The U.S. Navy is developing a service-wide policy regarding the acceptable use of information technology. The policy will affect approximately 900,000 users, including Navy and Marine Corp service members, civilian employees, and contractors. The policy, which is scheduled to be effective during the first quarter of 2005, is designed to guide users and personnel managers in applying consistent rules of operation. The policy will affect all IT devices, including desktops, notebooks, handhelds, cell phones, and fax machines.
The service-wide policy is designed to offer guidance in the consistent application of IT use regulations and procedures, alleviating local policies that vary from station to station. Navy and Marine Corp personnel will be allowed to use the services’ IT equipment for personal use, such as web surfing, online shopping, and personal e-mail, so long as these activities don’t use excessive bandwidth.
This is a sound organizational policy, and it models policies that I have seen developed in creative, forward-thinking commercial businesses. Much IT infrastructure sits idle, especially during the evening and weekend. Allowing employees to use this technology to attend to personal projects, such as pursuing higher education and sending e-mail to family at home, can provide a significant boost to morale. Go Navy!
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