Undark: A Request to Streamline Federal Document Purges Has Researchers on Edge

Undark: A Request to Streamline Federal Document Purges Has Researchers on Edge. “Of course, document archiving — and destruction — is routine at all federal agencies, and only between 1 and 3 percent of federal records are ever retained permanently. Maintenance typically follows a set schedule, whereby records — both digital and paper — are retained for a set period of time before being shredded, mulched, or, in the case of electronic documents, simply erased or made unreadable. In this case, however, the [Department of the Interior] is seeking permission from the National Archives to consolidate pre-existing schedules into what the National Archives calls ‘big buckets,’ meaning requests for eliminating records could be made in larger groups.”

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