Government guidance recommends the use of instant messaging instead of email for “daily communication”.


Credit: Pxfuel

The Cabinet Office’s confidential guidance on the use of instant messaging apps has instructed staff not to keep records of “daily communications” unless there is a specific need, a document published to the High Court said. I made it clear.

This guidance was released as part of a bid to ensure judicial review of government use of instant messaging services such as WhatsApp and Signal. The proceeding, filed by the campaign law group Fox Grove and the citizens of a non-profit organization, was granted permission yesterday to proceed to a full hearing.

Given that Foxglove began the challenge process early in the summer and there may be no official record of these conversations, the use of personal messaging apps is “urgent for the future of democratic accountability and public records. Threat. “

Authorities are reportedly making more decisions through instant messaging apps, and unlike deleted emails, the inability to recover deleted messages provides evidence for future Covid investigations. He argued that it could be a major political and legal issue. ..

Foxglove’s comments came after former No. 10 special adviser Dominic Cummings released WhatsApp transcripts, when Boris Johnson was “desperate” by Health Minister Matt Hancock in the early days of the pandemic. It was suggested that he believed. Hancock resigned from the government in June.

Relevant content

The Cabinet Office’s guidance on instant messaging, revealed at this week’s High Court hearing, appears to be directed at authorities rather than ministers.

“Instant messaging is provided to all staff and should be used prior to email in everyday communications where you do not need to keep a record of your communications. Instant message history for individual and group chats Must be turned off and must be turned off. It is retained at the end of the session.

“If you want the content of an instant message as a record or audit trail, you need to make a note of the record and save the content of the message in it. For example, write it in an email or a document created by. A word processor that itself is stored on the associated drive. “

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said the guidance indicates that open government is under threat.

“The minister must not control private messages that are subsequently deleted. This is completely undemocratic and an attack on transparency and accountability,” she said. “Still, the Tories are doing everything they can to cover up their dangerous deals and avoid being detained to explain their failure.”

The Cabinet Office did not comment on the particular proceedings, but also flagged the existence of public guidance on access to information and how formal decisions were recorded for official records. Stated.

“Ministers will use a series of modern forms of communication for discussions, in line with legislative requirements and taking into account government guidance,” a spokesman said.

The ministry added that not all communications related to government operations are confidential. He said there is a big difference between substantive business, including decision making, and informal, trivial, or temporary communication.

Government guidance recommends the use of instant messaging instead of email for “daily communication”

Source link Government guidance recommends the use of instant messaging instead of email for “daily communication”


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