WALKER -- The Cass County Board on Tuesday approved four changes to the county personnel rules.
County department heads will have authority to suspend an employee with pay during an investigation of that employee.
The county administrator and county board chair may suspend a department head with pay for the same purpose.
County employees may not accept gifts or allowances that would constitute doubling of expense reimbursements or per diems as defined in Minnesota statutes.
Department heads will have authority to hire temporary employees at Grade 2 for entry level work, Grade 6 for experienced workers and Grade 12 for specialized positions. Department heads will have authority to determine an appropriate step within those grades.
Previously, county board approval was necessary in some cases.
A new policy on electronic communications replaces the former section on this issue.
"It is the intent of this policy to provide an overall framework for computer usage within Cass County," the introduction states.
The policy applies not only to regular county employees, but also to contractors, part-time employees, volunteers and other individuals who have access to county computers.
Cass County owns the computer system. Management may have access at any time to all computer systems. All passwords and codes used on county equipment shall be provided to department heads.
Department heads will set internal policies for each department and submit record of those to the Management Information Systems Department.
The MIS Department is responsible for maintaining and operating the county's hardware and software systems.
Employee use of any hardware and software beyond what the county provides will require prior MIS approval. The county will not service privately owned hardware or software.
The e-mail system is county property and primarily to be used for county business. It may not be used for employee personal gain or to support or advocate non-county related business.
Incidental and occasional personal e-mail use is permitted, but employees assume any related costs for such use.
Only MIS Department assigned e-mail addresses may be used on county owned computers.
The board also updated the county purchasing policy Tuesday.
All county departments will obtain supplies through the purchasing department.
Heavy equipment, vehicles, medical supplies and other specialty needs the county board, budget committee and purchasing agent give prior approval must be processed with a purchase order.
Computer purchases will be routed through the MIS Department.
Sis Geiser, county purchasing agent, said she is now using not only independent and state bids, but also the National Association of Counties purchasing program as resources to obtain the lowest possible quotes on supplies and equipment.
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