As part of the Bush administration's post-Clinton cleaning house efforts, the White House replaced its Lotus Notes e-mail system with Microsoft's Outlook and Exchange. Compatibility issues broke the automated archiving system and e-mails were lost.
No problem, Bush and Co. said and decided to have employees save files by hand. That's despite the fact that doing it manually is not a reliable or even tamper-proof way of dealing with important government communications that are required by law to be carefully archived.
Subsequent efforts to retrofit the old Lotus Notes-based archiving system to work with the new system failed or were aborted and Steven McDevitt, a senior official in the White House IT shop, resigned in disgust.
The situation led to two lawsuits filed by public interest groups against the White House and a. Last week, a federal judge ordered the government to fully answer questions related to the matter.
Maybe they should have stuck with Lotus Notes after all....