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EGov: Fed Employees
Limited Personal use " The CIO Council has issued recommended guidance on "Limited Personal Use of Government Office Equipment Including Information Technology. 1 " Examples of inappropriate personal use include "the creation, download, viewing, storage, copying, or transmission of materials related to illegal gambling, illegal weapons, terrorist activities, and any other illegal activities or activities otherwise prohibited" and "the unauthorized acquisition, use, reproduction, transmission, or distribution of any controlled information including computer software and data, that includes privacy information, copyrighted, trade marked or material with other intellectual property rights (beyond fair use), proprietary data, or export controlled software or data.. OMB expects all agencies to establish personal use policies, consistent with the recommended guidance developed by the CIO Council." "
Generally, Federal employees may use Government office equipment for authorized purposes only. As set forth below, limited personal use of the government office equipment by employees during non-work time is considered to be an "authorized use" of Government property. Authority for this policy is cited as 5 U.S.C. sec 301 which provides that the head of an executive department or military department may prescribe regulations for the use of its property; and Executive Order 13011, Federal Information Technology, section 3(a)(1), which delineates the responsibilities of the Chief Information Office (CIO) council in providing recommendations to agency heads relating to the management and use of information technology resources.
Federal employees are permitted limited use of government office equipment for personal needs if the use does not interfere with official business and involves minimal additional expense to the Government. This limited personal use of government office equipment should take place during the employee's non-work time. This privilege to use Government office equipment for nongovernment purposes may be revoked or limited at any time by appropriate Federal agency or department officials.
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Employee non-work time means times when the employee is not otherwise expected to be addressing official business. Employees may for example - use government office equipment during their own off-duty hours such as before or after a workday (subject to local office hours), lunch periods, authorized breaks, or weekends or holidays (if their duty station is normally available at such times).
Personal use means activity that is conducted for purposes other than accomplishing official or otherwise authorized activity. Executive Branch employees are specifically prohibited from using government office equipment to maintain or support a personal private business. Examples of this prohibition include employees using a government computer and Internet connection to run a travel business or investment service. The ban on using government office equipment to support a personal private business also includes employees using government office equipment to assist relatives, friends, or other persons in such activities. Employees may, however, make limited use under this policy of government office equipment to check their Thrift Savings Plan or other personal investments, or to seek employment, or communicate with a volunteer charity organization (examples).
Inappropriate Personal Use
*Any personal use that could cause congestion, delay, or disruption of service to any government system or equipment. For example, greeting cards, video, sound or other large file attachments can degrade the performance of the entire network. "Push" technology on the Internet and other continuous data streams would also degrade the performance of the entire network and be an inappropriate use.
* Using the Government systems as a staging ground or platform to gain unauthorized access to other systems.
* The creation, copying, transmission, or retransmission of chain letters or other unauthorized mass mailings regardless of the subject matter.
* Using government office equipment for activities that are illegal, inappropriate, or offensive to fellow employees or the public. Such activities include, but is not limited to: hate speech, or material that ridicules others on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation.
* The creation, download, viewing, storage, copying, or transmission of sexually explicit or sexually oriented materials;
* The creation, download, viewing, storage, copying, or transmission of materials related to illegal gambling, illegal weapons, terrorist activities, and any other illegal activities or activities otherwise prohibited, etc.
* Use for commercial purposes or in support of "for-profit" activities or in support of other outside employment or business activity (e.g. consulting for pay, sales or administration of business transactions, sale of goods or services).
* Engaging in any outside fund-raising activity, endorsing any product or service, participating in any lobbying activity, or engaging in any prohibited partisan political activity.
* Use for posting agency information to external newsgroups, bulletin boards or other public forums without authority. This includes any use that could create the perception that the communication was made in one's official capacity as a Federal Government employee, unless appropriate Agency approval has been obtained or uses at odds with the agencies mission or positions.
* Any use that could generate more than minimal additional expense to the government.
* The unauthorized acquisition, use, reproduction, transmission, or distribution of any controlled information including computer software and data, that includes privacy information, copyrighted, trade marked or material with other intellectual property rights (beyond fair use), proprietary data, or export controlled software or data.
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