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0 votes
When a clerk has ended their service after retiring or resigning and a successor has not yet been appointed, then in he gap how can routine and sometimes urgent business communicated to the generic ‘clerk@….’ email address be monitor and administers? Is it okay for Cllrs to be appointed to access it or should an RFO be given the authority? In both cases there may be concerns about privacy and confidentiality. Do any readers here have experience with this?
by (720 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
The answer to your question lies in what follows "clerk@"

If it is an email service provider contracted and paid for by the council then the council owns the IP for all of the content within that mailbox and there should only be a minimal / reasonable amount (none really but a little bit is often considered reasonable) 'personal' content.  And when I say personal content I mean personal to that former employee as a private individual - maybe a correspondence with a utilities provider for example.  That which is 'sensitive' information (personal details of other parties conducting business with the council via the clerk) is non exclusive and sensitive for the former employee - it is sensitive for the organisation / data controller so falls under corporate protection and sensitivities.  Further, if it is a council provided email service there 'should be' IT / communications policy which 'should' state that all / any email correspondence is subject to scrutiny / monitoring by appropriate person.  In this case, you contact the email service provider to tell them the former employee has departed, you ask for password reset and the council nominates some person(s) to monitor the clerk email address until the situation is resolved.

If however, it is "clerk@" hotmail / iCloud / Gmail etc, then that account may well have been set up by the former employee and only they can liaise with the email service provider and your council is in a bit of a spot....

Councils really should be on .gov email accounts with a IT policy which allows and overtly states that email is monitored.
by (21.3k points)
0 votes
Something for your council to discuss prior to your clerk leaving but if you have a separate rfo or other staff it would be more usual for the retiring/resigning clerk to arrange for emails to be forwarded to another staff member or locum (if you have appointed one).  When the new clerk arrives, that forwarding can be cancelled.  I don't think there's any legal reason for the forwarding not to be to a councillor but it can be an onerous task getting a multitude of emails to sift through so an existing paid member of staff would be preferable.
by (19.1k points)

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