The Fenty administration routinely destroyed official e-mails, throwing thousands of public records into the electronic garbage pile even as the city council was drafting legislation that would have prevented it, a top city official has admitted under oath.
In late 2007, Mayor Adrian Fenty tried to give himself the authority to destroy electronic records every eight weeks. After hearing months of outrage from government watchdog groups and facing emergency legislation that would have forbidden the practice, Fenty announced that he was withdrawing the proposal early last year.
But the administration was destroying the records every two months until at least May 2008, Office of the Chief Technology Officer program officer Robert Mancini said in a recent affidavit obtained by The Examiner.
“Because there is no retention schedule for e-mails for the District of Columbia government and because of cost and storage considerations, it was the general practice of OCTO to retain backup tapes [of e-mails] for [a] period of 8 weeks, after which the tapes were recycled and copied over,” Mancini wrote in the June 15 affidavit.
D.C. policy caps the number of e-mails in a worker’s inbox. An e-mail deleted from an inbox is still preserved on backup digital tapes. Once the tapes are erased, the e-mail is gone. D.C. law has long defined e-mails as public records but hasn’t been clear about how long they should be preserved.To Continue Reading: Click Here
Source: Washington Examiner
By: Bill Myers