Use of Electronic Device Policy

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)


This policy formalises how electronic devices and associated equipment provided by St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council should be used by its Members and employees.

The policy will be reviewed on a tri-annual basis and may be updated, in response to operational, legislative or technological changes.


The device, software, data access and services provided are the property of St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council and shall be recorded on the asset register.

The equipment is provided for the duration of the role with the Council. At the end of that period, the equipment must be returned to St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council in full working condition. If equipment has been lost or damaged, a charge may be made for its replacement or repair.


The equipment, software and services will be prepared for use by an officer of St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council. It is the responsibility of the Clerk to ensure that the Member or employee has been given sufficient training to use the systems.

The equipment, software and services are provided for use in respect of St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council business.

The Member or employee must comply with all relevant policies, procedures and UK legislation with respect to the use. Examples include but are not limited to –

  • Data Protection Act 1998.
  • General Data Protection Regulations.
  • Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.
  • Computer Misuse Act 1990.
  • Obscene Publications Act 1959.
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000.

It is the responsibility of the Member or employee to ensure that use of any personal information complies with the provisions of the Data Protection legislation. The transmission of personal information contained within electronic mail or as an attachment to electronic mail is also subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Personal information must not be sent over the internet without consent. Please also be aware that no unauthorised disclosure of information is permitted and all requests for access to personal data must be referred to the Clerk.

The use, or possession, of unlicensed copies or “pirated” versions of software is illegal and is expressly prohibited under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act.

A password/pin entry requirement must be used at all times.

Where a virus is suspected/detected, the matter must be reported to the Clerk immediately. Until virus repair is affected, an infected device must not be used. Virus repair must be undertaken only by or under the guidance of the Clerk. Software or programs (including screen savers and wallpaper), must not be downloaded from the Internet or installed from removable media. This includes programs or software available for trial purposes or those that are free of charge. No software can be loaded onto electronic devices and associated equipment, except by the approval of the Clerk.

Any data that is available to be accessed must only be used for St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council purposes and must not be transferred to any third party or other employers without the explicit agreement of the Clerk.

Risk Management

As part of its risk management St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council maintains insurance on the equipment provided. All equipment must be secured from theft or unauthorised use as far as is practical. When travelling with equipment, it should not be left in an unattended vehicle unless there is no other option, in which case it should be secured out of sight.

Any loss of, or damage to, the equipment should be reported as soon as possible to the Clerk and any criminal damage should be reported to the Police.

Any loss of personal data as the result of loss or theft of equipment shall be reported to the Council and Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

Internet Access and Electronic Mail

Internet access, electronic mail, electronic diaries and associated services have been made available for your use, if required in connection with Council business.

An official Council electronic mail address will be provided. Members and employees are requested to monitor and manage their electronic mail and calendar on a regular basis, preferably daily. The Council electronic mail address is provided for official business use therefore personal use is not permitted unless prior agreement is sought from the Clerk.

In accordance with the Telecommunications (lawful business practice) Interception of communications regulations, the Council may lawfully view and monitor all email created, sent, forwarded, received or saved on the corporate email system without prior notice, and reserves the right to do so.

The nature and content of electronic mail should be considered carefully and treated in the same way you would conventional mail.

The Council may also lawfully view and monitor all internet access and reserves the right to do so. Viewing or transmission of any material which may be regarded as offensive or in violation of any UK law or legislation is not permitted. Such material may include copyright material, material judged to be threatening, pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit and material protected by trade secret.

All Members are bound by the adopted Code of Conduct and the general principles contained within the Code also apply to specific instances, such as the use of the Internet or e-mail. Members should ensure that their conduct accords with the requirements of the Code of Conduct.

Employees will be expected to act in a manner that complies with the relevant policies. Any allegations of breach of use should be referred to the Clerk for investigation.


Any equipment or software problems which occur should be reported to the Clerk.

No support will usually be provided outside of normal working hours.

In the event that the equipment suffers a complete hardware malfunction, St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council will be responsible for putting the equipment back to the condition in which it was first supplied and will also reinstate, in so far as is reasonable and possible, information and data secured from the most recent backup.

In the interests of health and safety, Members and employees are advised to adhere to the following recommendations for the safe use of personal computer equipment:

  • Sit in a chair that gives you good back support to avoid backache
  • Position the screen in front of you to avoid twisting
  • Regularly look away from the screen to reduce eye strain

Any concerns relating to the safe use of equipment should be reported to the Clerk.


Adopted by Full Council at the meeting held on Wednesday 6th December 2023 under minute number FPC265/23. Due for review in 2026