President George W. Bush: Resources for the President's Team The White House
President Bush delivers remarks.
Guidance on ethics rules and regulations.
Records Management
Guidance on proper records management.
Legislative Process
Introduction to legislative affairs.
Government Oversight
FAQ on the GAO and IGs

White House Counsel Judge Alberto Gonzales discusses Records Management

Play Video Graphic 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 value—they 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.
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