Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Administration Oversight, White House Use of Private E-mail Accounts

House Passes Reforms of White House E-mail Use

In March 2007, the Committee began an investigation into the use of RNC e-mail accounts by White House officials and the potential loss of presidential records. This investigation revealed that 88 White House officials held RNC e-mail accounts while serving in the White House, that these officials used the RNC e-mail accounts to conduct official government business, and that there was extensive destruction of these e-mails by the RNC.

In response to the Committee’s investigation, the House in July 2008 passed the Electronic Communications Preservation Act (H.R. 5811). This legislation directs the Archivist to establish standards for the capture, management, and preservation of electronic messages that are presidential records.

In addition, the White House responded to the Committee’s investigation with reforms that may reduce the use of political e-mail accounts for official business. Soon after the start of the Committee’s investigation, the White House rewrote its staff guidance on the use of e-mail. The White House also provided official blackberries to all staff in the Office of Political Affairs.