Businesses are failing to properly enforce network usage and abuse policies by leaving it to the IT department to manage.

Two-thirds of’s 12-strong CIO Jury panel of IT chiefs said other departments, such as HR, often don’t understand the role they have to play in enforcing policies and educating employees around acceptable uses of the corporate network.

Mike Roberts, IT director at the London Clinic, said HR policies often conflict with the Data Protection Act requirements for networks.

He said: “‘Tail-gating’ on systems access – allowing one user to use another’s account – is not often seen as a serious issue but should be considered as gross professional misconduct as it could, and usually does, break the data protection law.”

Roberts added that HR also finds it difficult to understand the technical difficulties of managing logs, white lists and spam filters, while still expecting employees to be able to access internet sites that may contain risks.

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British Airways
Linde Group

Alastair Behenna, CIO at Harvey Nash, said: “I think most HR departments consider anything to do with the network as being part of the ‘dark arts’ toolkit of the IT organisation.”

But Andy Pepper, director of business IS at Tetley, said the IT department in his organisation has spent time educating HR.

He said: “HR has been very receptive to understanding the issue and taking on the responsibility.”

However, Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer services at Ashford Borough Council, joked: “Anything that involves equipment with a 13 amp plug on it is solely IT’s responsibility, isn’t it?”

Today’s CIO Jury was…

Ade Bajomo, head of IT strategy and systems, Pearl Life
Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
Steve Clarke, head of internal computing, AOL UK
James Findlay, head of IT, Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Paul Haley, director of IT, University of Aberdeen
John Keeling, director of computer services, John Lewis
Jane Kimberlin, IT director, Domino’s Pizza
Christopher Linfoot, IT director, LDV Group
Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer services, Ashford Borough Council
Andy Pepper, director of business IS, Tetley
Mike Roberts, IT director, London Clinic
Robert Wharton, CIO, Colt Telecom

Want to be part of’s CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of’s CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at