Manchester, Connecticut



TOWN OF MANCHESTER, CONNECTICUT
Information Technology and Equipment Use Policy

SECTION I: GENERAL

The Town of Manchester recognizes the need for technology and the vital role it plays in assisting town employees in delivering exceptional public services. The primary purpose is to assist in conducting town business and encourages its employees to use and become proficient in all forms of technology. It is expected that employees will use technology in an appropriate manner at all times. All information and communication on such systems is the property of the town, and there is no expectation of privacy.

SECTION II: DEFINITIONS

Electronic Communications and Internet Access Systems - shall include but not be limited to computers, electronic mail systems (E-mail), electronic bulletin boards, Internet use, facsimile (fax), telephony, cell phones, radios, and communications infrastructure.

Examples of Electronic Communications and Internet Access Systems

    • Electronic messaging

    • Internet research

    • Meeting notifications/scheduling

    • Relaying phone messages

    • Calendaring

    • Work assignments

    • General announcements

    • Business related information services, i.e. newsgroups, mailing lists, etc.

    • IP Telephones

Computer – All computing hardware and operating systems.

Hacking / Cracking – The unauthorized attempt or entry into any computer or system.

Internet – A worldwide computer network with which you can send a letter electronically, chat to people electronically, or search for information on almost any topic. A network of computer networks.

Virus / Malware – A computer generated message used to debilitate, destroy, or disrupt the proper functioning of a computer or system.

Electronic mail (E-mail) - Messages distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a network.

Internet Service Provider – An entity that provides the initial host connection to the Internet.

Confidential or sensitive information – Information which is used by Town officials or employees in representing the Town in pending legal matters or negotiations of any type which would put the Town at a disadvantage in the negotiation process should the information be disseminated. Additionally, this includes personnel information, health information, and financial information regarding any employee of the Town.

SECTION III: OPERATIONAL STANDARDS

The use of electronic communications and Internet access is intended for official town business. Any electronic communications and Internet usage on town equipment and software is, by law, public information and may be monitored by the town as stated in the Town's Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace Policy. All users are reminded that electronic communications and Internet access is subject to all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, ordinances or policies. Employees are responsible for observing copyright and licensing agreements that may apply when downloading files, documents and software. It is strongly recommended that all town employees be familiar with the Town's Best Practices Guideline on Technology. This document can be viewed at Best Practices Guidelines

SECTION IV: MOVING EQUIPMENT

All computer and network equipment shall be installed and moved by the Information Systems (IS) staff. This is necessary to ensure network security and performance. The CIO may grant specific exceptions to this policy based upon organizational needs and resources.

SECTION V: SECURITY PRACTICES

End users have a responsibility for security. Protecting your password is one of the most important steps in maintaining security. Never share your password with another person or visually display your password. The exception to this rule is when working with IS staff. Users may be requested to change their passwords at any time to ensure security of the network. The Town reserves the right to bypass individual passwords at any time and to monitor the use of the system.

When leaving your workstation unattended, use the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys to lock your computer or log off your computer. This will prevent unauthorized use of your computer or software applications while you are away from your desk.

The Town of Manchester reserves the right to limit or deny access to the network as a security precaution. This may occur during electronic virus outbreaks, a credible threat of attack against the town's network or an on-going investigation. During these outages some or all of the network services may be unavailable. Information Systems will make every attempt to keep the users informed of the status of the network.

All employees, officials, vendors/contractors and volunteers who are granted access to the town's computer/communication systems will be required to digitally sign the Information Technology and Equipment Use Policy indicating they have read and understood the policy and practices.

SECTION VI: PROCUREMENT PROCESS

All procurement requests shall be forwarded to the technology support staff for review and approval. This is required to ensure appropriate standardization of products and technology to facilitate support, operational performance and training.

SECTION VII: SOFTWARE INSTALLATION AND USE

The installation of any software on town computers shall be approved by IS staff. This is necessary to ensure appropriate configuration of the software, protection from computer viruses, and possession of appropriate software licenses. Information Systems staff will install only licensed copies of application software within the network environment. Employees are personally responsible for violations of software licensing provisions. Reproduction of copyrighted software will not be done without appropriate source license documentation and permission. The Chief Information Officer or his designee may grant specific exceptions to this section based upon organizational needs and resources.

SECTION VIII: PERSONAL USE

Personal use of town equipment and/or communications technology is permitted by employees who are authorized by their Department Head.

Town equipment may be removed from a town facility when an employee:

    • Performs Town related work from home.

    • Performs Town related work while engaged in travel away from Town facilities.

Employees are expected to protect the equipment from harmful environments and theft.

Should the equipment get damaged or stolen, you must report the incident to your supervisor or Information Systems as soon as possible. The rules of this policy are effective regardless of when or where you are using town equipment.

Personal use of the computer during work hours must be approved by your supervisor. Personal use must not detract in any way from your work duties and employees must adhere to the rules outlined in this policy. The Town reserves the right to restrict personal use on any or all equipment.

SECTION IX: TECHNOLOGY USE RULES

The following rules are designed for proper use of town owned equipment, software and network:

    1. The e-mail system is town property. Additionally, all messages composed, sent or received on the e-mail system are and remain the property of the Town. They are not private property of any employee. The confidentiality of any message should not be assumed.

    2. Town computers, electronic communications and internet access shall not be used for transmitting or receiving messages that violate the town's policies prohibiting sexual harassment or workplace violence. Attempting and/or sending any message anonymously where identification is required is a violation of this policy. Receipt of any messages violating these policies, shall be reported immediately by the recipient to his/her department head who in turn will report this to the Director of Administrative Services.

    3. In compliance with the Town of Manchester's Policy on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, any web site that displays pornography or nudity shall not be accessed. Attempting to circumvent prohibitions is a violation of this policy. Sites that are offensive or discriminatory based on race, gender, religion, national origin, or any other protected classification of persons shall not be accessed by town employees unless they are accessed as part of a police investigation, or authorized in advance by your Department Head.

    4. Any employee who visits a prohibited web site by accident shall forward the web site address to his/her supervisor and then to the Information Systems Department so that the web site address can be blocked from further access.

    5. Violating any federal, State, or Local Law (including all copyright laws) is prohibited

    6. Vandalizing any hardware or software is prohibited.

    7. The town system shall not be used for union business, other than by the Human Resources Department and Union officials communicating with the Human Resources Department except where the Town and union officials agree on the said use of the system.

    8. Hacking or cracking is strictly prohibited regardless of motivation or damage. Testing the system's security shall be the responsibility of the town's Information Systems Department and such testing shall only be conducted under the expressed authorization of the Chief Information Officer.

    9. Employees should not tell anyone their password. Passwords should not be recorded where they may be found. Employees should not use anyone else's password. Attempting to access and/or use another person's password is strictly prohibited. The creation of additional unauthorized passwords or user id's is prohibited. Employees may be asked to provide their password when working with IS personnel and are expected to comply. The employee will be given the opportunity to change their password once the work is accomplished.

    10. Employees should not write anything about anyone that is inflammatory or defamatory. There should not be an expectation of privacy with respect to the use of the computer. E-mail is not confidential. Your e-mail and files are the property of the Town. If you don't want to read about it in the newspaper tomorrow, hear about it in a court of law or have it read by your supervisor, don't write it.

    11. The system is reserved solely for the conduct of town business. It may not be used to solicit for commercial activity, religious or political causes and outside organizations interest. The system shall not be used for fundraising activities. Exemption from these rules must be approved by the General Manager or meet the requirements of Section VIII Personal Use.

    12. Broadcast of network wide non-business related e-mails are prohibited.

    13. Privately owned computers, peripherals or mobile devices may only be added to the town network with prior authorization from the Department Head and IS Staff.

    14. Saving personal files (documents, music, pictures, video, etc.) on town servers is prohibited.

    15. All video and audio recordings must be approved by your department head.

SECTION X: MOBILE DEVICES

Information Systems must be notified of all mobile devices that will connect to the Town's email system. This includes both town owned and personal devices. In addition, IS must be notified when the device is replaced, stolen or lost.

Any device that connects to the Town's email system or file servers must be password protected. Password on mobile devices should follow the same password policies as identified above in Section V - Security Practices.

All personal data stored on a phone should be backed up on a regular basis. The process of backing up the data is the responsibility of the mobile device user, not the Town. Information Systems can provide guidance on backup if needed.

The Town's email system tracks all devices that connect to the email server. The email server has the ability to erase the contents of the phone remotely. Should a device get lost or stolen, the department head may decide that there is a risk to the Town and request that IS erase the device. This request would be reviewed by Human Resources and/or the General Manager's office.

When a device is erased, all contents on the device are removed. The device would need to be returned to the provider/vendor (Verizon, ATT, etc.) to restore functionality. If the device is privately owned, any cost associated with restoring functionality would be the responsibility of the individual (not the Town).

Should you choose to connect your personal mobile device to the town network/email, the town shall not assume any liability for that device.

SECTION XI: MONITORING OF COMPUTER/COMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITY

Internet (including all web sites visited), e-mail and use of computers may be monitored for compliance with this policy in accordance with the Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 31-48d, http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/laws-regs/statute31-48d.htm, and as stated in Public Act No. 98-142, An Act Requiring Notice to Employees of Electronic Monitoring by Employers http://www.cga.ct.gov/ps98/Act/pa/1998PA-00142-R00HB-05398-PA.htm and in the Town's Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace Policy. All messages sent over the Town computer, electronic communications and Internet access systems are the property of the Town. The Town reserves the right to: review, audit, intercept, access, and disclose all messages created, received or sent over the electronic mail system for any purpose and without the employee's permission.

SECTION XII: RECORDS RETENTION

The management and retention of email and other electronic messages is outlined in General Letter 2009-2 (formerly General Letter 98-1) dated June 30, 2009. The guidelines are provided by the State of Connecticut - State Library. Here is a direct link to GENERAL LETTER 2009-2 - http://ctstatelibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/GL2009-2-EmailManagement.pdf. For further information or to check for more recent documentation, visit the Connecticut State Library web site - http://www.ctstatelibrary.org/organizational-unit/public-records.

The Town of Manchester follows the guidelines provided by the Connecticut State Library. Reference the library's web site for specific instructions on records retention including email and electronic files - http://ctstatelibrary.org/publicrecords/general-schedules-municipal/

SECTION XIII: VIOLATIONS OF POLICIES

Any violation of any of the provisions of this policy can lead to loss of computer services, and/or progressive disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Such action will depend upon the severity of the violations; the frequency of the violations; and the effect such violation has on the network.

SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY

Section 1: Policy Statement - Use of Social Media and Social Network Sites by Town Departments

Town of Manchester departments may utilize social media and social network sites to further enhance communications with the community and various organizations in support of the Town's goals and objectives. Town departments have the ability to publish articles, facilitate discussions and communicate information through various media related to conducting Town business. Social media facilitates further discussions regarding Town issues, operations and services by providing members of the public with the opportunity to participate in many ways using the Internet.

Information posted on a social networking site is available to the public and therefore the Town has established guidelines for employees participating in social media websites and engaging in social networking.

Section 2: Definitions

Social Media: Social Media may take different forms, including Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information. These tools include, but are not limited to, social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and MySpace, blogs, wikis, podcasts, instant messaging, message boards, microblogs, and other community-based sites or collaboration tools. The absence of, or lack of explicit reference to a specific site does not limit the extent of the application of this policy.

Social Networking: Social networking is the use of a variety of websites or communication platforms that allow users to share content, interact, and develop communities around similar interests.

Blog: Blog (an abridgement of the term web log) may be a Town website with regular entries of commentary, description of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

Blog Standards: Comments submitted by members of the public must be directly related to the content of the articles. Submission of comments by members of the public constitutes participation in a limited public forum The Town blog moderators shall allow comments that are topically related to the particular article being commented and thus within the purpose of the limited public forum, with the exception of the prohibited content listed in the Town's Social Media Policy - Section 3.7 below.

Moderator: Each Department Head will assign an employee as a moderator for his or her department and the moderator shall have the responsibility to monitor and supervise the use of social media sites by the department and its employees.

Section 3: Guidelines for the Use of Social Media and Social Network Sites by Town Departments

3.1 All Town social media sites shall be (1) approved by the General Manager or his/her designee and the requesting Department Head; (2) administered by a designated Town employee who shall be known as the department's moderator and determined by the Department Head; (3) designees must have a complete understanding of this policy and the appropriate content and technical experience.

3.2 All Town social networking sites shall adhere to applicable state, federal and local laws, regulations and policies, Town of Manchester Internet policies and any other applicable Town policies.

3.3 Freedom of Information Act and e-discovery laws and policies apply to social media content and therefore, content must be able to be managed, stored and retrieved to comply with these laws.

3.4 All social network sites and entries shall clearly indicate that any articles and any other content posted or submitted for posting are subject to public disclosure.

3.5 The Town reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this policy or any applicable law.

3.6 Each Town social networking site shall include an introductory statement which clearly specifies the purpose and topical scope of the blog and social network site. Where possible, social networking sites should contain a link to the official Town Internet site for forms, documents and other information.

3.7 The Town social networking content and comments containing any of the following forms or content shall not be allowed for posting.
a. Comments not topically related to the particular site or blog article being commented upon;
b. Profane language or content;
c. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation;
d. Sexual content or links to sexual content;
e. Solicitations of commerce;
f. Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
g. Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; or
h. Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.

3.8 All Town social networking moderators shall be trained regarding the terms of this policy, including their responsibility to review content submitted for posting to ensure compliance with the policy.

3.9 All social networking sites shall clearly indicate they are maintained by the Town of Manchester and shall have Town of Manchester contact information clearly displayed.

3.10 Where appropriate, the Town of Manchester Technology Use Policy shall apply to all social networking sites and articles.

3.11 Employees representing the Town of Manchester via social media outlets must conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the Town of Manchester and in accordance with the information identified in Section 4 - Employee Guidance for Participating in Social Networking.

3.12 Employees found in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Section 4: Employee Guidance for Participating in Social Networking

Employees that are authorized by their Department Heads to participate in the official social media and social network sites for their department shall adhere to the following guidelines:

4.1 Town of Manchester policies, rules, regulations and standards of conduct apply to employees that engage in social networking activities while conducting Town business. Use of your Town of Manchester e-mail address and communicating in your official capacity will constitute conducting Town business.

4.2 Town of Manchester employees shall participate in social networking activities that are officially sanctioned by their department in accordance with Section 3.1 of this document.

4.3 Departments have the option of allowing employees to participate in the existing social networking sites as part of their job duties. Department Heads may allow or disallow employee participation in any social networking activities in their departments.

4.4 Protect your privacy, the privacy of citizens, and the information the Town of Manchester holds. Follow all privacy protections laws, i.e.: HIPPA, and protect sensitive and confidential Town of Manchester information.

4.5 Follow all copyright laws, public records laws, retention laws, fair use and financial disclosure laws and any other laws that might apply to the Town of Manchester or your function area.

4.6 Do not cite vendors, suppliers, clients, citizens, co-workers or other stakeholders without their written authorization.

4.7 Do not use ethnic slurs, profanity, personal insults, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the Town of Manchester's workplace. Avoid comments or topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory.

4.8 If you identify yourself as a Town of Manchester employee, ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues, citizens and other stakeholders.

4.9 Correct your mistakes, and don't alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so. Frame any comments or opposing views in a positive manner.

4.10 Add value to the Town of Manchester through your interaction. Provide worthwhile information and perspective.

Section 5: Rules concerning Personal Social Media Activity

The Town of Manchester has an existing policy regarding the use of technology by Town employees. In that policy any personal use of the computer during work hours must be approved by a supervisor and must not detract in any way from an employee's work duties.

This same policy applies to employees conducting personal social media activity during work hours.

Employees are individually responsible for their personal posts on social media. Employees may be sued by other employees, residents or others, and any individual who views an employee's social media posts as defamatory, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, libelous or creating a hostile work environment. All such activities are outside the scope of employment and employees may be personally liable for such claims.

All Town of Manchester policies that regulate off-duty conduct apply to social media activity including, but not limited to, policies related to public trust, harassment, discrimination, code of conduct and protecting confidential information.

Section 6: Consequence of Policy Violation

Any violation of the provisions of this policy may lead to progressive disciplinary action up to and including possible termination of employment. Such discipline shall be handled in conformance with the appropriate provisions of collective bargaining agreements and the Town's Personnel Rules.

Related Policies: Electronic Monitoring Policy; Technology Use Policy; Violence in the Workplace; Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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