Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (104)

Michael McGrath

Question:

104. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if officials in his Department are allowed to use non-departmental e-mail addresses, telephone numbers or other methods of communication for departmental business; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22440/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Department has an Information and Communications Technology Usage policy (Office Notice 1/2006) which applies to:

- Those who use the Department's ICT facilities, whether they be permanent, temporary, contract staff or otherwise;

- To all use of Department ICT facilities both during and outside normal office hours, whether for business or personal use,

- To all use of and interaction with all ICT equipment and facilities

- To remote access to the Department's facilities

- To use of personal web-based addresses on Departmental property

Other relevant policies include Email Policy, Use of Laptop Policy, Protecting the Use of Confidential Data and a USB Storage Device Policy.

Email

The Department's policy prohibits the use of web based mail accounts if they are intended to circumvent the terms of the Information and Communications Technology Usage Policy or the Department email policy or any technical controls (e.g. firewalls, virus control, and monitoring software) in place to help enforce those policies.

USB Storage Policy*

The Department's USB Storage Policy prohibits the use of any privately owned equipment or media within the Department of Finance computer system.  Only the Department of Finance owned equipment or media may be connected to our computer system or used to store the Department of Finance data.  Encrypted USB storage device is the standard for the Department of Finance.

Laptop Policy

Each laptop user must take personal responsibility for the security of the equipment, software and data in his/her care. It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure all data that they access, manage and control as part of their daily duties is carried out in accordance with the Data Protection Acts and in line with the Guidance Note and Code of Practice.  Users are not permitted to circumvent, subvert or override any of the Department's security measures for laptop computers;

Social Media

Twitter is used as the main social media tool of the Department of Finance and policy has been developed in this regard. It is accessible at @IRLDeptFinance. The account is managed by authorised Press Office staff. All official Department of Finance press releases are announced via Twitter in addition to normal distribution channels. There is also guidance on the use by staff of social media sites

Phone Policy

Mobile phones are issued to staff on a business case basis for the purpose of conducting of Departmental business.  Functionality includes users e-mail and the phones are password encrypted by the IT unit to ensure that e-mails sent from and received by these mobiles are securely protected. Staff are allowed to use their private phones for business purposes. This allows us to reach staff who have not being issued with a department mobile phone outside of office hours as necessary.  

*A USB Flash device is a pocket-sized external storage device used for general storage and transfer of data between computers.