From: Russ Stanton

          IFO Director of Government Relations


Date:  January 31, 2003


State law specifically provides that faculty members can use their computers to communicate with elected officials, their union, and for personal use provided the incremental resources used are relatively insignificant.  This statute was an IFO initiative that passed several years ago.  Some members have requested copies of the statute.  The statute, 43A.38, subd. 4, reads:

(b) An employee may use state time, property, or equipment to communicate electronically with other persons including, but not limited to, elected officials, the employer, or an exclusive bargaining representative under chapter 179A, provided this use, including the value of the time spent, results in no incremental cost to the state or results in an incremental cost that is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or administratively impracticable.

c) The commissioners of administration and employee relations shall issue a statewide policy on the use of electronic mail and other forms of electronic communications by executive branch state employees.  The policy is not subject to the provisions of chapter 14 or 179A.  Appointing authorities in the legislative and judicial branches shall issue policies on these issues for their employees.  The policies shall permit state employees to make reasonable use of state time, property, and equipment for personal communications and shall address issues of privacy, content of communications, and the definition of reasonable use as well as other issues the commissioners and appointing authorities identify as necessary and relevant.