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 10, 2019, there are currently 21 open cases and 36 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||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|
|Defense||Joint Chiefs of Staff||6/21/2019||IT Office deleted information from the J-5 Global Policy and Strategic Planning, National Security Concerns office's shared drive.||Pending review/follow-up||UD-2019-0028||UD-2019-0028 Open|
|Education||5/23/2019||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.||Pending review/follow-up||UD-2019-0027||UD-2019-0027 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||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|
|Justice||Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms & Explosives||9/5/2017||Laboratory Case files generated between 1976 and 1991||Pending 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 review/follow-up||UD-2014-0001||No letter available|
|Justice||Federal Bureau of Investigation||9/10/2019||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.
|Pending review/follow-up||UD-2019-0048||UD-2019-0048 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||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|
|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 review/follow-up||UD-2016-0022||UD-2016-0022 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|
|Treasury||Internal Revenue Service||5/23/2019||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||Pending review/follow-up||UD-2019-0024||UD-2019-0024 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
One permanent record copy of the G-series special orders and movement orders from April 2-8, 2008
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|
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.
|Air Force||7/12/2019||7/12/2019||One implant device and medical equipment log||Founded||UD-2019-0036|
|Air Force||7/11/2019||7/11/2019||500 decorations citations||Founded||UD-2019-0037|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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.
|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.
|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.Pending review/follow-up
|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
|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).||Founded||UD-2019-0009||UD-2019-0009 Open/Close|
|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.
|Defense||Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences||5/23/2018||12/11/2018||
Wound Data Munitions Effectiveness Team (WDMET) electronic records and audio recordings.
|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.||Founded||UD-2019-0026||UD-2019-0026 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.
|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||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.
Deletion of calendars or calendar entries of Acting Secretary Bernhardt
|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||8/29/2019||
Documents from the BOEM Alaska Region were not located during a regional file room inventory project.
|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.
|Interior||United States Geological Society||2/8/2019||6/6/2019||
Various textual and video records.
|Justice||9/10/2019||9/10/2019||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||Founded||UD-2019-0046||UD-2019-0046 Open/Close|
|Justice||Executive Office for United States Attorneys||10/29/2018||5/13/2019||
Records related to USA v. Valera, et al.
|Justice||U.S. Attorneys Office||3/1/2019||3/29/2019||
Hard drive containing discovery materials
A Request for Leave or Approved Absence (OPM Form 71) from November 2018
|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.||Founded||UD-2019-0025||UD-2019-0025 Open/Close|
|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."
|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.||Founded||UD-2019-0019||UD-2019-0019 Open/Close|