Fedweek

The Navy’s CIO has reminded the agency’s civilian (and military) personnel that they are not to use non-official email, social media or other electronic messaging to conduct official business.

The only exceptions, a memo adds, are for emergency situations and other critical mission needs; when official accounts “are unavailable, impractical or unreliable”; and when it otherwise is in the best interests of the government.

If that is the case, the employee must send a copy of the message to the official account, preferably at the time of transmission but no later than 20 days afterward, it says, and the sender must “mitigate against” sending non-public or controlled unclassified information including “for official use only” information and personally identifiable information. “Intentional violations may be the basis for disciplinary measures up to and including removal from federal service.”

“Under no circumstances” are personal accounts to be used for official business “based on personal convenience or preference,” the memo says. However, those accounts “may be used to participate in activities such as professional networking, development and collaboration related to, but not directly associated with” official duties.

Further, it reminds employees that “classified information may never be transmitted over unclassified networks, including non-official messaging accounts.”

It cites a variety of government-wide laws and memos as well as DoD-specific directives as the basis for those policies. It does not indicate a reason it was sent now, although use of personal email and other electronic accounts for official business has been a long-running issue involving both career employees and political officials.