Internal Audit Department of Corporate Resources Plymouth City Council Civic Centre Plymouth PL1 2AA Tel: 01752

306712 Fax: 01752 306721 Email:

To: From: Cc: Date: 21st February 2007 All Exchange Users Chief Auditor

Subject: Misuse of the Council's email and Internet facilities

Message: Following the recent bulletin on staffroom and in the latest edition of Upfront regarding the misuse of the Authority’s email and Internet facility, I am taking this opportunity to remind you that you must adhere to the Internet Code of Practice, the Computer Resources and Telephone Misuse Policy and the Removable Media ICT Policy. These policies can be found by following the links above. The cases of email and Internet misuse within the Authority have grown within the past year, resulting in a number of staff being disciplined and dismissed. A number of investigations also remain ongoing at this time. The cost of misuse to the Authority is high through: • lost productivity due to the initial misuse; • the resources required by Internal Audit and ISD departments to investigate the suspected misuse; • the resources required by Managers, HR department and Unions in implementing the disciplinary process; • the loss of resource from the normal operations of each of those departments concerned. It is clear that this situation cannot continue. You should remember, therefore, that all email and Internet use is subject to monitoring and evidence of misuse will be used in disciplinary investigations. The details below summarise what is acceptable / not acceptable under the current polices regarding the use of the email and Internet facility.

Email You may: • send / receive any work related emails; • send personal emails in your own time (or when “clocked out” for staff using clock cards) but these should not contain any attachments (attachments use server space and increase the risk of virus infections); • send personal emergency communications during work time – as agreed with your line manager • read personal emails in your own time You may not at any time: • send any jokes, non-work related pictures, chain letters, material that is pornographic, offensive, racist or sexist; • send anything which brings the name of Plymouth City Council into disrepute; • send anything which impersonates any individual or organisation. The above lists are not exhaustive. If you are sent an email you can identify as being part of the above list, you should delete the email immediately. You must not store the email within your email account or on the network. If you have any non-work related emails of this nature currently stored in your email account you should delete them as soon as possible. The Council is aware that for some members of staff deleting a chain email without forwarding it on if instructed to may cause undue distress. If this is the case you can forward it to where it will be dealt with. You should then delete both the incoming and sent email.

Internet You may: • access the internet with regards to anything work related; • sign up to work related subscriptions using your Plymouth City Council email account; • access the internet for personal use in your own time and in accordance with existing policies; • sign up to personal non-work related subscriptions in your own time, but only using your own personal email account details, not your work email account. You may not: • buy or sell or undertake any other personal commercial transaction eg. Booking flights or holidays. (Should you default Plymouth City Council may be liable); • sign up to non work related emailing lists using your Plymouth City Council email account - this includes lists such as friends reunited, fantasy football, dating agencies, magazines or papers (unless for work purposes and agreed by your manager). The above lists are not exhaustive. If you are already signed up to any non-work related mailing lists, please unsubscribe immediately. If you need to use email and / or the Internet for access that is not permitted from your work PC, facilities are available at all libraries across the city, but please remember, you should still not use your work related email address. 2

Attached to this email are some frequently asked questions on the use of email and Internet, which you may find useful. If you have any further questions, please contact the ISD service desk, on (30)4424 or Internal Audit on (30)6712 or (30)6711.

Sue Watts Chief Auditor


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