Town of Sudbury Computer/Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Computer/Internet Acceptable Use Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to convey the Town's standards for the use of the Town's Internet access and resources to Town employees and members of Town boards, committees and commissions.

APPLICABILITY

All employees and members of boards, committees and commissions of the Town of Sudbury are covered by this policy.

GENERAL POLICY

The Town of Sudbury provides staff and on occasion members of committees, boards, and commissions, with access to computer equipment and the ability to access the Internet.  Use of Town Internet services is a privilege, not a right and may be revoked at any time for inappropriate conduct.  The Internet provides access to a wide variety of information resources that can aid employees in the performance of their jobs.  Examples of job-related use of the Internet include:  accessing external databases and files to obtain information or conduct research; searching online public access catalogs; corresponding with citizens when appropriate; disseminating documents to individuals or groups; and participating in and reading electronic mail discussion groups on job-related topics.

PRIVACY/PUBLIC ACCESS

The Town Manager reserves the right to monitor Internet access by anyone using Town equipment or accounts to access the Internet. 

APPROPRIATE USE

Internet use on Town resources shall be used for business matters directly related to the operational activities of the Town of Sudbury and as a means to further the Town’s objective of providing services that are efficient, complete, accurate, and timely.

While Internet access shall not be used for personal gain or to conduct personal business, it may be used for limited personal use and enjoyment during employee’s approved breaks subject to the overall guidelines contained in the policy AND with the approval of the department head.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Employees may use the Internet for professional activities and career development, with the approval of their supervisor.

Examples of professional use include: communicating with fellow members of a professional organization; collaborating on articles and other writing; connecting to resources that provide information relating to education opportunities; and participating in and reading electronic mail discussion groups on professional development topics.

Supervisors shall determine the appropriateness of using the Internet for professional activities and career development during working hours, and to ensure that employees do not use equipment and facilities for private gain.

FILING AND RETENTION

Files that are downloaded to a Town computer or other equipment are considered the property of the Town, and as such are public records and retention and disposition of public records are authorized by retention schedules issued by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Departments may retain downloaded files in hard copy, electronically, or by a combination of these two means. Departments are responsible for developing filing systems that include downloaded files and are responsible for instructing employees on appropriate use of these systems.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

The following Internet activities are strictly prohibited:

  • Activities that could cause congestion and disruption of networks and systems, including but not limited to consuming excessive system resources, e.g. music downloading.

  • Downloading of any software or programs from the Internet without the prior express permission of the Technology Administrator or the Town Manager. 

  • Use of the Internet for unlawful activities

  • Accessing, downloading or storing any materials that promote discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, political affiliation, religion, disability or sexual preference

 Employees shall respect intellectual property rights at all times when obtaining information over the Internet. 

UNUSUAL OCCURENCES

All matters relating to unusual occurrences must be reported immediately to the Technology Administrator.  When something unusual occurs, make sure that you record information such as steps taken and warnings from the computer. This will aid the Technology Administrator in diagnosing the situation.

CONSENT AND SANCTIONS

Use of the Town’s system constitutes consent to monitoring of use of Internet access and on-line services and is conditioned upon strict adherence to this policy.  The Town Manager may periodically authorize monitoring of Internet use.  Reasons for doing so include but are not limited to: system checks, review of employee productivity when employee productivity is called into question by a supervisor or manager, investigations into claims of possible criminal activity, investigations into activities that might jeopardize the technical systems of the Town, investigations into claims of inappropriate use of the Town’s Internet or on-line services. 

Any employee who violates this policy or uses the Town's Internet access and resources for improper purposes shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

Employee Confirmation of Receipt

The use of the Town's Internet resources constitutes employee consent to monitoring of systems and is conditioned upon strict adherence to this policy.  Any employee who violates this policy or uses the Town's Internet resources for improper purposes shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

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