Policy Letter

POGO and others urge passage of H.R. 5811, the Electronic Message Preservation Act

The Honorable Henry Waxman

Chair, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. House of Representatives

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Waxman:

We are writing to support the passage of H.R. 5811, the Electronic Message Preservation Act.

Investigations and reports by your Committee and by several nonprofits document the significant deficiencies in the preservation of email by the federal government. H.R. 5811 directs the Archivist of the United States to establish standards for the capture, management, and preservation of White House e-mails and other electronic communications and to issue regulations requiring agencies to preserve electronic communications in an electronic format. This legislation demonstrates that Congress paying attention to this serious issue, and taking steps to begin addressing the systemic problems with electronic records in general and electronic communications records that the federal agencies and the White House have failed for too long to address.

Thank you for your leadership on this critical aspect of government management and accountability. We look forward to working with you on this and other issues in the future.


American Association of Law Libraries

American Library Association

Association of Research Libraries

Common Cause

Essential Information

Freedom of Information, Oklahoma

Government Accountability Project (GAP)


Liberty Coalition

Mine Safety and Health News

Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Coalition for History

National Freedom of Information Coalition

National Security Archives

National Press Club

9/11 Research Project



People For the American Way

Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

ReadtheBill.org Foundation

Society of Professional Journalists

Washington Coalition for Open Government