The County Commission also approved the purchase of upgrades to its emergency services software, and a $150,000 grant for construction of a restroom at the Indian Trails Sports Complex.
Flagler County government employees have a new a policy determining how they can use electronic devices and social media for work.
Most of the rules are common sense: Employees are supposed to minimize personal calls on county cell phones, refrain from using phones while driving unless they’re using hands-free technology, and to use social media without publishing false or malicious statements about the county or county employees.
Other rules are less obvious: County employees aren’t allowed to use their county phones for texting unless they have advance permission, because an archiving system must be activated to retain the messages for public record-keeping purposes.
And on social media, they’re allowed to engage only in one-way communication — from county employee to citizen — unless explicitly authorized by the county administrator. Social media messages also must be kept for public records purposes.
The new policy was approved by the County Commission Nov. 7 as part of a consent agenda — voted on with a set of other measures, without discussion by board members — and replaces an internet usage policy that was enacted in 2007 and updated in 2011.
The annual cost of the new policy with the archiving service is $20,496, with a one-time start-up cost of $1,905, according to county documents. That funding has already been included in this year’s budget.
The regulations applies to all county employees, officials and volunteers using county-owned devices or platforms.
The regulation also sets guidelines for the appearance of official Flagler County social media accounts. They’re to include the county’s logo contact information and a link to the county’s website.
Also as part of the Nov. 7 consent agenda, the County Commission approved a $150,000 grant to the city of Palm Coast for construction of a restroom at the Indian Trails Sports Complex, the purchase of an emergency 911 software system for $48,300 that allows for more precise classification of emergency calls before responders are sent out, and the purchase of additional modules for the 911 software the county already has through Tyler Technologies, formerly called New World Public Safety Software, for $136,439. The new Tyler Technologies software will provide centralized management of “Be On the Lookout" information, a 911 pre-arrival questionnaire system and upgrades to the county’s law enforcement and inmate facility records keeping systems.