Administrative Policy 3-30 Standard of Communication



SUBJECT:      Standard of Communication Policy


PURPOSE:     To outline communication expectations of City of Lawton employees toward coworkers, supervisors, Council members, trustees and citizens to ensure vital information is delivered in a timely, accurate and effective manner.


BACKGROUND:      Staff members are expected to perform job duties and responsibilities in a manner that reflects the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct, to include communicating information to coworkers, supervisors, Council members, trustees and citizens. Staff members should strive to deliver such information in a timely, accurate and verifiable fashion so as to allow for productive work environments and knowledgeable decision-makers, and to maintain the confidence of community members and credibility of the City of Lawton.


The overall objectives of the Standard of Communication Policy for the City of Lawton offices are based on the City of Lawton’s mission of providing efficient, effective and responsive services; promoting quality of life based on harmony and cooperation; and creating leadership and opportunity in Southwest Oklahoma.



SCOPE:          This policy applies to all employees in all City departments and divisions.


DEFINITIONS:         Terms used in this policy are defined as follows:


  1. Staff/Staff member: Refers to anyone employed by the City of Lawton.


  1. Key decision-maker: Refers to members of the City Council, City Trusts and other agencies.




  1. It is the responsibility of the City of Lawton to make this policy accessible to all employees; it is the responsibility of employees to review and comply with the guidelines and regulations outlined in this policy.


  1. It is the responsibility of employees to be familiar with other personnel policies, and Chapter 17 of the Lawton City Code, which sets forth other rules and regulations governing City employees unless specifically excepted by contract.


  1. It is the responsibility of employees to make known any questions or need for clarification through their supervisors to their department director or, if necessary, the City Manager’s Office.


  1. Employees are required to abide by all regulations and rules within this policy. Violations are subject to disciplinary action.






  1. The City Manager’s Office shall be made aware of any uncommon informational requests to staff.


  1. Information relayed by City staff to any inquiring individual, especially those with key decision-making responsibilities, will be evaluated to the extent possible in terms of accuracy, completeness and legitimacy; information relayed will be done so in a straightforward and comprehensible manner.


  1. Information relayed by City staff to any inquiring individual, especially those with key decision-making responsibilities, will be relayed to the fullest extent when possible.


  1. Staff members will work diligently to adhere to reasonable deadlines on all informational requests, especially those of key-decision makers.


  1. Staff members are to respond to informational inquiries of the governing body, but are prohibited by Section C-2-5 of the Lawton City Charter from being assigned tasks or duties directly by the governing body or its members.


  1. In accordance with Council Policy 1-9, requests from City Council/Mayor to staff members for information that may take more than one hour to gather, shall be made through the City Manager.


  1. All efforts, within reason, will be made to find requested information, but it shall be disclosed to key decision makers if staff members are unable to find needed information or complete information.


  1. When warranted, staff members relaying pertinent information should do so by incorporating applicable/relevant City code provisions, policies or procedures.


  1. Staff members responding to requests for information will provide factual information, not opinions.




  1. With the exception of Lawton Police Department matters, Legal matters, or on-the-scene emergency response involving City of Lawton first responders, all media requests concerning City of Lawton happenings or business should be directed or redirected to the Community Relations Director.


  1. In the event the Community Relations Director is not available to oversee a media request, the request will be handled by the City Manager, Assistant City Manager or a person appointed by either.


  1. Only designated spokespersons for the City of Lawton shall grant official interviews or make statements on behalf of the City to the media or general public, unless a staff interview or statement falls under the protections of the City of Lawton’s Whistleblower Protection Policy.


  1. The City Council will be made privy to formal media responses from the City when the topic concerns matters in which the Council is directly involved or matters that are of significant concern to the general public.


  1. The Community Relations Director, City Manager and/or Assistant City Manager will work to respond to media requests in a timely fashion.




  1. Public information requests to the City of Lawton are accepted by telephone, email and in-person at City of Lawton offices that house information applicable to requests.


  1. Public information requests will be responded to in a timely fashion, as time and work load permit.


  1. Staff shall be proactive when possible in working to communicate information that may affect the general public to the City Manager’s Office, so that information may be disseminated before it is formally requested via media outlets and other official communicative avenues.


  1. Public information is routinely posted on the official City of Lawton website at by designated administrators in each division but other avenues of dissemination – to include the traditional Press, social media or physical posting – may also be used to ensure information reaches as many community members as possible.


  1. Indirect public information requests may be sent to @email.







DEPARTMENT: City Manager’s Office


RECISSION: No previous version of this policy has been published.








DATE 9/28/2018