Dutch PM has been deleting text messages daily for years: report
Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been deleting texts from his phone every day for years because he did not have enough space on the device to store the messages, the Volkskrant reports. He forwarded texts he considered important to officials to archive and deleted the rest himself.
This method makes it impossible to find out whether Rutte deleted messages in accordance with the Archives Act because there is no record, the newspaper pointed out. The Archives Act states that the government must retain important information and make it accessible for accountability.
In 2020, the Volkskrant appealed to the Government Information (Public Access) Act to gain access to Rutte's text messages about the coronavirus policy. The newspaper only received messages that Rutte sent to his officials - the messages came only from officials' phones, not the Prime Minister's.
The newspaper took the matter to court, where Rutte's habit of deleting texts every day was revealed on Tuesday. The State's lawyer said Rutte has been doing real-time archiving since before the pandemic.
The Prime Minister received a new phone on Thursday, the government information service Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst said to the newspaper.