Brentwood Borough Council

Brentwood Borough Council

Quick Links

Skip Navigation | Home page | Site map | Search | Help | Complaints procedure | Disclaimer | Feedback | Access key details
Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 4565

Internet usage

Request

I would be grateful if you would treat this letter as a formal request for disclosure of the following information, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ('FoI').

Description of information sought:

1. Please provide a breakdown of the top 100 websites visited by employees of Brentwood Borough Council in the year 2011/12. If the information for 2011/12 cannot be provided then please provide the information for 2010/11 instead.

This breakdown should include the name of the site, the number of hits on each site, the number of page impressions on each site and the total amount of time spent on each site.
2. Please confirm how many employees were employed by the council at a) the beginning of the 2011/12 year and b) the end of the 2011/12 year. Please also confirm how many employees were employed by the council at the beginning of the 2010/11 year and b) the end of the 2010/11 year.

3) Please confirm the total number of computers available to use by employees of Brentwood Borough Council including a breakdown of how many are laptops and how many are desktops.

4) Does the council have an internet usage policy for staff? If so, please send me a copy.

Response

I’m replying to your recent FOI asking which sites are accessed the most by Council staff and other associated matters.

Our staff work long hours so we allow reasonable use of the web by staff outside their core hours - these are periods when they are on their lunch break or other break. We state in our (attached) policy: “You must only use the internet for personal purposes in your own time [i.e. before or after work, or during your lunch break] or as approved by your Line Manger.”

We monitor the use of the web by staff and take action if too long a time is spent inappropriately on the Internet. We have rarely found that we have needed to do this because our policies are adhered to but we have acted firmly on the very few occasions when it has been necessary to resolve a problem.

Social media is used by council staff to publicise our events and for other matters of council business. I will be calling you about this.
Unpleasant sites and other strongly inappropriate sites are blocked from being accessible on council computers.
No software program can calculate 100% accurately the amount of ‘Internet Browse Time’, i.e. the time that someone spends actually viewing a site when opened. A site might be opened, viewed for a few seconds, and then the person does something else whilst leaving the site open. Our web usage monitoring software calculates hits on pages from sites visited, which could be made up of images and articles shown via links to other sites e.g. adverts. For that reason we have not currently provided the requested ‘number of page impressions’ and we have also not done this because there may be technical challenges in answering such a request, but we are very happy to discuss the matter.
The number of hits on Number 10 in the list (www.phoenixshb.co.uk) was caused by an error on their web server which caused the page to continuously send error pages in the background and automatically reopen, despite no longer being viewed, for nearly three hours. Also note that even a minor event like that can cause a very high number of hits (nearly 350,000).

We would ask that you do not mention the web address for No.38. It is for employee data access in connection with liaising with the DWP about benefits entitlement.


1. Please provide a breakdown of the top 100 websites visited by employees of Brentwood Borough Council in the year 2011/12. If the information for 2011/12 cannot be provided then please provide the information for 2010/11 instead. This breakdown should include the name of the site, the number of hits on each site, the number of page impressions on each site and the total amount of time spent on each site.

See attached – ‘URL top 100’.

2. Please confirm how many employees were employed by the council at a) the beginning of the 2011/12 year and b) the end of the 2011/12 year. Please also confirm how many employees were employed by the council at the beginning of the 2010/11 year and b) the end of the 2010/11 year.

Staff employed: 1/4/10 – 332; 1/4/11 – 325; 31/3/12 – 316.

3) Please confirm the total number of computers available to use by employees of Brentwood Borough Council including a breakdown of how many are laptops and how many are desktops.

We have 250 desk-based computers and 20 laptops.

4) Does the council have an internet usage policy for staff? If so, please send me a copy.

See attached – ‘internet usage policy’.