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H.R. 5170 (113th): Federal Records Accountability Act of 2014


The text of the bill below is as of Jul 23, 2014 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5170

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 23, 2014

(for himself and Mr. Issa) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A BILL

To improve Federal employee compliance with the Federal and Presidential recordkeeping requirements, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

In general

This Act may be cited as the Federal Records Accountability Act of 2014 .

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Removal for deliberate destruction of Federal records.

Sec. 3. Use of non-official electronic messaging accounts.

Sec. 4. Reporting of the loss or potential loss of records.

Sec. 5. Senior Agency Official for Records Compliance.

2.

Removal for deliberate destruction of Federal records

(a)

In general

Chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after subchapter V the following:

VI

Federal Records

7551.

Definitions

In this subchapter the following definitions apply:

(1)

Employee

The term employee means—

(A)

an individual in the competitive service who is not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment or who has completed 1 year of current continuous employment in the same or similar positions under other than a temporary appointment limited to 1 year or less; or

(B)

a career appointee in the Senior Executive Service who—

(i)

has completed the probationary period prescribed under section 3393(d) of this title; or

(ii)

was covered by the provisions of subchapter II of this chapter immediately before appointment to the Senior Executive Service.

(2)

Suspension

The term suspension has the meaning given that term in section 7501 of this title.

7552.

Suspension and removal

(a)

Inspector General finding

If the Inspector General of an agency determines an employee of the agency has willfully and unlawfully concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, falsified, or destroyed any record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing in the custody of such employee, or verifies a violation under section 2208 or 2911 of title 44, the Inspector General shall promptly inform the head of the agency of that determination in writing.

(b)

Suspension

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the head of an agency shall suspend an employee of that agency who has been determined by the Inspector General under subsection (a) to have willfully and unlawfully concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, falsified, or destroyed any record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing in the custody of such employee, or who has been verified by the Inspector General to be in violation of section 2208 or 2911 of title 44.

(c)

Requirements after suspension

An employee suspended under subsection (b) is entitled, after suspension and before removal, to—

(1)

be represented by an attorney or other representative;

(2)

a written statement of the charges against the employee within 15 days after suspension, which may be amended within 30 days thereafter;

(3)

an opportunity within 15 days after the receipt of the written statement under paragraph (2), plus an additional 15 days if the charges are amended, to answer the charges and submit affidavits;

(4)

a hearing, at the request of the employee, by an agency authority duly constituted for this purpose;

(5)

a review of the employee’s case by the head of the agency or a designee, before a decision adverse to the employee is made final; and

(6)

a written statement of the decision of the head of the agency.

(d)

Removal

Subject to subsection (c) of this section and after any investigation and review the head of the agency considers necessary, the head of an agency shall remove an employee suspended under subsection (b) if such head determines that the employee willfully and unlawfully concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, falsified, or destroyed any record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing in the custody of such employee.

(e)

Appeal

An employee who is removed under subsection (d) is entitled to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board under section 7701 of this title.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

Table of subchapters

The table of subchapters for chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new items:

Subchapter VI—Federal Records

7551. Definitions.

7552. Suspension and removal.

.

(2)

Subchapter II applicability

Section 7512 of such title is amended—

(A)

in subparagraph (D), by striking or at the end;

(B)

in subparagraph (E), by striking the period at the end and inserting , or; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(F)

a suspension or removal under section 7552 of this title.

.

3.

Use of non-official electronic messaging accounts

(a)

Presidential records act

Chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

2208.

Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts

(a)

In general

The President, Vice President, or covered employee may not create or send a Presidential or Vice Presidential record using a non-official electronic messaging account (in this section, referred to as applicable electronic message) unless the President, Vice President, or covered employee—

(1)

includes an official electronic messaging account of the President, Vice President, or covered employee, as applicable, as a recipient in the original creation or transmission of the applicable electronic message and identifies all recipients of the applicable electronic message in such message;

(2)

forwards a complete copy of the applicable electronic message, including a complete list of the recipients of such message, to an official electronic messaging account of the President, Vice President, or covered employee, as applicable, within fifteen days after the original creation or transmission of the message; or

(3)

prints a complete copy of the applicable electronic message, including a complete list of the recipients of such message, and submits the message to the appropriate location or individual for appropriate archival storage by the Executive Office of the President within fifteen days after the original creation or transmission of the message.

(b)

Adverse actions

An intentional violation of subsection (a) (including any rules, regulations, or other implementing guidelines) by a covered employee, as determined by the appropriate supervisor, shall be forwarded to the Inspector General of the agency for a verification of the violation, and upon verification, shall be subject to the suspension and removal provisions under section 7552 of title 5.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Covered employee

The term covered employee means—

(A)

the immediate staff of the President;

(B)

the immediate staff of the Vice President;

(C)

an individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise and assist the President; or

(D)

an individual of the Office of the Vice President whose function is to advise and assist the Vice President.

(2)

Electronic message

The term electronic message means electronic mail and all other means by which individuals and groups may communicate with each other electronically.

(3)

Electronic messaging account

The term electronic messaging account means any account that sends an electronic message.

.

(b)

Federal records

Chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

2911.

Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts

(a)

In general

An officer or employee of a Federal agency may not create or send a record using a non-official electronic messaging account (in this section, referred to as applicable electronic message) unless such officer or employee—

(1)

includes an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee as a recipient in the original creation or transmission of the applicable electronic message and identifies all recipients of the applicable electronic message in such message;

(2)

forwards a complete copy of the applicable electronic message, including a complete list of the recipients of such message, to an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee within fifteen days after the original creation or transmission of the record; or

(3)

prints a complete copy of the applicable electronic message, including a complete list of the recipients of such message, and submits it to the appropriate location or individual for appropriate archival storage by the Federal agency within fifteen days after the original creation or transmission of the message.

(b)

Adverse actions

An intentional violation of subsection (a) (including any rules, regulations, or other implementing guidelines) by an officer or employee of a Federal agency, as determined by the appropriate supervisor, shall be forwarded to the Inspector General of the agency for a verification of the violation, and upon verification, shall be subject to the suspension and removal provisions under section 7552 of title 5.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Electronic message

The term electronic message means electronic mail and all other means by which individuals and groups may communicate with each other electronically.

(2)

Electronic messaging account

The term electronic messaging account means any account that sends an electronic message.

.

(c)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

Chapter 22

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

2208. Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts.

.

(2)

Chapter 29

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

2911. Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts.

.

4.

Reporting of the loss or potential loss of records

Section 3106 of title 44, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

3106.

Unlawful removal, destruction of records

(a)

Notification

(1)

Archivist and public notification

Whenever the actual, impending, or threatened unlawful concealment, removal, mutilation, obliteration, falsification, or destruction of any record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing in the custody of an agency comes to the attention of the head of the Federal agency, the head of the agency shall—

(A)

notify the Archivist; and

(B)

publish a general description of the records at risk or that have been lost on the website of the agency.

(2)

Agency notification

Whenever the actual, impending, or threatened unlawful concealment, removal, mutilation, obliteration, falsification, or destruction of any record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing in the custody of an agency comes to the attention of a Senior Agency Official for Records Management, such official shall immediately notify the head of the agency.

(b)

Reclamation of records

With the assistance of the Archivist, the head of a Federal agency shall initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records the head knows or has reason to believe have been unlawfully removed from the agency, or from another Federal agency whose records have been transferred to the legal custody of such head.

(c)

Action by the Archivist

In any case in which the head of the agency does not initiate an action for the recovery of records described in subsection (b) or other redress within a reasonable period of time after being notified of any such unlawful removal, the Archivist shall request the Attorney General to initiate an action described in subsection (b), and shall notify the Congress not later than 5 days after the date on which such a request has been submitted to the Attorney General.

.

5.

Senior Agency Official for Records Compliance

(a)

Senior agency official

Chapter 31 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

3108.

Senior Agency Official for Records Compliance

(a)

Designation

Not later than November 15, 2014, the head of each Federal agency shall designate a Senior Agency Official for Records Management, and not later than November 15 of each year thereafter the head of each Federal agency shall reaffirm or designate a new Senior Agency Official for Records Management.

(b)

Authorities and responsibilities

The Senior Agency Official for Records Management shall—

(1)

be at least at the level of an Assistant Secretary or the equivalent; and

(2)

be responsible for coordinating with the appropriate Agency Records Officer and appropriate agency officials to ensure compliance with all applicable records management statutes, regulations, and any guidance issued by the Archivist.

(c)

Federal agency coordination

In addition to the designation made pursuant to subsection (a), the head of a Federal agency may designate additional Senior Agency Officials for Records Management as the head of the agency determines to be necessary.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 31 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

3108. Senior Agency Official for Records Compliance.

.