Auditor Galloway calls on local governments to ban use of self-deleting applications

Letter encourages local and county governments to be fully transparent while conducting public business

State Auditor Nicole Galloway is encouraging all local governments to prohibit the use of self-deleting applications by officials and employees while conducting public business. In a letter sent to Missouri's counties and municipalities, Auditor Galloway said banning the use of these applications bolsters the public's trust in their government.   

"Missourians deserve openness and transparency from all levels of government, but as we've seen in recent years, the use of self-deleting applications allows public business to be conducted in the shadows, " Auditor Galloway said. "Banning the use of these programs isn't just good government, it's common sense."

With the letter, Auditor Galloway included updated guidelines adopted by the State Records Commission related to electronic communications. These guidelines, approved by a bipartisan vote, stipulate that use of auto-deleting applications should be prohibited by policy.

The State Records Commission is composed of statewide elected officials, including Auditor Galloway.  The commission guides retention and management for all records in the executive branch of state government.

The same guidelines were also approved by the Local Records Board, whose members include county and municipal government officials. The board establishes proper record retention schedules for all local governments.

The full letter is available here.