- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has adopted a new policy to ensure that officials aren’t using text or instant messages to conduct state business.

Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability Director Beth Ashcroft told lawmakers Friday that the policy change mandates that all state business done electronically must be sent through the state’s email system.

A former Maine Center for Disease Control employee recently told a committee that she was told to send text messages for state business to skirt open records requests. Other officials said they’ve never been told to do so.

LePage Communications Director Peter Steele says the administration doesn’t condone attempts to conduct business in secret. He says he doesn’t believe it’s a problem in the administration but that it’s a good opportunity to add to the policy.

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