Policy Manual



Type: Procedure                 Category: Information Technology                 Level: Community Care 

Parties: Community Care employees and contractees

Printer Friendly Version: http://apps.comcareme.org/policymanual/default.aspx?code=6.MEP.11&nonav=yes

Supporting References: 

Parent Effective Date Approval Level Revision Dates Last Reviewed
N/A  10-1-2003  Management Team  1/04, 11/06  11-28-2006
Related Document Code Related Document Name Type
6.ME.3 Electronic Media Policy
6.MEP.13 Data Storage and Retention Procedure

Procedure:  .

  1. Responsibility and Authority - The Administrative Services Manager is responsible for the proper coordination, content and accuracy of this policy
  2. Definitions:
    1. E-Mail - a way of sending electronic messages between computers that are attached to both internal networks and global Internet networks.
    2. FTP - File Transfer Protocol - a way of transferring files from one computer to another across networks.
  3. Procedure -
    1. All information/data and communications of any nature on any Agency maintained system is deemed to be the property of the Agency and may be accessed, utilized, deleted or otherwise controlled exclusively by the Agency. No individual utilizing Care's system shall have any rights of privacy on the system.
    2. The rise in the use of e-mail as a business communication tool has been fueled by the ease with which messages can be sent. That same ease, however, can result in inappropriately informal or impulsive e-mail messages. Guidance to employees is:

i.                 Do not write anything in an e-mail that would not say in person;

ii.               Do not enter into agreements over e-mail without the same checks and balances used in traditional hard copy agreements;

iii.             Do not write e-mail messages about sensitive topics such as employee disciplinary actions, negotiations or legal actions;

iv.             Do use care to create a concise and professional-appearing e-mail message.

    1. The Agency does not tolerate the use of the e-mail system for the purpose of distributing potentially offensive or inappropriate messages/materials, including but not limited to mass mailings, movie clips, jokes, cartoons, executable programs, and discriminating or harassing mail. Messages falling into these categories must not be forwarded or stored on the Community Care e-mail service. Disciplinary action may be taken as indicated in the Professional Conduct procedure (7.MEP.8) for those violating this procedure.
    2. Best Practices: Community Care considers email as an important means of communication and recognizes the importance of proper email content and speedy replies in conveying a professional image and delivering good services. Therefore the Agencywishes users to adhere to the following guidelines:

i.                 Writing emails:

       Write well-structured emails and use short, descriptive subjects.

       Community Care�s email style is informal. This means that sentences can be short and to the point. You can start your e-mail with �Hi�, or �Dear�, and the name of the person. Messages can be ended with �Best Regards�. The use of Internet abbreviations and characters such as smileys however, is not encouraged.

       Signatures must include your name, job title and company name. A�� disclaimer will be added underneath your signature (see Disclaimer).

       Use the spell checker before you send out an email.

       Do not send unnecessary attachments. Compress attachments larger than 200K before sending them.

       Do not write emails in capitals.

       Do not use cc: or bcc: fields unless the cc: or bcc: recipient is aware that you will be copying a mail to him/her and knows what action, if any, to take.

       If you forward mails, state clearly what action you expect the recipient to take.

       Only send emails of which the content could be displayed on a public notice board. If they cannot be displayed publicly in their current state, consider rephrasing the email, using other means of communication, or protecting information by using a password (see confidential).

       Only mark emails as important if they really are important.

ii.               Replying to emails:

       Emails should be answered at least daily or once each shift, whichever occurs first.

       Priority emails are emails from existing clients and business partners.

iii.             Newsgroups:

       Users need to request permission from their supervisor and IT before subscribing to a newsletter or news group.

iv.             Maintenance:

       Delete any email messages that you do not need to have a copy of, and set your email client to automatically empty your �deleted items� on closing.

    1. Message attachments of 5MB or less may be sent as e-mail attachments; consult IT for larger attachments.
    2. All individual e-mail accounts will be limited to 40MB in size.
    3. All messages over 90 days should be archived or purged according to the guidelines established for the record retention procedure.
    4. Messages that should be archived should be exported to a local drive on the individual's personal computer or to a shared network drive. IT performs backups on a daily basis for the purpose of system recovery only. Individual messages will not be restored from these backups.
    5. Distribution lists should generally be limited to 30 recipients or less. The Administrative Services Manager must approve wider distribution requests.
    6. Net News messages should be deleted at least weekly; wastebaskets should be emptied of contents at least weekly.
    7. Community Care employees conducting Agency business by e-mail shall use their assigned e-mail account exclusively. The use of a non-Care e-mail account for official Agency business is prohibited.
    8. Although the Agency�s email system is meant for business use, Community Care allows the reasonable use of email for personal use if certain guidelines are adhered to: 

i.                 Personal use of email should not interfere with work.

ii.               Personal emails must also adhere to the guidelines in this policy. 

iii.             Personal emails are kept in a separate folder, named �Private�. The emails in this folder must be deleted weekly so as not to clog up the system.

iv.             The forwarding of chain letters, junk mail, jokes and executables is strictly forbidden.

v.                On average, users are not allowed to send more than 2 personal emails a day.

vi.             Do not send mass mailings.

vii.           All messages distributed via the company�s email system, even personal emails, are Community Care�s property.

    1. Disclaimer:

The following disclaimer is automatically added to all outgoing email:


"This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this email. Please notify the sender immediately by email if you have received this email by mistake and delete this email from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited."

4.     The installation of any non-approved software that alters the appearance or function of Care's e-mail is prohibited.