WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior officials at the Environmental Protection Agency have said they did not intend to circumvent federal records laws by using private and secret government email accounts to conduct government business. A new report from the agency's inspector general accepts their explanation but says without better controls there is a risk that government records could be lost.
The inspector general's inquiry, conducted at the request of Congress, said the EPA needs to improve its internal policies to ensure that records from private and secondary government email accounts are preserved.
Republican lawmakers and some conservative groups have criticized the EPA, particularly former administrator Lisa Jackson, for using secret government email accounts. In August, a federal judge said EPA officials may have used private email to avoid public disclosure.