White House Counsel Judge Alberto Gonzales discusses Records Management
The Federal Freedom of Information Act represents a policy
choice by the Congress. It represents a balance of making
information available to the American people so they know what
the government is doing. And a balance of recognizing that
candor and confidentiality is important for the executive branch
to perform its function in a way that serves the public good.
Part of your job, as a government employee, is to preserve and
maintain documents that you create as a government employee.
These documents have a very historical valuethey represent the
work of this administration. We should be proud of the work that
we do and should ensure that the documentation that we create,
as evidence of the work of this administration, is preserved in
the matter that it should be.
Each of you works for an agency that has a designated records
official. You should contact that official to determine what the
record policies are for your agency.
Congress made a deliberate choice that not every document
created by you in connection to your duties should be released
to the public. You should check with your records official to
determine which of the documents should in fact be released and
which of the documents should be preserved.
For example, certain types of documents related to litigation,
documents that may implicate the privacy act, deliberative
documents are all types of documents that Congress has
determined can be preserved by the agency in order to ensure
that the agency functions the way that it should on behalf of
the American people.