Making Compliance Easier

Local Authority Vote for Non-Elective Policy Delivery

Industry Summary

Derry City Council is one of the largest local authorities in Northern Ireland, employing 550 staff and providing services to a constituent population of about 105,000. All staff are committed to working for the betterment of the city and the District Council area and strive towards meeting corporate mission, priorities and values. Policy communication is a critical requirement for the Council that ensures all staff are educated, informed and understand all required organisational policies.


Business Situation

All UK local authorities are under pressure to meet the challenges of the E-government modernization programme. Comprehensive Performance Assessments undertaken by the Audit Commission are also in place to encourage local authorities to establish firm foundations of good management. Council bodies are required to demonstrate a technical infrastructure that facilitates the flow of information. Current paper based and intranet communication methods are a drain on corporate I.T resources making policy deliverance a time consuming and laborious task.

Derry City Council measure the efficiency and effectiveness of their ICT service as a metric in the overall evaluation of the organisation. Corporate governance frameworks place heavy reliance on IT systems to assure the integrity of information. Therefore, attaining agreement on policies and instructions such as an Acceptable Usage Policy is essential.


Implementing MetaCompliance Classic

Using conventional means of communicating with the large council staff proved a challenge to Derry City Council. Uel Harvey, ICT Manager of Derry City Council said, ‘Although we had well written policies such as the IT Security Policy, we were disadvantaged in the sense that we did not have an efficient nor effective means of communicating them to our staff. Emailing policies and chasing for signatures on paper based documents was time-consuming and not giving us the response rate of policy acceptance that we needed. We had no means of assessing which staff understood the policy and who actually accepted the terms and conditions.’

Now enabled with an automated, compulsory method of delivering all Council policies to staff, management are provided with an audit trail of user acceptance. The IT department can easily provide I.T security prompts and guidance, demonstrating that security procedures are in line with best practice standards. MetaCompliance Classic acts as the delivery vehicle for I.T security initiatives including the maintenance of policy and the promotion of education and awareness material.


Conclusion

With MetaCompliances's solution, Derry City Council will be able to rigorously enforce policy communication, clearly demonstrate best practice and duty of care to their board of directors and regulators, and achieve significant levels of effectiveness and consistency quickly. Communication with employees and the creation of IT Security awareness within the organisation is the key to best practice. The dangers of overlooking internal threats are considerable and companies have to make IT Security part of their culture and a personal responsibility for all staff.


Next Steps...


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