'Limited personal use is OK'

Federal employees are working so hard these days that there is no reason to keep them from surfing the Web to look up a baseball score, according to Jim Flyzik, the Treasury Department's chief information officer.

"Let's be in the real world," Flyzik told a session of the Information Processing Interagency Conference Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

While some government agencies have tried to crack down on personal use of computers at work, Flyzik said it's an impossible task and one that government should not even try to police.

Flyzik—who, in addition to being the Treasury CIO, is also the deputy assistant secretary for information systems and the vice chairman of the federal CIO Council—said some Web surfing should be off limits, including searching for pornography sites. But for the most part, he said, government workers are simply taking a break and then returning to their jobs. And it does not cost the taxpayers a dime.

"Limited personal use is OK," Flyzik said. "If you play for 15 minutes at the office and work for 30 minutes at home, the government gains.... I work in the office, at home, on airplanes.... I work wherever I am. That's the world we're in."

Flyzik is writing an article for the Treasury inspector general about personal use of the Web at work. He said it would be included in the IG's annual report released in May.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected