Civilian PPM: General Policies

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Policy # 43: General Policies

Employee Groups

An employee may not be prohibited from, or coerced into, joining an employee group. An employee group, or any member thereof, may not solicit membership or conduct business meetings on City time.

An employee group may, however, with the prior written approval of the Division Manager utilize the following:

  • City buildings or facilities after work hours to conduct business meetings
  • Interoffice mail system
  • Bulletin boards

Dress Codes

Employees are required to dress in attire suitable to their position in order to maintain a good public image and to assure public safety.

Personal Hygiene

Employees are expected to maintain good personal hygiene in order to maintain a good public image and foster harmonious working environments.

Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards within common areas of public access are designated official City bulletin boards. Information posted on official bulletin boards must pertain to official City business or activities.

Postings on bulletin boards mounted in non-public areas, such as inside various City divisions, are limited to announcements or notices of community events and activities, as well as official announcements.

Bulletin boards in areas such as cafeterias and break rooms may include information contained on the above described bulletin boards and announcements of an upcoming or current event or sale.

No posted notice or message may promote a political, illegal or offensive agenda or material.

Search and Seizure

An employee may be subject to a search of the work site, assigned City equipment or property, and other items within their personal possession in certain circumstances while on City-owned or City-leased property. During such a search, City property in the unauthorized possession of the employee may be confiscated.

The decision to conduct such a search is at the sole discretion of the immediate supervisor, security personnel, or other authorized personnel.

Nepotism

An applicant or employee shall not receive preferential consideration because of a relationship to another employee. No two members of an immediate family (parent, guardian, child, brother, sister, grandparents, and grandchild, including these relatives in-law, step or half, or any other family member residing in the employee's household), excluding spouses or two people who plan to be married, shall be employed in a direct supervisory relationship.

Nothing prevents spouses or two people who plan to be married from working for the City, or same unit, except in the following circumstances:

  • One spouse directly or indirectly exercises supervisory, appointment, or dismissal authority or disciplinary authority over the other spouse.
  • One spouse would audit, verify or receive, or be entrusted with monies received or handled by the other spouse.
  • One spouse has access to the other spouse's confidential information, including payroll and personnel records.

Should marriage or any other event cause a violation of this policy, either employee must, within 90 days, secure other employment which does not violate this policy or resign.

The application of this policy will apply prospectively; therefore, current employees in assignments which violate this policy are exempt from its application in their current positions. If an employee seeks a transfer or promotion, the new assignment cannot put the employee in greater conflict of this policy, than they have in their current position.

Visitors to City Work Sites

The City occasionally hosts visitors in the workplace for organized events such as site tours and job shadow.  All visitors will be subject to the same responsibilities for workplace safety and conduct as City employees. The City shall enforce the use of such safety practices and equipment to visitors.  Employees shall immediately notify their immediate supervisor and the Risk Management Office of any incident causing injury to a visitor.

Policy # 49 Management Rights

The City has the exclusive right to establish the City's mission, set organizational structure, and determine staffing needs and considerations.

The City shall retain, whether exercised or not, solely and exclusively, all express and inherent rights and authority pursuant to law with respect to determining the level of, and manner in which, the City's activities are conducted, managed, and administered, and all employees will recognize the exclusive right of the City to establish and maintain rules and procedures for the administration of its Departments and Divisions.

The City has the exclusive right and authority to schedule work and/or overtime work as required in the manner most advantageous to the City. Every incidental duty connected with operations enumerated in class specifications is not necessarily described; nevertheless, it is intended that all such duties shall be performed by the employee. The City shall determine assignments, and establish methods and processes by which assignments are performed.

The appointing authority or designee reserves the right to discipline or terminate employees subject to appropriate policies and procedures.

The City has the exclusive right to transfer employees to like positions and classifications with the same pay range within their current department or division to best meet the needs of the City.

Policy # 50: Freedom of Speech

The City will comply with state and federal laws concerning freedom of speech for public employees.

Policy # 51: Release of Public Information

The intent of this policy is to ensure that the public receives accurate, thorough, and timely information on the City of Colorado Springs.

In addition to the Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee, each City Department shall designate a media liaison(s) for each unit within the Department who will respond to media requests for information and interviews. Department Directors or Council/Mayoral Appointees and media liaisons are authorized to make public statements about the operations and issues concerning Department policy. All requests for interviews should be coordinated with the Public Communications Division Manager.

In accordance with the Colorado Open Records Act, requests for written materials should be received in writing and coordinated through the Public Communications Division.

Group Support Manager/Council/Mayoral Appointee Responsibility

The Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee shall be responsible for responding to media interviews, and for designating media liaison(s).

Policy # 52: Open Records Act Compliance

The City of Colorado Springs is required to follow Colorado law regarding inspection and copying of public records. Any legal questions regarding Open Records Act, CRS 24-72-201, compliance and any requests for information which the Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee feels is not clearly covered by this policy should be referred to the City Attorney's Office for consultation prior to release of information.

Definitions

The terms used in this policy shall have the same meaning as those terms are defined in the Colorado Public (Open) Records Act. Several of those definitions are reprinted herein as they apply to the City of Colorado Springs.

  • Custodian: The official custodian or any authorized person having personal custody and control of the public records in question.
  • Official Custodian: Any officer or employee of the City who is responsible for the maintenance, care, and keeping of public records, regardless of whether such records are in his or her actual personal custody and control.
  • Person: Any natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, firm, or association.
  • Person in Interest: The person who is the subject of a record and any representative designated by said person; except that, if the subject of the record is under a legal disability, "person in interest" means and includes his or her parent or duly appointed legal representative.
  • Personnel Files: Includes information on home addresses, telephone numbers, financial information, and other information maintained because of the employer-employee relationship, and other documents specifically exempt from disclosure under law. "Personnel files" does not include applications of past or current employees, employment agreements, any amount paid or benefit provided incident to termination of employment, performance ratings, or any compensation, including expense allowances and benefits paid to any person by the City of Colorado Springs.
  • Public Records: All writings made, maintained or kept by the City of Colorado Springs in exercise of functions required or authorized by law or administrative rule or involving a receipt of expenditure of public funds.
  • Writings: All books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics. "Writings" includes digitally stored data, including electronic mail messages, but does not include computer software.

For purposes of public records disclosure, each Department Director shall be considered the official custodian of the public records kept or maintained by the group.

Time Requirements

Requests for records which are readily available for inspection and copying shall be accommodated as soon as reasonably practical. The date and hour for inspection of records not readily available at the time of the request shall be within a reasonable time after the request. A "reasonable time" shall be three working days or less unless the three working day period is extended to a maximum of seven working days. The custodian shall make written findings of the reasons for the extenuating circumstances, and the findings shall be given to the person making the request within the original three-day period. In no event can extenuating circumstances apply to a request that relates to a single specifically identified document.

Extenuating circumstances shall apply only when:

  • The request is broadly stated and encompasses all or substantially all of a large category of records and the request is without sufficient specificity to allow the custodian reasonably to prepare or gather records within the three-day period;
  • A broadly stated request encompasses all or substantially all of a large category of records and the City group(s) cannot gather the records within the three-day period;
  • The City group(s) needs to devote all or substantially all of its resources to meet the records request deadline that is either unique or not expected to recur more than once per month;
  • A request involves such a large volume of records that the custodian cannot reasonably prepare or gather the records within the three-day period without substantially interfering with the custodian's obligation to perform his or her other public service responsibilities.

Denial of Inspection or Copying

Pursuant to the Colorado (Open) Records Act, the custodian of a public record may deny inspection and/or copying of a public record for the following reasons:

Such inspection may be disallowed pursuant to procedures under the Colorado Public (Open) Records Act.

  • Such inspection would be contrary to any state statute.
  • Such inspection would be contrary to any federal statute or regulation issued therein having the force and effect of law.
  • Such inspection is prohibited by rules promulgated by the Supreme Court or by order of any court.

The following is a list of the type of records for which the custodian may deny requests for inspection and/or copying under the Open Records Act:

  • Records of investigations conducted by a prosecuting attorney or police department, any records of the intelligence information or security procedures of any prosecuting attorney or police department, or any investigatory files compiled for any law enforcement purpose;
  • Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data pertaining to administration of a licensing examination or examination for employment, except that written promotional examinations and the scores or results shall be available for inspection, but not copying or reproduction, by the person in interest after the grading of any such examination.
  • Specific details of a bona fide research project being conducted by the City of Colorado Springs.
  • Contents of real estate appraisals made for the City of Colorado Springs relative to the acquisition of property or any interest in property for public use until such time as title to the property or property interest is passed to the City, except as required by CRS §38 1 121.

Requests for inspection and copying of the following records shall be denied to all persons except "Persons in Interest" (see definitions in section 4.2 above):

  • Personnel files.
  • Letters of reference.
  • Trade secrets, privileged information, and confidential commercial, financial, geological, geophysical data furnished by or obtained from any person.
  • Records of sexual harassment complaints and investigations. Disclosure of any such records to the person in interest is permissible to the extent that the disclosure can be made without permitting the identification of any individual involved.
  • Records protected under the common law governmental or "deliberative process" privilege, if the material is so candid or personal that public disclosure is likely to stifle honest and frank discussion within the government, if it is pre-decisional, and if it is deliberative in nature. If the City withholds a document based upon this privilege, the custodian must provide the applicant with a sworn statement specifically describing each document withheld, explaining why each document is privileged, and why disclosure would cause substantial injury to the public interest. The applicant may request the custodian to apply to the district court for an order permitting him or her to restrict disclosure. The burden of proof shall be upon the City. The court will determine whether disclosure of the records would cause substantial injury to the public interest.

An official custodian has authority, pursuant to CRS § 24-72-204(6), to determine whether disclosure of contents of the public record otherwise not exempt from disclosure would substantially injure the public interest. If records are withheld on this basis, the City must seek a court order prohibiting the disclosure of the records.

In addition to the foregoing, the following documents shall not be disclosed: Attorney/Client Communications and Attorney Work Product: All communications to and from the City Attorney's Office may be privileged and confidential. Such documents shall not be released absent authorization by the City Attorney.

Work Product for Elected Officials: All advisory or deliberative materials assembled for the benefit of elected officials which express an opinion or are deliberative in nature and are communicated for the purpose of assisting elected officials in reaching a decision within the scope of their authority.

Other Confidential Information: All records which are required or allowed to be kept confidential by any statute, law, ordinance or rule may be designated as confidential.

Procedure

All requests made by the media or by citizens shall be immediately forwarded to Public Communications for response. All other requests shall be delivered to the appropriate Department Director for response. If information is requested from more than one group, the Public Communications Manager shall be immediately notified and will coordinate a response. Requests which raise legal concerns will be coordinated through the Public Communications Manager and all documents forwarded to the City Attorney for response.

Charges for Inspection and Copying

Charges for retrieval and copying of public records shall be in accordance with the applicable Resolutions.

Last revised: 4/17

Policy # 53: Policy and Procedure Manual Modifications

The City retains the sole right to modify, suspend, interpret, or cancel in whole, or in part the provision of any of the Administrative Policies and Procedures.

Procedure for Adoption or Revision

  • The Mayor, or designee, when operationally feasible, shall post the proposed/amended Policy and Procedure on the city website for a reasonable period prior to effective date of implementation.
  • Employees wishing to comment shall submit their comments to the Mayor and the Human Resources Director.
  • The Mayor may conduct a hearing to hear employee comments regarding specific policy and procedure changes.
  • After a review of employee comments, a Policy and Procedure shall be promulgated either as originally proposed or as amended.
  • Employees will be notified when a policy and/or procedure has been adopted or modified.  It will be their responsibility to read the affected section.  Employees are responsible for knowing and adhering to all policies and procedures contained within the PPM.

Policy # 54: Tools and Equipment (Personal Usage of City-Owned)

With an exception for the limited use of office equipment and telephones, employees may not use City-owned tools, equipment, or shop facilities for personal, non-City business, use.

Exceptions

Office Equipment

At the discretion of the Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee, employees may be allowed the personal use of office equipment such as computers and copiers. Employees shall provide their own paper, envelopes, and expendable supplies.

Copiers

A fee of $.50 covering the cost per personal copy shall be reimbursed to the City.

Portable Computers

Employees must receive approval from the immediate supervisor for personal and/or business use of portable computers off-site.

Telephones

City telephone may be used for short, intermittent personal calls that do not result in charges to the City. Calls that result in charges are long distance; some time, weather, or informational services and local/long distance directory assistance.

  • Employees may use City telephones for long distance when personal calling or credit cards, collect calling, or operator assisted billing to a non-City number are used.
  • Emergency long distance telephone calls may be placed using City telephones. The City will be reimbursed for the charges based on the monthly statement amount.

Fax Machines

City-owned fax machines and their communication lines should not be used for personal business.  If an employee obtains permission from the Supervisor to use the fax machine because of an unusual situation, the employee must reimburse the City for faxes sent out of the Colorado Springs area code.

Policy # 55: Computer Usage and Computing Environment

The City provides computer systems for use of its employees in the conduct of official City business. City employees are required to comply with all official City and departmental computer systems policies that apply to them as end-users, including adherence to all Information Technology Security Procedures.

Definitions

Computing Resources

Computer, network, or data equipment, and/or services, leased, owned, or contracted for or by the City, to include:

  • Computer and network hardware.
  • Computer software, application systems, and programs.
  • Data such as records, files, logs, and images which are or have been stored electronically or transmitted using City property.
  • Messages such as e-mail, created, stored, or viewed on such computer.
  • Computer or network services, such as Internet, intranet, e-mail systems, and other programs or applications that reside within or operate as part of the City's computing environment.

Approved Software

Software or programs that are:

  • Approved for use by the manager of the unit.
  • Approved for use in the City, as stated in the Hardware & Software standards for the City.

Access

The City is able to monitor or examine messages, data, or software that involve its computing resources. As the owner of the computer systems, the City reserves the right to periodically examine, as it deems appropriate, any messages, data, or software left on or transmitted using the City's computing resources, including electronic logs and usage records.

  • Employees should assume that such messages, data, or software are not private/confidential.
  • The contents of computers and electronic mail are subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, court order, or a legitimate City business inquiry. Therefore, under certain circumstances, the City may disclose the contents to the public.
  • At the City's discretion, messages, data, or software deleted from computing resources may be retrieved.

Internet Usage

The City uses software and systems to monitor and record the Internet usage for each user. The City reserves the right to block accesses from within its networks to any sites deemed inappropriate or which have a detrimental effect upon network performance. Employees should not have any expectation of privacy as to their usage of Internet World Wide Web sites, file transfers, chat sessions, and/or online subscription or delivery.

E-mail

E-mail or other computer generated messages that are to be broadcast to all City employees must be coordinated with Public Communications and will be distributed by Information Technology.

Security

City employees are required to read, understand, and comply with all policies contained in the City's Information Technology Security Policies Manual pertaining to end-users. The Citywide policy may be accessed on the City's Intranet (IntraCity) and all policies pertaining to end-users may be found in Chapter 3 of that manual. In addition, employees must comply with any additional security policies that may have been promulgated by their respective department. Failure to comply with security policies may result in discipline, up to and including termination.

Misuse of Computing Resources

Employees are expected to properly use the computer resources available to assist in the performance of their assigned job. Computer misuse may result in discipline, up to and including discharge.

Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Excessive or Inappropriate Use: An employee's access to the Internet or use of any computing resources may be terminated or limited at the discretion of the employee's immediate supervisor, Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee if the usage is interfering with the performance of duties or is otherwise deemed inappropriate.
  • Offensive Material: A wide variety of materials available on the internet or received by e-mail may be deemed offensive. These materials include, but are not limited to sexually explicit material and material that includes racial, ethnic, religious, or sexist slurs. Employees are not to use the City's computing resources to intentionally, view, store, print, or redistribute any such document or graphic file.
  • Personal Economic Gain: The City's computing resources must not be used in any fashion for personal economic gain, including private businesses or gambling activity.
  • The Fair Campaign Practices Act: Provisions must not be violated through personal usage of the computer, if such usage might influence the outcome of an election.
  • Software Usage: The installation and use of software must be approved by the Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee and must comply with the City's Hardware and Software Standards. Usage of approved software must comply with all licensing requirements.

E-Mail Misuse: E-mailed chain letters, jokes, personal messages, and goods for sale should not be broadcast. Offensive and inappropriate material should not be contained in any e-mail messages.