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Departmental Publications

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance is issued to members of his Department on the authorship and publication on the internet of material relating to their official duties; and if he will make a statement. (196740)

My Department has issued guidelines for staff on the use of social media and personal websites which states

“If you want to start blogging, and your blog/website will say that you work for the DCMS you should tell your manager.

If your blog makes it clear that you work for the DCMS, it should include a simple and visible disclaimer such as “these are my personal views and not those of the DCMS”.

Unless there are specific concerns about the nature of your job, you are free to talk about DCMS policies/projects and content on your blog. Consult your manager if in any doubt.

Don't reveal confidential information. This might include aspects of DCMS policy or details of internal DCMS discussions. Again, consult your manager if you are unclear about what might be confidential.

You should not use your blogs to attack or abuse colleagues.”

All staff in my Department are also required to sign an Acceptable Use of the Internet policy before they are given access to the internet. Any activity that would bring the Department into disrepute is prohibited.

I am arranging to place a copy of my Department's guidelines on personal websites and blogs in the House of Commons Library.