Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Inbred Culture of secrecy or out of date IT policy ?

You may have recently seen an item flagged up on the Glossop website and elsewhere an article from another local councillor decrying the council for its “inbred culture of secrecy” in relation to the council’s it policy which prevents the use of council IT equipment from using social networking sites.

But is this as described elsewhere a corporate ‘gagging’ order on councillors and council staff and secrecy gone mad or just an out of date IT policy, that that when introduced was framed around ensuring that council equipment is used for doing council work, and not for just surfing the web or personal use.

In my view it’s the later and just simply a case of the IT policy not keeping up to date with modern usage, and a more useful approach would have been to flag the issue with offices for looking at what can be done to update the policy or arrange an exemption for councillors and staff that need to access such sites until a new policy can be put in place.

This isn’t an issue that’s unique to the High Peak it’s cropped in whole host of other places across the country including Portsmouth, Kent, Birmingham and Newcastle and will no doubt come up again elsewhere but it should be an easy one to fix especially as at tonight’s Audit and Regulatory meeting, one of the agenda items is to approve the council’s code of corporate governance which includes within it an overarching principle of ‘openness’.

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