Key administrative and computer use pliicies and procedures
MERIT SYSTEM PRINCIPLES
Personnel management pliicies and the hiring process are based on and embody the Merit System Principles. The Merit System Principles are the public’s expectations of a system that is effective, fair, open to all, free from pliitical interference, and staffed by honest, competent, and dedicated employees. The merit system principles are:
- Recruit qualified individuals from all segments of society, and select and advance employees on the basis of merit after fair and open competition which assures that all receive equal opportunity.
- Treat employees and applicants fairly and equitably, without regard to pliitical affiliation, race, clior, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or disability and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights.
- Provide equal pay for equal work, and recognize excellent performance.
- Maintain high standards of integrity, conduct, and concern for the public interest.
- Manage employees efficiently and effectively.
- Retain and separate employees on the basis of their performance.
- Educate and train employees when it will result in better organizational or individual performance.
- Protect employees from arbitrary action, personal favoritism, or coercion for partisan pliitical purposes.
- Protect employees against reprisal for the lawful disclosure of information in “whistleblower” situation (i.e., protecting people who report things like illegal and/ or wasteful activities).
PROHIBITED PERSONNEL PRACTICES
Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPPs) are employment-related activities that are banned in the federal workforce because they violate the merit system through some form of employment discrimination, retaliation, improper hiring practices, or failure to adhere to laws, rules, or regulations that directly concern the merit system principles. Most often, PPPs apply to those with personnel authority, such as the authority to make appointments, promotions, details, transfers, reassignments, reinstatements, or any decisions concerning pay, benefits, training, discipline, and any decision to order psychiatric testing or examination. Consequently, people with personnel authority—managers and supervisors—are charged with avoiding prohibited personnel practices. They are:
- Don’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicapping condition, marital status, or political affiliation.
- Don’t solicit or consider any personnel recommendation or statement not based on personal knowledge or records of performance, ability, aptitude, general qualifications, character, loyalty, or suitability.
- Don’t coerce an employee’s political activity.
- Don’t deceive or obstruct any person with respect to such person’s right to compete for employment.
- Don’t influence a person to withdraw from competition for the purpose of improving or injuring the prospects of another person for employment.
- Don’t grant any preference or advantage not authorized by law, regulation, or rule to any employee or applicant for the purpose of improving or injuring the prospects of another person for employment.
- Don’t employ or advocate a relative.
- Don’t retaliate against a whistleblower, whether an employee or an applicant.
- Don’t retaliate against employees or applicants who exercise their appeal rights, testify, cooperate with an Inspector General or the Special Counsel, or refuse to break the law.
- Don’t discriminate based on actions not adversely affecting performance.
- Don’t violate any law, rule, or regulation implementing or directly concerning the merit principles.
- Don’t violate Veteran’s Preference by taking or failure to take a personnel action (National Defense Authorization Act for FY97).
- Don’t implement or enforce a nondisclosure agreement or policy lacking notification of whistleblower rights.
DIVERSITY AND LEADERSHIP
The source of our strength is the diversity of our people. Through a comprehensive strategy and leader commitment, diversity includes embracing the strengths of diverse people in an inclusive environment built around dignity and respect, investing in and managing talent, valuing individuals, and developing culturally aware civilians who enhance our organizations.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program
Air Force Equal Opportunity (EO) strives to accomplish its mission by promoting an environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that could prevent Air Force members from rising to their highest potential. Air Force policies are in place to ensure the organizations conduct their affairs free from unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment. The policies also provide for equal employment opportunity and treatment for all civilians irrespective of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), age, genetic information, disability, or prior EEO activity (reprisal). In the military EO context, the policies provide for equal opportunity and treatment for all members based on their race, color, sex, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation. Commanders and supervisors should ensure all types of harassment are stopped and behavior corrected as soon as possible once they are made aware.
EEO Complaint Process
Air Force employees or applicants who believe they have been discriminated against with respect to a term, condition, or benefit of employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), age (40 and over), mental or physical disability, genetic information, or in reprisal or retaliation for having engaged in protected EEO activity have the right to initiate an EEO complaint.
View the complaint process can be found here or in AFI 36-2710, Equal Opportunity Program, Military and Civilian.
PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) refers to information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as their name, social security number, biometric records, etc., alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as data and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc. This information can be in hardcopy (paper copy files) or electronic format stored on computers, laptops, and personal electronic devices and found within databases. Records containing PII include, but are not limited to, education records, financial transactions, medical files, criminal records, or employment history. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect PII. A breach or compromise of PII, such as posting PII on public-facing websites, sending PII via unencrypted email and to unauthorized recipients, providing hard copies to individuals without a need to know, loss of electronic devices storing PII, use of PII by employees for unofficial business, etc., constitutes a disciplinary offense.
GOVERNMENT COMPUTER USE
While using a government computer, keep the following items in mind:
- Computer systems may be monitored for all lawful purposes, to ensure that their use is authorized, optimize management of the system, facilitate protection against unauthorized access, and to verify security procedures, survivability, and OPSEC. Unauthorized use of a DoD computer may subject you to criminal prosecution. Evidence of unauthorized use collected during monitoring may be used for administrative, criminal, or other adverse action.
- You are not authorized the use of communication systems which adversely reflect on the Air Force. Examples include sexually explicit email or access to sexually explicit websites, pornographic images, or virtual computer-generated or otherwise pornographic images; chain email messages; unofficial advertising, soliciting, or selling via email; or subversive and other uses that are incompatible with public service. You can’t use the communication system for unlawful activities, commercial purposes, or in support of for-profit activities, personal financial gain, personal use inconsistent with DoD policy, personal use that promotes a particular religion or faith, or uses that violate other Air Force policies or laws. This may include, but is not limited to, violation of intellectual property and copyright laws, gambling, support of terrorist or subversive activities, and sexual or other forms of harassment. You are not authorized to send political transmissions, including transmissions that advocate the election of particular candidates for public office. You may not open, send, or forward items known or suspected of being malicious (such as spam, phishing, viruses, and Trojan horses).
- You have the responsibility to safeguard the information contained on the classified and/or unclassified network from unauthorized or inadvertent modification, disclosure, destruction, denial of service, and use. Annual Information Assurance (IA) awareness training is now required of all users of DoD information systems.
Operations Security (OPSEC) is an analytical process of identifying critical information of military plans, operations, and supporting activities and the indicators that can reveal it, and then developing measures to eliminate, reduce, or conceal those indicators. OPSEC is a continuous process and an inherent part of military culture. It must be fully integrated into the execution of all Air Force operations and supporting activities. Failure to properly implement OPSEC measures can result in serious injury or death of our personnel; damage to weapons systems, equipment and facilities; loss of sensitive technologies; and mission failure. OPSEC is everyone’s responsibility and must be practiced daily. You need to know and protect your unit’s critical information and implement the OPSEC measures determined by your commander. Know who your local OPSEC officer is and contact them with any questions or concerns on OPSEC-related topics.
GOVERNMENT TELEPHONE USE
The use of a government telephone system is limited to official business and other authorized uses. Authorized use of communication systems includes brief communication made by DoD employees while they are traveling on government business to notify family members of transportation or schedule changes. Authorized use also includes personal communications from the DoD employee’s workplace that are made while at the workplace (such as checking in with spouse or minor children; or scheduling doctor, auto, or home repair appointments). Unauthorized use of a government telephone may subject you to administrative, criminal, or other adverse action.
GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CHARGE CARD
Some personnel will be issued a Government Travel Charge Card. If issued one, you will receive specific training on its use.