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 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

UD-2019-0044 Open

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

 

Air Force   7/11/2019 7/11/2019

One permanent record copy of the G-series special orders and movement orders from April 2-8, 2008 

Founded UD-2019-0029 UD-2019-0029 Open/Close
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.

Founded UD-2019-0031 UD-2019-0031 Open/Close
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

Air Force
 
  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
Agriculture Forest Service 4/18/2018 10/17/2018

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.

Founded UD-2018-0012 UD-2018-0012 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.

Unfounded UD-2017-0023 UD-2017-0023 Open/Close
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
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.

Unfounded UD-2018-0018 UD-2018-0018 Open/Close
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

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
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.

Unfounded UD-2015-0003 UD-2015-0003 Open/Close 
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.

 

Founded UD-2018-0014 UD-2018-0014 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. 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.

Unfounded UD-2019-0001 UD-2019-0001 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
employee. 
Founded UD-2019-0042 UD-2019-0042 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
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 1/31/2019 4/25/2019

 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) reports and information pertaining to Irrigation and Power Investments

Unfounded UD-2019-0010 UD-2019-0010 Open/Close
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. 

Founded UD-2019-0045 UD-2019-0045 Open/Close
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 United States Geological Society 2/8/2019 6/6/2019

Various textual and video records.

Founded UD-2019-0011 UD-2019-0011 Open/Close
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.

Founded UD-2019-0004 UD-2019-0004 Open/Close
Justice U.S. Attorneys Office 3/1/2019 3/29/2019

Hard drive containing discovery materials
 

Unfounded UD-2019-0013 UD-2019-0013 Open/Close
Navy   3/8/2019 3/26/2019

A Request for Leave or Approved Absence (OPM Form 71) from November 2018

Unfounded UD-2019-0014 UD-2019-0014 Open/Close
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."

Unfounded UD-2018-0017 UD-2018-0017 Open/Close 
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
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