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Proper Use of City Resources

Proper use of City resources

I am responsible for: the proper use of City resources

As municipal employees serving the citizens of Calgary, we are held to a high standard of behaviour. To help us meet citizen needs and public expectations, The City provides us with access to a wide range of resources including specialized equipment, tools, technology, information, identity, software, vehicles, supplies and facilities.

Access to these resources comes with an individual responsibility to use them for City business, and to respect the confidentiality and privacy of the information we have access to. It is also important to consider our actions, decisions and use of resources with respect to their impact on the environment. Many small, individual actions can add up to big differences.

Behaviours for the proper use of City resources

Respect City resources:

  • Protect the City information you have access to, including confidential Information and personal information under custody and control of The City.
  • Only collect​ personal information you need to do your job.
  • Be efficient and use time, data, fuel, and other resources wisely.
  • Understand that The City has the responsibility to protect and monitor its technology.
  • Ensure you are using City resources for the benefit of The City and its citizens.

Setting an example:

  • If I accidentally collect personal information I don’t need, I do not read, save, or share it. I contact Access and Privacy for next steps.
  • I ensure the information I access at work is directly related to a City business need.
  • I make sure I know how to use my assigned City resources.
  • I do not leave my vehicle with the engine running because I know this is not fuel efficient and is harmful to our environment.
  • I conserve paper by reading digital copies and making double-sided black and white copies when printing is necessary.
  • I store all work-related data and files on IT-approved cloud solutions, devices, or network drives.

Make good decisions:

  • Be a steward of the environment and know The City’s environmental practices.
  • Inspire action to conserve, protect, and enhance the environment for all Calgarians.
  • Seek ways to improve efficiency when using City resources.
  • Assist members of the public with their requests for information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) by providing the information or directing them to Access and Privacy.
  • Consider environmental benefits and impacts when using resources and making decisions.
  • Ask yourself, “Am I using this resource for the reason it was given to me? If someone was watching me, would I use it the same way?”

Setting an example:

  • I check with my leader if I’m unsure about how to manage information I have access to, or when I can and cannot use it.
  • I use personal time to use social media or to follow up on interests outside of my work.
  • I store my City-issued devices in safe locations.
  • I maintain the security of my City device by regularly connecting it to the City network for updates.
  • If I notice oil leaking from my City vehicle, I use the spill kit provided, and report it so the vehicle can be repaired, and the oil contained.
  • I consider using virtual meeting technology to save time and reduce the impact of commuting to off-site meetings.
  • I consider the environmental impact and opportunities when I plan a purchase or project.

Behaviours to avoid: I will not...

  • Use City resources for political activity including printing flyers, sending emails, making calls, or posting statements with City devices.
  • Leave out information when assisting with an access to information request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). Access and Privacy Analysts will decide what information should be released.
  • Store confidential information or others’ personal information on the hard drive of a City computer, a removable storage device, or any personal device.
  • Use City technology for personal use that results in a cost to The City, such as purchasing and downloading games or music or making excessive use of City-paid wireless data.
  • Interfere with information or technology, or using it in a way that would affect operations at The City.
  • Share information that you are not authorized to share.
  • Put recyclable items in the trash.
  • Send others’ personal information to those who do not need it for their job.


Confidential information

Is any information which is not public property, is not in the public domain, and/or would cause harm to individuals or to The City if improperly disclosed. Confidential Information includes information communicated in confidence. This includes information classified as Restricted and Confidential as set out in The City’s Information Security Classification Standard.


A Leader means a person who is in a position of directing employees and/or work relating to any City Workplace, project, contract, or volunteer operation.  They have job titles such as City Manager, General Manager, Director, Chief, Manager, Deputy, Leader, Supervisor, Captain, Team Lead, Superintendent, Foreman, Lead Hand, Coordinator or similar.  This includes those temporarily acting in a Leader role or has been delegated a Leader’s duties.

Personal information

Any recorded information about an identifiable individual. It includes information that relates to a particular individual and allows that individual to be identified, e.g., notes, including opinions, about a customer are the customer’s Personal Information.

Political activity

Includes, but is not limited to, being a candidate for elected office, campaigning for a candidate for elected office, fundraising for an election campaign, and/or promoting a political party or cause.​

I always have choices. Which one feels right to me?

I notice my co-worker who is behind in his work is apartment-hunting on the internet during work-time. What should I do?

  • I ignore him because I don’t want to rock the boat.

  • I recommend some good websites to him to speed up his search.

  • I tell him that his personal use of the internet is not appropriate and is contributing to his missing deadlines.

  • If the behaviour continues or escalates I talk to my leader about my colleague’s behaviour and its impact.

Provide feedback

Using City technology for personal reasons on City time and to the detriment of work completion is not appropriate. We have a collective accountability to remind our co-workers of expected Code behaviours. Speak up!

More examples

Acceptable use of City technology example

Dear Code of Conduct,

In addition to my work at The City, I also volunteer in my personal time as the president of our community soccer association. With the start of the season around the corner I need to do some online scheduling for the coaches and other volunteers. Is it okay if I come into work early and use my desktop computer for this work?

– Volunteering from my Desk

Dear Volunteering,

It’s great that you are giving back to your community in this way! In the scenario you described, it would be acceptable for you to work on this from your desktop computer on your own time. The Acceptable Use of City Technology Resources Policy allows for incidental or occasional use of City technology providing it does not interfere with your productivity or incur a cost to The City.

Remember, if you are unsure of whether City-owned resources can be used for purposes other than the reason it was provided, check with your supervisor before proceeding.

FOIP Act example #1

Dear Code of Conduct,

One of my colleagues is a huge Calgary Stampeders fan. In my role as a Wastewater service technician I became aware of the address of a popular Calgary Stampeders player while on a work-related service call. When my friend learned of my discovery they asked for the player’s address so they can try to get an autograph for their son. What should I do?

– Friend of a Fan

Dear Friend of a Fan,

It sounds like you are a good friend but in this case you cannot share a citizen’s personal information for the following reasons.

First, you came across this information while doing City work.  Personal information gained while at work can be used only for the purpose it was collected. If you shared it, you would be in violation of the FOIP Act as your friend is neither authorized to have it, nor needs it to complete their role at The City.  

Second, it is important that we protect the personal information we come in contact with while at work. This includes locking your computer when you are away from it and shredding paper documents that are no longer being used. 

If you are ever in doubt about sharing information again, you can always check with your FOIP program administrator before you take any actions. 

Environmental policy example

Dear Code of Conduct,

I drive a City vehicle which I have to get in and out of multiple times a day. In the winter I typically lock it and leave it running. If I’m only stopped for 10-15 minutes that’s okay, right?

– Looking for Answers

Dear Looking,

I’m glad you asked as City vehicles and fuel are both considered City resources. While there are times Calgary experiences extreme temperatures (cold AND hot), City vehicles should not be left idling. Turning the vehicle off at each stop is more efficient and supports our collective responsibility to be environmental stewards. Check out our Green Driving Policy for more information. Thanks for doing your part.

FOIP Act example #2

Dear Code of Conduct,

I have the same name as a leader at The City. As a result, I frequently receive emails or documents that contain confidential information in error. What should I do?

– The Other M. Jones

Dear M. Jones,

This can be a challenge for people that have the same, or similar sounding names in an organization. If you receive confidential or personal information in error it is very important that you:

  • Contact the sender to make sure they are aware of the mistake so they can recall the message for others that were copied and report the incident to their leader.
  • Delete the information immediately, do not read, forward or save the document.
  • Do not discuss the content with anyone.
  • Co-operate with an investigation if one arises.

On the other side, if you accidentally send confidential or personal information to the wrong person it’s also important to take immediate action.

You can:

  • Attempt to recall the message.
  • Advise your leader of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) breach.
  • Contact the recipient and ask them to delete the email.

Any breach in confidentiality is taken very seriously. It is important to address it. Ignoring the error is not an acceptable solution. A Privacy Breach Report may need to be created and this can be done online.

Learn more


Resources supporting proper use of City resources can be found in the resource section.

If you are unsure: ask questions and seek guidance

  • Your leader is there to provide clarity on expectations in the workplace and to support you.

  • If you are not comfortable speaking to your leader, you can speak with their leader. The Corporate Organizational Chart can help you identify who this is.

  • The HR Business Partner in your business unit can answer some of your questions or help you find someone who can. If you need to find contact information for your HR Business Partner call: 403-268-5800