Unauthorized Dispositions Closed Cases
Under 44 USC 3106 and 36 CFR Part 1230, "Unlawful or Accidental Removal, Defacing, Alteration, or Destruction of Records," Federal agencies are required to "notify the Archivist of any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal, defacing, alteration, corruption, deletion, erasure, or other destruction of records in the custody of the agency." NARA also receives notifications from other sources such as the news media and private citizens. NARA establishes unauthorized disposition case files to track each allegation and any communications with the agency until the issue is resolved.
The Records Management Oversight and Reporting Program is responsible for handling all unauthorized disposition cases. For more information or to report a case of unauthorized disposition, please contact us via email at UnauthorizedDisposition@nara.gov.
The table below lists all closed unauthorized disposition cases and includes a pdf file open and close letters (when available or permissible) for each case from NARA to the agency. The unauthorized disposition case file contains more information including the communications between NARA and the agency. If you would like more information on a case, please contact the NARA Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office to file a FOIA request for the case file. Please use the Case ID indicated on the below table in your FOIA request. You can also see records previously requested in the FOIA Electronic Reading Room.
At the end of the fiscal year, the closed cases are removed from the table on the Unauthorized Disposition of Federal Records web page and added to the table on this page. For information on any cases that closed prior to the end of Fiscal Year 2017, please refer to NARA's Annual Performance and Accountability Reports. Please note Performance and Accountability Reports prior to the 2008 report do not contain information on unauthorized disposition cases. For additional information on older cases, you can review this spreadsheet of all cases that were opened prior to October 1, 2016.
Closed Unauthorized Disposition Cases
|Agency||Secondary Agency||Case Open Date||Case Close Date||Records||Status||Case ID||Case Letters|
|Agency for International Development||7/24/2015||10/19/2016||Electronic records of Haiti Mission possibly lost during migration from a system of stand-alone computers to a cloud-based office productivity and storage solution.||Founded||UD-2015-0007||UD-2015-0007 Open/Close|
10,385 Softcopy/Tiff files between 2003-2007 and PDF and TIFF vintages between 2010-2013 topographic maps, were not archived were overwritten with each update. Volume and dates are unknown.
Suspected unauthorized disposition of Federal records donated to Black Hills State University, in FY2005, by Black Hills National Forest.
A Forest Service employee in the Pacific Northwest Region has admitted to stealing Agency financial records and states that the records have been provided to her attorney.
Accidental loss of FY 2016 procurement records. A Southern Region Forest Service employee inadvertently left a briefcase containing the records in an airport waiting area on March 24, 2017.
|Air Force||5/18/2016||7/11/2017||Loss of personnel records (DD-214’s and Special Orders) at Malmstrom AFB, Montana that may have occurred during input of hardcopy records into Automated Records Management System (ARMS) administered by Air Force Personnel Center||Founded||UD-2016-0013||UD-2016-0013 Open/Close|
One permanent record copy of the G-series special orders and movement orders from April 2-8, 2008
|Air Force||7/29/2019||9/9/2019||214 boxes of various temporary and permanent records. Permanent records that were lost include aircrew and mission flight files, G-series special orders and movement orders, and military justice files. Temporary records include tactical evaluations, foreign military sales records, decorations, and other project and administrative files.||
|Air Force||7/12/2019||7/12/2019||One box of permanent G-series special orders and movement orders dating January 1983 and six boxes of temporary Decorations to Individuals (Military and Civilian) Disapproved U.S. Military records (1991, 1994, 1999-2002)||Founded||UD-2019-0033||UD-2019-0033 Open/Close|
||7/23/2019||7/23/2019||Five boxes of records. Temporary records included motor vehicle operations and accident files and travel records. Permanent records included G-series special orders and movement orders.||Founded||UD-2019-0034||UD-2019-0034 Open/Close|
|Air Force||7/12/2019||7/12/2019||One implant device and medical equipment log||Founded||UD-2019-0036||UD-2019-0036 Open/Close|
|Air Force||7/11/2019||7/11/2019||500 decorations citations||Founded||UD-2019-0037||UD-2019-0037 Open/Close|
|Air Force||7/11/2019||7/11/2019||One box of records documenting the supporting payments to contractors based on monthly meal counts.||Founded||UD-2019-0038||UD-2019-0038 Open/Close|
|Air Force||7/18/2019||7/18/2019||A server containing munitions control documents crashed||Founded||UD-2019-0039||UD-2019-0039 Open/Close|
|Air Force||7/15/2019||7/15/2019||Three boxes of research and development case files.||Founded||UD-2019-0040||UD-2019-0040 Open/Close|
|Air Force||7/12/2019||7/12/2019||The loss and destruction of 590 aeronautical orders from October 2008 to September 2009.||Founded||UD-2019-0041||UD-2019-0041 Open/Close|
|Central Intelligence Agency||12/10/2007||2/14/2017||Unlawful destruction by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel of videotapes of detainee interrogations.||Founded||UD-2008-0001||UD-2008-0001 Open/Close|
|Commerce||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration||7/10/2017||10/15/2018||
NOAA might illegally be destroying records (electronic messages through Skype and Google Chat) of a recent meeting discussing new regulations against the fishing industry.
|Commerce||U.S. Patent and Trademark Office||2/10/2016||2/12/2019||The potential unauthorized disposition of records related to the sale of patent documents to the owner of Riverby Books in Washington, DC.||Unfounded||UD-2016-0005||UD-2016-0005 Open/Close|
|Commerce||U.S. Patent and Trademark Office||7/26/2018||9/28/2018||
Utility patent drawings for sale on eBay
|Consumer Financial Protection Bureau||1/31/2017||4/13/2017||Electronic Messages of CFPB Director Richard Cordray's personal device was not captured.||Founded||UD-2017-0015||UD-2017-0015 Open/Close|
|Consumer Financial Protection Bureau||8/8/2017||8/16/2017||Audio Visual Recordings||Founded||UD-2017-0029||UD-2017-0029 Open/Close|
|Defense||Defense Logistics Agency||10/20/2016||6/27/2016||
Copies of acknowledgements of invoices for contracts contained in the WAWF system, MIPRs, MODs and commitment documents (DL1304) forms. 6/30/2016: Financial records and supporting documentation including acknowledgements of invoices.
|Defense||National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency||5/13/2015||7/25/2017||Records of the Executive Office of the NGA records, both electronic and paper, have not been fully preserved for the period of 1996 to 2006.||Founded||UD-2015-0001||UD-2015-0001 Close Letter Only|
|Defense||National Guard Bureau||8/9/2016||1/17/2018||
FOIA requester denied request to Kentucky Air National Guard records. Alleges high ranking personnel ordered records to be deleted.
|Defense||Defense Logistics Agency||1/31/2019||1/31/2019||
Telecommunications and Information Systems Program/Project files maintained by the Information Operations Enterprise Business Systems Management Support Office (MSO) and record documents maintained by the Enterprise Business Standards Office (EBSO).
|Defense||National Security Agency||3/14/2019||3/25/2019||Investigative and Polygraph records||Founded||UD-2019-0015||No letter available|
|Defense||Office of Inspector General||6/23/2015||10/5/2018||Former and current DoD IG employees Lynne Halbooks and Henry Shelley are subjects of court investigation that they allegedly destroyed documents in DoD IG's investigation of former NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake.||Unfounded||UD-2015-0003||UD-2015-0003 Open/Close|
|Defense||Office of the Secretary of Defense||11/3/2009||2/28/2017||E-mail captured in May 2004 from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq maintained on OSD hard drives that was destroyed sometime before 10/22/2009.||Founded||UD-2010-0001||UD-2010-0001 Close Letter Only|
|Defense||Office of the Secretary of Defense||12/18/2015||11/15/2016||Possible alienation of e-mail records from Secretary Ashton Carter resulting from his use of a personal e-mail account.||Unfounded||UD-2016-0003||UD-2016-0003 Open/Close|
|Defense||Office of the Secretary of Defense||11/1/2016||3/6/2017||Possible alienation of e-mail records resulting from Secretary Robert Gates' use of a personal e-mail account during his tenure as Secretary.||Unfounded||UD-2017-0006||UD-2017-0006 Open/Close|
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
|5/23/2018||12/11/2018||Wound Data Munitions Effectiveness Team (WDMET) electronic records and audio recordings.||Founded||UD-2018-0014||UD-2018-0014 Open/Close|
|Energy||12/21/2010||8/28/2017||Federal records turned over to the Colorado School of Mines by current and former Department of Energy employees between 1989 and 1994.||Founded||UD-2011-0001|
|Energy||National Nuclear Security Administration||11/21/2016||11/28/2016||Accidental destruction of thirty personnel training folders by the Naval Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) Security Department that occurred between 2005 to 2014 at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, West Mifflin, PA.||Founded||UD-2017-0009||UD-2017-0009 Open/Close|
|Energy||Office of Science||5/23/2019||6/21/2019||
Contractor personnel records maintained by the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science (SC), Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee dating from fiscal years 1994 through 1997.
|Environmental Protection Agency||5/17/2017||5/23/2017||Permanent EPA records, retention schedule 014. OSRR RIC, were lost in transit between contractor, Smooth Solutions, and the Office of Site Remediation and Restoration Records and Information Center. UPS was unable to recover the package with these records.||Founded||UD-2017-0021||UD-2017-0021 Open/Close|
|Environmental Protection Agency||9/11/2018||9/11/2018||
Official hard-copy records related to 4 EPA OIG audits were accidentally destroyed in March and April 2016 prior to their scheduled destruction date.
|Environmental Protection Agency||4/24/2018||4/24/2018||Certain emails sent or received by a Regional Counsel employee for EPA Region 1, between February 19, 2013 and August 7, 2017, were inadvertently deleted.||Founded||UD-2018-0011||UD-2018-0011 Open/Close|
|Environmental Protection Agency||7/10/2018||01/31/2019||
Allegation made by media that former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's official calendar were altered or removed.
|Environmental Protection Agency||3/12/2019||3/25/2019||The EPA's IG reported that EPA employees allegedly destroyed official documents while under audit.||Unfounded||UD-2019-0016||UD-2019-0016 Open/Close|
|Environmental Protection Agency||10/26/2018||11/29/2018||EPA OIG closed audit reports, from 2007-2011. During a review of audit files EPA found that some audit files were found to be incomplete and did not contain all expected audit records. EPA believes that some records were inadvertently deleted during a January 2011 file migration.||Founded||UD-2019-0006||UD-2019-0006 Open/Close|
|Environmental Protection Agency||2/16/2017||10/31/2018||Use of encryption messaging application, Signal, to achieve specific goals circumventing the governments ability to monitor communication related to government business and to covertly avoid federal records requirements||Unfounded||UD-2017-0017||UD-2017-0017 Open/Close|
|Environmental Protection Agency||Atlanta Regional Office||10/6/2016||1/9/2017||Inspections, notices of violation and noncompliance files were improperly disposed||Founded||UD-2017-0003||UD-2017-0003 Open/Close|
|Executive Office of the President||Council on Environmental Quality||8/31/2017||1/17/2018||
On May 19, 2017, the Council on Environmental Quality self-reported on the unauthorized destruction of a box of records that were inadvertently disposed of during an office move.
|General Services Administration||2/22/2017||5/18/2017||Allegations of 27 personal email accounts of 18F staff (GSA contractors) were used to send work-related emails without copying government accounts.||Founded||UD-2017-0019||UD-2017-0019 Open/Close|
|Health and Human Services||Centers for Medicare and Medicaid||10/2/2018||11/9/2018||
Documents submitted via Healthcare.gov pertaining to income of healthcare applicants.
|Health and Human Services||Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services||6/7/2016||1/10/2017||Email records created or received by CMS - OEDA Office. Anonymous allegation that Niall Brennan, Chief Data Officer and Director of OEDA directed his staff "to establish personal email accounts on non-government systems."||Unfounded||UD-2016-0015||UD-2016-0015 Open/Close|
|Homeland Security||Customs and Border Protection||11/13/2017||4/24/2018||
Several boxes of paper records were destroyed due to Hurricane Harvey.
|Homeland Security||Federal Emergency Management Agency||10/31/2012||11/22/2016||Email records related to the management of grant funds awarded by FEMA to DVIC.||Unfounded||UD-2013-0002||UD-2013-0002 Open/Close|
|Homeland Security||Office of Immigration Statistics||8/2/2019||8/2/2019||
The three boxes contained the “G-23 Report of Field Operations” dated from 1941 through 1996. These records were scanned by the Office of Unity of Effort (OUE) and were returned to OIS custody in September of 2017, at which time they were placed in a conference room. In November of 2017, it was determined that the boxes were no longer in the conference room and the records were disposed of by an
|Homeland Security||Transportation Security Administration||11/16/2016||11/28/2016||Calibration Reports for seven Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) machines were missing from the log books for the month of August. After research it was determined that the calibration logs had been shredded.||Founded||UD-2017-0008||UD-2017-0008 Open/Close|
|Homeland Security||Transportation Security Administration||12/3/2018||12/4/2018||Temporary TSA records destroyed due to mold & mildew contamination after exposure to flooding and wind damage sustained from Hurricane Irma. Records include: financial purchase card & travel card records; leave request, overtime request, and shift bid forms; vehicle tracking, maintenance, and service records; emergency preparedness exercise records; official correspondence with the Virgin Island Port Authority; and property hand receipts.||Founded||UD-2019-0007||UD-2019-0007 Open/Close|
|Homeland Security||Transportation Security Administration||5/25/2017||6/1/2017||Calibration Reports maintained in three Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) machines.||Founded||UD-2017-0022||UD-2017-0022 Close Letter Only|
|Interior||6/4/2015||5/18/2017||Software deficiency in DOI's contracted journaling solution potentially caused DOI emails to be deleted||Founded||UD-2015-0002||UD-2015-0002 Open/Close|
Temporary contract documents, past their disposal date.
|Interior||3/21/2019||6/13/2019||Deletion of calendars or calendar entries of Acting Secretary Bernhardt||Unfounded||UD-2019-0018||UD-2019-0018 Open/Close|
|Interior||Bureau of Indian Affairs||5/31/2018||6/1/2018||
One FRC box of 3401-P5 Housing Improvement (HIP) Applicant Case Files, FY 1960 - 2006.
|Interior||Bureau of Indian Affairs||1/31/2019||4/25/2019||
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) reports and information pertaining to Irrigation and Power Investments
|Interior||Bureau of Ocean Energy Management||7/10/2019||
|Documents from the BOEM Alaska Region were not located during a regional file room inventory project.||Founded||UD-2019-0045||UD-2019-0045 Open/Close|
|Interior||Bureau of Land Management||7/27/2017||8/24/2017||On December 27, 2016, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee in the Salt Lake Field Office (SLFO) prematurely disposed of physical land-use (film) permits in an effort to make space for additional records. The records that were disposed were the origianl records in paper form covering FY 1990 through FY 2015 and included correspondence, applications, maps, permits, payment receipts, serial register pages, and related materials. Approximate volume 8 cubic feet.||Founded||UD-2017-0027||UD-2017-0027 Open/Close|
|Interior||Bureau of Land Management||2/16/2017||8/15/2018||
Fire damaged/destroyed the Bureau of Land Management Challis, ID field office. Majority of records destroyed/damaged include realty records, rights-of-way, recreation records, unauthorized use, grazing permits, allotment files, and mining claim surface management files. Contractor was hired to evaluate the records that were damaged/destroyed as a result of the fire. Agency is estimating that a final report from the contractor that will include an estimate of records destroyed and recovery efforts for those that can be salvaged will be received in July/August time frame.
|Interior||Bureau of Reclamation||6/25/2019||9/10/2019||During records transfer, it was discovered that some of the boxes of paper records had evidence of rodents nesting. The individual that was given the task of cleaning out the nesting materials threw away the contents.||Founded||UD-2019-0043||UD-2019-0043 Open/Close|
|Interior||National Park Service||11/2/2016||3/16/2017||
1988 fire records regarding fire management decisions and bear incident documents and photographs were deleted by Joan Anzelmo, Public Relations Officer.
|Interior||National Park Service||1/31/2017||4/29/2017||Social Media Tweets, tweeted from @BadlandsNPS account on 1/24/2017.||Founded||UD-2017-0014||UD-2017-0014 Open/Close|
|Interior||United States Fish and Wildlife Service||7/12/2017||1/4/2018||
Documents from US Fish and Wild Service (FWS) political appointee records were not captured.
|Interior||United States Fish and Wildlife Service||2/5/2018||4/24/2018||
Fish and Wildlife Service records regarding the Highway 79 Construction Project
|Interior||US Geological Survey||5/16/2017||5/23/2017||
Two USGS employees made unauthorized alterations to inputs of an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. These input alterations resulted in altered output data from the instrument.
|Interior||US Geological Society||2/8/2019||6/6/2019||Various textual and video records.||Founded||UD-2019-0011||UD-2019-0011 Open/Close|
An accidental loss of some email dated between late January 2017 and the end of December 2017. This loss was related to the email migration to a cloud environment during that period, and was discovered in 2018 and investigated in 2018 and 2019
|Justice||Executive Office for United States Attorneys||10/29/2018||5/13/2019||Records related to USA v. Valera, et al.||Founded||UD-2019-0004||UD-2019-0004 Open/Close|
|Justice||Federal Bureau of Investigation||10/6/2016||12/5/2016||Case file 88-PX-11069 partially disposed/destroyed||Founded||UD-2017-0002||UD-2017-0002 Open/Close|
|Justice||Federal Bureau of Investigation||1/23/2018||7/23/2018||
Text messages and emails from government and personal devices and accounts pertaining to FBI business.
|Justice||U.S. Attorneys Office||3/1/2019||3/29/2019||
Hard drive containing discovery materials
|Labor||Wage and Hour Division||10/13/2016||1/6/2017||After an employee whose records were requested by the ALG FOIA left the organization, the e-mail account was deleted (approximately six weeks after the employee left the agency) and ITS has no way to reconstitute these records.||Unfounded||UD-2017-0004||UD-2017-0004 Open/Close|
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration||7/21/2017||10/5/2017||300 magnetic data tape reels for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center dating from 1969-1972, along with two large computers bearing NASA GSFC markings.||Founded||UD-2017-0026||UD-2017-0026 Open/Close|
|National Credit Union Administration||11/20/2015||11/22/2016||Email record server deleted in the absence of an agency email management recordkeeping practice, such as print-and-file, or a NARA-approved disposition authority.||Founded||UD-2016-0002||UD-2016-0002 Open/Close|
A Request for Leave or Approved Absence (OPM Form 71) from November 2018
Records related to the manufacture and purchase of automatic-rifle silencers. Navy security officers allegedly destroyed records of the Navy Directorate for Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration that were the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.
|Navy||7/15/2003||9/13/2018||The Naval History and Heritage Command reported records offered for sale on eBay as possibly being alienated. These include blueprints, ship plans, and general plan booklets for Navy vessels during the period 1934-1991.||Founded||UD-2013-0001||UD-2013-0001 Open/Close|
|Navy||United States Marine Corps||8/2/2016||4/2/2018||Potential alienation of records resulting from the alleged donation of 16,000 reels of 16mm and 35mm films to the University of South. Carolina.||Founded||UD-2016-0021||UD-2016-0021 Open/Close|
|Office of Special Counsel||3/6/2018||8/15/2018||
The potential unauthorized deletion of electronic files maintained in an electronic folder of an official in the Human Capital Office as well as the removal of boxes of unknown content by an employee.
Peace Corps Capstone approach implemented a system that performed routine 90-day destruction of emails after and employee leaves the Peace Corps.
|Securities and Exchange Commission||5/14/2019||5/28/2019||
Lost 202 out of 39,199 records within the Tips, Complaints, and Referrals (TRC) electronic information system during a system migration.
|Securities and Exchange Commission||1/19/2017||4/5/2018||
Unauthorized destruction and improper handling and maintenance of whistleblower files & SEC government employees are inappropriately using personal email accounts to conduct agency business.
E-mail records of former State Department employee Bryan Pagliano during Secretary Clinton's tenure.
|Transportation||Federal Aviation Administration||6/13/2018||10/15/2018||
The FAA Academy trains and evaluates air traffic controllers in simulators that have an audio recording capability. This capability records ambient audio as well as audio directly from the headset of the air traffic control trainee as he speaks instructions to aircraft in the simulator. The FAA admitted that it does not have a retention schedule for such records. Instead, the FAA claimed they must delete the audio within 7 days due to “space limitations."
|Transportation||Federal Railroad Administration||12/14/2016||4/6/2017||Emails from FRA Administrator and FRA associate Administrator for Finance and Administration||Founded||UD-2017-0010||UD-2017-0010 Open/Close|
|Treasury||Bureau of Engraving and Printing||10/24/2016||3/6/2017||Video Surveillance Files at District of Columbia and Fort Worth facilities were automatically deleted by the security system because of a lack of space for recording.||Founded||UD-2017-0005||UD-2017-0005 Open/Close|
|Treasury||Financial Crimes Enforcement Network||5/17/2018||6/26/2018||
Suspicious-activity reports (SARs) discovered absent from the database maintained by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN).
|Treasury||Internal Revenue Service||3/27/2018||3/27/2018||
A single IRS tax document as part of the annual Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) “Pull to Save” project for Ogden List Year 10. The document DLN 29-141-235-117-51-0 could not be located upon request.
|Treasury||Internal Revenue Service||4/5/2019||4/10/2019||
82 boxes of closed Criminal Investigation case files were mistakenly picked up by the shred contractor and destroyed.