A federal official testified Tuesday during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing that the Internal Revenue Service did not act lawfully when it failed to report the loss of emails belonging disgraced former official Lois Lerner.
David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, said during questioning by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., that he was never notified by the IRS of the supposed computer crash that led to the loss of Lerner's emails.
By neglecting to do this, he said, the IRS failed to meet the standards required under the Federal Records Act, which state that the National Archives is to be notified of the loss of any and all federal records.
"Is it fair to say that the IRS broke the Federal Records Act?" Walberg asked.
"They are required, any agency is required to notify us when they realize they have a problem that could be destruction or disposal, unauthorized disposal," Ferriero said.
"Did they break the law?" the congressman persisted.
"I'm not a lawyer," Ferriero responded.
"But you administer the Federal Records Act."
"If they didn't follow it, can we safely assume they broke the law?"
"They did not follow the law."