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October 31, 2013

Sandy’s hidden toll: Thousands of FBI files
By Graham Kates

“The FBI’s archiving system always seems so behind the times.” But when it comes to storing paper files, often dating back decades, government agencies do what most people do, said Susan Long, director of Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. They keep files in the basement. Long said that means flooding is a persistent threat to recordkeeping. She recalled the problems her department had in accessing Internal Revenue Service files in 2006, after a flood left five feet of water in the agency’s basement. “In the end they were able to locate some things, but they were incomplete,” Long said. “And there were some (files) that no longer existed, but what are you going to do? They don’t exist.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2013
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