WASHINGTON - The White House is missing as many as 225 days of e-mail dating back to 2003 and there is little if any likelihood a recovery effort will be completed by the time the Bush administration leaves office, according to an internal White House draft document obtained by The Associated Press.
The nine-page outline of the White House's e-mail problems invites companies to bid on a project to recover the missing electronic messages.
The work would be carried out through April 19, 2009, according to the Office of Administration request for contractors' proposals, which was dated June 20.
Last week, the White House declined to comment on the document.
On Wednesday, the White House refused to talk about internal White House contracting procedures, but said the information is "outdated and seriously inaccurate." It would not elaborate. The White House also declined to say whether it has hired a contractor for the work yet.
"With an eye on the clock, the White House continues to drag its feet and do everything possible to postpone public access to the records of this presidency," said Anne Weismann, chief counsel to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a private watchdog group.