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Terms of Use

 

These guidelines provide the high-level administrative, business, and technical terms, conditions and objectives on the use of Interact.GSA.GOV (Interact). The intent is to lay out roles and responsibilities on ownership and management of Interact tools and modules and foster an environment where Interact can be implemented in an integrated and coordinated manner. With Interact, we aim to create a platform that will foster the development of a more open, transparent and participatory Federal Acquisition Service where staff, customers, stakeholders and partners can exchange ideas and feedback in a supportive, inclusive, creative and dynamic environment. Additional information and guidance is contained in the FAS Social Media Framework  – which is not yet available external to GSA) as well as in GSA CIO documents published in July 2009: CIO 2106.1 GSA Social Media Policy and CIO P 2106.2 GSA Social Media Handbook.

Individual Guidelines: Posting of Comments, Ideas, and Concerns

  1. You are encouraged to share your comments, ideas, and concerns.
  2. All comments, ideas, and concerns will be publicly visible to all visitors to the website unless you are commenting in a private area of the site;
  3. Shared comments, ideas, and concerns must NOT contain:
    1. abusive, vulgar, offensive, threatening or harassing language,
    2. personal attacks of any kind,
    3. offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups
    4. information that is clearly off-topic (as decided by the site or group administrator),
    5. the promotion of services or products, or
    6. the promotion or opposition of any political party, person campaigning for elected office, or any ballot proposition.
  4. GSA does not discriminate against any views, but reserves the right to remove comments that do not adhere to these standards and if deemed necessary rescind the offending poster’s rights and privileges to participate as a member of the site and/or group forum.

Administrative Objectives: Procedures, roles & responsibilities.

When choosing to create an Interact tool or module, please consider these administrative processes, procedures and guidelines to ensure consistent, accurate and appropriate use.

The decision on the part of any group, portfolio or business line to embark on an Interact.GSA.GOV instance should be based on sound business cases championed at an appropriate senior level. Only those instances that have a business case and have been approved by an Assistant Commissioner (AC) or Regional Commissioner (RC) shall be considered for inclusion on Interact.GSA.GOV.

Specifically:

  • Any individual or group desiring to launch an Interact.GSA.GOV instance should establish the business case prior to launch. This business case should consider:
    1. The audiences we are trying to reach. (See reference in CIO Guidelines’ Use of Social Media in the Federal Government)
    2. The specific objective we are trying to achieve in reaching that audience.
    3. The strategy and resources we have to support the effort.
    4. Select a collaborative technology that matches who we are trying to reach given our objectives and resources.
    5. Develop a process in which content is managed properly.
    6. Develop a contingency plan in response to risks associated with social media technologies to include adding a disclaimer and/or establishing procedures in line with CIO 2106.1 and 2106.2 when there are deviations from GSA Guidance.
    7. Refer to Business Case Questions per the attached.
  • Portfolios and regions are encouraged to establish environments on Interact.GSA.GOV that satisfy individual business needs. However, since the responsibility for these sites will always rest with executive leadership, the authority to approve their creation as official FAS tools must also reside at the Assistant Commissioner or Regional Commissioner level. Management Council members have responsibility to sign-off on any business case to establish a new Interact.GSA.GOV instance within their span of control. These individuals will always be the ones ultimately held accountable for the content. Employees may be delegated by the AC or RC to communicate on behalf of the portfolio or region to act in accordance with the identified business case.
    1. Controls
      1. The safe use of social media is fundamentally a behavioral issue, not a technology issue. Individual procedures should follow CIO Council Guidelines for Secure Use of Social Media. (See, “Policy Controls”)
      2. Federal agencies should require enhanced security and privacy controls through contracted social media services. Procedures should follow CIO Council Guidelines for Secure Use of Social Media. (See, “Acquisition Controls”)
      3. Training is provided to all GSA employees on the proper use of Social Media / Collaborative Technologies through GSA Online University. Content should follow the recommendations in the “CIO Council Guidelines for Secure Use of Social Media.” (See, “Training Controls”)
    2. Specific office functions:
      1. Individual Portfolios and Regions
        1. Establish business case.
        2. Obtain appropriate FAS Management Council member sign-off.
        3. Devote resources with appropriate trust, knowledge and ability.
        4. Consistently maintain viability and vitality of the Interact channel.
        5. Implicitly and discreetly integrate corporate branding and messaging into content.
        6. Ensure accuracy, consistency, and appropriateness of content.
        7. Use of an official “@gsa.gov” email address when representing the position of GSA, FAS, or Program office.
      2. QC
        1. Overall manage of Interact.
        2. Assist portfolios in developing business cases and incorporating the use of the collaborative technology tool or module on Interact, to include set up and management.
        3. Provide messaging guidelines and guidance.
          1. Facilitate the publication of content that adheres to FAS corporate level branding and is infused with relevant value proposition-oriented customer-focused messaging.
          2. Establish a corporate-level Interact program integrated with existing traditional media and online communications approaches via the “hub and spoke” framework, ensuring a consistent representation of the FAS brand across all channels and tactics.
          3. Provide access and develop interlinkages to existing content such as, but not limited to, web content, news releases, WAR reports, leadership speeches & interviews, blogs and other collaborative technologies tools.

Business Objectives

Interact.GSA.GOV offers the potential to connect with our employees, government customers, private sector partners, the general public, and other stakeholders in new ways that are both complementary and distinctly different to traditional methods. Critically important to success is the need to evaluate the specific business objective that Interact.GSA.GOV will serve -- ensuring compliance, utility, and relevance while reducing redundancy of effort and maintaining clear and consistent communication.

  • How Interact.GSA.GOV tools can serve business objectives includes such things as:
    • the delivery of communications and content through more efficient, more widely used mediums (i.e. video through GSA YouTube channel or photos through Flickr) to enable comments, discussions and ratings of content among the internal and external community, opening up and sharing content to a broader audience.
    • knowledge-sharing (through wiki’s, discussion forums and other tools) and, in so doing, increasing the proficiency of FAS staff and the stakeholder community, providing better value to the taxpayer.
    • a platform to obtain feedback and engage in discussions (via blogs and micro-blogs like Twitter and Yammer) from the customer-base in order to be better informed about their needs and how they are being met.
  • Help to reinforce the FAS brand strategy and position (customer-focused, solutions-oriented, i.e. Service, Innovation, Value):
    • Interact.GSA.GOV can and should play a role in helping to accomplish core organizational goals of helping FAS customers maximize their capacity to focus on their agency mission, maximize budgets by streamlining transactions and lowering costs, and maximize control and minimize risks.
    • effectively-designed and deployed, Interact.GSA.GOV can and should serve in unique and innovative ways to strengthen the FAS brand attributes of capable, comprehensive, reliable, diverse, best value, efficient, integrated, flexible, trusted and committed.
  • Build community among internal and external audiences by:
    • enabling the establishment of one-to-one relationships among FAS staff and external constituents.
    • enabling open dialogue among the community.

Technical Objectives: Security, privacy, integrity

The GSA OCIO has already issued guidance and policy regarding the use of collaborative technologies: CIO 2106.1 GSA Social Media Policy and CIO P 2106.2 GSA Social Media Handbook. This guidance applies to the use of Interact.These documents detail the technical and security requirements for the use of these technologies. The list of requirements and considerations is long and burdensome, but they are NOT new requirements.

  1. Comply with GSA Policy:
    1. GSA Sponsored Blog Guidelines
    2. Commercial Sites
    3. Section 508
    4. Records management, retention and archiving
    5. Information Quality
    6. Availability to Persons with Limited English Proficiency
    7. Availability of Information and Access to Persons without Internet Access
    8. Usability of Data
    9. Intellectual Property
    10. Privacy ( to include Personal Identifiable Information –PII)
    11. Federal Advisory Committee Act
    12. Information Collection & Paperwork Reduction Act
    13. Lobbying
  2. Provide for privacy of our audience to the maximum extent practicable.
    1. Inform and educate audience through disclaimers regarding who and how their information may be accessed.
    2. Ensure collaborative technology site managers are aware of and apply appropriate discretion. Appropriate discretion is merely the same prudence they would use on the web, in e-mail, via an official letter or when making a public appearance in their official capacity. In short, all the rules pertaining to the conduct and ethical behavior of a Federal employee apply.[Refer to Draft of GSA Employee Social Media Guidelines, p27]

Additionally, those with responsibility for Interact collaborative technology tools should refer to CIO Council Guidelines (p.26) for use of Social Media by Federal Departments and apply the guidance as appropriate.

See CIO Council Guidelines p7-8 “Use of Social Media within the Federal Government.”

See CIO Council Guidelines p12-13 “Policy Controls.”

See CIO Council Guidelines p13-14 “Acquisition Controls.”

See CIO Council Guidelines p14 “Training Controls.”

 

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