Thursday, 12 June 2008

Assembly IT: Surf's up for staff

Senior management of the Welsh Assembly Government are taking an increasingly harsh approach to abuses of the Assembly IT system; and even to information put up on the internet by staff in their own time or at home.

Throughout 2007 many staff have received final warnings for forwarding risque pictures by e-mail, and already this year PCS is supporting members facing disciplinary actions due to their use of IT. Management aren't interested in debating what is an inappropriate image. When it comes to IT they are the reincarnation of the Puritans. Understandably, they want to avoid what happened in the DVLA, where explicit images were circulated, leading to 18 sackings and another 148 staff being disciplined following a huge amount of negative media coverage.

Assembly Minister Brian Gibbons' act of online listening to 'The Archers' during a Senedd debate would have landed him with a disciplinary - were he an Assembly member of staff.

One of the biggest online developments in recent years has been the growth of social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. Here people create online profiles of themselves, exchange public messages and post photos and videos online. PCS strongly advise members not to declare that they work for the Assembly, especially if their members post compromising photos of themselves or make political statements.

Some companies even check peoples' online profiles, to vet if they are suitable for employment; and once an online profile has been set up it can be very difficult to remove. PCS urge members to be very careful as to what they say online, as some of their members have run into trouble and been subjected to disciplinary proceedings following comments made on blogs.

[Source: PCS Wales]


Suzie 13 June 2008 at 17:46  

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Why can't staff be allowed to make comments, even if they are taken as political?

Geraint 13 June 2008 at 18:39  

Freedom of expression is fundamental to a democracy.

Anonymous 13 June 2008 at 18:45  

The Assembly is all in favour of censoring the views of its staff. Your blog too, Miss W, has been prohibited within these walls

Bernard 13 June 2008 at 19:14  

Even the Assembly Commission has had to withdraw its controversial guidelines which banned AMs from making political statements on their publicly-funded websites.

Gorilla Bananas 14 June 2008 at 12:29  

Are pictures of gorillas allowed?

School of Mines 14 June 2008 at 14:57  

Which of the welsh blogs have been banned in the Assembly? Does anyone have a list?

Anonymous 14 June 2008 at 16:51  

They've probably banned all blogs by now. Apparently, Miss Wagstaff had it confirmed that hers was banned by the Assembly Government, but not by the Assembly Commission.

Anonymous 14 June 2008 at 23:13  

Anonymous 16:51 said:

"They've probably banned all blogs by now. Apparently, Miss Wagstaff had it confirmed that hers was banned by the Assembly Government, but not by the Assembly Commission."

Not true. Miss Wagstaff is also banned by the Assembly Commission. As far as I can tell it is the only one. I wonder why?

Anonymous 14 June 2008 at 23:14  

Brian Gibbons did that?

The Funky Gibbon 15 June 2008 at 08:43

Arty 19 June 2008 at 18:07  

After having watched Brian Gibbons on the news the other night, I now realise why he finds the Archers interesting.

Will he do to social justice what he did to health?

= bugger all!!!

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