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Weekly News Digest

March 15, 2010 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Organizations Request Hearings on Destruction of DOJ Emails

On March 10, 2010, numerous organizations, including the Special Libraries Association (SLA), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the American Association of Law Librarians (AALL), signed a letter that was faxed to the Ranking Members and the Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The letter requests that hearings be held on the apparent unlawful destruction of emails in the Department of Justice (DOJ)-despite the requirements of the Federal Records Act (FRA; Emails-Final.pdf).

The letter states:

The FRA is intended to prevent the loss of records of legal, financial, evidentiary and historical significance by requiring federal agencies to establish a program for the creation and preservation of agency records. Such a program should include effective controls over the records' use and safeguards against their removal or loss. As the business of the government is increasingly conducted over email, the common understanding, supported by case law, is that email falls within the scope of these FRA obligations.

The disappearance of emails that are required to be saved under current law raises serious concerns about government transparency and whether information needed to hold the government accountable is being destroyed before officials, Congress and the public can have access to it. We respectfully urge you to hold hearings to examine the issue, and to consider the need for reforms to the FRA.


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