Maryland governor’s office defends use of messaging app that destroys communications with state employees

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has used a messaging app that allows him to communicate with staff without having to make those communications publicly available, according to the Washington Post.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has used a messaging app that allows him to communicate with staff without having to make those communications publicly available, according to the Washington Post.

Hogan’s director of communications, Michael Ricci, confirmed to WTOP in an email that Hogan uses the “Amazon-based platform,” Wickr, which is described on the Amazon Web Services site as giving “businesses concerned about security and government agencies the ability to implement important governance and security controls to help them meet their compliance requirements.

Post’s story raises questions as to whether using the app, with settings that allow messages to “self-destruct” within 24 hours, conflicts with Maryland Public Archives requirements.

According to the Maryland State Archives, “the law defines public records very broadly” and “Maryland state law makes all public officials responsible for ensuring that records that are no longer needed are either offered for archival purposes or destroyed in accordance with stated procedures. in Maryland Regulations (COMAR).

Information on the Maryland Archives website adds, “Records should be kept properly to facilitate the transparency the public expects from public office holders.” “

The site distinguishes between public records and personal notes that are not related to government, “for example, an email inviting you to lunch.”

While the guidelines on public archival records state that every “unit” of state government must have a plan for record keeping, in his statement to the OMCP, Ricci suggested that the governor be exempt. Ricci said that “as has always been the case, there is no record retention policy for the governor’s office”.

According to the Washington Post, which obtained some of the Wickr messages Hogan exchanged with staff members, there were discussions of public issues like the payment that went to his former chief of staff Roy McGrath.

McGrath has been charged with wire fraud and embezzlement related to his departure agreement.

Hogan also used the messaging app to discuss the debate over South Korea’s 500,000 COVID-19 test kits that were later found to be unusable.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to strike up a conversation about this and other posts.

Get the latest news and daily headlines delivered to your inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 OMCP. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located in the European Economic Area.

About Thomas Brown

Check Also

GLOBE TRADE CENTER SA – Communication relating to the date of registration of rights to ordinary bearer shares series O – SENS

Communication regarding the date of the registration of the rights to the series O ordinary …