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White House downplays secret email accounts report


08:33, June 05, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Tuesday downplayed reports that senior officials within the administration were using secret government email accounts to avoid public records requests.

In response to reports that officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other departments used separate email address for important internal messages from their public email accounts, White House Spokesman Jay Carney denied the practice was devised to avoid public records requests.

"There's nothing secret," Carney said. "It's about having a public email address and one for internal workings, but they're all available for (Freedom of Information Act) searches."

He also said the private accounts were also subject to congressional inquiry, stressing government employees "do not use and should not use private email accounts for work" and said the administration had made "significant strides" in public records access.

According to reports, senior officials including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson maintain secret email accounts.

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