We have all heard the story about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official who while under investigation for allegedly mistreating Tea Party groups seeking tax exemptions, lost copies of her emails when her hard drive crashed. There are many questions about this that come to mind, but the most practical one would be – why is she backing up emails on a PC? The government has what appears to be unlimited resources when it wants it, yet they don’t have such easily accessible technology as cloud storage? Government Technology brought this news to our attention in their article, “Why Are Governments Stuck in the Stone Age?”

It turns out that IRS officials were supposed to be following a policy of backing up emails on paper. But because the policy was unclear about how an email meets the standard of an official record, it doesn’t appear to have been followed or enforced. But again I have to ask – why paper? Physical record storage space doesn’t make sense in the complex world of technology, e-communications, and the Internet. How long before the government catches up?

Melody K. Smith

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