WASHINGTON — The Associated Press is reporting that some of President Obama’s political appointees “are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their in-boxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages.”
Among those appointees are Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The Associated Press says the scope of private email use by administration officials “remains a mystery” because most agencies have not responded to Freedom of Information Act requests made more than three months ago.
The AP began making inquiries after reports that Lisa Jackson, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, had used separate email accounts during her time in the administration.
“The secret email accounts complicate an agency’s legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them.
“Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.”