The inspector general for the Department of Defense said in a letter to Congress this week that his office has identified “concerns” about the department’s use of phone messaging apps related to calls for an investigation into the department’s failure to text from January 6, 2021.
Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell told Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, who requested the investigation, that his office would issue a recommendation on the department’s use of mobile messaging applications “which we believe is relevant to the of Concerns you have raised will be relevant to the letter requesting review.
“This advisory will inform DoD officials responsible for approving use of mobile applications of concerns we identified during our ongoing review of Defense Digital Service (DDS) support of DoD programs and operations,” O’Donnell said in Tuesday’s letter that the Judiciary Committee is Democrats posted on Twitter On Wednesday.
In a footnote, O’Donnell said the audit examined whether mobile application abuse was a “DoD-wide concern.”
In August, after it was revealed that the phones of senior Defense Department and Army officials had been wiped at the end of the Trump administration, Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks issued a department-wide memo directing department heads that “pursuant to the existing DoD instructions that DoD users are required to retain text messages that are considered federal records.”
Hicks directed the department’s chief information officer and general counsel to “evaluate DoD policies and procedures” to ensure compliance with the Federal Records Act.
The inspector general also told Durbin in the letter that his office plans to review the measures the Department of Defense has taken to retain its electronic records and whether its approach is consistent with federal law.
“As part of the review, we will consider reviewing Department of Defense processes to retain text messages on Department of Defense-issued cell phones when Department of Defense personnel leave their position, including processes in place now and as of January 6, 2021,” O’ said. Donnell his letter.
Durbin urged the inspector general for a review after CNN reported on court filings showing the department wiped the phones of senior Trump administration officials upon their departure and removed texts from key witnesses to events surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol erased.