Tuesday 6 November 2012

Social media guidance....and other news

According to the agenda for the next Policy and Resources scrutiny meeting, the 'E-Government' report, which includes the pilot to record (and edit) meetings, along with its amendment to 'allow' the public to film, will be considered by the Executive Board on the 19th November. Not to be missed methinks.

The minutes of the last Policy and Resources meeting were published today which records the public filming amendment and the question was raised as to why the group didn't consider recording by the members of the public during the 18 month deliberations...it was 'not in part of their remit'  apparently. Why not?

The next meeting of this committee will be looking at the half yearly 'complaints and compliments' report which shows an 84% increase in the number of complaints from the same time the year before, I mentioned the wide fluctuations in figures back in September (at the end of this  post), and wondered whether someone had been using a faulty calculator. This alarming upward trend was helped along by a few "complaints for Administration and Law in relation to how we handle people visiting the public gallery during meetings". Predictably the document is silent on any corresponding 'service improvement recommendations' for this item....

I recently asked for a copy of the council's most recent social media guidance for staff and members. I was more interested in whether Members could tweet at meetings etc but there was no mention of any of that. The guidance, which I imagine is nothing unusual, dates from August 2011 and consists largely of the perils of commenting on social networking sites, including Blogs (with a capital 'B');

".....however it is acknowledged that, following a number of recent incidences [incidents?] publicised within the media, there is the potential for such sites to blur the boundaries between personal and employment lives.
Therefore, it is important that all employees are mindful that, when using such sites, they must consider the potential impact of their actions on their contract of employment with the Council. Employees must remember that anything posted on a social networking site is in the public domain and reflects on the individual as an employee of the Authority......
To breach confidentiality
To criticise or abuse users of the Authority’s services, any other Council
employee or elected members
To bring the Authority or any of its employees and/or its elected
members into disrepute
During working hours
......Employees are advised that the publishing of any inappropriate, inaccurate or
defamatory information/ material in the public domain may result in
disciplinary action being taken by the Council in accordance with its
Disciplinary Policy & Procedure.  Furthermore, in certain circumstances, civil
court proceedings could ensue..."

The full guidance can be seen here (Pdf)

Still on the subject of FoI requests, I notice that someone else is asking the council a few questions about their partnership with the Towy Community Church;
My request for correspondence between the council and the evangelical church is still with the Information Commissioner;

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