Technology Appropriate Use Policy

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Prepared By: Technology Services Director Bill Stice, Public Information Officer Susan Moran, Town Clerk Sue Rowland and Deputy Town Clerk Karen Gray

Supersedes: 12/13/2001

Adopted by Council: 3/10/2011

Effective: 3/10/2011

A. Purpose

This Policy covers the use of all Town technology resources, including equipment, systems and resources, owned, leased, used, managed or operated by the Town. Town technology resources include, but are not limited to, pagers, radios, all computer systems and their attached peripherals, phones (including cellular phones), fax machines, voice mail systems, electronic messaging systems, network resources and Internet resources. This Policy applies to any user of Town technology resources and applies at all times and all places, whether the user is on or off the job. This Policy is designed to assure that use of technology resources is consistent with Town policies, applicable laws and job responsibilities.

All Town technology resources are the property of the Town and are provided to enable employees and officials to provide services in a timely, efficient and effective manner. Any activity, use or action that is inconsistent with this Policy is prohibited. Because technology resources are constantly evolving, the Town requires all employees and officials to use a common sense approach to the rules set forth in this Policy, complying with the letter and spirit of this Policy.

This Policy delineates acceptable uses of Town technology resources and specifies certain prohibited uses. It also serves as notice to employees and officials that there is no expectation of personal privacy in the use of Town technology resources. This Policy is intended to illustrate the range of acceptable, unacceptable and prohibited uses of Town technology resources and is not exhaustive.

This Policy may not be waived or modified except as set forth in Policy. No supervisor of the Town may, by word or action, waive any provision of this Policy. 

B. Definitions

Electronic Messaging: The distribution of messages, documents, files, software, or images by electronic means (including e-mail, text messages, tweets, voice mail messages, etc.).

Employee: All Town employees, including temporary and part-time employees. Volunteers and persons working for a temporary employment service (“temps”) are also subject to this Policy.

Internet: A worldwide network of computer servers connected electronically that allows access to the public.

Network: A system by which many computers are connected together. The Town of Cary has a network that allows access to authorized areas on a central storage device and to access printers and shared drives.

New Media: Internet and mobile-based video, audio, text or multimedia communications, services, tools, or applications that facilitate dynamic, multi-directional information sharing; includes but is not limited to Blogs, microblogs, text messaging, and social networking and news sites. 

Official(s): All Town of Cary elected/appointed Town Council members and appointed board/commission, committee and task force members.

PC: Personal Computer.

Technology Resources: All technology resources, including equipment, systems, data, software and other resources owned, leased, used, managed, operated or produced by the Town. The term includes, but is not limited to, pagers, radios, all computer systems and their attached peripherals, phones (including cellular phones), fax machines, voice mail systems, electronic messaging systems, network resources and Internet resources.

C. Town Technology Resource Access and Monitoring

All technology resources and all information and records transmitted by, received on, captured by, or stored on technology resources are the property of the Town of Cary and are subject to being accessed, entered, reviewed, inspected, logged, copied and monitored (collectively “access and monitor”) by the Town Manager and the Manager’s designee(s). Department Directors are hereby designated as Town Manager designees for matters involving their employees. The Town reserves the right to access and monitor all Cary network and Internet activity and all information and records existing, appearing, residing or stored on all technology resources without notice. Access and monitoring might be undertaken for any reason including to locate work related records or information, monitor workflow and productivity, and to monitor employee performance and conduct, including, but not limited to, investigating impropriety, suspected violation of Town policies and procedures, illegal activity and breaches of Town security systems.. Employees and officials shall have no expectation of privacy or confidentiality when using Town technology resources, even if the technology resource is protected with user ID or password. 

The use of personal web-based e-mail accounts on technology resources is prohibited. However, if web-based email accounts are accessed on Town technology resources, then they are subject to this Policy, including access and monitoring.

The failure of the Town to access and monitor technology resources in any situation or at any time is not a waiver of the Town’s right to access and monitor use.

D. Town Technology Resource Appropriate Use 

1. In General

Employees and officials are representing the Town any time they use Town technology resources and should use good judgment when using all technology resources. Training on the proper use of the Town of Cary’s technology resources is provided either by the Technology Services Department or by an employee’s or official’s department. In some cases training is required prior to the employee or official receiving the technology resource.

Appropriate use of a particular Town technology resource is covered in training. Employees and officials who have questions about Town technology resources should contact their supervisor about training opportunities.

Employees and officials are expected to use Town technology resources responsibly and professionally and with respect to others. Unless otherwise authorized in the performance of a particular job duty, Town technology resource prohibited uses include, but are not limited to:

· Uses that violate or infringe on the rights of others, including the right to privacy, and uses that defame others;

· Visiting internet sites and sending or storing records, images and data that compromise the integrity of the Town and its business or reflects negatively on the Town in any way. This prohibition includes visiting sites or sending or storing records, images and data that contain material inappropriate for a workplace. Material that is inappropriate for the workplace includes, but is not limited to, material that is abusive of another, obscene, pornographic, or that offensively addresses another’s age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, national origin or disability;

· Uses that violate Town policy or procedures, including the Town’s harassment policies; and

· Uses that constitute illegal activities or encourage illegal activities.

Each Internet capable workstation will be configured to allow the screening and review of sites visited on the Internet.

If an employee uses Town technology resources in a manner that violates this Policy or other Town Policies, then appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal may be taken.

2. Personal Use of Town Technology Resources

Limited personal use of Town technology resources is allowed with the following restrictions and is subject to all the rules in this Policy, including access and monitoring.

a. There must be no cost to the Town.

b. Personal telephone calls on non-cellular phones or personal use of e-mail and Internet on an occasional basis may be permitted provided the use is consistent with this Policy, does not distract from or interfere with an employee’s or official’s obligation to carry out Town duties in a timely and effective manner, does not interfere with other employees or officials performing their duties, and does not undermine the use of Town technology resources for official purposes.

c. Some technology resources, such as cellular phones, are billed from the first minute of use (both local and long distance) and may not be used for personal use except in an emergency. In the event of emergency, the employee or official must immediately notify their supervisor and reimburse any charges to the Town.

d. Personal use of the Town’s 800 Megahertz radio system is prohibited.

e. Town technology resources may not be used to operate a personal business, for political activity or for solicitation of any kind.

f. No unauthorized individual is allowed to use Town technology resources at any time (including family members and friends).

g. Employees and officials should ensure that personal use of technology resources does not express or imply sponsorship or endorsement by the Town.

h. Employees and officials should not use Town employee address lists for personal purposes.

i. According to Session Law 2010-81, employees and officials may use Town electronic message lists of individual subscribers only: (i) for the purpose for which it was subscribed to; (ii) to notify subscribers of an emergency to the public health or public safety; or (iii) in case of deletion of that list, to notify subscribers of the existence of any similar lists to subscribe to.

Employees may use personally owned technology equipment such as cell phones, smart phones, etc., while on the job provided such use is limited and does not attach to any Town network or phone connection, does not distract from or interfere with an employee’s obligation to carry out Town duties in a timely and effective manner, does not interfere with other employees or officials performing their duties, does not undermine the use of any Town technology resources, and provided that such use does not otherwise violate town policies and procedures.

3. Town Technology Resource Security

Employees and officials are required to follow the security steps listed below.

a. User ID and Password

Anyone who uses Town technology resources must have a user ID and password whenever required. These are never to be shared with others, and employees and officials may only use their personal user ID and password; working under someone else’s user ID and password is prohibited. Anyone using Town technology resources is responsible for all actions taken while using the personal user ID and password. Department directors or their approved designees must request a user ID and password for new employees and officials prior to their first day of work.

User IDs and passwords are designed to protect Town technology resources and shall not give employees and officials any expectation of privacy in records or information protected by user IDs and passwords.

b. Employee and Official Access to Files

Employees and officials shall not modify or delete files or data created by other employees and officials without their prior consent. Examination of confidential and protected information is also prohibited. (Refer to the Public Records Policy, Policy 152, for more information on protected records.)

c. PC Security

Employees and officials must not leave PCs unattended without first logging off or locking the PC. Employees and officials are required to log off and shut down PCs at the end of the work day.

Employees and officials may not install or upgrade any software from any source either external or internal without the prior approval of the Technology Services Department. This includes shareware, freeware, personal software, browser “plug-ins” or other Internet-distributed programs. Employees and officials may not make any copies of Town-owned software without the permission of the Technology Services Department since it may violate the software copyright.

4. Internet Specific Restrictions

Internet access is provided to further the mission of the Town. All employees and officials are responsible for using Internet resources in an effective, ethical and lawful manner. The following restrictions apply to all employees and officials using Town technology resources unless prior approval is given by the Technology Services Department.

a. The use of any Internet based instant messaging systems is prohibited.

b. The use of Internet “chat rooms” or “news groups” is prohibited.

c. A Town of Cary provided e-mail system is the only e-mail software allowed to be used on Town equipment. The use of Internet based e-mail systems is prohibited (i.e., Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Netscape Mail, etc.).

d. Employees should limit use of Web sites that allow continuous flow of information (i.e., news sites, stock quotes, photographs, or sports scores). This uses a significant amount of capacity and affects access time for others. If employees or officials visit a site where continuous updates are given, they should exit the site immediately after use.

e. The Town limits the use of new media. Refer to Standard Procedure 142 for new media protocol.

By signing this page I acknowledge I have been provided a complete copy of the Town of Cary Technology Appropriate Use Policy (Policy 113), which was adopted by the Cary Town Council on March 10, 2011. Also, by signing this page, I acknowledge I have read, understand and agree to abide by this Policy and its requirements, including access and monitoring. I understand I have no expectation of privacy with any technology resource.

Signed: ____________________________________________

Printed Name: ____________________________________________
(Please print legibly)

Date Signed: ____________________________________________