Acceptable Use of State Systems Policy
May 2006 (Addendum added November 2006)
The purpose of this document is to provide common standards for the use of State of Connecticut Executive Branch electronic communications, including but not limited to electronic mail systems (E-mail), the Internet, computers, laptops and related technologies and equipment (herein referred to as “State systems”).
The intent of this policy is to provide information concerning the appropriate and inappropriate use of State systems. Examples are included in order to assist readers with the intent of specific sections of this policy. However, the examples contained within this policy do not exhaust all possible uses or misuses.
Please refer to the Addendum for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) containing additional information.
E-mail or electronic mail refers to the electronic transfer of information typically in the form of electronic messages, memoranda, and attached documents from a sending party to one or more receiving parties via an intermediate telecommunications system. E-mail is the means of sending messages between computers using a computer network. E-mail services, as defined by this policy, refer to the use of state-provided electronic mail systems.
Internet refers to a “worldwide system of computer networks - a network of networks in which users at any one computer can, if they have permission, get information from any other computer (and sometimes talk directly to users at other computers). The world-wide web is the most widely used part of the Internet, (often abbreviated "WWW" or called "the Web").
Intranet refers to an internal network or website within an organization. The main purpose of an intranet is to share company information and computing resources among employees.
CTNET refers to the equipment and services which provide State of Connecticut agencies, affiliates, and authorized users with electronic access to, including but not limited to, the internet and e-mail (1) Some definitions provided via the http://whatis.techtarget.com website.
Scope of Policy
This policy covers all State of Connecticut Executive Branch agencies and employees whether permanent or non-permanent, full, or part-time, and all consultants or contracted individuals retained by an Executive Branch agency using State of Connecticut systems (herein referred to as “users”).
This policy does not apply to the Judicial or Legislative Branches of government. However, these branches may consider adopting any or all parts of this policy for use within their own branches.
In accordance with C.G.S. §4d-2 (c) (1), the Chief Information Officer of DOIT is responsible for developing and implementing policies pertaining to information and telecommunication systems for state agencies.
Executive Branch agencies are responsible for providing all users with a copy of this policy, obtaining a signed acknowledgment of receipt from each user, and keeping a copy of the signed acknowledgement on file.
Agencies may establish additional restrictions regarding the use of State systems within their local environments. Should conflict exist between this policy and an agency policy, the more restrictive policy would take precedence.
Distribution of software within or between State agencies may be subject to more restrictive agency computer use policies. When in doubt, users are urged to inquire about all applicable restrictions.
The Director of Human Resources (or person serving in this capacity) within each State agency is responsible for addressing individual employee questions concerning this policy and the appropriate use of State systems. The Office of Labor Relations and the Chief Information Officer of DOIT will serve as consultants to agencies in this regard.
Ownership of Messages, Data and Documents
State systems and all information contained therein are State property. Information created, sent, received, accessed or stored using these systems is the property of the State.
No Presumption of Privacy
All activities involving the use of State systems are not personal or private; therefore, users should have no expectation of privacy in the use of these resources. Information stored, created, sent or received via State systems is potentially accessible under the Freedom of Information Act. Pursuant to Public Act 98-142 and the State of Connecticut’s “Electronic Monitoring Notice” the State reserves the right to monitor and/or log all activities without notice. This includes but is not limited to correspondence via e-mail and facsimile. See “Additional Resources” below.
As a user, it is important to identify yourself clearly and accurately in all electronic communications. Concealing or misrepresenting your name or affiliation is a serious abuse. Using identifiers of other individuals as your own constitutes fraud. This includes but is not limited to using a computer Logon ID other than the individual User ID authorized. Individuals may not provide their passwords or logon ids to others.
Users should also be mindful that the network is a shared resource and be aware of the impact of their activities on other users. For example, a user with a need to frequently move large files across CTNET should consider scheduling this to occur during off hours so as not to degrade network performance.
Usage of State Systems
State systems are provided at State expense and are to be used solely to conduct State of Connecticut business. This means system usage is in conformance with federal and state laws, agency policies and procedures, and collective bargaining agreements.
System usage must be in accordance with each user’s job duties and responsibilities as they relate to the user’s position with the State of Connecticut at the time of usage. Users who are dually employed must keep in mind the responsibilities of each specific position while engaged in activities involving State systems. Activities must reflect the position duties the employee is performing at the time of State system usage.
Examples of Acceptable Use of State Systems
Examples of acceptable use of State systems include job-related activities involving any of the State systems and in accordance with the above criteria. The following items are examples of acceptable activities:
E-mail: sending and receiving correspondence for job related purposes; communicating with local governments, vendors, other state agencies and/or employees, etc., on work-related issues; collaborating with other organizations, states, and the federal government about initiatives and projects of interest to Connecticut. Note: E-mail messages are considered public records and are, therefore, legally discoverable and subject to record retention policies. See “Additional Resources” below.
Internet: researching state and federal legislation and regulations as they pertain to the user’s State position; obtaining information useful to users in their official capacity.
Misuse of State Systems
State systems are provided at State expense and are to be used solely to conduct State of Connecticut business. Unacceptable system usage is generally defined as any activity NOT in conformance with the purpose, goals, and mission of the agency. Additionally, activities that are NOT in accordance with each user’s job duties and responsibilities as they relate to the user’s position within State service are also unacceptable. Any usage in which acceptable use is questionable must be avoided. When in doubt, seek policy clarification from your agency Director of Human Resources (or person serving in this capacity) prior to pursuing the activity.
Examples of Unacceptable Use of State Systems
Any and all personal activities involving any of the State systems. The following items are examples of prohibited activities; however, users are reminded prohibited activities are not limited to these examples: