Georgia

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Georgia’s Contracts with Chinese Government-Owned Technology Vendors

Sensitive Personal and Financial Information is at Risk

Learn More about the Impact in Georgia


The Problem

Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers, including PC-giant Lenovo, have been banned by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to fears of information security. (Read the report)


Who can take action?

Lisa Eason, Deputy Commissioner of the State Purchasing Division, who is “responsible for the administration of the State’s purchasing and travel card programs, the strategic sourcing division and the agency sourcing division.” (Read more)

Calvin Rhodes, Executive Director and State Chief Information Officer, whose department has stated that “cybersecurity is a critically important concern, and GTA gives particular attention to supporting the development of training for state employees so they understand their role in protecting sensitive information.” (Read more)

What actions have Congressional Leaders taken?

Representative Buddy CarterRep. Carter has been vocal about countering the U.S. reliance on Chinese products and has introduced legislation “designed to significantly reduce the advantage that foreign countries provide and encourage companies to maintain, expand or relocate their production activities back to the United States” (Read more on his efforts here)

Representative Rick Allen – Rep. Allen has been a leader in the fight against China’s unfair trade practices. He was recently outspoken on the issue saying, trade is gonna effect some of the forces in some of the businesses, but China is out of control. They have got to be reeled in.” (Read more on his efforts here)

Analysis

Despite military and intelligence agency bans, the Georgia State Government has spent more than $1 million on Lenovo products in the last five years. (See the State’s Freedom of Information Act request response here and our summary here.)


Select Vulnerabilities:

The use of restricted Chinese government-owned technology vendors by these agencies endangers Georgia’s personal and financial information.

The Department of Audits and Accounts maintains data about the state’s finances, taxes and other critical fiscal data. This is all work that involves sensitive personal information, yet it has spent more than $600,000 on Lenovo equipment.

The Technical College System of Georgia oversees the state’s technical colleges, adult literacy programs, and a host of economic and workforce development programs. It has spent more than $300,000 on Lenovo equipment. Maintaining data about the state’s high education students and educators, including test scores, certifications, financial and criminal records, is all work that involves sensitive personal information.