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Slack for TTS Admins

This page overviews the administrative tasks done to manage our Slack account at TTS.

Adding TTS staff

Fill out the user request form.

Adding external collaborators

We can invite people outside TTS to have access to a single channel on our Slack account. These single-channel users are free, and don’t need financial authorization from TeamOps or security clearance from TTS Tech Portfolio. These users may include:

TTS reserves the right to bill for partners with access to more than channel your IAA / budget line at the normal Slack user rate. When possible, we prefer to set up shared channels with partners over having multi-channel guests.

You may want to invite partners, contractors, etc. to specific project channels to foster collaboration and asynchronous communication with the team. Most 18F projects create specific channels that end with -partners.

  1. Create a <project>-partners channel, if you don’t want them in an existing channel.
  2. Fill out the user request form.

A small number of close TTS collaborators at GSA may be full Slack members at the discretion of the head of infrastructure. Examples might include the Chief Information Officer or FAS Commissioner. Ask in #admins-slack if you’d like to add someone to this category.


Slack users need to be offboarded in the following situations:

An admin will then do one of the following:

*NOTE: When a TTS Slack user is converted to a Single-channel user, they maintain access to their direct message chat history but are unable to search for or create new direct messages with folks that they’ve never messaged before. Unless another channel is specified, the only channel that will still be accessible is #alumni.

If they were a partner, the admin will also set their Downgraded/disabled on date in the user request spreadsheet.

Slack admins

Here are the resources used by Slack Admins to track and manage Slack accounts:

Records policy

Per the mandatory General Records Schedule 3.1 issued by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), everything in Slack channels and groups is considered at minimum a temporary record.

To ensure compliance with the possibility that we might create permanent or long-lived records in Slack, the records retention policy is set to retain all messages forever AND also retain edit and deletion logs for all messages. Users are prohibited from deleting messages. Do not abuse the edit command in Slack to effectively delete your message by replacing it with null or symbolic content. Edits for clarity or typos are fine. If any bot or integration ever posts something inappropriate, please call for a clean-up in #admins-slack using @slackadmin.

This policy applies to all types of Slack communications: public channels, private groups, even direct messages. Nothing is private. We use the Corporate Export capability in Slack to get the data and filter using the slack-export-handling tool.

During regular operations, only the Slack Owners have access to the exports. There is no regular monitoring of these messages, but they have been reviewed in the past. Various legal actions (for example, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request) or security operations approved by the TTS Tech Portfolio Director have required others to view the exports. The team will continue to be notified at the earliest possible time that the exports have been accessed. Notifications of access may not be made in realtime.

Exporting channel contents

There is not an easy way to export the contents of a single channel, for partners or otherwise. If you really want, you can:

  1. Open the Slack channel in Chrome
  2. Take a screenshot
  3. Scroll up
  4. Repeat

These, of course, will be images, so they unfortunately won’t be searchable.

Still have questions?

Ask in Slack: #admins-slack, #it-issues, #questions, #teamops