City of Key West
Electronic Mail and Internet Acceptable Use Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and procedures relating to the use of electronic mail (E-mail) and the Internet for all city departments and employees.

Policy Statement:

E-mail has been provided to the City’s employees to facilitate the timely sharing of data.  All information generated and disseminated by E-mail is available for public access under the Florida Public Records Law.  Employees shall have no expectation of privacy when using E-mail.  Employees are encouraged to use

E-mail for business purposes only.

Internet access for the employees of the City of Key West has been established to further the goals and objectives of the City.  Since access to the Internet is allowed on City equipment with a City authorized ID, employees have an obligation to use the Internet in a responsible and informed way.

Permissible Use:

The City of Key West provides E-mail and access to the Internet to its employees for business purposes.  All E-mail messages are the property of the City and should not be considered private.  Employees are expected to use the Internet in support of organizational objectives and be consistent with the mission of the City of Key West. 

Prohibited Use:

The following uses of the City’s E-mail system and Internet access are prohibited and subject to the employee receiving disciplinary action up to discharge depending on the severity of the violation.

  • Use of the E-mail system and/or Internet to compromise the integrity of the City and its business.

  • Use of the E-mail system to send chain letters.

  • Use of the E-mail system and/or Internet for political endorsements.

  • Use of the E-mail system and/or Internet resulting in or relating to personal gain or for profit enterprise or commercial use.

  • Extensive use of Internet resources for personal use.

  • Intentional use of E-mail and/or the Internet to access, transmit or process obscene material, inappropriate text, graphic files, sexual, racial, or ethnic communications.

  • Use of the E-mail system to send messages or visit Internet sites containing offensive, abusive, threatening or other language deemed inappropriate in the City’s Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual.

  • Use of the E-mail system to send messages or visit Internet sites that violate the City’s Harassment Policy.

User’s Responsibilities:

  • Use of E-mail and the Internet must be supportive of organizational objectives and be consistent with the mission of the City of Key West.    

  • Users must abide by copyright, contract and other local, state and federal laws, city directives and policies as well as individual department guidelines.  

  • E-mail and Internet accounts are to be accessed only by the authorized owner of the account.  Confidentiality of passwords and user id’s must be protected.  Individual users will be held accountable for use of their account by others.  

  • Users and their department’s management are jointly responsible for understanding the terms of this agreement and monitoring the need for E-mail and/or Internet access as part of the user’s assigned duties and responsibilities.  

  • Programs, applications, etc. are not to be downloaded from an E-mail attachment or from the Internet to a City-owned computer without written permission from the IT Department.

Monitoring of Electronic Mail:

All E-mails are the property of the City.  As matter of general policy, the City will not monitor messages.  The City reserves the right to access messages for any legitimate business purpose, including, but not limited to the following circumstances or whenever it is determined by the City Manager that the reasons for doing so are consistent with the City’s need for supervision, control and efficiency in the workplace:

  • If required to do so by law.

  • In the course of an investigation for possible violation of City policies.

  • In the event there is reasonable suspicion that a user has committed or is committing a crime against the City or for which the City could be liable.

  • Upon an employee leaving the employment of the City for any reason.  The electronic mail may be accessed to retrieve messages pertaining to City business.  This request must be made by the Department Director and approved by the IT Director.

  • Requests to review an employee’s E-mail, except in the case at the end of employment, must   be provided in writing by the Department Director and approved by the City Manager.  It  should then be forwarded to the IT Director for appropriate action.

Access Violations:

It is a violation of the City’s policy for any user, including the IT Department Staff, to access the E-mail of others without a written request from the Department Director and approved by the City Manager.

Anyone found engaging in such practices will be subjected to disciplinary action, which could result in termination of system access, employment and/or criminal prosecution.