The JPL Ethics Office

Use of JPL and Sponsored Resources

Laboratory resources are provided for the conduct of JPL business, the performance of work related duties, professional education and training. These resources should not be used for personal activities except to the extent authorized either by written Laboratory policies or in support of activities approved by the Director or Deputy Director.


Resources include all facilities and grounds, moneys, property, equipment, vehicles, supplies, computers, computer accounts and services, software, e-mail, telephones and voicemail, fax machines, copiers, access to internet services (e.g., web, ftp), the name of Caltech or JPL, intellectual property, and employees' work time. For Guidance on use of JPL Letterhead.


While limited use of some Laboratory resources for activities not directly supporting JPL work may be authorized, no Laboratory resources may be used to:


  • Promote, sell, or trade goods or services for any promotional or profit-making endeavor;


  • Share your views, promote, or take positions on political, religious, or social issues, or


  • Conduct personal business, except as provided below.

General Guidelines

Limited, occasional use of electronic information resources for personal, non-business purposes is understandable and acceptable as long as such use:


  • Does not adversely affect the performance of the employee's official duties or the effective functioning of their organization;


  • Is of reasonable duration and frequency,


  • Is not prohibited by the organization's management or these requirements, and


  • Does not violate state or federal laws, compromise intellectual property rights, or result in embarrassment to the Laboratory, Caltech, or a sponsor.

When in doubt, please contact the Ethics Office for guidance.



JPL Rules! Use of JPL and Sponsor Resources, Rev. 1, DocID 58720