… in light of shoddy State Dept. email retention practices.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton stepped out from behind the stone wall to address the press. Her performance fell flat as she grew visibly uncomfortable fielding questions about her private email account.
Today, the Office of the Inspector General released a report. Focusing on the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART) and record email, the report could be problematic for one of Hillary’s most important claims — that all emails sent to State Department employees were captured.
“It was my practice to communicate with State Department and other government officials on their .gov accounts, so those emails would be automatically saved in the State Department system to meet record keeping requirements and that is indeed what happened,” said former Secretary Clinton yesterday.
But there’s just one problem — only a fraction of the emails sent within the State Department are actually kept.
The OIG report found that, “in 2011, employees created 61,156 record emails out of more than a billion emails sent.” To make matters worse, even though their systems were upgraded in 2009 (the year Mrs. Clinton took watch over the State Department) in order to, “facilitate the preservation of emails as official records.” Even with the improved infrastructure, “Department of State employees have not received adequate training or guidance on their responsibilities for using those systems to preserve “record emails.””
The report also concluded that State Department employees were intentionally avoiding creating official email records, “because they do not want to make the email available in searches or fear that this availability would inhibit debate about pending decisions.”
Outlined in the findings are precise guidelines for when emails should be kept as a record. “If an employee puts down on paper or in electronic form information about “the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government,” the information may be appropriate for preservation and therefore a record according to law, whether or not the author recognizes this fact,” says the OIG report.
For the duration of Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, the State Department consistently failed to meet reporting requirements.
In light of the OIG’s report, it’s more important now than ever, that the contents of Mrs. Clinton’s private servers be examined.
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