Skip to main content

Federal Records: Document Removal by Agency Heads Needs Independent Oversight

GGD-91-117 Published: Aug 30, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1991.
Jump To:
Skip to Highlights


Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed whether current laws adequately protect federal records and the information they contain when senior federal officials remove documents upon leaving office.


Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Congress should amend the Federal Records Act of 1950 to prohibit agencies from relinquishing any federal documents to agency heads and agency heads from removing such documents until NARA has determined that their relinquishment and removal are consistent with existing federal laws and regulations.
Closed – Not Implemented
Bills were introduced in both the House and Senate of the last Congress but were not acted on. No new bills have been introduced this year.

Full Report

Office of Public Affairs


Classified informationFederal records managementGovernment informationInternal controlsPresidential transitionPublic officialsRecords dispositionRecords retentionArchivesRecords management