Sorry Pat, but if you are unaware of legal matters covered by IT policies than you should really not list "Executive IS/IT Management (CIO, CTO)" in your profile.
Surely, the context in which the original post was written is fine from the perspective of helpdesk staff (if it is an eye opener for you, than I am really wondering about your position description now).
1.) The real purpose of IT policy is to maintain work ethics. That is, most of the IT staff practicing ethical approach (possibly) do not need one (they might use it though to get informed on how their employer thinks about certain things). You need one for those who do not practice appropriate work ethics. Not having one, can cost you a lot of money (especially in Holland where you list that you come from). I am not even going to start on security policies, it could be another eye opener for you, I suspect.
2.) Of course; IT policies that have been written and maintained by idiots are useless (unfortunately most of them are). A proper policy should not hinder anyone from performing their work properly
3.) "A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s). The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol. Whereas a policy will contain the 'what' and the 'why', procedures or protocols contain the 'what', the 'how', the 'where', and the 'when'" - under above definition, could you tell me again what is wrong with a properly written policy?
Judging by your posts and real life (I have run several big IT projects last couple of years with budgets of 4M Euro+) - it is shocking to see and experience how quickly the quality of IT staff is deteriorating in the industry. Over a few years, I suspect it will be really hard to find and employ people that truly know what they are talking about, I am having difficulties doing so already.
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