OLG Model Social Media Policy - consultation draft

Social media 480 jpeg

The Office of Local Government has released a model social media policy for consultation across the industry. They say it has been developed using “best practice from social media policies of a diverse range of NSW councils, as well as from Commonwealth and State Government agencies.”  The Draft Model Code is relevant for all employees, whether they use a council’s social media, or social media at work for private purposes (which we don’t recommend) or social media for private purposes at home, but may identify themselves as council employees.

We’ve seen it all as desktop computers took over the workplace in parallel with access to the Internet. People using common sense understood the benefits (and more importantly understanding and managing the risks) and foolhardy people using Council communication systems for a whole range of inappropriate purposes.

In those days, Sydney City had such difficulties with employees accessing porn and unacceptable images that they introduced a skin screening filter which stopped everyone circulating or receiving pictures of their family, the kids or their Mum.

There can’t be many more potentially distressing experiences for a union official than attending a meeting with the CEO, accompanying a member who had been given a “Show Cause” letter about why he shouldn’t be sacked because of his consistent breaching of guidelines, with a member who doesn’t quite get it. This is an opportunity the City provided in the past to metaphorically get down on your knees to save your job.

Patient schooling of the member before he threw himself at mercy of the CEO, encouraging him to explain how, while he was suspended over this, his wife had sent him to the other bedroom - and surely never to return. When you’re sprung, we all know it’s about contrition and acknowledgement. It’s one thing to expect that the member is going to do those things rehearsed but it’s another one when they surprise you and immediately say to the CEO, “come on, we’re all adult men here, aren’t we”... The idiot must’ve thought he needed to show cause why he should be sacked. He was.

And there were plenty of those experiences. Everyone has grown up a bit, everyone understands now that it’s the Council that owns the system, and you use it under their rules.

This Draft Code will be the rules across the industry. Submissions close this week but the OLG will accept late submissions, as long as it’s not too late. We will be submitting a submission of our own. An employee’s private use is found in Part 8 and submission or comments go to .

We think it may prejudice those of you who use LinkedIn, but this is a document worth reading and responding to the OLG. And quickly, too.

Copyright © 2022 The Development and Environmental Professionals' Association (depa). All Rights Reserved. Webdesign: Dot Online