(Ed. Note: The following is Section 3.0, excerpted from NOAA Enterprise Messaging Policy and Guidelines, prepared by NOAA Enterprise Messaging System, Messaging Configuration Board [April 2001]. Full document available at


This section provides general guidelines for the use of the NOAA Enterprise Messaging System to include all mail account holders.

3.1 Privacy and Confidentiality

Every attempt is made to provide a confidential system through the use of privacy policies , security features, operating guidelines, codes of ethics, etc., however, privacy cannot be assured. Refer to the Department of Commerce Policy on E-Mail Privacy, Departmental Notice Series #92-3, April 14, 1992, NOAA Administrative Order #205-15, Privacy Act located at, and the Privacy Act Home Page located at for additional information.

3.2 Appropriate Use

The NOAA Enterprise Messaging System, as a government provided service, falls under the same guidelines for use as any other government system, as outlined in Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, September 30, 1999. Please refer to or for details. Refer to Memorandum from Scott Gould on the Issuance of a DOC Internet Use Policy, August 31, 1998.

3.3 Authorized/Permissible Use

Unless specifically directed by their federal management, the administrator will only provide access to the owner of a mailbox.

3.4 Supported Platforms and Products

Netscape is the NOAA standard. Use of non-Netscape clients is prohibited, except to Accommodate persons with disabilities or when platforms must be used where the Netscape client is not supported. Versions certified for use within NOAA are published on the NEMS Administration page accessible by your mail administrator.

3.5 Global Message Distribution

A general principle for the appropriate use of e-mail for broadcasting messages to large groups of people is that the sender shall obtain prior clearances from the same authorities that would pertain for wide-spread distribution of notices by other means. The normal supervisory approval function for work assignments and for use of official time and property apply to the use of the e-mail system.

3.6 Passwords

A NOAA password must be at least 6 characters long and should contains a mix of lower case, upper case, alphanumeric and non-alphanumeric characters and should be changed every 60 days. No matter how good a password is, it is useless if it is shared with another person, or if it is written down where someone can find it. Refer and for additional guidance.

3.7 Training

Each NOAA Line/Staff Office is responsible for providing training to their user community.

3.8 Email Etiquette

As with any form of communication, there are basic rules or etiquette which should be considered when using email. Refer to for details.

3.9 Mail and Records Management

Users are responsible for maintaining their messages in an efficient manner. This includes ensuring that valuable information is retained, messages are appropriately archived, and server disk space is conserved.

3.9.1 Government Records

Electronic mail which satisfies the criteria of official government records must be managed accordingly. Refer to the Department of Commerce E-Mail Policy found at Additional guidance is also provided on the NOAA Records Management website at

3.9.2 Mailbox Quotas

An initial server disk quota will be set for each user mailbox at the discretion of the Line/Staff Offices. Users requiring additional disk space will need to submit their requests according to established Line/Staff Office procedures. Users will be alerted via a pop-up dialog box when their disk usage reaches a percentage of quota as set by each Line/Staff Office. Upon receiving a quota notification, users should take steps to reduce the size of their on-line mailbox.

3.10 Support

End user support is defined and managed at the Line/Staff Office level. Follow established procedures or contact the local mail administrator for guidance.

3.11 SPAM or Unsolicited Bulk E-Mail

Spam is unsolicited e-mail on the Internet often generated in bulk. Refer to E-Mail Spamming Guidelines found at for further information.

3.12 List Service Subscriptions

External List Services may be used but must have a direct and positive value or contribution to the Mission of NOAA and should be subscribed to judiciously.

3.13 Security

Users are responsible for securing mail at their desktop. Refer to the Computer Users' Guide For Protecting Information Resources, January 2000 at or for additional guidance. The required IT Security Awareness Course located at further addresses this area.

3.14 Changes in Employment Status

Users must notify their local mail administrator of changes in their employment status in advance (such as transfer, retirement, or termination) for the purpose of mail account management and coordination of mail archival and delivery as applicable.