Video: State Dept didn’t properly archive e-mails

posted at 8:41 am on March 12, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

In 2011, the State Department sent and received over a billion e-mails, according to this NBC News report, an average of about 40 a day for its 69,000 total employees. How many did State, under Hillary Clinton’s leadership for the third year of her tenure as Secretary of State, successfully archive in accordance with the Federal Records Act? According to a new inspector general’s report, only 61,156 — or about 0.00612% of the overall number sent and received, less than one per day per employee.

Most. Transparent. Administration. Evah.

Fox’ Greta van Susteren says “This report doesn’t sound good,” and The Hill’s A. B. Stoddard replies, “They didn’t care”:

The State Department’s internal watchdog has found that many department employees are not preserving emails for the public record as required by the government. That could mean a substantial amount of lost government information.

The inspector general’s office, in a report out Wednesday, said that in 2011, when Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state, department employees wrote more than 1 billion emails but only marked 61,156 for the public record. There’s no way to know from the figures how many should have been designated as public records. Even fewer were marked for public records, 41,749, in 2013, the year when she left the department. …

The report found the laxity despite a 2009 upgrade in the system used to preserve emails as public records. It recommends better training, sharper guidelines for what should be made a public record and a department-wide review of how emails are used and kept.

Branches within the department varied widely in their preservation practices: The secretary’s office designated only seven emails as public records in 2013; the office of diplomatic security did so with 409 emails.

Emails are required to be preserved for the public record if they deal with policy, actions by officials, historically relevant information or meet a variety of other benchmarks. Among the more than 1 billion emails sent in 2011, some were work emails that did not meet those standards, others were personal and still others should have been captured for the record but weren’t. Emails that are not designated for the record may still become available for release later but become harder to find in the mountain of untapped government information.

In other words, it’s not just Hillary on the honor system, it was the whole organization that she ran. What a terrific system Secretary Clinton set up, too. It answers the age-old question: how much transparency would we get from bureaucrats if we allowed them to self-report their activity? Answer: 0.00612% transparency, that’s how much! That’s the reason why we have a Federal Records Act in the first place — to take those decisions out of the hands of the bureaucrats we want to hold accountable.

Put aside the e-mail scandal for a moment. Hillary’s tenure at State is the only executive experience she has on her resumé, and this just adds to the track record of incompetence she has established. Libya and Russia and especially Benghazi make her policy and operational incompetence clear, and this shows that she’s incompetent at regulatory compliance and management as well. She’s a disaster, but at least for the moment, she’s the Democrats’ disaster. Let’s hope Republicans nominate someone who can keep the catastrophe that limited over the next two years.


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Comments

SMH

First woman president (bedsides, we don’t have anyone else on the bench)
-lefties

cmsinaz on March 12, 2015 at 8:47 AM

*Mr. Sulu voice*

I’m detecting a pattern, Captain.

itsspideyman on March 12, 2015 at 8:47 AM

Another if W administration did this part 75,321. The outrage would be much more significant

cmsinaz on March 12, 2015 at 8:49 AM

“Hillary’s tenure at State is the only executive experience she has on her resumé, and this just adds to the track record of incompetence she has established”.

zap-johnson on March 12, 2015 at 8:50 AM

What a terrific system Secretary Clinton set up, too.

…sort of like…a community organizer!

JugEarsButtHurt on March 12, 2015 at 8:55 AM

Yes, but 999,938,844 of those were personal e-mails about yoga and the like.

justltl on March 12, 2015 at 8:57 AM

And so we pay these people to break the law?

Can we just invite all the staff over to Foggy Bottom and then bring in the metal bars and imprison them in situ, awaiting trial?

How about cutting off all funding to it and just paying ambassadors…via DoD.

Every diplomat a soldier!

Every soldier a diplomat!

ajacksonian on March 12, 2015 at 8:58 AM

So, 99.9+% of State Department emails were transmitted via non-secure servers. Is that what I’m reading?

BKeyser on March 12, 2015 at 9:00 AM

The secretary’s office designated only seven emails as public records in 2013

lovely…

MikeInBA on March 12, 2015 at 9:03 AM

BTW, picture Hillary performing in her yoga suit.
If you can’t picture that, think about folding a large sack of potatoes.

justltl on March 12, 2015 at 9:04 AM

The server should be storing a copy of all emails for record keeping. Individual employees should just be archiving their important email. A billion emails sounds like a lot but it could easily be saved for few thousand dollars a year.

wambat on March 12, 2015 at 9:04 AM

It answers the age-old question: how much transparency would we get from bureaucrats if we allowed them to self-report their activity? Answer: 0.00612% transparency, that’s how much!

.
Alternatively, it is (1 – 0.0000612) or 99.99388% opaque; another government black hole.

ExpressoBold on March 12, 2015 at 9:05 AM

She’s a disaster, but at least for the moment, she’s the Democrats’ disaster.

And also their nightmare. They are not prepared to offer up some other Dem as their 2016 nominee even as the presumptive nominee is melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West.

Seriously, never mind the corruption and same tired old Clintonian tactics. What Dem watched that book tour or press conference and said- I’m so glad we’re going to be running Hillary!? She looks tired, stale, and without the energy for the long slog of a presidential campaign.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2015 at 9:08 AM

Your next preznit.

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 9:09 AM

You have to delete all of them that came across Hilary Clinton’s home made server. And everything from those days just in case someone cut and paste and forwarded from there.

Fleuries on March 12, 2015 at 9:10 AM

“Hillary’s tenure at State is the only executive experience she has on her resumé

Don’t forget her management role with the Bimbo Eruption Squad.

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 9:10 AM

Fun prediction. President Hillary Clinton will become the first POTUS to log more days outside the country on travel than in the White House.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2015 at 9:11 AM

This is all just silliness. The NSA archives 100% of my emails.

vnvet on March 12, 2015 at 9:12 AM

It recommends better training, sharper guidelines for what should be made a public record and a department-wide review of how emails are used and kept.

How about recommending firings and prison sentences??

Mark Boabaca on March 12, 2015 at 9:16 AM

Just stating the obvious: The end of the Republic is avalanching towards us, if you’re under 80 years old you will probably get to see the finality too.

An entire branch of the federal gubment out of control, just one branch of many, and 300 million subjects out here are stuck watching them get away with it. They’re unaccountable to us while we are under their thumb in ways that would have made Soviet citizens circa 1930 shudder in revulsion.

That self-serving fascist whore is going to get elected because her supporters outnumber everyone else, and she will do whatever it takes to win. Whatever it takes.

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 9:19 AM

Hillary’s tenure at State is the only executive experience she has on her resumé

Don’t forget her management role with the Bimbo Eruption Squad.

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 9:10 AM

She managed the Vince Foster incident too. As well as reorganizing the White House travel office, archiving the Rose Law firm billing records, and safekeeping the furniture artisans donated to the White House.

I’d argue that Killary’s management skills are true to her Chicago roots and would put her in good stead as an executive with any of the more prestigious mob families.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2015 at 9:20 AM

She’s a disaster, but at least for the moment, she’s the Democrats’ disaster.

This disaster will be, like, over a year old by this time next year, dude. By then Hillary! will be able to say that Republicans are dredging up the past when all of this was covered before.

Hillary! 2016

/weedisgood

Mark Boabaca on March 12, 2015 at 9:22 AM

How about recommending firings and prison sentences??

Mark Boabaca on March 12, 2015 at 9:16 AM

Hell will freeze over before this happens. By the way Nixon was dragged over hot coals because of the missing 18 minutes in his tapes. And, because of what happened to Nixon no president after him has installed a taping system in the Oval Office.

SC.Charlie on March 12, 2015 at 9:23 AM

The end of the Republic is avalanching towards us, if you’re under 80 years old you will probably get to see the finality too.

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 9:19 AM

So you’re not going to see the finale, Bishop?

:D

Mark Boabaca on March 12, 2015 at 9:24 AM

…wonder how Liz Warren handles her emails?

JugEarsButtHurt on March 12, 2015 at 9:25 AM

I used to work for a Financial Services company covered under Sarbanes Oxley, which stipulates an email archiving requirement as part of Federal Regulations. We saved everything. We were basically told, ‘if in doubt, save it and let the regulators comb through it’.

Good to know that regulations are only for the private sector. /

ExPat on March 12, 2015 at 9:25 AM

successfully archive in accordance with the Federal Records Act? According to a new inspector general’s report, only 61,156 — or about 0.00612% of the overall number

 
So Ferguson would be cool if they’d just used a private server, right (D)s?

rogerb on March 12, 2015 at 9:27 AM

The server should be storing a copy of all emails for record keeping. Individual employees should just be archiving their important email. A billion emails sounds like a lot but it could easily be saved for few thousand dollars a year.

wambat on March 12, 2015 at 9:04 AM

From what I am reading, it is up to the individual user to specify which email is for the public record. Perhaps there is a check-mark or something inside the email client that flags it for posterity. If that is the case, why on Earth would you ever select that button? I would bet that the vast majority of the emails are from the same people who always had the button selected.

If I have a job that is mainly about CYA, having a paper trail that leads back to you seems idiotic. There is every incentive in the world to keep your actions hidden while there are no gains for the user to make it public. The term plausible deniability comes to mind.

txaggie on March 12, 2015 at 9:27 AM

Lefties couldn’t care less as long as they win and stay in power.

The question is whether the middle of the country will stand for this.

Klein is a weasel for calling it lax. These State toads are ill-suited to be on the taxpayers’ payroll.

BuckeyeSam on March 12, 2015 at 9:28 AM

It answers the age-old question: how much transparency would we get from bureaucrats if we allowed them to self-report their activity? Answer: 0.00612% transparency, that’s how much!

I wouldn’t say it’s 0.00612% transparency. Those e-mails were most likely the most benign of the bunch:

What is on the menu at the State Department Cafeteria?
Can you pick up some extra paperclips on your Staples run?

blammm on March 12, 2015 at 9:30 AM

And to think we used to complain about the Post Office…

leftamark on March 12, 2015 at 9:31 AM

All this skepticism about e-mails. Hey, I’m sure Hillary only erased e-mails that had NOTHING to do with State Dept. business.

I am also sure Henry Yearwood, er, Eric Holder has complied with all Congressional subpoenas.

http://tinyurl.com/kxth569

WannabeAnglican on March 12, 2015 at 9:32 AM

Yes, but 999,938,844 of those were personal e-mails about yoga and the like.

justltl on March 12, 2015 at 8:57 AM

Only if Yoga is the codeword to indicate transfer of funds between a foreign government and the Clinton coffers.

Not only was Clinton using her personal e-mail to conduct government business, she was using her government job as her personal piggy bank.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2015 at 9:32 AM

So if 99% of their work was not worth saving … I think I see some budget savings to be had.

Over50 on March 12, 2015 at 9:34 AM

First, the total number they provide (1 billion) seems suspicious given the set up: sent and received. I would say a good portion of those are at a minimum double counted. If I send a peer an email, it would be counted twice, as having been sent and as having been received…but there was only one email. At the extreme end, a single email could have resulted in being counted ~69,000 times…..ever get a corporate email, sent from one person to “all”?

Second, I don’t know of a single federal agency or activity that complies with the records act. The amount of paper required to comply (printing each record is a requirement) would be crippling.

Third, all emails are not considered “records” under the act. An email with a monthly report is a record; an email to your buddy with a link to a Hot Air article is not (that email would also violate the use of the email system).

The Records Act is an unenforceable rule. I’m not excusing any attempt to circumvent it, which is a crime in my mind, but at the same time failure to comply is the status quo. I’d like to see the same audit conducted within the IGs office and see how they compare.

BobMbx on March 12, 2015 at 9:35 AM

The question is whether the middle of the country will stand for this.

BuckeyeSam on March 12, 2015 at 9:28 AM

Unfortunately, that is probably the last question on their minds if they’re not paying attention. :/

Mark Boabaca on March 12, 2015 at 9:35 AM

Make them save everything. Big deal if half of the emails are talking about lunch or the weather, make them save everything. If some ahole is worried that their comment about the hot new clerk at the senate reception desk will be found, then don’t send the email or get a different job out here with the rest of us.

Either we’re being ruled by incompetents who can’t follow basic rules that exist in the private sector, or we’re not, and if not then the jackwagons can buck-up and get used to extra scrutiny from their employers.

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 9:43 AM

Anarchy for the Nomenklatura.

Tyranny for us.

forest on March 12, 2015 at 9:45 AM

The agencies under the Obama Administration archive only those emails that are not incriminating.

No email, no problem. Good luck proving anything.

Remember, these guys are experts at corruption, obfuscation, and lying. Their whole tactic when caught is to do the “Keystone Pipeline” dance – delay, delay, delay – until it spins itself into oblivion.

iamsaved on March 12, 2015 at 9:46 AM

The report found the laxity despite a 2009 upgrade in the system used to preserve emails as public records. It recommends better training, sharper guidelines for what should be made a public record and a department-wide review of how emails are used and kept.

which goes right down the flusher when you have 69,000 employees who can’t be fired for not complying, and the chief of the department committing crimes worse than the injuns.
Ditto the IRS
Ditto the VA

Anyone think it’s getting better under the Kerry leadership?

leftamark on March 12, 2015 at 9:46 AM

An entire branch of the federal gubment out of control, just one branch of many, and 300 million subjects out here are stuck watching them get away with it. They’re unaccountable to us while we are under their thumb in ways that would have made Soviet citizens circa 1930 shudder in revulsion.

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 9:19 AM

Yeah, State may be bad, but then there’s the IRS, EPA, CFPB, BATFE, FEC, DOJ…

Pretty much everything is headed down the tubes at this point. The “fundamental transformation” of the country is well underway and all of these agencies (plus others) have declared war on the Republic. And for the moment at least, they are winning.

climbnjump on March 12, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife asks:

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Galtian on March 12, 2015 at 9:58 AM

climbnjump on March 12, 2015 at 9:54 AM

They’ve already won because we’re outnumbered. The human trash who comprise the American left would gladly support a policy of having you, me and our families down to the last infant forcibly thrown into reeducation camps simply for our refusal to accept global warming, much less for daring to resist “doing what’s right”.

We’re being separated, singled out, marginalized one by one, subtly and not so subtlety being deprived of the ability to resist the tyranny being foisted upon us.

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 10:01 AM

Govt servers should be set to save and backup everything. Period.

Use of anything other than govt server/email for govt business should bring stiff penalties. Whistleblower enabled.

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 10:09 AM

Use of anything other than govt server/email for govt business should bring stiff penalties. Whistleblower enabled.

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 10:09 AM

Make it a crime to not report a government communication sent via non-government communication systems.

That way, both ends of the comm are at risk.

BobMbx on March 12, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 9:19 AM

Bishop please, you’re scaring me! I feel there is so much truth in what you are saying!

Iamaluckyone on March 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM

So if 99% of their work was not worth saving … I think I see some budget savings to be had.

Over50 on March 12, 2015 at 9:34 AM

It appears that a lot of personal business is being conducted on State Department time. In fact, I would go so far the “science is settled”.

SC.Charlie on March 12, 2015 at 10:31 AM

BobMbx on March 12, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Yep.

Silly me, I had assumed everything sent over a govt system would be automatically saved.

Maybe govt office buildings should jam all but the govt email system, and provide a wired connection for personal calls in the lounge.

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 10:36 AM

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 10:36 AM

wired connection for personal calls emails

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 10:40 AM

Make them save everything. Big deal if half of the emails are talking about lunch or the weather, make them save everything. If some ahole is worried that their comment about the hot new clerk at the senate reception desk will be found, then don’t send the email or get a different job out here with the rest of us.

Bishop on March 12, 2015 at 9:43 AM

It should be automatic, so the only people with the ability, much less the authority, to make an email not get saved would work in the IT department. Make it so they can’t do it either without first submitting a request to the IG’s office saying what they want to do, and getting permission to go ahead. If the requirements for the request are serious enough, then even if the normal archives no longer have a copy, now the IG’s office has a copy at least of the metadata, and possibly the text.

As for duplication, pretty much any email system is capable of recognizing if something is identical to another record they already have, so that should be no big deal. 1 copy of the email annotated to note every address where it ever showed up. That way the corporate spam to all users generates 1 email with 69,000 addresses, not 69,000 emails.

GrumpyOldFart on March 12, 2015 at 11:03 AM

wired connection for personal calls emails

petefrt on March 12, 2015 at 10:40 AM

The NSA is on top of it

leftamark on March 12, 2015 at 11:05 AM

Better call Saul . . . Alinsky.

Younggod on March 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM

“…wonder how Liz Warren handles her emails?”

Never thought that i would say it, but Warren is looking better every day that I see new revelations about Hillary.

Techster64 on March 12, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Let’s face it – government is too big to manage, too many cheats, liars, bonuses for doing nothing, wasting time, too big salaries, way too many departments and mini-departments with all of the above-mentioned, and no one at the head that functions either whether it be the Executive Branch, the Supreme Court, and, of course, the Congresspersons who are there to get rich and feel powerful and shaft their constituencies. Limited government, 2 term limits, no perks and any laws/regulations passed MUST naturally include all public employees at ANY level – without exceptions. Until we, the People who are THE GOVERNMENT take up our Constitution and Bill of Rights and get America back on tract by getting rid of the vermin infesting our government, we are sunk! I don’t want to be a slave, in a camp starved and worked to death, nor dead because we were too stupid, dump and lazy to fight for our country. Yes, there are a lot of dumb and brainless in this country, but we are the strongest and best and we must do it and NOW! They are berating the 47 who wrote a letter to Iran, while Ted Kennedy committed treason against American under Reagan’s tenure and no one says anything nor rebuts the Demos and the empty suit complaining. Where are those who really are patriotic in the government WE have allowed them to run and we gave no oversight – our bad and now we need to house clean top down pronto.

Roselle on March 12, 2015 at 11:48 AM