GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
Washington, DC 20405
SUBJECT: Personal Use of Agency Office Equipment
1. Purpose. This order transmits the agency's policy on personal use of agency office equipment.
a. This order authorizes the personal use of agency office equipment by GSA employees in the office or official duty station on an occasional basis provided that the use involves minimal additional expense to the Government (such as electricity, ink, small amounts of paper, and ordinary wear and tear) and does not interfere with official business.
b. This order does not change previous policy, but simply updates citations and reformats the document.
3. Cancellation. ADM 7800.11 is cancelled.
a. Generally, GSA employees may use agency office equipment only for official business or as authorized by the Government. See 5 C.F.R. 2635.101(b)(9) and 2635.704(a). This order authorizes the occasional personal use of agency office equipment. Occasional personal use of agency office equipment shall normally take place on the employees' personal time, not during official duty time. The personal use of agency office equipment includes, but is not limited to, office supplies, computers, software, printers, telephones and other telecommunications equipment, facsimile machines, electronic mail (email), Internet, copying and reproduction machines, library books and microfiche is authorized when used in moderation. The following uses of agency office equipment by GSA employees during their personal time are hereby authorized:
(1) personal uses in the office or official duty station on an occasional basis that are in moderation and involve only minimal additional expense to the Government (such as electricity, ink, small amounts of paper, and ordinary wear and tear);
(2) point-to-point electronic transmissions, not broadcast transmissions or mass mailings, on e-mail, in accordance with CIO 2160.2A, GSA Electronic Messaging;
(3) occasional access to the Internet provided that there is no fee charged to the Government, in accordance with CIO 2104.1, GSA Information Technology (IT) General Rules of Behavior; and
(4) limited use of agency office equipment for personal telephone/fax calls to or from locations within the office's commuting area, that are charged to non-government accounts, or where there is no additional cost to the Government, in accordance with CIO P 2165.1, GSA Internal Telecommunications Management.
b. Employees should contact their supervisor if there are any questions regarding what constitutes "minimal" expense, small amounts of paper or interference with official business. Employees wishing to use more than a small amount of paper must provide their own. Nothing herein shall authorize the use of office equipment or official time to earn outside income. In addition, employees shall not use agency office equipment or official time to earn outside income or for their own private gain or for the private gain of their relatives, friends or persons with whom they are affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including persons with whom employees have or seek outside employment business relations, or any other person or nongovernmental organization. Any personal use of agency office equipment is subject to the overriding expectation that employees will give the Government an honest day's work. Employees shall exercise common sense and good judgment in the personal use of agency office equipment. Official Government business always takes precedence over the personal use of agency office equipment and such use shall not interfere with official business. Supervisors should be consulted if there are questions concerning such use.
c. In using Government property, employees should be mindful of their responsibility to protect and conserve such property and to use official time in an honest effort to perform official duties. See 5 C.F.R. 2635.101(b)(9), 2635.704(a), and 2635.705(a). Employees have a continuing responsibility to safeguard Government property and are responsible for the care, security, and effective utilization of Government property they use. Employees may be financially liable for the property if it is stolen, damaged, lost or destroyed as a result of negligence, improper use, or other willful actions.
d. This order authorizes the occasional access to the Internet for personal use since such access does not result in increased cost to the agency. However, this order does not authorize the personal use of fee-based commercial electronic databases when there is an additional charge to the Government. For example, a prompt to enter a special password or to register prior to entering the database may indicate that it is fee-based. Employees shall ensure that all sites accessed have no cost attached. In particular, Government-issued credit cards, which may never be used for personal use, shall not be used for personal access to the Internet.
e. Employees making personal use of email should make clear at the beginning of the message that it is not an official Government message. This order permits only point-to-point electronic transmissions for personal use. It does not authorize broadcast transmissions or mass mailings. Employees must comply with CIO 2160.2A, GSA Electronic Messaging.
f. It is the agency's position that all email messages (and other electronic database information) are Government records and the agency may access those messages whenever it has a legitimate Governmental purpose for doing so. Employees have no expectation of privacy with regard to personal messages they send through the Government-provided Internet. For additional guidance on the use of GSA's electronic communications, see the "Internet/Intranet Usage Guidelines" on GSA's InSite web page.
g. While the occasional use of agency office equipment in moderation is acceptable, uses not conforming with this order are strictly prohibited. Also, employees are expected to conduct themselves professionally in the workplace and to refrain from using agency office equipment for activities that are inappropriate or offensive to co-workers or the public, such as the use of sexually explicit materials or materials or remarks that ridicule others on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, handicap, national origin or sexual orientation.
h. This order does not override statutes, rules or regulations governing the use of specific types of Government property (e.g., 31 U.S.C. 1344, governing the use of a Government motor vehicle). Personal use of agency office equipment may be revoked or limited at any time by the appropriate Heads of Services or Staff Offices, Regional Administrators or their designees for any legitimate business reason.
5. Labor management relations responsibilities. Implementation of this order with respect to employees represented by a labor organization is contingent upon completion of appropriate labor relations obligations.
6. Effective date. This order is effective upon execution.
James A. Williams