Unauthorized Disposition of Federal Records
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 open and closed cases for the current fiscal year and includes pdf files of 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 information. 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.
The table is updated monthly. At the end of the fiscal year, the closed cases will be removed from the table and saved on the Unauthorized Dispositions Closed Cases web 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.
Current Fiscal Year
As of July 10, 2018 - there are currently 25 open cases and 49 cases closed cases.
|Agency||Secondary Agency||Case Open Date||Case Close Date||Records||Status||Case ID||Case Letters|
|Agency for International Development||7/18/2016||OIG records including employee travel files, performance evaluations, audit report, prior strategic plans, prior semiannual reports to Congress, prior versions (1998) of the Guidelines for Financial Audits Contracted by Foreign Recipients||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2016-0017||UD-2016-0017 Open|
|Agriculture||Forest Service||4/18/2018||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.||
Pending agency review/follow-up
|American Battle Monuments Commission||7/11/2017||Erroneous disposal and removal of various ABMC records and uncaptured emails of ABMC commissioners.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2017-0025||UD-2017-0025 Open|
|Commerce||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration||7/10/2017||NOAA might illegally be destroying records (electronic messages through Skype and Google Chat) of a recent meeting discussing new regulations against the fishing industry.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2017-0023||UD-2017-0023 Open|
|Commerce||U.S. Patent and Trademark Office||2/10/2016||The potential unauthorized disposition of records related to the sale of patent documents to the owner of Riverby Books in Washington, DC.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2016-0005|
|Defense||6/23/2015||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. In March 2016, the Office of Special Counsel referred the case to the DOJ where it remains under review.||Ongoing investigation||UD-2015-0003|
|Defense||Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences||5/23/2018||Wound Data Munitions Effectiveness Team (WDMET) electronic records||Pending NARA review||UD-2018-0014||UD-2018-0014 Open|
|Environmental Protection Agency||2/16/2017||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||Ongoing investigation||UD-2017-0017||UD-2017-0017 Open|
|Environmental Protection Agency||7/10/2018||Allegation made by media that former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's official calendar were altered or removed.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2018-0018||UD-2018-0018 Open|
|Homeland Security||2/21/2017||Email using private (non-.gov) account for Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, & General Counsel Steven Bunnell. All emails dating from December 23, 2013 through the present.||Pending NARA review||UD-2017-0018||UD-2017-0018 Open|
|Homeland Security||Customs and Border Protection||7/11/2018||Media reported that Customs and Border Protection officials were altering or deleting records of families crossing the border between Mexico and the United States.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2018-0019||UD-2018-0019 Open|
|Interior||Bureau of Land Management||2/16/2017||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.||Pending NARA Review||UD-2017-0016||UD-2017-0016 Open|
|Justice||Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms & Explosives||9/5/2017||Laboratory Case files generated between 1976 and 1991||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2017-0032||UD-2017-0032 Open|
|Justice||Federal Bureau of Investigation||2/18/2014||FBI Case Files: Case files were identified as missing through the normal course of conducting business, through updating the FBI's records disposition tracking systems, and through the FBI's efforts to inventory its entire records collection.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2014-0001||No letter available|
|Justice||Federal Bureau of Investigation||1/23/2018||Text messages and emails from government and personal devices and accounts pertaining to FBI business.||Ongoing Investigation||UD-2018-0003||UD-2018-0003 Open|
|Navy||7/15/2013||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.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2013-0001||UD-2013-0001 Open|
|Navy||10/29/2014||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.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2015-0004||UD-2015-0004 Open|
|Office of Special Counsel||3/6/2018||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.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2018-0008||UD-2018-0008 Open|
|Social Security Administration||5/21/2018||A relatively small grouping of Earnings Records (referred to hereafter as “1086 film”) stored on cellulose acetate-based microfilm has begun to deteriorate through a process called “Vinegar Syndrome”, whereby the film outgasses acetic acid and becomes warped, brittle, curled and over time, unusable.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2018-0015||UD-2018-0015 Open|
|State||3/3/2015||Alienation of Federal email records created or received by Sec. Clinton (2009-2013) from the State's official recordkeeping system. Potential alienation of email records created or received by former Secretaries of State dating back to Sec. Albright.||Ongoing litigation||UD-2015-0005||UD-2015-0005 Open|
|State||9/4/2015||Alienation of Federal email records created or received by senior embassy staff including Amb. Caroline Kennedy, and overall management of records at Embassy Tokyo, Japan.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2015-0006||UD-2015-0006 Open|
|State||8/8/2016||Possible emergency destruction of Central African Republic embassy records; Amb. Lewis Lukens' e-mails that he deleted; U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Michael Ratney's e-mails that he deleted; Alleged destruction of Sec. Clinton's schedules.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2016-0022||UD-2016-0022 Open|
|Transportation||Federal Aviation Administration||6/13/2018||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."||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2018-0017||UD-2018-0017 Open|
|Treasury||Bureau of Engraving Printing||8/24/2017||Preliminary product design records (for currency, etc.) disposed of without an approved schedule.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2017-0031||UD-2017-0031 Open|
|Treasury||Internal Revenue Service||Alienation of IRS Federal Advisory Committee Act email records.||Pending agency review/follow-up||UD-2018-0010||UD-2018-0010 Open|
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.
|Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2017-0028||UD-2017-0028 Open/Close|
|Agriculture||Forest Service||2/21/2018||2/26/2018||Suspected unauthorized disposition of Federal records donated to Black Hills State University, in FY2005, by Black Hills National Forest.||Allegation not founded||UD-2018-0007||UD-2018-0007 Open/Close|
|Agriculture||Forest Service||1/9/2018||1/9/2018||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.||Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2018-0002||UD-2018-0002 Open/Close|
|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.||Allegation not founded||UD-2016-0023|
|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.||Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2018-0011|
|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.||Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2017-0030||UD-2017-0030 Open/Close|
Customs and Border Protection
|11/13/2017||4/24/2018||Several boxes of paper records were destroyed due to Hurricane Harvey.||Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2018-0001||UD-2018-0001 Open/Close|
Temporary contract documents, past their disposal date.
|Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2018-0004|
|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.||Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2018-0016||UD-2018-0016 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.
Allegation founded-corrective action taken
|Interior||United States Fish and Wildlife Service||2/5/2018||4/24/2018||
Fish and Wildlife Service records regarding the Highway 79 Construction Project
|Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2018-0005||UD-2018-0005 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.
|Allegation not founded||UD-2018-0003||UD-2018-0003 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.
|Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2016-0021||UD-2016-0021 Open/Close|
Peace Corps Capstone approach implemented a system that performed routine 90-day destruction of emails after and employee leaves the Peace Corps.
|Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2017-0011||UD-2017-0011 Open/Close|
|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.
Allegation not founded
|State||7/18/2016||12/15/2017||E-mail records of former State Department employee Bryan Pagliano during Secretary Clinton's tenure.||Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2016-0018||UD-2016-0018 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).||Allegation not founded||UD-2018-0013||UD-2018-0013 Open/Close|
|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.||Allegation founded-corrective action taken||UD-2018-0006||UD-2018-0006 Open/Close|