Republicans Urge FTC to Address Accusations of Record Destruction

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Three Republican lawmakers, including Senator Ted Cruz, have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to explain how it preserves record...

Rachael Wiley

Rachael Wiley

17 August 2023 10:54 am

Republicans Urge FTC to Address Accusations of Record Destruction

Republican Lawmakers Call on FTC to Explain Record Preservation

Three Republican lawmakers, including Senator Ted Cruz, have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to explain how it preserves records amid concerns that documents sought by congressional investigators may be improperly destroyed. They have written a letter to FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, requesting information about the agency's retention policies and practices for records related to antitrust enforcement and consumer protection.

Accusations of Record Deletion and Impeding Congressional Oversight

Lawmakers have accused the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of potentially violating federal law by deleting records and impeding Congressional oversight. The accusation comes in response to the agency's proposed rule banning non-compete clauses. House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan and Oversight Chairman James Comer, along with other lawmakers, have requested details on the proposed rule, claiming that it exceeds the FTC's authority and undermines principles of federalism and free markets.

FTC Admits to Deleting Potentially Relevant Material

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has admitted to deleting potentially relevant material in response to a request from the House Judiciary Committee. The deleted material includes records of an employee from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who was involved in the FTC's rulemaking process. The admission came three months after the request was made by the committee.

Concerns Raised About FTC's Record Retention Policy

A letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has raised concerns about the agency's record retention policy. The letter states that the FTC has not adequately addressed the deletion of documents related to a rulemaking process that was expected to face litigation, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and Congressional oversight. It also questions how federal records from senior advisors at the FTC could be deleted, regardless of any litigation or holds on the documents.

FTC Faces Challenges in Records Management

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is facing challenges in complying with records management requirements, according to a letter from the FTC's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG noted that the FTC has made progress in shifting to electronic recordkeeping but still struggles with setting up automated practices for storing and disposing of records in a uniform manner. This report follows a previous report from early last year that highlighted similar challenges faced by the FTC in complying with National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) requirements.

Lack of Comprehensive Case Management System

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has found that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lacks a comprehensive case management system for its case files. The OIG also noted that the FTC management has no plans to store files on the FTC's cloud platform, instead relying on shared drive folders. In response to these findings, the FTC has stated that it is committed to implementing appropriate management controls.

Republican Lawmakers Demand Answers on Record-Keeping Compliance

Three Republican lawmakers have demanded answers from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its compliance with the Federal Records Act. The lawmakers claim that the FTC has struggled to meet the record-keeping requirements imposed by the Act. They have requested written answers and relevant documents from the FTC, regarding its response to previous information requests and its efforts to address issues with file management practices. The lawmakers have set a deadline of August 31 for the FTC to provide the requested information.

Lawmakers Seek Explanation for Improper Destruction of Records

Lawmakers are demanding an explanation from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the improper destruction of records. They want to know why the records were destroyed, what specific records were destroyed, and what measures will be taken to prevent such incidents in the future. The FTC has confirmed that they have received the letter from the lawmakers.

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