{{ site.title }}

Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments Passed by House

blue boxes of presidential records
image © Michael Wallace

On January 14, the US House of Representations unanimously approved the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014. The legislation, H.R. 1233, updates selected provisions of the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act. For example, the bill imposes a time limit during which a former president must assert any claim of privilege to a record once the Archivist of the United States has decided to make that record available to the public. The amendments also call for a process to manage the release of records when such a claim of privilege is made.

Additionally, the amendments expand the authority of the Archivist regarding the creation and preservation of audio and visual records, transfer responsibility for records management from the Administrator of the General Services Administration to the Archivist, and require the transfer of records from federal agencies to the National Archives in digital form to the greatest extent possible. ARL joined with more than 20 groups in a letter in support of the legislation (PDF). The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.