Peters Hearing with Archivist Nominee Highlights Importance of Preserving and Protecting Federal Records

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, convened a hearing to consider the pending nomination of Dr. Colleen Shogan to serve as the Archivist of the United States, the chief administrator of the National Archives and Records Administration. During the hearing, Peters underscored the important role that the National Archives plays in safeguarding and maintaining federal records. The hearing highlighted Shogan’s qualifications for this nonpartisan position – and lawmakers heard directly from this historic nominee on how she plans to execute the responsibilities of the office. Once confirmed, Shogan would be the first woman to serve as Archivist.

“The National Archives is responsible for adequately maintaining and preserving presidential and federal records, said Peters during his opening statement. “The National Archives also protects and provides access to critical records and documents for the public to use – from historical documents to educational resources, and most importantly, for veterans and servicemembers who need military personnel records to access the benefits they earned through their service. Preserving all of these important records is a significant undertaking, and it requires qualified, independent, non-partisan leadership that is committed to serving in the best interests of the American people.”

To watch video of Senator Peters’ opening remarks, click here.

To watch video of Senator Peters’ questions, click here.

During the hearing, Peters also discussed legislation he is working on, and building support for, that will strengthen existing recordkeeping laws and address the use of emerging technologies to ensure that future administrations are appropriately managing presidential and federal records. Peters asked Shogan how she would work to ensure compliance with records laws across the federal government, as well as how she would work to improve federal record preservation and public access. Lawmakers heard from Shogan on what resources the National Archives might require to digitize the physical documents and modernize records management systems. Finally, the hearing examined how the National Archives can work to improve access to all public records, including for veterans and servicemembers who need military personnel records to access the benefits they earned through their service.