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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.

External collaborators

Collaborators may include:

  • Vendors under contract (not just a Terms of Service) with TTS
  • Vendors with GSA who are working on a project with TTS, for which we have an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Partners at federal agencies whose projects are under an Interagency Agreement with TTS, or at state or local agencies whose projects are under an Intergovernmental Collaboration Act agreement with TTS.

Note this does not include:

  • The general public, for which we have dedicated channels
  • Other feds who we are not working with directly

Contractors’ level of access will be determined by the Contracting Officer (CO). By default, contractors who are “embedded” in TTS (working on TTS projects most or full-time) can be added as full members, while other collaborators should be added as single or multi-channel guests, as appropriate.

Additonal exceptions, including a small number of close TTS collaborators at GSA, may be added as full Slack members at the discretion of the Technology Director. Examples might include the Chief Information Officer or FAS Commissioner. Ask in #admins-slack if you’d like to add someone to this category.

Partner-specific channels

You may want to invite partners, contractors, etc. to specific project channels to foster collaboration and asynchronous communication with the team. Projects often 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.


Slack users need to be offboarded in the following situations:

  • Someone leaving TTS
  • A partner who’s employment/engagement is ending
    • It is the responsibility of the engagement manager to inform @slackadmin in #admins-slack when this is happening.
  • A contractor who is no longer supporting TTS
    • The COR or the TTS representative that added the contractor to Slack should fill out the user modification form when the period of performance ends.

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