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Idaho’s Contracts with Chinese Government-Owned Technology Vendors

Sensitive Personal and Financial Information is at Risk

Learn More about the Impact in Idaho

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?

Valerie Bollinger, Chief Procurement Officer whose mission is to “procure quality goods and services for the benefit of the people in the State of Idaho through collaborative, effective, and innovative procurement solutions.”(Read more)

Greg Zickau, State Chief Information Officer whose role it to lead “strategic planning efforts for use of technology, manages central services and infrastructure, and leads support for the Idaho Technology Authority (ITA), which oversees technology policy and investments by State government..” (Read more)

What actions have Congressional Leaders taken?

Senator Michael Crapo – Senator Crapo has been a leader in speaking out against Chinese dominance in the technology space. He convened a hearing on threats from China, which had a particular focus on the semiconductor industry, and wrote in a column “U.S. national security grounds are called upon to confront threats to America’s dominance in high technology manufacturing and other threats from China.” (Read more on his efforts here

Senator James Risch – As the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Risch has been at the forefront of the challenge against China. He has introduced legislation to “safeguard our interests, and those of our allies and partners, and retain our position as a global leader” against China. (Read more on his efforts here


Despite military and intelligence agency bans, the Idaho State Government has spent more than $4 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 banned Chinese government-owned technology vendors by these agencies endangers Idaho’s personal and financial information.

The Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) is responsible for implementing policies, distributing funds, administering statewide assessments, licensing educators, and providing accountability data. It has spent more than $1.8 million Lenovo equipment for this work. Maintaining data about the state’s students and educators, including test scores, grades, eligibility for free/reduced meals, teacher evaluations and certifications, is all work that involves sensitive personal information. 

The Idaho Fish and Game’s mission is to protect, preserve, perpetuate and manage Idaho’s wildlife resources. It has spent more than $600,000 on Lenovo equipment. 

The Idaho Supreme Court, combined with the Court of Appeals Clerk’s Office and the State Law Library, has spent more than $350,000 on Lenovo equipment. The state judicial system oversees highly confidential information about charged persons (those found guilty and innocent), criminals, and penalties.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has spent almost $43,000 on Lenovo equipment. Health and welfare agencies administer private records of adults, children and families that benefit from social assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid. They also handle sensitive information about individual health records including illness history and patient care plans.