Federal Employees News Digest

Lawmakers seek more info on record-keeping compliance

In response to recent reports that some federal employees may not be complying with federal record keeping laws, top lawmakers from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are asking agencies to submit proof of how their employees are following the rules.

In a letter sent to 55 heads of federal agencies and to the White House, Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) asked each agency to submit documentation that indicates they are in compliance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the Federal Records Act (FRA) when handling government documents, information and communication.

The Presidential Records Act, governs the records created or received by the president and those in the Executive Office, while the Federal Records Act, governs records for federal agencies.

The letters specifically asks for more information about how employees are using social media, text encryption apps, personal email accounts, and other unofficial devices to communicate government information.

How agencies are complying with the Freedom of Information Act is also at issue with the committee members.

“Official business must be conducted in such a way as to preserve the official record of actions taken by the federal government and its employees,” the letters state.

The letters also raised issue with the president's use of two official Twitter accounts and deleted tweets that should have been persevered for official presidential records.

Each letter includes a list of requests that must be met by March 22.

View the letter to agencies at https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2017-03-08-JEC-EEC-to-McGettigan-OPM-Federal-Records-Act-due-3-22.pdf, and the letter the White House at https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2017-03-08-JEC-EEC-to-McGahn-WH-Presidential-Records-Act-due-3-22.pdf

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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