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Departmental Internet

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) civil servants, (b) Ministers and (c) special advisers in her Department are permitted to access web mail accounts from departmental computers. (229760)

Communities and Local Government allows access to web mail accounts on departmental computers. However any users accessing web mail accounts from departmental systems are required to comply with the terms of a personal commitment statement and a code of conduct specifically in relation to the use of personal data. These restrict users from using web mail for general work purposes, and clearly define the restrictions and options available for different levels of protectively marked data, including the need for encryption in some cases. Staff are not permitted to automatically forward their Communities email account to a web mail account. Breach of these policies can be a disciplinary matter.