Department of Defense

Network access & computer purchases for non-sensitive duties

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Desktop computers are purchased for military & civilian employees to access the DoD networks. These networks have heightened security because they transmit information that may be FOUO, though the majority of the work conducted by employees on an installation is mundane or require only Privacy Act considerations. The computers must comply with the standards of the Defense network, have an antivirus software license/ security authentication and licenses for software selected in a service-specific enterprise configuration. Not all of these programs are useful for DoD employees and many that are useful are not allowed/require waiver, which makes the purchase of blanket licensure wasteful. Additionally, the computers are subject to refresh every three years, because the cost of repurchase is less than renewal of warranty/maintenance required to be allowed onto the military networks. For a few employees in highly technical IT and multimedia fields, this system refresh enables their memory-intensive work to keep up with current technological standards; however, the majority of Federal employees do not use any programs outside the Office Suite and Internet Explorer and do not need a robust machine.


The DoD would cut waste by discontinuing the practice of requiring every DoD employee conduct business on the Defense network. If the installation's military network were used solely for Defense-specific business, the removal of unnecessary traffic networks would prevent the need to purchase additional servers, routers and staff to maintain a net capable of allowing every DoD employee a share of limited band-width and server space. Freeing the network of unnecessary users opens the possibility for these employees to purchase their own tax-deductible desktop computer or laptop for use “outside the fence” on a civilian network with the software they need to do their job. This also frees eligible employees to telework, as an employee’s digital workstation is more mobile.

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Idea No. 9679