Develop An ICT Policy within Your Organization (A Repeat)

first_imgImplementing Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) in an organization is one thing, getting the organization to use it for the intended purposes it is another. When you visit some offices, you will notice staff entertaining themselves on Facebook, chatting through Yahoo! Messenger, emailing pictures to friends and family, or playing online games. All of these occur during work hours! Even worse, in some offices you find staff watching Nigerian movies (NOLLYWOOD) on their PCs or laptops. And with the 4G/3.9G modems that are on the market today, more musical video downloads and Skype video conferencing (non-work related) have become ubiquitous.  Upon seeing this, you begin to wonder whether there are any controls regarding the use of ICTs in the organization. In today’s article, I discuss ways to develop an ICT policy to govern the use of ICTs within an organization.Undoubtedly, today’s workforce is one characterized by an increased use and familiarity with digital communications, social networks, instant gratification and a 24/7 always-on connected lifestyle.  The phone (mobile or desk phone), e-mail and the Internet are the most important communications tools used in the workplace today. In a nutshell, the workplace is continuously being defined by increasing flexibility and mobility, where employees are able to work however, wherever and whenever they choose.But all of the developments that ICTs bring do not come without risks, especially when employees in an organization are given no limits on how to use these tools. The improper use of ICTs bring about negative impacts the organization’s mission and goals: employees tend to loose productivity due to time spent on social media in the workplace, incidents of malware directly attributed to the use of social media through the organization systems tend to increase; violation of privacy policies attributed to information shared on social media sites goes on the increase and so on. Oftentimes, technical solutions such as the installation of firewalls and other security applications are implemented to address these problems. But those measures are never enough, hence, the need for an ICT policy.As the ICT department tries to meet the needs of the workforce, it also needs to develop policies to ensure the acceptable uses of ICTs within the organization. Developing an ICT policy for an organization is as important as having any other policy within the organization. Note also that, an effective policy allows the organization to define how and for what purposes ICTs will be used, while also providing the opportunity to educate employees about ICTs and the risks and reward associated with them.Developing and implementing an ICT policy can also be difficult as there are no quick-fixes or one-size-fits-all solutions that can suffice for every organization. This is because every organization is different, and the approach taken to meet objectives and/or ensure compliance will vary from one environment to another, even those in the same industries.  But several basic things need to be done to ensure that the organization’s ICT policy works. These include: building executive support, building consensus among stakeholders by involving them in the process, including the right contents in the policy, performing an internal and external research, drafting and ultimately disseminating the policy. Building executive support means gaining the blessings of top management. No policy will succeed without the support of senior leadership. Therefore, the senior leadership is needs to understand the necessity of developing and maintaining an ICT policy; whether it is for compliance, cost reduction, security, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Return on Investment (ROI), avoiding liability, and so on. In fact, the senior leadership should participate in the introduction of the ICT policy to the organization to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of the purpose of the policy.Building consensus among the stakeholders is also very important since the policy will affect them. As the policy is being developed all stakeholders must be involved in the discussion of its establishment, and this can be done by creating a committee. This committee should consist of the owner of the policy, subject matter experts, frequent users of the policy, and representatives from groups affected by the policy. Including the Human Resources, Financial, and Legal departments is also a good idea. This will ensure the policy being developed is fully understood by everyone concerned and that it has their backing once it is implemented. A broad base of support is one of the best assurances for policy success.The contents of the policy is another “component” that must be taken seriously since policies differ from organizations to organizations. But basically, the policy should include a statement of purpose, description of the users affected, history of revisions (if there are any), definitions of any special terms, and specific policy instructions from management. Additionally, performing an internal research is also imperative to developing a good ICT policy. This means an understanding of the organizations mission, goals, and culture must be gotten prior to the  development of the policy. This will ensure that the policy works for and with stakeholders, rather than against them. Now, while the goal of the policy is to create a more compliant and secure environment without making things overly difficult or incomprehensible for the stakeholders, the contents of the policy should clearly state that inconveniences in terms of usability will be inevitable.Upon drafting and finalizing the policy, the policy should be reviewed by the organization’s legal counsel to ensure that it complies with Liberian laws before disseminating it to employees. The completed policy should often be reviewed to make sure it continues to comply with applicable laws and the needs of the organization. New laws, regulations, and court cases that emerge after the completion of an ICT policy have the potential to affect it.In terms of dissemination, it is advisable to request the Human Resource department to provide a hard copy of the ICT policy to users and have them acknowledge receipt of it. Require users to sign a document of acknowledgement to be placed in their individual personnel files.  Subsequently, the policy must be placed on the organization’s Intranet, if there is one, or somewhere prominent. Stakeholders must be reminded about the ICT policy periodically though e-mails and short training presentations either on the intranet or during workshops.Finally, a good and regularly reviewed ICT policy can be both an effective employee relations tool and a helpful defense against lawsuits. This policy should explain clearly what kind of user behavior is acceptable and what is not. For example, no user is allowed to install his/her own copy of Windows 7 on the organization’s computers; or chat on Facebook during work hours. Hopefully, the injection of an ICT policy in your organization will save the organization from litigation, reduce cost, etc., and not make users/stakeholders hate the ICT department!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UNICEF Donates 15 Motorbikes to MYS

first_imgUNICEF, a leading partner of the National Youth Service Program, (NYSP) at the Ministry of Youth and Sports has donated 15 motorbikes to the program to enhance its operations at the county level.The motorbikes were turned over to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) at the end of March, as part of its logistical support.The NYSP made significant contributions to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) through the deployment of about 300 volunteers who carried out Ebola preventive messages as well as participated in contact tracing in 12 counties.The UNICEF donation followed the recruitment in February of 11 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) field officers to support the M&E unit of the NYSP as well as the MYS and its partners.The M&E officers are to ensure that all data related to child sensitive contact tracing collected in the field are collated and reported on time.  They are working alongside NYSP County Program Officers in Maryland, Sinoe, Nimba, Gbarpolu, Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Lofa, Bomi, Bong and Montserrado Counties.  The 15 motorbikes are currently being issued to the M&E field officers to build their logistical capacities.  Meanwhile, several National Volunteers (NVs) who were recalled to form part of the NYSP Ebola Response Team are being transitioned to regular activities, including health, agriculture, youth center management, educational support, and peace building at community level. NVs with backgrounds in various disciplines have been assigned to public schools around the country to provide instructional support, while some are still involved with Ebola prevention awareness and contact tracing in some of the project counties. The NYSP’s core activities which include support to national development efforts through community service and peace building were temporarily suspended in August, 2014, following the imposition of the state of emergency and the closure of schools by the government due to the Ebola outbreak.During the peak of the Ebola crisis, the MYS and her partners, including UNICEF decided to reprogram the NYSP to allow national youth volunteers to contribute to the fight against the EVD through a door- to -door Ebola prevention awareness at the community level.This initiative has yielded maximum results through the total involvement of NYSP management, staff members and youth NVs. The National Youth Service Programme is an integrated peace building and development program which creates the platform for young Liberians who are college, technical school, and university graduates to be afforded the opportunity to contribute to nation building, while promoting peace and reconciliation in local communities.  Funded by the Peace Building Fund (PBF-L) and the Government of Liberia with support from UNICEF, the program falls under the reconciliation component of the Liberia Peace Building Program (LPP).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Luton youngster joins Kidderminster on loan

first_img1 Luton Town midfielder Matt Robinson has joined Kidderminster Harriers on a one-month loan deal.The 20-year-old has signed for Steve Burr’s Conference Premier side until November 29th and is expected to go straight into the squad for Saturday’s home clash against Torquay United.Highly-rated Robinson, who penned a new deal with Luton earlier this month to keep him at the club until 2017, has been sent out on loan to gain more valuable first-team experience.Robinson has made 46 appearances for the Hatters and featured regularly in Luton’s promotion-winning campaign last term. Matt Robinson last_img read more

TRANSFER REPORT: Leicester ready to rival Juventus for Italy Under-21 winger

first_img1 Leicester City are chasing Virtus Lanciano winger Federico Di Francesco.The 21-year-old has shone in Serie B this season and has seven goals to his name so far.Juventus have scouted the Italian on several occasions and they are ready to make a £2m offer for the youngster, who was recently called up to the Italy Under-21 squad.However, according to Corriere dello Sport, Leicester are also ready to battle it out for Di Francesco’s signature.The Foxes have secured Champions League football for next season and the club is expected to expand their squad size this summer.Sporting Gijon defender Luis Hernandez has already been linked with a move to Leicester, ahead of what is likely to be a busy transfer window at the King Power Stadium. Federico Di Francesco last_img read more

6 want seat on board in Westside

first_imgLANCASTER – Six people have applied to fill the Westside Union School District board seat left vacant by the resignation of former trustee Deborah Rutkowski-Hines. The applicants include Roger Berger, a retired fire department paramedic who unsuccessfully ran for the Antelope Valley Hospital board in 2004; research engineering manager Steven DeMarzio, who ran for a seat on the Westside school board last year and finished fifth in the balloting; instructor Suzy Love; senior computer security analyst Timothy Murphy; teacher Bruce Shank; and Jean Youngquist, principal at Sunnydale School in the Lancaster School District. The board plans to interview the candidates and make a selection at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Hillview Middle School, 40525 Peonza Lane in Palmdale. If no selection is made, the board will likely adopt a resolution calling for a special election. The district has until Friday to submit a resolution to county officials to get an election on the June ballot. Rutkowski-Hines, who was elected to the board in 2003, resigned from the board on Jan. 2, citing personal reasons. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant The interviews on Thursday will be attended by an eight-member advisory committee made up of one representative from each of the district’s four employee groups and one person appointed by each of the four trustees. The panel will listen to the interviews and provide comments on candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, district officials said. To include community input, residents were asked to submit questions to help trustees formulate their own questions. In January, the school board president, Gwen Farrell, wanted to appoint former trustee Christine LeBeau to fill the vacant seat, but the suggestion died at a January board meeting. LeBeau finished fourth in balloting in the November election, losing by just 65 votes. last_img read more


first_imgA TD today confirmed Donegal Daily’s report that the Government is to sell forests in Co Donegal to help pay off our national debts.Speaking today in response to PQs submitted by him on the issue, Donegal South West TD Pearse Doherty has expressed his anger and concern at the decision to sell 1,109 acres of Coillte land in the County.The Deputy said: “Forestry, as we have heard time and time again is one of Ireland’s productive and profitable sectors and, with the right investment, is a sustainable industry with the potential to create thousands of jobs. “Instead of investing in our forestry sector, the Government instead announced a cut of €20 million per annum in the Forestry Budget until 2016 and since 2009 we have seen the sale €108 million of publicly owned lands without any public accountability or scrutiny. Over the same period virtually no dividend was paid to the state as a result of those sales.“To add insult to injury, once again it appears that Donegal is the target for the heavy blows – over 440 hectares of land is to be sold in this County, which represents a hugely disproportionate figure – the total amount of forestry land sold nationally last year was 346 hectares.“The Government peddles the idea that Coillte is a private company – we are consistently told this in response to PQs. It is not. The Minister for Agriculture and Finance as sole shareholders on behalf of the state can and must intervene now to prevent the sale of this land.”Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Agriculture, Martin Ferris last night called on the Government to intervene in order to prevent the proposed sale of Coillte forestry land in Donegal, during a topical issue debate which he successfully requested on the issue. Deputy Ferris said: “During the 2011 general election campaign spokespersons from both Fine Gael and Labour vehemently denied that they would agree to a sale of forestry or land under the control of Coillte.“That is exactly what they are proposing to do. Not only will they shortly announce the off-loading of forestry rights but they are presiding over the privatisation by stealth as proven by the sale of the lands in Donegal.“The forestry lands are held in trust by Coillte for the Irish people. They were taken back from the landlords a century ago and still have huge potential as a recreational, tourist and economic resource to be used for the benefit of the Irish people for generations to come.“They should not be sold off to finance the Anglo promissory notes.” CONFIRMED: GOVERNMENT TO SELL DONEGAL FORESTS was last modified: December 20th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CONFIRMED: GOVERNMENT TO SELL DONEGAL FORESTSlast_img read more


first_imgThe adult children of one of Donegal’s most successful businessmen Hugh Green have stepped up their ongoing court dispute over his €300 million fortune.Hugh Green at his business headquarters before his death.Mr Green was penniless when he left Ireland for New Zealand in 1951, building his huge wealth through construction, farming and property investment before he died in 2012 aged 80.He never forgot his roots, often returning to spend summer periods in Donegal and making large donations to many local organisations including Letterkenny General Hospital. However, a massive row between his children over his empire has now cast a dark shadow over his legacy.Shortly before his death, changes were made to the governance of the trusts and companies that managed his assets.Son John and daughter Frances were appointed as directors and trustees of the various bodies, while his other daughter, Maryanne, ended her trustee and director roles.John and Frances were appointed executors of a new will for Green that was signed in April 2012, months before he died. Maryanne Green is challenging the validity of the new will and other powers exercised by her father in late 2011 and early 2012 claiming he was not of sound mind.She claims Green was improperly influenced by John and Auckland barrister Michael Fisher, who has been appointed to various roles in the Green business empire.A ruling from Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann is due within the next two months.However, his feuding family returned to the High Court in Auckland yesterday.Daughter Maryanne is seeking to stop new trustees from being appointed, or significant distributions being made, until the judgment is issued. Justice Winkelmann said the court’s time was being wasted, and suggested the two parties should be able to resolve the issue independently.She adjourned the hearing to give the defence counsel time to consult the trustees.Maryanne’s lawyer, Vanessa Bruton, said she would seek an urgent hearing if the matter was not resolved by the end of the Easter break.FAMILY OF DONEGAL TYCOON STEP UP COURT BATTLE OVER HIS €300M EMPIRE was last modified: April 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:childrenCOURT BATTLEdonegalHugh GreenNew Zealandwilllast_img read more

Murder charge John Downey to be questioned on historical offences

first_imgA 67-year-old man charged with murdering two British soldiers in 1972 is to be questioned about other alleged historical offences.John Downey was before Belfast Magistrates’ Court for an application to be released into police custody.Detectives were given up to three days to interview him on undisclosed matters, unrelated to the current case against him. Mr Downey’s solicitor opposed the move, calling it “unnecessary and excessive”.The defendant is currently charged over a car bomb attack which killed Ulster Defence Regiment members Alfred Johnston and James Eames in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, in 1972.Mr Downey, with an address in Creeslough, County Donegal, was extradited to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland earlier this month.Murder charge John Downey to be questioned on historical offences was last modified: November 1st, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Maxwell’s Demon Helps Run Your Muscles

first_imgJames Clerk Maxwell once speculated that the second law of thermodynamics could be violated if an agent or “demon” could sort the hot and cold molecules at a barrier, thus overcoming the tendency toward thermal equilibrium.  Something like this has been found at work in the molecular machines in our muscles.  The actin-myosin motor is able to convert the random thermal motion (Brownian motion) of its environment into unidirectional motion due to the structural arrangement of its protein parts.  The work was discussed in PNAS by researchers at Nagoya University in Japan.1    Myosin is like a robot walker on an actin racetrack.  The robot uses ATP for energy.  Each stepwise cycle requires ATP hydrolysis, but there is more energy in the action than can be accounted for by the ATP alone.  The researchers determined that, as has long been suspected, the structure of the motor allows random thermal motion to be captured as with a ratchet.  This “Brownian ratchet” mechanism helps propel the motor down the track in what they call a “functional funnel” of the energy landscape.  “Our study embodies these theoretical models, indicating that a Brownian ratchet mechanism is likely to contribute substantially to the energy conversion of the actomyosin motor,” they said.    The researchers believe this clever mechanism underlies not only the actin-myosin complex but other molecular machines as well.  Single-headed kinesin, for instance, moves in a similar way down its highway – the microtubule.  Suddenly, it seems one can find Brownian ratchets everywhere in the cell:Interestingly, it has been shown that this unidirectionality arises during the transition from the weak microtubule-binding to the strong microtubule-binding states; the same result has been reported for the conventional kinesin.  These results imply that the energy landscape for the kinesin-microtubule interaction is asymmetric (with 8-nm periodicity of the microtubule), suggesting that the same Brownian ratchet mechanism as found here is inherent in the kinesin-microtubule system.  Myosin V moves along the actin filament in a dimeric form with high processivity.  A clock-escapement-like mechanism to regulate ADP release has been shown to play a critical role in the high processivity.  In addition, the longer and more positively charged loop 2 of myosin V, which makes the energy landscape for the actin-myosin interaction deeper, would contribute to the high processivity.  The asymmetric funnel would also help the detached head of myosin V, which exhibits an extensive Brownian motion, to quickly find the preferential binding site.  A Brownian ratchet-like mechanism may also contribute to the force generation via a strain-dependent weak-to-strong transition, as has been shown by a recent in vitro SME [single-molecule experiments] of myosin VI.    From a general point of view, such an asymmetric funnel as found in the present study can be regarded as “functional funnel,” i.e., the energy landscape designed to fulfill functions efficiently and robustly.  The functional funnel may be nature’s ingenious mechanism that enables molecular machines to harness the thermal noise, just as the “folding funnel” enables proteins to find their native structures efficiently and robustly via a Brownian search.The “folding funnel” refers to the process by which proteins fold upon exiting the ribosome – another active area of research.  It appears that thermal noise ratcheting also plays a role in achieving efficient and robust solutions quickly in that environment.    The authors did not speculate about how evolution might have hit upon this “ingenious mechanism” for efficient transportation.  Instead, they said the mechanism was “designed to fulfill functions efficiently and robustly,” leaving the identity of the designer as a separate question.  Their phrase “clock-escapement-like mechanism” recalls some familiar terminology from a long-forgotten, pre-Darwinian scholar by the name of William Paley.1.  Takano, Terada and Sasai, “Unidirectional Brownian motion observed in an in silico single molecule experiment of an actomyosin motor,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online April 12, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0911830107.How Maxwell would have marvelled to know that the benevolent demons (actually, little robotic angels) he envisaged were busily at work inside him, keeping his heart beating, his lungs breathing, and his fingers writing across the page.  His contemporary, Darwin, would undoubtedly have cringed to hear the phrase “clock-escapement-like mechanism” to describe something in the cells he dreamed were little more than undifferentiated blobs of jelly-like protoplasm.(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Beukes has a head for hoarding

first_imgAward-winning author Lauren Beukes features in the second episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to air on SABC2 on Sunday 22 June at 9pm.Beukes says that when she writes, it’s “like taking a road trip at night. You know where you’re leaving from and where you’re going to, and some of the major landmarks along the way. The rest of the time, it’s pitch black. You can see 20 feet ahead of you in the headlights and you just have to figure it out. And sometimes getting lost or taking a detour from your intended route turns out more interesting.” (Image: Lauren Beukes) Lauren Beukes is raising the profile of South Africa in circles not reached by the everyday. The science fiction writer has won the Kitschies Red Tentacle Award as well as the prestigious Arthur C Clarke Award for Zoo City. Playing her part for South Africa, she is raising the profile of the nation internationally through her novels.Beukes has been described as South Africa’s most inspired new literary voice, writing imaginative fiction with a crazy twist. But her fantastical stories also shine a light on real issues with which people grapple. She says: “I like cute. I like dark. I like rugby-tackling social issues through fiction.” Her ideas develop like Polaroids in her head, she explains. “I always know my beginnings and my endings.”The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for freelast_img read more