Meetinghouse Technology Policy

Last Updated: 17 November 2017 at 09:53

1. Policy Source and References

1.1 This policy has been reviewed and approved by the Meetinghouse Technology Committee, the Information and Communication Services Policy Committee, the Meetinghouse Facilities Department, and the Presiding Bishopric. Inquiries concerning this policy should be directed to the Meetinghouse Technology Coordination Team in the Information and Communication Services Department at Church headquarters.

1.2 See also Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops, 13.2, 13.3, 14.7.2, 17.1, and Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 17.2.2, 18.3.1, 21.1, 21.2.

1.3 See also Meetinghouse Technology Roles and Responsibilities

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2. Scope

2.1 Worldwide: The meetinghouse technology policies defined in this document apply to all meetinghouses worldwide unless otherwise stated.

2.2 Callings: Where ward and stake callings are referred to, the same roles and responsibilities also apply to the equivalent branch and district callings.

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3. Definitions and Acronyms

3.1 Facilities Management Group (FM Group): A group of Church employees, led by a facilities manager (FM), that manages multiple meetinghouses, usually spread across several stakes. It works primarily with stake presidents and physical facilities representatives to maintain Church buildings and properties.

3.2 Information and Communication Services Department (ICS): Church department charged with providing technology services for the Church worldwide.

3.3 Internet Service Provider (ISP): A company that provides access to the Internet.

3.4 Meetinghouse Computer: Any computer purchased with Church funds for use in a meetinghouse, installed under the direction of the stake presidency, and managed in compliance with Church standards.  Meetinghouse computers include clerk computers and others used for gospel-related purposes. 

3.5 Meetinghouse Facilities Department (MFD): Church department charged with providing Church facilities worldwide.

3.6 Meetinghouse Technology Committee: A committee at Church headquarters representing all major departments of the Church that influence technology in meetinghouses.

3.7 Meetinghouse Technology Coordination Team: ICS employees charged with coordinating communications, training, and policy related to meetinghouse technology.

3.8 Member and Leader Services (MLS): Software on clerk computers used to manage membership and unit finance and member donation information and to run reports. Similar functionality is becoming available on LDS.org.

3.9 Physical Facilities Representative (PFR): A high council member assigned to coordinate building needs with the facilities manager and the stake technology specialist.

3.10 Stake Technology Specialist (STS): One or more clerks called by the stake to provide technology support for meetinghouse products, services, and policies to priesthood leaders, teachers, official family history centers, and mission offices.

3.11 Third Party Software: Any computer software program that was not created by the Church or is not approved for use on Church computers.

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4. Computers

4.1 Computer equipment may include, but is not limited to, desktops, laptops, computer screens, keyboards, and mice.

4.2 Funding

4.2.1 New Building Construction: Computers, computer screens, printers and copiers included in new building construction as part of a meetinghouse standard plan are paid for out of construction project funds. Thereafter, they are repaired, upgraded, and replaced by the FM group in compliance with MFD standard plans.

4.2.2 FM Provided Equipment: FM groups may provide additional computer equipment, as directed by MFD. The costs for maintaining, upgrading, and replacing this equipment, in compliance with MFD standard plans, are the responsibility of the FM group.

4.2.3 Local Unit Provided Equipment: Local unit budgets cannot be used to purchase computers (Handbook 1: Administering the Church, 14.7.2). Exceptions to this can be made under the direction of stake presidents in the case of webcasting (see section 7). The costs for repairing, upgrading, and replacing any equipment not provided as part of new building construction or by the FM group are the responsibility of the local unit.

4.3 Inventory

4.3.1 FM groups keep an inventory of all computer equipment included in new building construction or provided later by FM groups.

4.3.2 Local units keep an inventory of any computer equipment purchased in exceptional circumstances with local unit funds.

4.4 LDS Account passwords and passwords used to access MLS must not be shared.   

4.5 Appropriate Use

4.5.1 Computers with MLS installed must be used only for authorized gospel-related purposes as approved by the stake president.

4.5.2 Ward and stake clerks have priority use of computers with MLS installed.

4.5.3 Non-clerk Church computers should be used only for gospel-related purposes.  Some examples of gospel-related purposes include lesson preparation, missionary work, family history work, seminaries and institutes of religion, and employment resources.

4.5.4 There should be no expectation of privacy regarding the use of Church computers.

4.6 Donated Computers

4.6.1 Donated computers may not be added to official family history centers.

4.6.2 MLS may not be installed on donated computers.

4.7 MLS Software

4.7.1 Installing MLS software on home computers is prohibited.

4.7.2 Tampering with MLS source code is prohibited.

4.8 Date and time system settings must not be altered on computers when MLS is open.

4.9 MLS Data and Membership Information

4.9.1 Information about members, donations, and financial transactions is confidential and must be protected from unauthorized disclosure.

4.9.2 MLS data, database tables, or schemas must not be used or shared to create or assist in the creation of third party software.

4.9.3 The use of MLS data and membership information in third party software is prohibited, whether obtained from within or outside of a meetinghouse.

4.9.4 The use of cloud-based services for storing and/or backing up MLS or any membership related data is prohibited.

4.10 Remote access of Church computers is expressly prohibited except in cases where all of the following are true:

4.10.1 When done by official Church support personnel or under the direction of a stake president by a stake technology specialist, stake clerk, or member of a stake presidency.

4.10.2 When used to ensure a Church computer is functioning properly or to help someone use the system.

4.10.3 When not used to enter data into MLS and not used to access sensitive information.

4.10.4 When the software used is properly licensed.

4.10.5 When the software is set up to utilize standards-based encryption (AES-128 or better).

4.11 Retiring Computers

4.11.1 Before any Church computer is retired from service, its hard drive must be completely erased.

4.12 Sharing clerk computers between wards or stakes is permitted with stake president approval.

4.13 Software

4.13.1 Each ward or stake authorized to use MLS must ensure it is using the latest version of the software.

4.13.2 Only Church-approved, licensed software is permitted for installation on Church computers.

4.13.3 Church-provided desktop management and desktop security software must be installed on all Church computers.

4.14 Surge Protectors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs)

4.14.1 Church-owned computer equipment must be protected with surge protectors.

4.14.2 Surge protectors are to be paid for using FM budgets.

4.14.3 FMs determine if a UPS is required in exceptional circumstances.  FMs may consult with ICS to determine if there is a need.  Where required, FMs purchase and install UPSs.

4.15 Theft and vandalism must be reported to the FM group immediately.

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5. Printers, Copiers, and Multi-Function Devices

5.1 Funding

5.1.1 New Building Construction: Printers, copiers, and multifunction devices included in new building construction as part of a meetinghouse standard plan are paid for out of construction project funds. Thereafter, they are repaired, upgraded, and replaced by the FM group in compliance with MFD standard plans.

5.1.2 FM Provided Equipment: FM groups may provide additional printers, copiers, and multifunction devices, as directed by MFD. The costs for maintaining, upgrading, and replacing this equipment, in compliance with MFD standard plans, are the responsibility of the FM group.

5.1.3 Local Unit Provided Equipment: Local unit budgets should not be used to purchase any printers, copiers, and multifunction devices. The costs for repairing, upgrading, and replacing any equipment not provided as part of new building construction or by the FM group are the responsibility of the local unit.

5.1.4 Paper and other consumables are purchased using ward and stake budgets.

5.2 Inventory

5.2.1 FM groups keep an inventory of all printers, copiers, and multi-function devices included in new building construction or provided later by FM groups.

5.2.2 Local units keep an inventory of any printers, copiers, and multi-function devices purchased in exceptional circumstances with local unit funds.

5.3 Surge Protectors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs)

5.3.1 Church-owned computer equipment must be protected with surge protectors.

5.3.2 Surge protectors are to be paid for using FM budgets.

5.3.3 FMs determine if a UPS is required in exceptional circumstances.  FMs may consult with ICS to determine if there is a need.  Where required, FMs purchase and install UPSs.

5.4 Retiring Printers, Copiers, and Multi-Function Devices

5.4.1 If any printer, copier, or multi-function device containing a hard drive or other storage is retired from service, its hard drive must be completely erased.

5.5 Theft and vandalism must be reported to the FM group immediately.

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6. Meetinghouse Internet

6.1 The components of Meetinghouse Internet include the ISP, the Meetinghouse Firewall, and the equipment and cabling used to extend network access to areas of a meetinghouse through wired and wireless means.

6.2 Appropriate Use

6.2.1 Internet access is authorized in meetinghouses, under the direction of the stake president, for purposes that support the mission of the Church.

6.2.2 There should be no expectation of privacy regarding the use of Internet in meetinghouses.

6.2.3 If there is abuse of Meetinghouse Internet use, stake presidents will be contacted by Church headquarters.

6.3 Firewall

6.3.1 An approved Meetinghouse Firewall configured in an approved manner and centrally managed by the Church is required in all meetinghouses with Internet access.

6.3.2 Viewing or making changes to the configuration of a Meetinghouse Firewall is prohibited.

6.3.3 All computers and other network devices connecting to Church-provided Internet must connect through the Meetinghouse Firewall. The Meetinghouse Firewall enables proper filtering of content.

6.3.4 The Meetinghouse Firewall and ISP modem must be secured behind a locked door or cabinet with limited access. Clerk and ecclesiastical offices should not be used for this purpose unless this equipment is secured in a locked cabinet.

6.4 Network Infrastructure

6.4.1 Network jacks and wireless access points are installed under the direction of FM groups in compliance with MFD standard plans, as budgets allow.

6.5 Wireless Access Points

6.5.1 All wireless access points must be connected to a Church-approved firewall.

5.5.2 Each wireless access point must be configured to require a password to connect to the meetinghouse network.

5.5.3 Each wireless access point must be configured to allow only WPA2 (preferred) or WPA.

6.6 Funding

5.6.1 High-speed Internet installation, monthly service fees, and network equipment and infrastructure in compliance with MFD standard plans are paid for by FM groups. This includes any offices collocated with the meetinghouse.

5.6.2 Guidelines for implementation costs and provider fees are set by the MFD and area offices. Requests for exceptions to these guidelines should be directed to regional facility managers or area offices.

6.7 Theft and vandalism must be reported to the FM group immediately.

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7. Audiovisual (A/V) Equipment

7.1 Audiovisual (A/V) equipment may include, but is not limited to, televisions, projectors, projection screens, computers, media players, carts, audio systems, satellite systems, translation systems, and assistive listening devices.

7.2 Funding

7.2.1 New Building Construction: A/V equipment, included in new building construction as part of a meetinghouse standard plan, is paid for by the construction project and is thereafter repaired, upgraded, and replaced by the FM group in compliance with MFD standard plans.

7.2.2 FM Provided Equipment: FM groups may provide additional A/V equipment as directed by MFD. The costs for repairing, upgrading, and replacing this equipment, in compliance with MFD standard plans, are the responsibility of the FM group.

7.3 Inventory

7.3.1 FM groups keep an inventory of all A/V equipment included in new building construction or provided later by FM groups.

7.3.2 Local units keep an inventory of all A/V equipment purchased with local unit funds.

7.4 Accessibility

7.4.1 Meetinghouse A/V equipment must be stored in a secure location, but should be made available to Church leaders, teachers, and members for Church purposes.

7.5 Installation

7.5.1 Physical modifications to a meetinghouse, including the mounting of televisions, cameras, digital projectors, and projector screens, may only be done in compliance with MFD standard plans.

7.5.2 Physical modifications to a meetinghouse must be overseen by the FM group.

7.6 Theft and vandalism must be reported to the FM group immediately.

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8. Webcasting

8.1 Webcasting equipment may include computers running webcast software, a webcast encoder, cameras, mixers, tripods, and other A/V equipment.

8.2 Appropriate Use:  See Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 18.3.1 and 21.2.10.

8.3 Funding

8.3.1 New Building Construction: Webcasting equipment included in new building construction as part of a meetinghouse standard plan are paid for out of construction project funds. They are repaired, upgraded, and replaced by the FM group in compliance with MFD standard plans.

8.3.2 FM Provided Equipment: FM groups may provide additional webcasting equipment as directed by MFD. The costs for repairing, upgrading, and replacing this equipment, in compliance with the MFD standard plans, are the responsibility of the FM group.

8.3.3 Local Unit Provided Equipment: Under the direction of the stake president, local units may purchase additional webcasting equipment with local unit funds. The costs for maintaining, upgrading, and replacing this equipment are the responsibility of the local unit.

8.4 Inventory

8.4.1 FM groups keep an inventory of all webcasting equipment included in new building construction or provided later by FM groups.

8.4.2 Local units keep an inventory of all webcasting equipment purchased with local unit funds.

8.5 Installation

8.5.1 Physical modifications to a meetinghouse, including the mounting of cameras, projectors, and projector screens, may only be done in compliance with MFD standard plans.

8.5.2 Physical modifications to a meetinghouse must be overseen by the FM group.

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9. Personal Video Conferencing (PVC)

9.1 PVC equipment may include computers, web cameras, microphones, and headsets.

9.2 Appropriate Use:  See Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 18.3.1 and 21.2.10.

9.3 Authorized users include all Seventies, Area Presidencies, temple presidencies, mission and MTC presidencies, full-time missionaries, stake presidencies and their secretaries and clerks, high councils, stake technology specialists, bishops, and ward executive secretaries.  Accounts may be requested by others with a legitimate Church need for PVC.

9.4 Funding

9.4.1 It is expected that PVC will be run from personally owned computers.

9.4.2 Under the direction of the stake president, local units may purchase low-cost web cameras and microphones for PVC. The costs for maintaining, upgrading, and replacing this equipment are the responsibility of the local unit.

9.5 Inventory

9.5.1 Local units keep an inventory of all PVC equipment purchased with local unit funds.

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10.     Related Articles

10.1 Meetinghouse Technology Roles and Responsibilities

10.2 Additional meetinghouse technology documentation and training are found at http://mhtech.lds.org.

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