Official use of social media

QGEA policy
Official use of social media
Final December 2010 v1.0.0
The policy establishes a clear set of requirements for agencies electing to use social media tools
so they may do so within an authorised and accountable environment. Social media is a general
term used to describe the tools and forms of publishing which are based on an interaction or
conversation online between an author and active readers, in contrast with traditional broadcast
media, where the ‘audience’ is a passive consumer of content.
The policy applies to all departments and covers officially established, publicly available and
departmentally-managed social media accounts, but does not require the establishment of the
accounts. It does not apply to use of social media on a personal or professional basis or cover use
of social media for political or internal government purposes. This policy forms part of the
Government’s commitment to open and transparent government; however, does not extend to the
release of open data or other aspects of eGovernment.
Policy statement
The Queensland Government is committed to embracing the Internet as a channel for service
delivery and engagement with the public. This includes not only official government websites but
also the use of social media tools which can reach segments of the public not easily reached by
other means. The Queensland Government supports the use of social media as part of an
integrated approach to Government activity and through the application of a risk-management
ICT Policy and Coordination Office
Department of Public Works
Official use of social media
Policy benefits
Upon implementation of this policy, both the Queensland Government as a whole and individual
agencies can expect the following benefits:
improved governance on the use of social media
improved understanding of how social media tools may complement existing engagement
improved access to greater segments of the public who may otherwise be under represented
through existing government engagement channels
improved risk management through senior-executive acceptance of risk mitigation methods.
Policy requirements
Policy requirement 1: Agencies must conduct a risk assessment prior
to implementing social media for official use
The use of social media can expose the Queensland Government to risks and compromise
compliance with policy and legislation. Prior to the establishment of official social media accounts,
agencies must conduct a risk assessment, ensure appropriate documentation of requirements is in
place and mitigating actions are established. The risk assessment is to be approved by the
agency’s Chief Information Officer, or their delegate. An implementation checklist detailing major
impact areas is provided in the Official use of social media guideline.
Policy requirement 2: Agencies must manage the creation of and
access to official social media accounts.
Official agency accounts using social media tools represent the public face of the government, with
authorised officers representing the agency in those environments.
Agencies must establish a central register of official social media accounts detailing:
the account’s purpose
officers authorised to access the account
account holder details sufficient to enable continuity of access by the agency.
An implementation checklist along with further implementation advice is contained within the
Official use of social media guideline. Guidance on the use of social media specifically for online
engagement purposes is available in the Online community engagement guideline.
Final v1.0.0, December 2010
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Official use of social media
Issue and review
This QGEA policy is published within the QGEA and is administered by the ICT Policy and
Coordination Office. It was developed in collaboration with the Queensland Government agencies
by Smart Service Queensland and endorsed by the Queensland Government Chief Information
Officer on 22 December 2010.
This QGEA policy will be reviewed on a biannual basis. The next review date is December 2011.
Official use of social media policy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia
Licence. To attribute this material, cite the Queensland Department of Public Works.
Final v1.0.0, December 2010
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