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Equipment and Resources Usage Policy

Policy Statement

Employees will be provided access to Information Technology (IT) assets and other equipment and resources required to conduct the duties associated with their jobs. Access to and usage of employer-provided IT assets, equipment and resources are provided for the express purpose of conducting government business.

All government records, as defined in the Management of Information Act, that are generated, stored on or handled by employer-provided IT assets, equipment and other resources is the property of the employer, and not the property of the employee. Employees should have no reasonable expectation of privacy, as employer-provided IT assets, equipment and resources will be monitored and /or searched, where necessary, by the employer.

The employer can legally view all government records, as well as any other records which may be generated, stored on or handled by employer-provided assets, if that action is deemed necessary for the maintenance or security of the government network or information, or if inappropriate use is suspected.

Application

This policy applies to all employees.

Definitions

equipment computers (desk top and lap top); telephones (cell and land); photocopiers, printers; scanners; faxes etc.
resources for the purposes of this policy, software, Internet access, e-mail, etcetera
usage employee use of employer-provided equipment and resources within the following parameters:
  core    activities required to conduct government business and fulfill the mandate of the department
  incidental   activities which do not form part of employees' work responsibilities, done on employees' personal time, for which employees cover any costs incurred
  unacceptable activities not required by the employer to conduct government business and which waste employee time and/or disrupt networks or systems and/or violate federal or provincial law

Responsibility

Department

It is the responsibility of individual departments to:

  • ensure that all employees are aware of all policies related to the use of any government equipment or resource; and
  • monitor usage of equipment and resources, where necessary.

Employee

It is the responsibility of employees to:

  • use equipment and resources for work related purposes;
  • not participate in any activities which are in violation of Newfoundland and Labrador or Canadian laws or this policy.

Internet Usage

Access to the Internet is a privilege, not a right, and is provided to employees for the purpose of conducting government business.

It is recognized that some personal use of the Internet will occur. Incidental use is acceptable, only during approved breaks and lunch times.

Employees should be aware that the following activities are criminal in nature. Use of the employer's equipment and resources to engage in these activities (or similar activities not listed here) will result in discipline by the employer up to and including dismissal:

  • possessing, downloading or distributing child pornography;
  • gaining unauthorized access to a computer system ;
  • trying to defeat the security features of the electronic networks;
  • spreading viruses with intent to cause harm;
  • destroying, altering or encrypting data without authorization and with the intent of making it inaccessible to others with a lawful need to access it;
  • interfering with others' lawful use of data and computers;
  • sending electronic messages, without lawful authority, that cause people to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them;
  • disseminating messages that promote hatred or incite violence against identifiable groups;
  • intercepting other people's private communications or electronic mail (in transit);
  • distributing, publishing or possessing for the purpose of distributing or publicly displaying any obscene material;
  • violating another person's copyright;
  • spreading false allegations or rumours that would harm a person's reputation; and
  • unlawfully destroying, altering or falsifying electronic records.

Employees should also be aware that the following activities, while not criminal in nature, are considered unacceptable usage of the employer's equipment and resources and will result in discipline up to and including dismissal:

  • downloading, viewing, accessing or distributing pornographic and/or obscene material;
  • using the employer's equipment and resources in any way that may be perceived as harassment under the Harassment and Discrimination-Free Workplace Policy
  • using the employer's equipment and resources for personal financial gain.

E-mail

Employees should be aware that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in email transmitted, received and stored on and/or through the government network. Email, whether created or received, is the property of the employer and is not a private employee communication. The employer can monitor, search and/or legally view all email, including any private email, if that action is necessary for the maintenance or security of the government network or information, or if inappropriate use is suspected.

Telephones

Telephones issued to employees by departments are to be used primarily to conduct government business. It is recognized that some personal use of office telephones will occur. Incidental use is acceptable, but not beyond the point where it:

  • interferes with employees' ability to complete work assignments; or
  • becomes a burden on the employer's systems and/or resources.

Any long distance charges related to personal use of telephones must be reimbursed by the employee.

Other Equipment and Resources

Employees should use other equipment and resources only for core purposes.

Other Policies

Employees should also be aware of Treasury Board's Information Technology Policies: www.ocio.gov.nl.ca/ocio/policies/library.html

Last Policy Update: July 25, 2011

 

 
Last Updated:
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