Telecommuting and working remotely often means employees have to use their own devices – cell phones, tablets, etc. As a public entity subject to Open Records requests, there are regulations that must be followed when using personal equipment for work – including emails, texts, social media posts and instant messages.
Senate Bill 944 deals with this issue. In a nutshell, City information “held by a city employee in a private electronic account or on a private device is subject to the Public Information Act.” If you are unable to produce a document upon request, you can face civil and criminal penalties. Be certain of retention rules before deleting info. See more details from the City Secretary’s presentation.
BEST OPTION: Don’t use your personal device or email for City business.
If using a personal device, employees MUST: 1) forward or transfer the information to the City; or 2) preserve the information in its original form.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO KEEP? If it’s a record, and related to your job, and you are the temporary custodian of the information, you MUST keep the record.
HOW DO YOU SAVE THE INFORMATION? Emails can be forwarded to your @plano.gov account. Otherwise, “screen shots” must be taken of texts and electronic posts before forwarding to your @plano.gov account. Avoid using flip-phones because you can’t take screen shots on them.
City Secretary Lisa Henderson’s office is available to answer questions about this policy.
How to Save Information on Personal Devices
Now that you know the importance of retaining work information – electronic, digital and hard-copy – it’s best to know how to capture the data from your personal devices (if you don’t already know, that is.)
Infrastructure Technology Officer Jeremiah Lancaster has simplified the process for us. He’s created easy-to-follow instructions for taking screen shots of work produced on Android and Apple devices.
Click here for the step-by-step instructions. Contact the Help Desk at 972-941-5306 if you have questions.