ART has issued a statement opposing the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Request for Records Disposition Authority (DAA-0048-2015-0003) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) records appraisal, which identify for destruction (going back 50 years as well as date forward) records from every agency within the DOI, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others. These records touch on a range of subjects including oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells,timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, and land acquisition.
We urge NARA to gather public input, including the input of specialists in these fields, about the long-term importance of these records, and we ask them to consider other methods of retention, such as keeping the records in an electronic format.
In addition, we strongly recommend that NARA deny the proposed change of “disposition authority” from individual bureaus to the office of the Secretary of Interior, a cabinet-level political appointee, which could overly politicize records retention across the entire agency going forward.
Read the full statement here.