Feds to Furloughed Employees: Checking Gov't Email During Shutdown a 'Criminal Offense'
7:01 AM, Oct 7, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A notice posted on the website of the Small Business Administration (SBA) warns furloughed employees that it is a "criminal offense" to use federal resources during the furlough period, including accessing government email accounts. Although the notice is directed to SBA employees, presumably the directive is applicable to furloughed employees of all government agencies. The full notice reads as follows:
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a document on October 4, 2013, entitled "Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs" for all government employees. The guidance does not specifically address the email issue, and makes no mention of "criminal offenses." The closest the document comes to addressing the issue appears under a section entitled "Working during Furlough" (page 3):
During the lead up to a possible government shutdown in 2011, the SBA released guidance for its employees in preparation. The website FedSmith published the guidance that was sent in by one of its SBA readers, and it included almost verbatim the email warning that is currently on the SBA website.
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