I am intrigued by how much government business is now conducted on WhatsApp, particularly everything involving bribery and peculation, which seems increasingly widespread. Why do they use it ? Obviously because it’s not traceable and so they are not accountable. I remember a while ago being encouraged to use text messages rather than email because it would not be traceable. But are there not strict rules round this ? And why are they not being followed ? It’s not just going to be bad for the writing of history, but it is already bad because it looks as if it is being done very deliberately to evade scrutiny and mask corruption.
2 thoughts on “WhatsApp”
Some years ago, when I was a govmt adviser on records, I attended a Cabinet Office briefing on how diligent they were on keeping records, especially those involving ministerial decisions. When I pointed out that even I knew from personal knowledge that govmt ministers were often communicating via SMS (we were just in text-land in those days), and asked what plans there were to keep these as records under the Public Records Act, the civil servant giving the briefing had no answer at all. Moreover, he seemed not to even have considered it something worth thinking about. Part of the issue then, as now, is that official government email systems are cumbersome to use.
Dear Bendor, As I suspect. Ministers don’t like the Freedom of Information Act, so circumvent it as far as they can, which makes them less accountable, not more. Charles