News of Service of Florida
December 1, 2019
Florida’s top law enforcement agency did not have safeguards in place to ensure text messages sent and received by its employees were retained as required by state law, according to an audit released last week.
“The department should enhance policies and procedures to either prohibit department employees from using their personal devices to send or receive text messages pertaining to official state business or provide for the retention of such messages,” auditors wrote.
The agency acknowledged the findings and agreed to follow auditors’ recommendations to enhance public record policies.
Florida’s broad open records laws require state agencies to retain electronic communications for a certain period of time. “Transitory messages,” such as text messages, “are to be maintained until obsolete, superseded, or administrative value is lost,” the report noted.