Review of Conditions Under Which Personal Papers of Members of Congress Are Stored by the National Archives and Records Service

LCD-79-101: Published: Dec 29, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1979.

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Procedures and practices of the records centers storing the personal papers of Members of Congress were generally adequate when examined by GAO. Only negligible inventory discrepancies and minor problems in security and environmental hazards were found. As Members' records are considered "personal" under law, the inventory of the records was limited to verifying the existence of the cartons, but the contents of the cartons were not inspected. Maintenance and repairs of the centers take an unreasonably long time, however, and account for several of the problems found in security and protection from environmental hazards. Roof leaks and lack of fire protection are examples of maintenance and repair deficiencies found at the centers. In addition, GAO noted security problems, such as lax procedures and inadequate locks, needing attention at three centers. The personal papers of former Members are removed to private storage when the Member leaves office, but the centers continue to store the records of some former House Members.

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