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Acceptable Use of Technology Resources Policy

About the policy

Acceptable use of technology

What kind of technology do you use in your role at The City? Are you using email, the Internet, smartphones, computers or printers? Increasingly, we need technology to communicate with each other, Calgarians and customers.  It can be an essential tool to deliver exceptional public service.

As part of our commitment to protect The City’s reputation and responsible use of taxpayer dollars, technology should be used for its intended purpose - that is where the Acceptable Use of City Technology Resources Policy guides us.


This policy benefits you, Calgarians and The City by:

  • Setting the standard for acceptable technology resource use for employees; ensuring we’re all playing by the same rules.
  • Safeguarding City assets, data and information from abuses and threats.
  • Protecting both The City and employees by providing a standard by which questions of acceptable technology resource use can be gauged.
  • Promoting the safe and responsible use of technology resources in a way that uses taxpayer dollars responsibly and protects The City’s reputation.

This policy applies to you if you are a(n):

  • City of Calgary employee
  • Vendor
  • Consultant
  • City volunteer
  • Temporary or seasonal worker
  • City contractor
  • Individual with authorized access to The City's technology resources

What is considered City technology?

Click below to read examples of each technology category.

Desktop, portable, and wireless computers and attachments
  • Desktops
  • Laptops
  • Computer kiosks
  • Desk phones
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • External and remote storage systems
Mobile technology
  • Notebook computers, laptops, tablets
  • Cell phones and smartphones (e.g. BlackBerry and iPhone)
  • Air cards
  • Push to talk radios
  • Modems
Internet and electronic communication services
  • Email
  • Instant Messenger (including Lync)
  • Voice mail
  • Long distance and roaming
  • Voice / text / data
Data, information and other work products created or maintained using City-owned
  • Computer programs
  • Databases
  • Spreadsheets
Network infrastructure
  • Switches
  • Fiber optic cables
  • Wireless networks
  • Wi-Fi access points
Business systems
  • Office productivity systems (Word, Outlook, Excel, etc.)
  • Utility (computer hardware, operating system or application software)
  • All other City administrative systems
  • Related server and storage infrastructure
Consumable goods used in operation with any City resource
  • DVDs, CDs
  • Tape media
  • Paper
  • USB memory sticks

Policy download

Download the full policy below.

Case study and Frequently Asked Questions

Click to expand the following case studies and Frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Case study

I am a Recreation leader at The City and also volunteer in my personal time as the president of our community youth basketball association. With the start of the season around the corner I need to get email notices out to the coaches and other volunteers. I decide to come into work early one morning and do this on my work computer.

Is this acceptable if I use my City email address to send the notices? What if I use a personal email account instead? Please explain.

  • Personal use of City technology resources is acceptable in this scenario because it doesn’t interfere with the performance of the employee’s normal duties (i.e. he or she came into work early to complete this task) and it doesn’t incur a cost to The City.
  • City identities (such as email accounts) should never be used for non-City business, but sending the notices using a personal email account (e.g. Gmail) on City owned computers is permitted provided this task is handled in non-work hours.
  • When in doubt, check with your supervisor before using City technology for a personal, non-work related reason, to determine if this is acceptable use.
Frequently asked questions

Can I use City technology, like a computer, mobile or desktop phone to do a personal task?

Yes, occasional or incidental use of The City’s technology resources for personal reasons is allowed for tasks that are lawful, ethical and consistent with other City policies. Your use of The City’s technology resources should not affect your performance, abuse your work time or cause additional costs to The City.

Can I use City technology for my volunteer activities such as supporting my community association?

Maybe. The City encourages all employees to deepen their knowledge of, and commitment to, public service and that may involve volunteer work. If you have been given City technology as part of your job here at The City, and want to use it to support your volunteer role, you need supervisor approval within your business unit before you start using it outside of work.

Can I visit websites that interest me while on my lunch break? Will The City know which websites I have visited?

You are allowed to use The City's internet service as long as the websites you are visiting align with The City’s Respectful Workplace guidelines. The City monitors and logs all Internet usage so you cannot expect privacy when using City technology.

Can I install a free app to my City issued phone or tablet?

Yes and no. Apps today are complex. Some could track your City contact information, passwords and more. Some could bury their true intent in the listed permissions or use confusing language while their true intent may be to harvest data and sell this to willing purchasers. City staff can install apps on their City-issued smartphones and tablets provided this does not incur a cost to The City and are obtained from a reputable source (i.e. Blackberry World or Apple App Store).

Examples of appropriate business apps include news apps like Calgary Herald or appropriate social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. Example of what not to download is Outlook for iPhones which stores your city credentials on an external server. While many apps are harmless, you are advised to play it safe with a City issued phone or tablet when deciding what to install on your mobile device.

Can I go to game websites on my work breaks?

Yes. Visiting game or fun websites that are not blocked by The City is acceptable under the policy. Requests to unblock such sites will be denied unless there is a business requirement for doing so. If you are not certain, check with your supervisor.

Policy resources

  1. Download: Acceptable Use of Technology Resources Policy
  2. Download: Acceptable Use of Technology Tip Sheet
  3. Download: Acceptable Use of Technology Standards
  4. Visit myCity for additional FAQs (City network access required)

View the complete Code of Conduct policy library