CRS in Focus – Presidential Records Management: Preservation and Disposal. Updated August 9, 2022 – “Presidential records provide an essential window into many of the most consequential actions and decisions of the American government. The Presidential Records Act (PRA; 44 U.S.C. §§2201-2209) sets forth requirements regarding the maintenance, access, and preservation of presidential and vice presidential information during and after a presidency. The PRA provides records maintenance requirements and permissions that vary depending on whether a presidency is in progress or has concluded.These matters may be of particular interest to Congress as it carries out its oversight activities and ensures presidential records are effectively collected and controlled during and after a presidency.This In Focus provides information on what constitutes a presidential record;the roles and responsibilities the PRA assigns to the President, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and Department of Justice (DOJ); and the PRA’s application to the preservation and disposal of presidential records during and after a presidency. It includes information on NARA’s ability to request a DOJ investigation.”
- For more information about the PRA generally, see CRS Report R46129, The Presidential Records Act: An Overview, by Meghan M. Stuessy.