[Ord. No. 3465 §1, 9-22-2005]
Introduction. It is the policy of the City of Ste. Genevieve to encourage the effective, efficient and legal use of all City resources for the delivery of service to our citizens. This includes the use of the Internet, internal and Internet e-mail, personal computers and computer networks. This policy establishes guidelines for the appropriate utilization of technology in a manner that is consistent with municipal policies and applicable laws. This policy applies to all City employees and elected or appointed officials ("users") using the City provided computer resources described herein. The Information Technology Services. Division (ITS) and department heads have the primary responsibility for monitoring and implementing these guidelines.
Computers, telephones and other technology resources are assigned according to job function, and employees are responsible for using them appropriately. Internet and e-mail access shall be provided to employees at the discretion of their department head.
The City's computers and related resources are provided and intended to be used for City business. Incidental personal use of computer resources must be reasonable and at no cost to the City.
Users are prohibited from using the City's computer resources for personal or private financial benefit.
User privacy does not extend to the employee's work-related conduct or the use of City resources and, therefore, the City maintains the right to monitor the use of all computing resources for the purpose of ensuring that all applicable policies and laws are being followed.
The following activities are specifically prohibited:
Inappropriate language including obscenity, vulgarity, profanity or name-calling.
Expressions of ill will or bias against individuals or groups.
Transmission of offensive or sexually explicit material.
Visiting pornographic, sexually explicit or offensive Internet sites.
Harassing messages, derogatory comments, retaliation or other discrimination.
Use of aliases or anonymous messages or misrepresentations of position or authority.
Intentional intercepting, reading, copying or otherwise compromising of information to a non-authorized person or entity.
Hacking or cracking — the practice of breaking into or damaging someone else's computer system or network; bypassing passwords or licenses in computer programs; or in other ways intentionally breaching computer security.
Spamming — the practice of sending copies of a message to many different newsgroups or mailing lists with no regard to whether the subject matter is appropriate; or sending the same message by e-mail to large numbers of people indiscriminately.
Altering of forwarded materials, unless indicated.
Accessing, viewing or forwarding of confidential or privileged information unless the user has the same privilege or confidence or has obtained specific permission from the original sender.
Solicitations for commercial activities, religious causes, political causes, charitable solicitations, support for outside organizations or other personal causes or activities not related to City business.
Purchase or sale of personal items.
Downloading of software or files not related to City business or otherwise utilizing computer resources for entertainment purposes.
A list of all network, e-mail, document, database or related passwords shall be maintained by the user and provided to Information Services as requested.
Users shall keep personal log-ons and passwords confidential and change passwords on a regular basis as instructed by information services.
Users should not delete, remove or attempt to circumvent software, passwords or security features provided on their computer.
Users should ensure that all files or software imported, saved, downloaded or e-mailed to the system are scanned for viruses.
Purpose. E-mail is a critical component of the City's ability to effectively communicate. For the purposes of this policy "e-mail" includes all the components of the City's messaging client including calendars, task lists, e-mail, related folders and archives. The provisions of this policy apply to both internal and Internet based e-mail.
Mail may be created more informally than a paper memorandum; however, it must be understood that e-mail maybe a public record. Public records are subject to the Sunshine Law (Chapter 610, RSMo.) and to discovery, subpoena and may be used in litigation in the same manner as other records of the City. E-mail must be managed and made publicly accessible like public records in other physical formats. See item (2)(e) for information concerning records retention.
All data and messages that are created, received, transferred to or from, or maintained on any City computer are the property of the City.
All existing laws and City of Ste. Genevieve policies apply to conduct with e-mail, especially those that deal with property protection, privacy, misuse of City resources, harassment, data security and confidentiality.
E-mail provides a quick and easy way of communicating with friends and families. Incidental and occasional personal use of e-mail is permitted. Appropriate personal use does not: impede the conduct of City business; interfere with the user's work performance or the performance of any other users; include use of a commercial nature; or result in personal financial gain for the user.
As with paper communications, e-mail messages are subject to the retention schedules provided in the Missouri Municipal Records Manual. Each department should establish and maintain record retention schedules for their department including information communicated through the e-mail system. Retention schedules per the requirements of the Secretary of State are available from the City Clerk. Appropriate e-mails should be printed and filed according to department policy.
E-mail users should be cognizant of the false sense of privacy and confidentiality suggested by e-mail technology. In fact, more than other communications media, e-mail facilitates the forwarding, copying and manipulation of messages beyond the creator's control. The use of e-mail for communications containing confidential material or for attorney-client communications is strongly discouraged.
All City e-mail addresses are listed on the website which makes it easy for people to communicate through e-mail to each user. These people also expect responses to their e-mail. It is the user's responsibility to administer their individual mailbox, including checking e-mail at least daily and responding to e-mail promptly.
State law specifically includes electronic communications in the definition of "public meetings" and "public records". Care should be given to ensure compliance with the Sunshine Law (Chapter 610, RSMo.) when communicating "public business" with members of a "public governmental body".
Monitoring. Employees should not have any expectation of privacy as to his/her e-mail usage. It is possible to monitor the content of e-mail messages and the City may inspect any and all files stored on City resources to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with City policy. Random and/or routine monitoring of e-mail will only be done with the knowledge and approval of the City Administrator.
It is recommended that you obtain confirmation of receipt for important e-mails sent.
Check your e-mail on each working day or arrange for a duly authorized person to do so on your behalf and reply promptly to all e-mails requiring a reply. Where a prompt detailed response is not possible, send a short e-mail acknowledging receipt and giving an estimate of when a detailed response will/should be sent.
Proofread. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be just as distracting in an e-mail message as they are in other written communications. Take time to proofread your messages, especially messages that are used to communicate or document City business.
Identify yourself. If you are acting on behalf of the City, identify yourself with name, title and department. Include your e-mail address in the message and any attachments to it.
Don't be hasty. If a message or posting generates negative feelings, set it aside and re-read it later. An immediate response is often a hasty response. Don't rule out the possibility that a misunderstanding or misinterpretation might occur.
Be careful what you say about yourself and others. As a general rule of thumb, don't commit anything to e-mail that you wouldn't want to become public knowledge. Think twice before posting personal information about yourself or others. There is always the chance that a message could end up in someone else's hands. Be aware that e-mail messages are often retained on system back-up tapes and disks in central computing facilities after they are deleted from the mail system.
Purpose. The City of Ste. Genevieve provides employees access to the vast information resources of the Internet with the intention of increasing productivity. The underlying philosophy of this policy is that Internet access from the City of Ste. Genevieve is primarily for business-related purposes including communicating with customers, suppliers, colleagues, to research relevant topics and to obtain useful business information. In addition, all existing laws and City policies apply to your conduct on the Internet, especially those that deal with intellectual property protection, privacy, misuse of City resources, sexual harassment, data security and confidentiality.
The display of any kind of obscene image or document on any City computing resource may be a violation of existing City policy on sexual harassment. In addition, obscene material may not be archived, stored, distributed, edited or recorded using City network, printing or computing resources.
No employee may use City facilities knowingly to download or distribute pirated software or data. Any software or files downloaded via the Internet may be used only in ways that are consistent with their licenses or copyrights.
Downloading software should only be done with the approval and/or participation of the City Administrator. Internet resources should not be used for downloading files for personal use or utilized for entertainment purposes (streaming media, Internet radio, etc.).
No employee may use the City's Internet facilities to deliberately propagate any virus, worm, Trojan horse, trapdoor or back-door program code or knowingly disable or overload any computer system, network, or to circumvent any system intended to protect the privacy or security of another user.
The City Internet facilities and computing resources must not be used to knowingly violate the laws and regulations of the United States or any other nation or the laws and regulations of any State, City, province or local jurisdiction in any material way.
Employees should not use the Internet to make purchases or to sell items without the approval of the City Administrator.
Monitoring. Employees should not have any expectation of privacy as to his/her Internet usage. It is possible to monitor Internet usage patterns and the City may inspect any and all files stored on City resources to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with City policy. Random and/or routine monitoring of Internet activity will only be done with the knowledge and approval of the City Administrator.
Applicability. This policy shall be applicable to all City officers and employees. Personnel may be exempted from certain provisions of the policy when, with the knowledge of their respective department heads and the City Administrator, they perform job duties that necessitate actions which otherwise would be in conflict with the provisions of this policy.