The State of Electronic Communications in Government

Government employees aren’t only corresponding through emails anymore, no matter what official organizational policy may say about other forms of communication. Texts, private messaging apps and Facebook chats are all ways that employees discuss government business, and these forms of communication are equally subject to federal and state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.

All electronic messages sent from government-issued devices, as well as government communications sent from privately owned devices, by law must be treated as public records and thus need to be archived. Agencies at all levels must be able to produce these files to satisfy public records requests or support e-discovery events and investigations.

To discover how governments are capturing, monitoring and managing their electronic communication records, GovLoop surveyed more than 300 qualified government officials across local, state and federal levels who deal with records management.

In the following pages, you’ll learn about the results of the survey, the dangers faced by governments that are unprepared for open records requests and the advantages for governments that develop a strategy for modern records management. To save time and costs, ensure compliance and enable maximum productivity in the future, agencies need to reconsider their approach to the retention and management of the mass of texts, emails, social content and collaborative messages in the present.