House Passes Legislation That Would Fire Federal Workers Who Willfully Destroy Federal Records

Legislation passed in the House this week that would create a process for firing administration employees who willfully and unlawfully destroy federal records.

Legislation passed in the House this week that would create a process for firing administration employees—after thorough investigation— who willfully and unlawfully destroy federal records.

Known as the Federal Records Accountability Act (H.R. 5170), the bill was introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). The legislation was introduced in response to the recent scandal involving former IRS employee Lois Lerner when it came to light that Lerner and numerous other IRS employees failed to preserve or destroyed emails and other official communications relevant to the investigation, in violation of record-keeping laws.

The legislation would strengthen existing enforcement mechanisms to ensure that federal agencies and employees adhere to federal record-keeping laws and would also bar federal employees from using personal emails and other electronic communications to conduct official business as a means of intentionally bypassing record-keeping laws.

In a statement about the legislation, Meadows said, “In an open and transparent government, a Lois Lerner situation should never take place. The Federal Records Accountability Act will put intensified pressure on federal agencies and employees to comply with record-keeping law.”

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.