Utah County adopted a social media policy on Wednesday outlining communication and data retention rules immediately after the Condition Information Committee admonished the county for not subsequent greatest records administration tactics.

The Utah County Social Media Administration Plan, which the Utah County Commission accredited unanimously with no dialogue, applies to “all posts, remarks, messages, and content material made, produced, manufactured, and/or managed by formal County social media web sites,” although it “does not implement to elected officials’ personal social media accounts, including these particular accounts that designate the elected official as an elected formal for the County.”

The policy states that “public officers and all employees shall use formal social media accounts for all government business carried out on social media.”

According to the coverage, county departments must ensure “government communications do not originate from personal accounts” and that “personal communications are never ever produced via federal government social media accounts,” as nicely as that “elected officials do not use governing administration accounts to publish material reflecting the pursuits of political strategies or functions.”

“The use of particular social media accounts to conduct County enterprise is prohibited,” the social media policy reads. “If a private social media account is employed for govt business enterprise, the articles made is a public document, and the own social media account have to be managed and archived according to general public information legal guidelines and these insurance policies.”

Less than the enforcement area, the plan states that “any County staff, excluding elected officials posting or commenting on their individual private or formal political social media site, identified to have knowingly violated this coverage shall be matter to disciplinary motion, which includes, but not restricted to, short term reduction of community connectivity, decline of Internet obtain, or complete and lasting termination of access to any Utah County network.”

The new plan comes just times following the State Data Committee denied an enchantment submitted by Utah County resident Mark Allen in excess of opportunity text messages sent or obtained by Utah County Commissioner Invoice Lee about private enhancement of Bridal Veil Falls.

In December 2020, Allen asked for the textual content messages from the Utah County Attorney’s Business. The attorney’s workplace denied his information request due to the fact “Utah County does not spend for his private cell cellular phone and subsequently we do not put together, possess, obtain or retain the affiliated information.”

In its purchase, the Point out Records Committee wrote that “after having viewed as the arguments and the evidence presented to the Committee, the Committee is persuaded that … (the county) does not have any documents responsive to Mr. Allen’s information request.”

But the committee also referenced two instances in Utah affirming “that a history prepared by a federal government employee within his or her capability as a authorities worker, could be regarded as a ‘record’ subject matter to GRAMA,” which includes text messages.

The records committee expressed hope “that documents management techniques of governmental entities will be changed in the near long run in buy to make it possible for the community to have larger access to electronic general public communications by officials performing within their capacity as community officers regardless of irrespective of whether the communications are manufactured by way of community or personal electronic devices.”

Notably, the 6-site social media coverage adopted by Utah County on Wednesday does not lay out pointers for texts or own phones.

“Starkly missing is a coverage on cellphone use,” Allen informed the Day by day Herald on Thursday.

Allen advised that the county adopt a plan prohibiting the use of private telephones for official small business and offer officials with official telephones.

“I think that they need to have to standardize on anything,” he explained.

But Allen mentioned he nevertheless sees the plan as “a move in the suitable direction” that will boost transparency in regional govt. “It ought to not be underestimated, the worth of social media procedures.”

Utah County Attorney’s Place of work associates could not be attained on Thursday for remark.

Connor Richards covers authorities, the ecosystem and south Utah County for the Day-to-day Herald. He can be reached at crichards@heraldextra.com and 801-344-2599.