Use of Non-government Email Accounts for the Conduct of Public Business

November 30, 2018--Following new reports of senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump's use of personal email accounts for the conduct of official public business, SAA reiterates its long-standing concern about this practice. This is an ongoing problem for officials at all levels of government, despite public records laws and regulations that govern the creation and management of official records.

SAA calls on all elected and appointed government officials to be familiar with—and to comply with—all local, state, and federal recordkeeping laws and requirements. Managing email is just one part of a comprehensive government archives and records program that facilitates efficient conduct of government programs and services, ensures effective management of government information, and provides appropriate documentation of government activities. Use of unofficial, non-government email accounts rather than official government accounts violates the transparency and openness that the public requires from its government, makes it difficult to hold public officials accountable, unnecessarily mixes government and personal records, and ultimately jeopardizes the accessibility of the archival record by the American people.

Read the Joint Statement on Conducting Public Business in Non-government Email Accounts (2015).