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Maarja Krusten 2 <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 15 Jun 2018 11:28:08 -0400
text/plain (110 lines)
A link to guidance from the National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA) on use of personal email accounts by Federal officials and a an
illustrative example.

Arian Ravanbakhsh, a NARA manager and expert in Federal records policy, in
2017 reminded readers of Records Express blog that "Electronic messages,
including email, created or received in a personal account meeting the
definition of a Federal record must be forwarded to an official electronic
messaging account within 20 days."
Link to his post:
short link:

Arian linked to the NARA Bulletin which reflects the statutory guidance on
electronic messages:

An example of why this might occur and how to ensure management of emails
about official business from my own experience years ago.  At one point in
my career, I served as the sole historian for a Federal agency (not NARA,
elsewhere).  In 2001,.while I held that official position, my twin sister,
Eva, was diagnosed with late stage cancer, likely terminal.  I accompanied
her to all her chemo appointments, which took up half a day for a week
every third week for three months during her last summer alive. Recent post
on the governmental legacy of my sister, a NARA official whose impact still
felt within the agency, here:

or short link

I sometimes had printed copies of unlassified work related materials with
me at the medical center chemo sessions but no means yet to access my
government email via mobile.  I didn't receive a government BlackBerry,
issued in that agency to executives and to a few program officials right
below SES rank, for my dot gov account until a few years later.

The last year of my sister's life was very hectic as I physically had to
oversee the move of voluminous historical research materials in agency
storage space while also keeping up with my other duties.  I worked into
the evening at my office and came in on Saturdays and Sundays to move boxes
of materials to the new space, too, during the period I was my sister's
primary caretaker.  But there also were times I needed to contact
colleagues while at the medical center.  So during 2001-2002, I sometimes
sent work related messages to my agency colleagues using an AOL
Communicator, a pager type "Research in Motion" device then available for
AOL email.  (No Gmail available yet then, of course.)  In every instance, i
sent such messages from the medical center with a cc to my dot gov
account.  This ensured the messages were available in the dot gov accounts
of recipients and also within my own dot gov email account.

After I had a Fed BlackBerry, there were occasions where its battery ran
down while I was off-site at conferences, assisting my late Mother during
medical appointments, etc., but my iPhone battery still had a charge.  More
often I carried a cable and portable charger for my iPhone only, although
occasional a micro USB cable for my BB as well. On a few occasions, I used
my personal email account to send schedule updates or short time-critical
messages to my colleagues at that agency, always with cc to my dot gov
account.  This was due to my being the only historian on staff at that
agency and having no backup.  I essentially was "on duty" 24/7.

There are good reasons why the pertinent records statute and guidance
recognize that there may be exceptional circumstances why Federal officials
use private email accounts at times and what they should do to ensure
records management compliance. This should be the exception, not the rule,
of course. Effective records management depends on practical, insight-based
policy guidance that incentivizes compliance humanely, thereby centering
the person within the laws.  Having experienced these situations during my
career (now retired), I understand the present statutes, regulations, and
guidance.  My thanks to those who understand this and avoid demagoguery or
partisan framing of issues which require systemic solutions.  While
appreciating the former, I recognize the latter always will be present from
others, of course.

For reliable, authoritative information about Fedland RM practices and
guidacen, follow Records Express, where Arian and his colleagues post good,
clear language explanations.

You see me with Arian (left picture, the other shows me with three a-v
contractor colleagues) on the Portico of at the top of the Constitution
Avenue steps of the National Archives on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, the day of
the Capitals Stanley Cup victory parade.  Two happy longtime Caps fans!
or short link

If you are in Washington between today and the end of the business day on
Sunday, June 17, 2018, stop by the #ALLCAPS pop up exhibit of hockey
related patents in the West Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives'
Museum!  Be aware that although filming for Magic Hour (the Wonder Woman
sequel) at 9th and Pennsylvania Avenue this weekend affects the NARA
entrance on the office side of the building, access to our Museum on
Constitution Avenue will be as normal.

[log in to unmask]
Washington, DC
Blog:  Archival Explorations

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