Communication Devices and Associated Services Policy

Responsibilities of staff in relation to the use of departmental communication devices and associated services, including telephones, mobile phones, computers, personal digital assistants, facsimiles, Internet, Intranet, email and broadband data services.

Changes since previous version

28 August 2019 – made typographical changes and updated contact details.

Superseded Documents

Policy documents replaced by this policy:
The original version of the Use by Staff of Employer Communication Devices policy statement, published in September 2000 (DGS00/1908). The original version was distributed with a memorandum from the General Manager, Information Technology, dated 16 October 2000 (ITB00/387).
Revised version published in October 2004 Unique identifier: PD/2002/0024/V02
Implementation date: 26 October 2004.
Employer Communication Devices Staff Use Policy PD2002/0024/V04
Employer Communication Devices Staff Acceptable Use Guidelines (PDF 77KB) PD2002/0024 17/10/2008
Mobile Communication Devices and Associated Services PD2005/0296/V02

Document History

September 2000 – Version 1 (DGS00/1908)

October 2004 – Version 2 October 2004 (DGS04/0582):

  • A one-page Summary has been added on page 4 which outlines the key elements in the policy.
  • A new paragraph has been added to the Economic Use section (7.3) about power savings.
  • Amendments have been made to the Security section (7.6) and one new dot point has been added to the Unacceptable Use section (7.8) concerning the sharing of passwords to comply with ICAC recommendations.
  • A new paragraph has been added to the Security section (7.6) about logging out of network logins and corporate applications at the end of the day to assist with the efficient completion of overnight network data backups, security updates, and virus updates and scans.
  • Two new dot points (2 and 6) have been added to the Unacceptable Use section (7.8) and changes have been made to the Associated Documents section (8) resulting from the release of the Department’s new Code of Conduct in June 2004.
  • Amendments have been made to ensure the policy aligns with the Department’s Mobile Communication Devices policy.
  • Amendments have been made to ensure the policy aligns with the Department’s Records Management policy.

June 2007 – Version 3:

  • Removal of the Principles and Procedures sections of the previous policy, which have been incorporated into a guideline document to support the policy.

2007 – Version 4:

  • Minor updates undertaken.

2014 – Version 5:

  • The policy and guidelines have been comprehensively reviewed and consolidates the existing two policies Employer Communication Devices Staff Use Policy PD2002/0024/V04 and Mobile Communication Devices and Associated Services PD2005/0296/V02 into an updated Communication Devices and Associated Services Policy.
  • The Employer Communication Devices Staff Acceptable Use Guidelines (PDF 77KB) has been replaced with the Communication Devices and Associated Services Guidelines.
  • The policy and guidelines are now applicable to the whole of the Department
    of Education and Communities.

  1. Policy statement
    1. NSW Department of Education employees must be efficient, economical and ethical in their use and management of public resources. Departmental communication devices and associated services, including telephones, mobile phones, computers, tablet devices, personal digital assistants, facsimiles, internet, intranet, email and broadband data services are public resources provided for official purposes, and all employees have a responsibility to ensure their proper and secure use.
    2. Use of the department’s communication devices must comply with the department’s record keeping requirements and employees must not engage in any use that may be considered questionable, controversial, offensive, or could potentially damage the department’s reputation. Employees must adhere at all times to the department’s Code of Conduct Policy. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
    3. Employees must at all times comply with state and federal laws relating to the use of communication devices. Using the department’s communication devices to seek out, access, store or send any material of an offensive, obscene, pornographic, threatening, abusive or defamatory nature is prohibited. Employees who do so may find themselves subject to criminal proceedings and or disciplinary action.
    4. This policy recognises that:
      • communication devices in NSW public sector agencies are provided for official use
      • every employee has a responsibility to be lawful, ethical and efficient in their official or private use of public property and services
      • every employee has a responsibility to be productive in the use of their work time
      • employees are also private citizens with individual personal needs and obligations
      • employees may need to make use of communication devices for personal purposes
      • there is a reasonable limit to which employer communication devices may be used for personal purposes
      • employees should be provided with guidelines that clearly outline their responsibilities concerning the use of communication devices.
    5. Employees provided with departmental communication devices are advised that the use of those devices may be monitored to ensure compliance with this policy. Monitoring will comply with the NSW Workplace Surveillance Act 2005.
    6. Business units must consider the cost of acquiring such devices and services in the context of the business unit budget as a whole and include an analysis of the benefits to be gained.
    7. Business units should regularly monitor the business need for all communication devices issued to employees.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all Department of Education employees and business units and all casual, temporary and contract staff.
    2. This policy applies to both department-supplied and personal devices accessing department services or systems including network and email.
  3. Context
    1. The advances taking place in information technology have led to a growing range of devices that assist communication and integrate existing technology. The use of such devices to transmit and receive information is now accepted as an essential business practice which has significantly influenced, and will continue to influence, communication and working methods now and into the future.
    2. This policy takes account of:
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Senior executive and business unit managers are required to ensure this policy is understood by staff working within their area of control.
    2. The delegation to approve the acquisition, provision and use of communication devices and associated services in accordance with the department’s policy and guidelines is contained within the GSE8.2 Communications Devices and Associated Services - Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (GSE Act) (PDF 860KB Intranet only).
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Manager, Business Services is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the policy.
  6. Contact
    1. Manager, Business Services
      02 7814 1701
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