SA-07-010 Email Administration – Distribution Lists

Issue Date:  4/01/2007

Revision Effective Date:  9/1/2007 


The purpose of this standard is to establish appropriate creation and use standard regarding email distribution lists.  Mass communications to state employees should be authorized at appropriate levels in state government.


Public Distribution lists

  1. Use of large public distribution lists will be limited.
    1. Any e-mail that is distributed to all state employees requires prior approval by the Governor’s Office.
    2. Any e-mail that is distributed to all employees within an agency requires prior approval by the Agency Head or their designee.  Agency Heads may assign one or more designees to act on their behalf in authorizing agency-wide e-mail distribution.  This could include functional area designees like Information Technology, Finance, Human Resources, Operations, etc.
    3. Any e-mail that is distributed to all employees within multiple agencies, but not to all state employees requires prior approval by all of the Agency Heads whose employees receive the e-mail or their designee.
    4. Any e-mail that is distributed to the authorized users of state wide information systems (E.g., PeopleSoft, BudgetNet, etc.) that cross agency boundaries requires prior approval by the Agency Head of the agency owning the information system or their designee.  A designation of this authority may go to the system administrator level and can include automated e-mail notification.
  2. All names of Agency specific distribution lists will begin with the accepted agency abbreviation followed by a dash.  (GTA-Planning Office, DHR-OIT, etc)  Statewide distribution lists will not be prefixed with an agency designation and will have a descriptive name. 
  3. Each distribution list will have one or more owners who control adds, changes, and deletions in the list.  The distribution list owner will set who can send email to the distribution list unless it is a statewide or agency wide distribution list as described in section (i) above.
  4. Distribution lists will be reviewed at least annually to update or delete if no longer needed.

Exception Note:  At the time of development of this standard, GTA currently hosts “opt-in” list servers such as the current UNIX lists server to run ISO-reports list for security, various PeopleSoft lists, etc.  These are opt-in lists that are specifically excluded from the provisions of this standard and the intent through time will be to exclude any similar “opt-in” list serve items of this nature that may need to be created from the provisions of this standard.


Individual state agencies will be responsible for developing detailed procedures to comply with these standards. The standards will guide periodic reviews, as well as audits by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts. In addition, GTA will review applicable hardware, application and service purchases via the Agency Project Request (APR) process to ensure that vendors and contractors are aware of the standards and have agreed to comply with them. Violators of these standards may be subject to employee disciplinary procedures. Agencies may impose sanctions upon their employees for violations of standards.


GTA has the statutory authority to “set technology policy for all agencies except those under the authority, direction, or control of the General Assembly or state-wide elected officials other than the Governor.” (See O.C.G.A. § 50-25-4(a)(10)). Additionally, GTA has the authority to, “establish technology security standards and services to be used by all agencies.” (See O.C.G.A. § 50-25-4(a)(21)).


Exceptions to the Standard will be submitted in accordance with the Georgia Technology Authority Exception policy.


Electronic mail

Abbreviated e-mail or email is a method of composing, sending, storing, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems or Email Systems. The term e-mail applies both to the Internet e-mail system based on the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and to intranet systems allowing users within one company or organization to send messages to each other.

Email Systems

Software and hardware systems that transport messages from one computer user to another. E-mail systems range in scope and size from a local email system that carries messages to users within an agency or office over a local area network (LAN) or an enterprise-wide e-mail system that carries messages to various users in various physical locations over a wide area network (WAN) e-mail system to an e-mail system that sends and receives messages around the world over the internet. Often the same e-mail system serves all three functions.

E-mail messages

Electronic documents created and sent or received by a computer via an e-mail system. This definition applies equally to the contents of the communication, the transactional information, and any attachments associated with such communication. E-mail messages are similar to other forms of communicated messages, such as correspondence, memoranda and circular letters.

User Levels

System Administrator is an individual who has rights to create, delete and alter the email environment for example allocate additional space for a user.

User is the individual who is utilizing the email services.

Distribution lists

Used to group email addresses where a single entry on the To: line of an email can send the email to more than one person across Agencies or external on one’s own Agency.

Public Distribution lists

Distribution lists that are created by an email administrator and have broad application within or across agencies.

Private Distribution lists

Distribution lists are created by an individual user and can be limited by the user’s rights to the email system.