirus pandemic to escape accountability, according to internal documents uncovered by CREW.
The Archivist of the US (AOTUS) released NARA’s plan for a Digital Preservation Framework consisting of a “Risk and Prioritization Matrix” and 15 File Format Preservation Action Plans. NARA is asking that the public submit comments on NARA’s GitHub site through November 1, 2019.
In particular, we are hoping to get feedback on the following topics:
- What revisions can you suggest to the proposed processing and preservation actions for the formats?
- Are the Essential Characteristics for each record type comprehensive enough for digital preservation?
- Are the proposed preservation actions for the formats technically appropriate?
- Are there appropriate tools for processing and preservation of specific formats that we do not have listed?
- What can you suggest in terms of appropriate public access versions of the formats?
- Are there other formats we haven’t identified that need plans?
You can use the issues feature in Github to leave a comment or question or start a discussion. Read more about how to contribute here. So, go ahead, start digging in to your favorite file format and tell NARA your thoughts.
Today NARA is releasing the entirety of our digital preservation framework for public comment. This digital preservation framework consists of our approach to determining risks faced by electronic files, and our plans for preserving different types of file formats. The public is encouraged to join the discussion, September 16 through November 1, 2019, on GitHub.
Reposted with Permission from INFOdocket.com
On November 4, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13556, “Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI),” and designated the National Archives and Records Administration as the Executive Agent “to implement this order and oversee agency actions to ensure compliance with this order.”
On November 4, 2011, as required by this Executive Order, the National Archives Controlled Unclassified Information Office established a publically available registry reflecting the initial categories and subcategories of unclassified information that require dissemination or safeguarding controls consistent with and pursuant to law, regulation, and Government-wide policy. This registry is online.
The CUI program will be implemented in phases based on compliance plans and target dates to be submitted by executive agencies and departments. When fully implemented, the CUI program will require executive departments and agencies to exclusively use these categories for controlling and marking such unclassified information. The National Archives will consult with the agencies and the Office of Management and Budget and then set implementation deadlines for CUI, to include for applying standardized CUI markings.
Currently, there are more than 100 different policies for such information across the Executive branch. This plethora of policies has created inefficiency and confusion, leading to a patchwork system that fails to adequately safeguard information requiring protection, and unnecessarily restricts information sharing by creating needless impediments.
Read the Complete Announcement
From the NARAtions Blog:
The National Archives just joined iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store giving users public access to thousands of free lectures, videos, books and podcasts from learning institutions all over the world. If you already have iTunes on your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or computer, you can search for “National Archives” on iTunes U to find our channel, or visit us at http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/national-archives-and-records/id438983411. Our initial collections feature selected archival documents, lesson plan materials, podcasts by the Presidential Libraries, videos from our “Inside the Vaults” series and more.
UK: National Archives Releases Public API & Government Licensing Policy Extended Making More Public Sector Information Availa
From Computer Weekly:
The National Archives [UK] has made details of 11m records available through an application interface it published today as part of an ongoing programme to get more official records online.
The API allows anyone to search for and retrieve the metadata that describes records in the archive in XML format. The data can then be used without restriction or charge. But the archive, which is simultaneously an executive agency of the Department of Justice and a government department in its own right, continues to charge £3.50 per document to retrieve actual records online.
More Info on INFOdocket or Direct from Computer Weekly
Also from the National Archives (UK)