The Times today reports that the Cabinet Office has ruled that civil servants must delete e-mails more than three years old , 11 days before the FOIA comes into force.

Its 2,000 civil servants are being told to print and file e-mails that should be disclosed under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

It will be up to the individual which e-mails are printed, with no monitoring from heads of department. Many officials, who receive about 100 e-mails a day, will have at least 3,000 items in their mailboxes. These include officials in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, the Delivery Unit, and the offices of Alan Milburn and Sir Andrew Turnbull, the Cabinet Secretary.

Hmmm… what would be easier to access? Printouts or searchable electronic-form e-mails?