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Statement regarding public officials using private email to conduct official business

Monday, March 30, 2015 5:38 PM | Anonymous

Statement regarding public officials using private email to conduct official business

The Board of Directors and the Advocacy Committee of the Archivists Round
Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc., expresses concern at recent news
reports that public officials at different levels of government have used
private email accounts to routinely communicate and conduct official
business.


Use of non-official systems to send and receive email, except in extreme
circumstances (i.e. emergency situations where government systems are not
available) increases the likelihood that messages which meet the legal
definition of a public record are not captured or managed in accordance
with existing laws and regulations.  Public records, whether email
messages or paper documents, not captured in official records management
systems diminish the historical record, decrease government efficiency and
effectiveness, and impede the publicĀ¹s ability to hold government
officials accountable.


The Board of Directors and the Advocacy Committee urge governments to
adopt records regulations that prohibit the use of non-official email
systems except in extreme, emergency situations.  Furthermore, the Board
of Directors and the Committee urge that stricter rules regarding the use
of official email accounts for official business be implemented and
enforced to ensure preservation of the historic record and to foster
greater transparency and accountability at all levels of government.

 

The statement can be downloaded at the following link [PDF]:

2015_ART_email_advocacy_letter.pdf


questions? communications@nycarchivists.org

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