Federal Records Management

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 spreadsheetof all cases that were opened prior to October 1, 2016. 

As of September 9, 2020, there are currently 35 open cases and 31 closed cases in this fiscal year. 

Current Fiscal Year


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 review/follow-up UD-2016-0017 UD-2016-0017 Open 
Air Force   3/3/2020   Theft of forms containing PII records of personnel by fired employee. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0030 UD-2020-0030 Open
Air Force   2/12/2020   From August 2019 to January 2020, the Air Force discovered the loss of portions of nine  medical and dental records belonging to separating and retired active duty members. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0027 UD-2020-0027 Open
Air Force   2/11/2020   On October 23, 2019, the 45th Medical Group discovered that two medical records and one dental record were missing from the Medical Treatment Facility (MTF); and again, on January 23, 2020, another patient’s dental records were also identified as lost. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0026 UD-2020-0026 Open
Air Force   7/12/2019   Permanent Court-Martial Order records dated between 1994-2005  Pending review/follow-up UD-2019-0030 UD-2019-0030 Open
Air Force   7/12/2019   The loss of one retired active duty member's outpatient medical record Pending review/follow-up UD-2019-0035 UD-2019-0035 Open
American Battle Monuments Commission   7/11/2017   Erroneous disposal and removal of various ABMC records and uncaptured emails of ABMC commissioners. Pending review/follow-up UD-2017-0025 UD-2017-0025 Open
Commerce   10/8/2019   The Washington Post published an article on September 30, 2019, alleging that Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, used personal email for official business and did not consistently preserve his government-related email messages properly Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0001 UD-2020-0001 Open
Defense Office of the Secretary of Defense 11/14/2019   Approvals and denials of requests relating to DOD’s cooperation with the production of television, theatrical, and motion picture films by civilian producers. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0012 UD-2020-0012 Open
Energy   1/16/2020   Allegation of unauthorized destruction of DOE's records at WIPP facility. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0022 UD-2020-0022 Open
Environmental Protection Agency   11/14/2019   EPA's Inspector General is investigating whether Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson was involved in destroying internal documents that should have been retained Ongoing inspection UD-2020-0013 UD-2020-0013 Open
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission   11/14/2019   Records relating to EEOC Case No. 34B-2013-00557 were prematurely destroyed by EEOC’s Las Vegas Office Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0010 UD-2020-0010 Open
Health and Human Services   4/2/2020   Premature deletion of email accounts of departed employees. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0033 UD-2020-0033 Open
Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2/24/2020   Emails from their non-capstone officials are being deleted by their ITIO staff after 60 days.  Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0029 UD-2020-0029 Open
Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration 2/24/2020   Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gotlieb's twitter account was deleted Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0028 UD-2020-0028 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 review/follow-up 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. Ongoing litigation UD-2018-0019 UD-2018-0019 Open 
Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection 10/5/2018   Border Surveillance Systems Records (BSS). Pending review/follow-up UD-2019-0002 UD-2019-0002 Open
Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement  11/26/2019   Washington Post article alleges the deletion of surveillance footage relating to the death of detainee. Ongoing litigation UD-2020-0009 UD-2020-0009 Open
Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs 2/28/2020   Private citizen alleges that BIA has destroyed records related to " All correspondence and related records from the Pacific Regional Office and the Southern California Agency of the BIA, regarding the incorrect degree of Indian blood certification." Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0023 UD-2020-0023 Open
Justice Bureau of Prisons 1/14/2020  

Deletion of prison surveillance video.

Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0021  UD-2020-0021 Open
Justice Bureau of Prisons 10/21/2019   NARA received a phone call from a staff member of the Bureau of Prisons alleging that one of their locations, FCI Aliceville, is “not maintaining official records properly,” “losing some records,” and “falsifying government records.” Ongoing investigation UD-2020-0004 UD-2020-0004 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 review/follow-up UD-2014-0001 No letter available
National Aeronautics and Space Administration   3/26/2020   Deletion of emails of departed employees 30 days after their departure Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0032 UD-2020-0032 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 review/follow-up UD-2018-0015 UD-2018-0015 Open
State   5/19/2020   Member of the public is alleging that the OIG is not designating emails as records unless they receive explicit authorization to do so. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0035 UD-2020-0035 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 review/follow-up UD-2015-0006 UD-2015-0006 Open
Tennessee Valley Authority   8/17/2020  

Tennessee Valley Authority reported that a large water pipe break resulted in the flooding of records storage areas, including its legal research center at the Knoxville Office Complex.

Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0037 UD-2020-0037 Open
Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 12/20/2019   Auto safety records pertaining to rulemaking, promulgation, and implementation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 208) for AIR BAGS. Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0018 UD-2020-0018 Open
Treasury Bureau of Engraving Printing 8/24/2017   Preliminary product design records (for currency, etc.) disposed of without an approved schedule. Pending review/follow-up UD-2017-0031 UD-2017-0031 Open
Treasury Internal Revenue Service 5/15/2018   Alienation of IRS Federal Advisory Committee Act email records. Pending review/follow-up UD-2018-0010 UD-2018-0010 Open
Veterans Affairs   2/11/2019   Possible alienation of e-mail records resulting from the alleged use of personal e-mail accounts by former Secretary Dr. David Shulkin and others. Pending review/follow-up UD-2019-0012 UD-2019-0012 Open


Veterans Affairs   1/16/2020   Loss of research study files for approximately 57 inactive research studies, some containing PII following flood damage to the facility housing the records.  Pending review/follow-up UD-2020-0016 UD-2020-0016 Open
Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel 9/12/2019   Improper and accidental loss of military heath, litigation/appeal, and contractor files containing PII. Pending review/follow-up UD-2019-0047 UD-2019-0047 Open
Administrative Office of US Courts   10/8/2019  

A member of the public is alleging that the agency is deleting emails without reading them.

Unfounded UD-2019-0052 UD-2019-0052 Open/Close
Air Force   11/14/2019 11/14/2019 16 G-series special orders and movement orders at Charleston Air Force Base. Founded UD-2020-0007 UD-2020-0007 Open/Close
Air Force   12/19/2019 12/19/2019 Digital Table and Rule T32-07 R 10.00 Project Case files were destroyed due to the hard drive disk being removed from one server into another server and overwritten  Founded UD-2020-0014 UD-2020-0014 Open/Close
Air Force   1/16/2020 1/16/2020 One box of missing Travel Records and Air Reserve Pay and Allowance System Supporting Documents. Founded UD-2020-0019 UD-2020-0019 Open/Close
Army   2/11/2020 4/10/2020 Allegation of destroyed training records. Founded UD-2020-0024 UD-2020-0024 Open/Close
Defense Defense Logistics Agency 10/18/2019 10/18/2019 The loss of 15 cubic feet of temporary DLA Installation Management Police Records on September 11, 2019 at DLA’s Susquehanna, PA Police Branch.  Founded UD-2020-0006 UD-2020-0006 Open/Close
Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff 6/21/2019 10/18/2019 IT Office deleted information from the  J-5 Global Policy and Strategic Planning, National Security Concerns office's shared drive. Unfounded UD-2019-0028 UD-2019-0028 Open/Close
Defense Office of the Secretary of Defense 12/19/2019 12/19/2019 Loss of hard copy records related to Anti-Deficiency Act Founded UD-2020-0015 UD-2020-0015 Open/Close
Education   5/23/2019 10/18/2019

Secretary's use of personal email. Messages involving the Secretary's personal email accounts were preserved in the accounts of other Department political employees included on the messages. But there were instances where the Secretary did not forward emails from her personal accounts to her Department email accounts.

Unfounded UD-2019-0027 UD-2019-0027 Open/Close
Education   10/8/2019 12/11/2019

A member of the public is alleging that the agency is deleting emails without reading them.

Unfounded UD-2019-0053 UD-2019-0053 Open/Close
Energy   9/8/2020 9/8/2020 Department of Energy’s Office of Counsel discovered that ½ cubic foot of temporary OGE-450 form records were damaged due to a water leak caused by a pipe burst in an administrative file room. Founded UD-2020-0040 UD-2020-0040 Open/Close
Energy Western Area Power Administration 10/21/2019 10/21/2019 29 feet of records created by WAPA’s Audit and Compliance, (date range approximately 1964 – 2008). Founded UD-2020-0005 UD-2020-0005 Open/Close
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission   11/14/2019 1/16/2020 Records relating to EEOC Case No. 34B-2013-00557 were prematurely destroyed by EEOC’s Las Vegas Office Founded UD-2020-0010 UD-2020-0010 Open/Close
Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control 10/8/2019 11/26/2019

A member of the public is alleging that the agency is deleting emails without reading them.

Unfounded UD-2019-0054 UD-2019-0054 Open/Close
Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration 6/25/2019   While working on rescheduling the permanent records for media neutrality. The TSA is unable to locate the records scheduled in 2004 or identify whether they have ceased creating the records. Pending review/follow-up UD-2019-0044 UD-2019-0044 Open/Close
Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 11/12/2019 11/12/2019

A potential loss of permanent records of 5-Year Program Final Product documents.

Founded UD-2019-0057 UD-2019-0057 Open/Close
Interior Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians 12/11/2019 2/28/2020 It was discovered that approximately 520 of the approximate 600 cubic feet of incoming and outgoing correspondence including letters, memoranda, and/or manuals were destroyed because they were identified as duplicate documents. Founded UD-2020-0017 UD-2020-0017 Open/Close 
Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms & Explosives 9/5/2017 11/22/2019

Laboratory Case files generated between 1976 and 1991

Founded UD-2017-0032 UD-2017-0032 Open/Close
Justice Drug Enforcement Administration 11/21/2019 1/21/2020

The Official Government Vehicle (OGV) records such as vehicle registration, titling, and licensing; accident and incident reports; and maintenance and repair receipts were destroyed as a result of Hurricane Dorian.

Unfounded UD-2020-0008 UD-2020-0008 Open/Close
Justice Drug Enforcement Administration 10/3/2019 1/15/2020

During the process to review a draft records schedule NARA noticed that a records series included language that records created in the 70s and 80s have possibly been destroyed.

Unfounded UD-2020-0003 UD-2020-0003 Open/Close
Justice Drug Enforcement Administration 3/30/2020 3/30/2020 Drug Signature Analysis Files, permanent under RCS N1-170-00-001/item 3 were erroneously disposed of under RCS NC1-170-77/1/item 901-01 which is temporary. Founded UD-2020-0031 UD-2020-0031 Open/Close
Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review 12/2/2019 1/21/2020

Potential deletion of records pertaining to Immigration Court cases.

Unfounded UD-2020-0011 UD-2020-0011 Open/Close
Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys 10/8/2019 1/14/2020

A member of the public is alleging that the agency is deleting emails without reading them.

Unfounded UD-2019-0056 UD-2019-0056 Open/Close
Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/10/2019 11/7/2019

NARA received of an allegation from a member of the public regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s practices
and procedures regarding the designation of email communications as records. 

Founded UD-2019-0048 UD-2019-0048 Open/Close
Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation 12/6/2019 12/6/2019 Four files were destroyed after their disposition period had ended but were potentially responsive to two FOIA requests. Founded UD-2020-0002 UD-2020-0002 Open/Close
National Council on Disability   10/8/2019 12/3/2019

A member of the public is alleging that the agency is deleting emails without reading them.

Unfounded UD-2019-0050 UD-2019-0050 Open/Close
Navy   9/23/2019 1/16/2020

Naval Sea Systems Command records. Maintained by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at the Intermediate Maintenance Facility, the missing records include at least 92 OPM-71 Forms that document leave requests of three employees, over the past two years.

Founded UD-2019-0049 UD-2019-0049 Open/Close
Navy   10/8/2019 2/6/2020

A member of the public is alleging that the agency is deleting emails without reading them.

Unfounded UD-2019-0055 UD-2019-0055 Open/Close
State   8/8/2016 12/10/2019

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.

Unfounded UD-2016-0022 UD-2016-0022 Open/Close
State American Citizen Services, Manila Embassy 10/8/2019 11/26/2019

A member of the public is alleging that the agency is deleting emails without reading them.

Unfounded UD-2019-0051 UD-2019-0051 Open/Close
Treasury Internal Revenue Service 5/23/2019 2/3/2020

One box of IRS records was lost in shipment to San Bruno FRC while in the custody of the United Parcel Service. The box (Box #13 of 20) contained closed legal case files, specifically temporary 2015 closed TECHMIS files, a sub classification of general litigation

Founded UD-2019-0024 UD-2019-0024 Open/Close