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After years of what he called “chronic disregard” about the situation at NARA, Mr. Brachfeld said, “I do believe finally they are taking my recommendations to heart.”

He said it’s too early to say whether problems will surface in future audits and investigations. Records show that a similar investigation had been under way reviewing unclassified materials held at the Suitland facility.

“It’s a process that’s going to have to be played out,” he said.

Congress was on notice about the missing records months ago. In a semiannual report to Congress last year, the inspector general's office told lawmakers that 80 boxes of top-secret and restricted materials were missing.

“This investigation was closed subject to continuing updates regarding the recovery of remaining material,” the inspector general told Congress.

The agencies listed in the report were the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Export Administration, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Department of Energy, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency as well as four components of the U.S. Navy. Each of the agencies was notified. The report did not say when the records were compiled.