Draft of Communication Policy For Corporates
I have attached draft of communication policy for corporates.
Draft outline of Communication policy
Part I: INTRODUCTION
Part II: DEFINITIONS
Part III: CONDITIONS OF USE
Part IV: PROCEDURES
Part V: SECURITY
Part VI: RESPONSIBILITY
Part VII: ENFORCEMENT
Part VIII: APPLICATION OF THE POLICY
Part IX: EFFECTIVE DATE
ANNEX I – E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) CORPORATE E-MAIL
A Directive on E-mail Use
Part I: INTRODUCTION
1. Electronic mail is an essential element of business in XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME), providing convenient, time-saving communication within the organization and externally. It also conserves institutional memory. The electronic exchange of information has a profound impact on business, and regulating such exchange is not merely a technical issue. Clear guidelines are required in order to ensure that the e-mail system is used efficiently and effectively.
2. The “XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s corporate e-mail” directive is issued by ____ in the framework of its mandate for administration management and in collaboration with other concerned Offices. It sets forth the policy for an efficient, secure and reliable use of the corporate e-mail system.
3. The objectives of the policy are to ensure that:
XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s e-mail system is used efficiently and effectively;
staff members are informed of the rules regarding use of e-mail services;
availability and continuity of e-mail services are maximized;
the institutional memory of e-mail communication is preserved;
exposure of the Program to breaches in security is minimized; and
the use of e-mail is compatible with the ethical standards that our corporate follows
The rules and procedures described in this document apply to all XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) staff members and
anyone granted access to XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s e-mail system (hereafter called “users”).
Part II: DEFINITIONS
As with most businesses, e-mail communications at XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) fall into one of two categories:
Administrative or Personal.
4. Administrative e-mails convey content related to XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) activities or to the service conditions of its staff. They enable and facilitate operations, provide a basis for individual or institutional accountability, and/or protect legal interests.
5. Administrative e-mail messages are part of the institutional memory and, as such, are preserved in electronic registries. Such messages include, but are not limited to: project documents, donor proposals, contracts, press releases and letters to applicants.
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6. E-mail messages of a less substantive nature which have an indirect, supportive
relationship to XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s business may not need to be registered in electronic registries. Such messages are expected to have a short-term value and include drafts of documents, providing or requesting meeting or travel arrangements, responding to simple enquiries.
7. Personal e-mails have no relationship whatsoever to XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) or to the service conditions of its staff. Examples of personal e-mail include: correspondence with friends or family, responses to advertisements, purchase of personal goods.
8. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) values the importance of enabling its staff to properly balance work and their personal lives. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) recognizes that staff can use the corporate system to exchange personal e-mail from time to time, particularly in hardship conditions. In other circumstances, staff is encouraged to use commercial e-mail accounts for personal purposes. These accounts are widely available at no cost.
Part III: CONDITIONS OF USE
XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) property
9. Corporate e-mail services are extended for the use of XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) staff and partners to accomplish tasks related to and consistent with XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s activities and mission.
10. With the exception of material clearly owned by third parties, XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) is the legal owner of all accounts and information stored on or passing through its e-mail system.
11. E-mail messages generated by users are identified, over the public Internet, under the domain @XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG Website).
12. Access to XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) e-mail services is a privilege that may be restricted by XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) without prior notice and the consent of the e-mail user.
Activation and termination of e-mail accounts
13. A user is provided with an e-mail account by the EDP department through the
completion of an access form signed by his or her manager.
14. When a user leaves the company e-mail system privileges cease, XXXXXX (Write your Org Name) unless a request for continuation has been approved in writing by the EDP head. Normally, such approvals will be granted for a limited period.
15. In special cases, e-mails could be redirected to the user’s new affiliation or to a designated account at XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) for a reasonable period of time, as determined by the staff managers.
16. E-mail accounts that have not had any activity or access for a period of six months will be automatically deleted and the corresponding contents archived.
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Part IV: PROCEDURES
17. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) recognizes e-mail as an indispensable means of communication and emphasizes proper e-mail content and prompt replies in delivering quality service and a professional image. Common rules are set hereafter to communicate better and derive maximum benefit from using e-mail efficiently. A list of encouraging practices can be found in Annex I, ‘’email
18. To supplement this Policy, field offices may define additional technical conditions of appropriate use for local computing. Such conditions are intended to deal primarily with situations of limited resource supply.
When to use e-mail
19. The use of e-mail is encouraged particularly when it is a cost-effective means of communication, when it facilitates work in multi-time zone environments, or when the message/information being sent needs to be transformed for other uses.
20. At the same time, e-mail is designed for convenience, not urgency. The phone is a better tool for urgent messages. When actually important, a follow-up e-mail should be sent to document the verbal discussion.
21. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) staff and other users are requested to use the same personal and professional courtesies and considerations in e-mail as they would in other forms of communication, particularly those applicable to written communications. It should be kept in mind that e-mail creates a tangible record of communication.
22. In line with XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s culture of transparent communication, the user name, e-mail address, organizational affiliation and related contact information must always reflect the actual originator of a message.
23. Anonymous accounts are not allowed.
24. The e-mail sender is automatically identified by the first and last names of the owner (e.g. eugene.smith@XXXXXX (Write your Org Name).org or Eugene Smith/XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)).
25. Further identification of the sender should be made by inserting the following
information XXXXXX (Write your Org Name) under the body of the e-mail message: first name, last name, title and Office, telephone number(s).
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Choice of recipient and subject
26. The “To” header line. Recipients listed in the “To” header line should be limited to those for whom the message requires direct attention or action. If a message is addressed to multiple parties, no one person is considered the responsible party.
27. The “CC” header line. Recipients listed in the “CC” header line should be limited to those who need the message for information purposes but are not required to take action.
Senders should make a careful selection of recipients to avoid an XXXXXX (Write your Org Name)necessary accumulation of e-mails by recipients, thus detracting from important information that recipients may need to access.
28. The “BCC” header line. Blind copies are permitted only when a message needs to be sent to a large number of recipients. Each recipient listed in the BCC header line will receive a copy of the e-mail with his or her name in the To header line. This is considered proper protocol by corporate standards.
29. Various lists of multi-recipient addresses are available for this service: All HQ Staff’, ‘All Country Directors’, ‘All XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) Staff’. Its use is limited to offices of Division Directors and the central ___service desk.
30. The “Subject” header line. As all e-mails are filed in an Organization-wide system, e-mails should contain only one topic in the subject line to facilitate this process. The topic should be expressed as tersely as possible. On those occasions when the recipient needs to be provided with information on two or more XXXXXX (Write your Org Name)related topics, it is advisable to send separate emails, with each corresponding to one topic.
Replying to an e-mail message
31. Individuals should respond promptly to all messages containing their names in the
“To:” header field. An acknowledgement of receipt is expected be sent within 24 hours, and a substantive reply within three working days whenever possible, unless the message makes it clear that no response is necessary.
32. All users accepting the responsibility of a mailbox in their name should check the mailbox at least once each day when they are in the office. They should also make arrangements for the handling of their e-mail during absences, either by having their e-mail forwarded to another XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) staff member or activating an out-of-office reply.
33. To keep the thread and context of the message clear, it is recommended that the “reply with history” function be used when replying. However, any attachment should be removed before using the function.
34. To maintain e-mail effectiveness, the function ‘’ reply to all’’ should be carefully used: only the interested recipients should be addressed. It is not necessary to “copy all” to get the point across. This function may clog up the recipient’s mailbox, creating impediment and nuisance.
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35. If an e-mail message contains restricted information1, users must not forward it to another recipient unless the recipient has been authorized to view the information or the originator has explicitly approved the forwarding.
Copying communications in the electronic registry.
36. In order to maintain the integrity of the Programs institutional memory, all
administrative electronic correspondence that has financial, fiscal, administrative or legal value should be copied to the electronic registry.
37. Administrative e-mail messages of a less substantive nature, (e.g. meeting or travel arrangements, simple enquiries) should not be registered in the electronic registry. It may be saved in the user’s personal computers for quick reference and then discarded whenever suitable.
38. Mailboxes are not intended to be used as data repositories; users should save
important e-mail messages and attachments as documents in their personal computers or in the electronic registry.
39. Old or unneeded messages should be deleted or archived as they take up valuable disk space. Attachments should be deleted after replying. Unless there are new recipients being addressed, attachments needlessly consume system resources.
40. Attachments should be zipped before being sent. A number of field offices suffer from poor connectivity. Large attachments may clog the line up and cause much inconvenience.
41. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) recognizes the need to use its systems for personal use, which may arise from time to time. In these instances, staff can make personal use of corporate e-mail facilities, provided that it does not:
a. interfere with the operation of XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s computing facilities by wasting computer resources or unfairly monopolizing them to the exclusion of others. Computer based resources – such as network bandwidth and storage capacity – are not unlimited;
b. diminish the user’s productivity in terms of work-related obligations; and
c. violate the rules contained in this or any other applicable policy.
42. All actions and communications performed by users in the course of serving XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) may reflect the corporate posture or image of the Program. To minimize the risks of
1 For an explanation of restricted information, please refer to Policy AD 2002/002, ‘’XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s Corporate
Information Security Policy’’.
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compromising this posture or image, the use of XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s e-mail system is not allowed under the circumstances and conditions described below.
43. Incompatibility with International Civil Service Environment. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s e-mail services shall not be used to view, store or disseminate any message whose content can be classified as not compatible with a civil service environment. These include, but are not limited to
pornographic texts or images
material promoting sexual exploitation or discrimination, racism or violence
messages that are derogatory or inflammatory regarding race, age, disability,
religion, national origin or sexual preference
information concerning drugs or weapons
44. Strain on computing facilities or e-mail systems of others. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) e-mail services shall not be used for purposes that could reasonably be expected to cause strain on any computing facilities, or interference with others’ use of e-mail or e-mail systems. Such uses
include, but are not limited to:
entry into, examination, use or transfer of, or forging or tampering with the
accounts and files of others;
misrepresenting, obscuring, suppressing their own or another user’s identity;
altering e-mail system software or hardware configurations;
theft, destruction, falsification or unauthorized removal of e-mail messages;
entering destructive codes (e.g. viruses) and material concerning ‘hacking’;
exploiting users’ lists or similar systems for the widespread distribution of
subscribing to newsletters with no business-related content
sending/receiving attachment files that exceed the size limited set by EDP (filters that are set to prevent large attachments and specific types of files that are harmful).
Part V: SECURITY
2 See directive AD 2003/001 for a complete listing of such prohibitions
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45. To safeguard data security and help prevent unauthorized access, XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) puts in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures
46. The XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) e-mail system technologies and configuration guarantee a high degree of confidentiality. However, confidentiality may be compromised by unintended redistribution of security credentials (e.g. passwords, signatures) or by messages, especially if transmitted over the public Internet.
47. Messages sent/received to/from e-mail accounts outside of the XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) e-mail system over the public Internet are not protected by XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) security tools. These messages can be easily read, changed and forwarded without any permission.
48. Users need to be aware that the identity of a sender of messages received from the public Internet may be easily counterfeited. Therefore, due diligence is requested when receiving from external accounts.
49. To limit the dissemination of restricted information, forwarding of e-mail to addresses outside XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) is not permitted without a copy being saved in XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s system.
50. Authorizations of action may be carried out using e-mail, in virtually the same way as practiced using traditional other communications methods (e.g. telephone, letters). This applies only to accounts belonging to XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) e-mail system.
51. All contracts formed through e-mail offer and acceptance messages, as well as other legal and financial documents, must be formalized and confirmed via paper documents within two weeks.
52. Scanned versions of hand-rendered signatures are not encouraged and do not replace the original sender authorization.
Transmitting sensitive information
53. Users must not send any sensitive information or parameters (such as fixed passwords or account numbers) through e-mail unless the message has been protected by encryption.
54. Encryption refers to the process of making a message indecipherable to protect it from XXXXXX (Write your Org Name)authorized viewing or use. The encryption function works within the XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) e-mail system but does not necessarily apply to messages in which the recipient is an external account on the public Internet.
55. When sending restricted information, the use of the Return Receipt function is recommended.
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56. If a user has been requested by another user via e-mail or in writing to refrain from sending e-mail messages, the recipient may not send that user any further e-mail messages.
57. In general, XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) cannot and does not wish to be the arbiter of the contents of e-mails.
Neither can XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) protect users from receiving unsolicited e-mail they may find undesirable.
However, when technically feasible, XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) may evaluate and set cost-effective mechanisms to alleviate this problem.
58. Users shall not give the impression that they are representing, giving opinions, or otherwise making statements on behalf of XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) or any of its units unless expressly authorized to do so.
59. They should ensure that their messages do not harm the Programs reputation in any way.
60. In line with the policies and procedures of major organizations and companies, all email messages being communicated from XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) offices to external parties will be attached with a disclaimer notice3
Privacy and system monitoring
61. The Organization recognizes the importance of protecting the privacy of information.
XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) is committed to make its best efforts to respect the privacy of staff and partners. It is XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s corporate intent to balance its legitimate business interests with reasonable
expectations of privacy.
62. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) reserves the right to inspect, monitor and log any aspects of staff activity on its e-mail system.
63. Inspection, monitoring and logging are authorized following the rules set in AD
Directive 2003/001’’ Usage of Internet and network services’’.
64. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) reserves the right to retrieve data when there are time-dependent, critical operational needs of XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) business in which a XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) Office has determined that the information sought is not more readily available by other means (in such instances, the Managers will authorize retrieval and e-mail users will be informed, when possible).
65. Automatic mechanisms may be set up to check the content of e-mail in order to block those deemed unsolicited (spam).
66. XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) may elect to publish e-mail addresses as directory information. Requests for identification or release of staff e-mail addresses should be authorized by the Office of the Director, ADH
3 See ICT memoranda 2003 for more details and the text of the disclaimer
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Part VI: RESPONSIBILITY
67. The Director, AD is responsible for ensuring:
overall implementation of the policy
monitoring the execution and impact of the policy on the Program
reporting to the Executive Director on its implementation
compliance with relevant rules and legislation
68. The Director, ADI is responsible for ensuring:
implementation of the policy through cost-effective technical solutions
security of communications and protection of data
maintenance of technical components
provision of the required connectivity
69. Managers are responsible for:
the activities of staff, consultants and project personnel authorized to gain access
to the e-mail services under their written approval
ensuring staff are informed of the rules outlined in this document and adequately
trained in the use of the e-mail systems.
70. The assigning of an e-mail account is an implicit statement of trust in the individual’s judgment and professionalism. It implies an expectation that he/she will accept the responsibilities inherent with the use.
Specifically, all users are responsible for :
using E-mail in accordance with the rules and procedures set out in this
taking the necessary precautions to protect the confidentiality of data containing
personal or confidential information generated in the performance of their duties
For the messages that are sent out from their mailbox and for the security and use of
their password. Passwords should not be divulged to other persons for any reason.
4 Directive AD 2002/002, ‘’XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME)’s Corporate Information Security Policy’’
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Copying to the registry any e-mail messages necessary for the completeness of the
Programme’s institutional memory.
Part VII: ENFORCEMENT
71. Violations of XXXXXX (WRITE YOUR ORG NAME) policies governing the use of the e-mail services may result in disciplinary action, as applicable under staff regulations and rules.
72. Violations of this directive will be brought to the attention of the manager of the relevant office and the Assistant Executive Director AD.
73. The Director, ADI reserves the right to terminate access to computing services in cases of technical misuse.
Part VIII: APPLICATION OF THE POLICY
74. The policy applies throughout the Program, both at Headquarters and in all offices.
75. The directive replaces the administrative Document ADM 95/02 ‘’ Electronic Mail:
Policy and Practice’’.
76. Any questions or comments about this e-mail policy should be referred to the Office of CIO & Director, ADI
Part IX: EFFECTIVE DATE
77. This policy takes effect immediately.
Executive Director, AD
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Here are some suggestions that will enable to better and derive maximum
benefit from this speedy and efficient communications medium.
- Keep e-mail messages brief. Messages should be concise and to the point.
- Messages that run into multiple screens are ineffective; people just don’t read them.
- Keep to short paragraphs with blank lines in between. Reading from a screen is different to reading from paper – it’s more difficult. Great blocks of text are visually demanding and difficult to read.
- Keep your formatting simple. Effort spent on making letters bold, italic, colored or underlined will be lost. Special fonts in messages (rues, faces, dingbats, etc.) will be translated into normal text when received by a system outside.
- Keep a neutral tone. It is difficult to determine the context and intent of a typed message because you can’t see the person saying what you are reading, and they can’t see you. So, an intended “light” comment can be perceived negatively.
- Use upper-case words sparingly. As it’s more difficult to read text in capitals, they should only be used for emphasis. Many readers consider the use of capital letters to be the electronic equivalent of SHOUTING.
- Keep e-mails to one topic. Even if it means sending multiple e-mails to the same person. It’s easier for the recipient to file and forward the mail appropriately.
- Follow reply threads. If you’re replying to an e-mail and don’t need a new title, then use the “reply” facility. The recipient can immediately grasp and recognize the context.
- Follow the chain of command. Use proper procedures for corresponding with management. For example, don’t send an e-mail directly “to the top” just because you can. It is not necessary to “copy in” layers of management to get your point across.
- Use “return receipt requested”. If it’s an important e-mail, use the “return receipt requested” function when sending the e-mail. That stops you from worrying whether it has been received. If you receive an important mail, have the courtesy to send an immediate reply saying it arrived.
- Check recipients. Before hitting the SEND button, make sure the e-mail is going to only the person/people you want it to go to: especially when replying. It’s easy to reply to all the addressees of an incoming mail when you didn’t mean to, or mistake the name of the sender.
- Re-read your e-mail before sending it. Time spent getting spelling, formatting and grammar correct is time that creates a positive perception of you amongst people who may only know you through your e-mails.