The president should direct agencies that when they outsource any of their duties, not limited to records management duties, the contracts should contain provisions specifying that the records produced by the company in its function as a government surrogate belong to the agency and available, as agency records, under FOIA.
On Dec. 31, 2007, President Bush signed the OPEN Government Act of 2007 (S. 2488), which includes long-sought reforms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In response to the outsourcing of so many federal government functions, one provision of the OPEN Government Act extended FOIA to include any information that "would be an agency record" that is maintained by "an entity under Government contract, for the purposes of record management." Currently, the breadth and implementation of this important provision remain untested. The president should clarify the records management responsibility that contractors must abide by and better establish the level of access agencies will provide to contractor produced records.
- From the 21st Century RTK Agenda