Once You Push The Record Button You have a "Record"

Statement of Michael Wholley at House Hearing on NASA IG Investigation

"Sometime either later that day or early the next day, I honestly cannot recall which, I reviewed relevant portions of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and, in particular, the definition of what constituted a record. I also briefly reviewed the Freedom of Information Act. I concluded that these were not "records" for purposes of the FRA, but also concluded that if they were retained and filed they could become "records" by virtue of that retention. From my perspective, and as I stated to the subcommittee staff, I did not believe it wise to have these in any way become "records" subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act. This was a closed meeting, specifically directed to not be recorded, and these DVDs were not Agency records at that time. I personally made the decision to destroy them, and I did so by breaking them into pieces and throwing them in the trash."

Editor's note: Earth to Mike: The moment the recording began of activities occuring at NASA the recording was a "record" of those events. The final recording was then copied i.e. formally stored and duplicated. Once completed the copies were retained and stored in a specific location. Whether or not these recordings should have been made is not the point. The fact that they existed is. These recordings became "records" before you even got hold of them. "Retention" of that record had already occurred. As such, you destroyed a record of government activity - one made by the government.

Reader note: "Maybe Wholley should have labelled the recordings "Apollo 11 Video - Original Live Feed from Lunar Surface". They would have been promptly mis-filed and lost forever."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on May 25, 2007 10:12 AM.

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