City Statement on Email Records

April 3, 2009

A portion of several days of archived email messages for some city agencies may be irretrievable due to an error by a technician during a conversion to a new email system. The gap in the archived messages was discovered during the processing of an open records request from a local television station.

City IT staff is working to restore as many of the missing records as possible from system backup resources. However, there is a possibility for some messages to be permanently lost. City IT staff expects this loss to be very small. If archive records are missing, they would be messages sent or received between the dates of March 3-15, but this will vary according to when a City agency was converted to the new email system.

In continued efforts to be transparent, the city is making this release so that the public can be aware of the possible records loss. The city expects the vast majority of open records requests will not be affected. The City of Madison is one of the few government entities in the State of Wisconsin that archive all incoming and outgoing email in order to comply with state open records laws. The city's email system has over five years of email stored in its archives.

Contact:
  • Rachel Strauch-Nelson, (608) 266-4611