Saving The Failure For Posterity?


It is narcissistic at best.  Considering the behavior of this administration to date, at worst it smacks of the McCarthy era. 

The White House wants to save everything to do with President Obama for his eventual presidential library.  This includes information posted by the President on the internet.  Not a bad thing, until you read just how this is now being hired out.

Here are the pertinent parts:


1. Purpose

The purpose of this Statement of Objectives (SOO) is to obtain the necessary services to ensure that content published by the Executive Office of the President (EOP) on publicly-accessible web sites is archived in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA), that information posted on publicly-accessible web sites where the EOP maintains a presence is archived in accordance with the PRA, and that all archived information is securely stored and provided to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for historical preservation, in accordance with the PRA.

2. Scope

The contractor shall provide the necessary services to capture, store, extract to approved formats, and transfer content published by EOP on publicly-accessible web sites, along with information posted by non-EOP persons on publicly-accessible web sites where the EOP offices under PRA maintains a presence, throughout the term of the contract. The contractor shall if possible, capture, store, extract to approved formats, and transfer content published by EOP on non-public websites. The contractor shall include in the information posted by non-EOP persons on publicly-accessible web sites where the EOP maintains a presence both comments posted on pages created by EOP and messages sent to EOP accounts on those web sites. Publicly-accessible sites may include, but are not limited to social networking sites. The contractor shall provide a user-friendly way of organizing and searching captured information. The contractor shall properly transfer the captured information, as identified by EOP, to NARA in an acceptable format for both preservation in NARA’s Electronic Records Archive and presentation at the future Presidential Library. The Contractor shall provide a method to separate content posted by other EOP component offices as required.

3. Period of Performance and Place of Performance

The period of performance is for twelve months from date of award and seven one year options for a total of eight years. The work may be performed and stored at the Contractor’s facility as appropriate.

4. Background

In order to comply with the Presidential Records Act, the White House New Media team is looking for a non personal service contractor to crawl and archive PRA content on all third party sites where the EOP has a presence (i.e., Currently, the Government team is capturing the data and content both programmatically (via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) from social networks) and manually (through daily screen shots). EOP requires a provider to ensure we automatically capture this content in a scalable, efficient and reliable manner.

5. Performance Objectives

(A) The scope is to capture, store, extract to approved formats, and transfer to NARA all content posted by EOP components subject to the PRA on publicly-accessible websites during each calendar year.

(B) Capture and store content of any kind, including text, graphic, audio, and video, in any existing file format.

(C) Demonstrate an ability to adapt to and archive new file formats that are created after the initiation of this contract.

(D) Capture and store content regardless of whether it is uploaded from the EOP network to the site or created directly on the site.

(E) Capture all created content at regular intervals daily, ensuring the retention of any deltas introduced between captures per day  (it is preferable, but not necessary, for vendor to capture content that was added to a site and subsequently removed in the interval between captures). Vendor must capture content at least twice a day, and preferably would have a process to initiate a re-crawling of the content on demand.

(F) Capture (and later display) content in context, as it appeared on a given web page.

(G) Capture of comments and publicly-visible tags posted by users on publicly-accessible websites on which an EOP component subject to the PRA maintains a presence. Vendor must be able to either:

(i) Capture all comments posted to a list of websites provided to vendor; or

(ii) Capture a sample of comments posted to a list of websites provided to vendor, according to a sampling methodology that will be provided to vendor and approved by EOP.

(H) Provide the ability to search and/or organize collections by website, keyword, date and/or filter by file type.

(I) Store and transfer data in a manner that preserves both the record content, associated with comments, and related objects, as they were created and with the relationships they exhibited on the web page at the time of capture creation.

(J) Ability for government employees to tag captures from publicly-accessible websites by arbitrary fields or tags such as office or issue (i.e. OVP or health care).

(K) Provide a web-based tool for government employees to administer and manage this record-keeping. (i.e. add new publicly-accessible websites to the crawl or adjust the crawl frequency). Provide a minimum of 10 simultaneous login accounts.

12. EOP Special Contract Requirements

12.1 Restriction Against Disclosure


The Contractor agrees, in the performance of this task order, to keep the information disclosed to the Contractor, or information contained in the source documents furnished by the EOP or otherwise obtained in the course of its employment in the strictest confidence, said information being the sole property of the EOP. The Contractor also agrees not to publish, reproduce or otherwise divulge such information, in whole or in part, in any manner or form, nor authorize or permit others to do so, taking reasonable measures as are necessary to restrict access to the information, while in his or her possession, to those employees who must have the information to perform the work provided herein on a ?need-to-know basis, and agrees to immediately notify the Contracting Officer in writing in the event the Contractor determines, or has reason to suspect, a breach of this requirement. The Contractor is responsible for ensuring all employees involved in the performance of this task order sign a ?Non-Disclosure Agreement (See Attachment 1). The Contractor shall provide an original copy of each signed statement to the Contracting Officer prior to each employee beginning work.

13. Prohibition of Advertising of Award


The Contractor shall not refer to this award in commercial advertising, or similar promotions in such a manner as to state or to imply that the product or services provided is endorsed, preferred, or is considered superior to other products or services by the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and any of its components including the White House. This includes advertising, or similar promotions, in all forms or electronic, broadcast, and print media.


In addition, the Contractor is restricted from reproducing the image(s) of the EOP or the White House in any form of commercial advertising, or similar promotion. This includes images of official seals and buildings. The reproduction of official seals and the images of buildings are a matter controlled by regulation and Executive Order. Any proposed usage of such symbols must be brought to the attention of the Contracting Officer (CO).

 From the Q&As:

2. Approximately how many sites are controlled by EOP?

Answer: The 7 networks where the EOP currently maintains a presence are:

4. Is there an incumbent currently performing this work (even manually)?

Answer: There is no incumbent the Government staff does this manually.

9. The Presidential Records Act does not require the storage or archiving of non-EOP content, as such is there a specific reason as to why the content provided on EOP related websites in the form of comments is included in these archiving procedures?

Answer: The PRA includes in its definition of presidential records content “received” by PRA components and personnel. Out of an abundance of caution, we are treating comments made by non-PRA personnel on sites on which a PRA component has a presence as presidential records, requiring them to be captured or sampled.

10. Has NARA’s Electronic Records Archive expressed an interest in public content contributed to EOP websites?

Answer: See the answer to question #9.











Now if all this was just for the sake of posterity and just to be sent to the National Archives, why do government employees need to the ability to sort and search the data for words like “health care”? 

I can’t help but wonder if they’ll also be including an archive of the Organizing For America website, particularly when it referred to citizens showing up at townhalls as “Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists“?