George W. Bush’s lost e-mails

There has been a lot reported about the Bush administration’s missing email issue. The main details are this. A 1993 court decision stated that emails fell under the Presidential Records Act which requires the president to preserve documents related to the performance of his official duties. Seems pretty reasonable that the White House should keep a record of every email that is sent.

The Clinton Administration answered this decision by adding an archiving system to their Lotus Notes email system.

The issue happened when the Bush administration decided to upgrade the email system from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange. The Exchange system was apparently incompatible with the old archiving system and they were unable to automatically archive email. And this is where I have a huge problem with the way that IT is run in the White House.

To me, if I was running this project, the first thing that I would do is gather the requirements of the platform. It would seem to me that FEDERAL LAW has mandated that an archive is kept of all emails. So if the new system that I am rolling out is not meeting all the requirements, the migration should have stopped. This is a show stopper requirement that should have stopped the cut over.

Why in the hell did they continue with the roll over? Its freaking insane!

If I did that at my job and rolled out a system that delivered less functionality than the current platform, I’d be let go in pretty short order.

Matt Patterson avatar
About Matt Patterson
Husband, Father of 3, Programmer at heart, spends his days running ridiculously large data centers in the midwest.