The D.C. Council unanimously approved new rules on Tuesday to preserve government communications made on WhatsApp, after an Axios investigation found that the use of the messaging app in the administration of Mayor Muriel Bowser raises public records concerns.
Why it matters: The bill emphasizes messages on such platforms should be retained, and it forbids the use of a feature that can auto-delete messages.
Catch up fast: WhatsApp is widely used in District government for official government business, Axios found this month. Government ethics experts discourage the use of such apps unless safeguards are in place to retain communications for FOIA requests.
- The mayor’s office earlier this month did not respond to multiple inquiries on whether the administration forbids the use of WhatsApp’s auto-delete feature and how it ensures communications are archived.
Read more at Axios