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Access to Town Council computer

0 votes
Is it normal for only the Town Clerk to have access to the council's computer? Our clerk was recently off sick for quite some time and was very reluctant  to give the login details to the Chairman.
asked by (120 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
The information on the computer belongs to the Council, not the Clerk, so you should have arrangements in place to ensure that it can be made accessible without the involvement of the Clerk.  This would usually be a sealed envelope containing all the relevant access codes etc, held by the Chair or another designated councillor.

For a prolonged period of sickness, the Clerk should assist in providing access, if there is a valid reason for this.  For example, the council's email account(s) should be monitored at all times.

Did the Clerk offer an explanation for his or her reluctance to allow access?
answered by (11.4k points)
Thank you for your reply. The Clerk said it was because of Data Protection. This made no sense to me as the it's the Council's data. The Clerk did eventually give me access as it was obvious she was going to be away for some time and I was able to deal with email and with the help of another councillor attend to minutes and agendas. But I realise that going forward we must have some system of access in place.
Some care needs to be taken with setting up a suitable solution.  Frequently used passwords should be changed on a regular basis and there should be checks that strong passwords are used.  There are online password managers that should allow regularly used passwords to be changed but still be controlled by a separate master password that can be shared with the Chairman of the Council (in a sealed envelope).
There have been cases where the Clerk has walked off with the computer or died and the Council lost access to everything
I’ve also been told of a case where the computer was wiped clean
So it’s not just the computer and access but also backing up the information just in case
Agreed.  Checks on computer backups should be part of the regular procedure checks carried out by councillors (as well as the internal auditor) alongside things like bank reconciliation.  Sadly many councils are still in amateur hour when it comes to most of this.
0 votes
Check your Financial Regulations, It is 6.11 in the one I’ve just looked at.
answered by (400 points)

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