Personally..., I take it upon myself to retain a copy of all my vital
documents.  Our profession is not perfect and mistakes can and do
happen.  Also..., organizations go out of business and/or are sold,
merged, etc.  Not all organizations have a valid vital records program
for records for which they are record copy holder, with off-site backups
and media redundancy, etc.

A federal records center in St. Louis burned...; destroying the record
copy of lots of veterans' records.  My father had copies of all his
pertinent records; birth certificate; high school diploma; WWII flight
records; military discharge record, etc.   He is deceased and I have
those records now.  Yes, I do have them backed up on a digital media and
published for family to see.

As long as I am up on the stump...
Can you prove you were an employee of each organization for which you
are vested in their pension and/or 401 K retirement plan?  I can.  I
have seen employees that had considerable service with an organization
that was purchased...; years later come back and try to find records to
prove their dates of service and compensation levels..., in order to
prove and thus qualify for their full pension and retirement benefits. 
My last employer before the City of Reno was (is) a Fortune 100 energy
conglomerate.  Over the years they had bought lots of small and several
large organizations.  I saw it happen there; numerous times.

My point is to capture and take care of your own vital records.  I hope
the President of France has copies of his transcript and diploma. 
Sounds like politics there are as cut throat as in the U.S.A.

Best regards, Steve
Steven D. Whitaker, CRM
Records Systems Manager; City of Reno

>>> [log in to unmask] 3/9/2009 11:21 AM >>>
Steve Whitaker asked "Would not Nicolas Sarkozy have his own
documentation? I have documentation of my degrees, certification,
military service records, etc."

In principle yes, but not necessarily.

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