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Policies at SLAC

A report by the Internal Practices and Procedures Committee (IPaP) noted that policy generation and policy management are vital to a strong organization. They further noted that in order to effectively guide employees, an organization must establish policy, implement the systems that support policy, enforce policy and provide centralized access. The IPaP Committee also discovered that few SLAC policies were documented and, because there was no central repository, locating policies was difficult.

Often heard refrains were: "Is it a policy or is it a myth?", "Who do I talk to?", "I may not be able to articulate it, it may change depending on who you speak to, and you may not be able to find it—but it's our policy." The subsequent confusion, frustration, lost time jumping though hoops, and lack of clarity was wasting a lot of people's time. Overarching the muddled policy territory were factors of responsibility (some), accountability (little) and consequences (none).

Taking the report seriously, the Director appointed a PSC to conduct a high-level review aimed at identifying and organizing existing policies and procedures; create a policy to address policy generation and maintenance for SLAC; craft definitions; and test and refine a web-based policy repository prototype. In addition, the PSC reviewed a few of the existing SLAC policies and reformatted them to make them consistent with the new policy format. The long range plan is that, over time, all existing policies will be reviewed for currency and converted to the new policy format.

—Frank Topper
    SLAC Today, July 31, 2006