4044: Incidental or De Minimis Use of Public Resources
The board prohibits its members and employees from using public resources for personal or political purposes as prohibited in the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act (“Act”). However, the board recognizes that incidental or de minimis uses of public resources are sometimes necessary and within reason. The purpose of this policy is to comply with the Act and to authorize certain uses of public resources as permitted by the Act.
The following uses of public resources are permitted as incidental or de minimis:
- Limited communications with family members or other non-ESU employees for personal purposes, such as e-mails or text messages with a spouse using ESU hardware, software, internet, accounts, or other public resources so long as this communication does not distract from or interfere with employees performing their official duties, with interference determined in the sole and unfettered discretion of an employee’s supervising administrator;
- Traveling to or from the person’s home when the primary purpose serves the interests of the ESU. If an employee is unsure whether the primary purpose serves the interests of the ESU, the employee should obtain the approval of his or her supervising administrator, who is authorized to make that determination under this policy;
- Making a limited number of copies of personal documents when the person cannot make alternative arrangements;
- Using personal social media accounts or accessing appropriate websites which are consistent with the ESU’s digital citizenship curriculum while off duty;
- Using ESU-owned computer programs, such as Word, Excel, Adobe, and others for personal purposes while off duty;
- Any other uses contained in the collective bargaining agreement or individual contract of the employee;
- Other uses by employees authorized by the administrator or administrator’s designee. The board intends to allow the administrator to authorize such uses on a case-by-case basis to the maximum extent permitted by the Act; and
- Other uses by the administrator or board members authorized by the board president. The board intends to allow the board president to authorize such uses on a case-by-case basis to the maximum extent permitted by the Act.
All uses pursuant to this policy must be (1) consistent with other ESU policies, (2) consistent with the provisions of Title 92, Nebraska Administrative Code, Chapter 27 (Nebraska Department of Education “Rule 27”), and (3) reported as compensation in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and taxes, if any, are paid. It is the responsibility of each board member or employee to account for their own tax liability, and the ESU will not indemnify or account for any personal use of public resources by the board member or employee.
All of the provisions of Rule 27 will apply to non-certificated staff for the purposes of this policy. In addition, employees may not use the ESU’s internet, computers, or other technology to access obscene or pornographic material, sext, or engage in any illegal activities.
Adopted on: February 12, 2019
Reviewed on: Feb. 13, 2023