North Dakota

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North Dakota’s Contracts with Chinese Government-Owned Technology Vendors

Sensitive Personal and Financial Information is at Risk

Learn More about the Impact in North Dakota


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?

Sherry Neas, State Procurement Manager, whose mission is to provide “comprehensive purchasing services based upon sound purchasing practices and principles, and has authority for the procurement of commodities, services, printing, and information technology.” (Read more)

Shawn Riley, State Chief Information Officer, whose mission is to “provide leadership and knowledge to assist customers in achieving their mission through the innovative use of information technology.” (Read more)

What actions have Congressional Leaders taken?

Senator John Hoeven – Senator Hoeven has a long history of acting tough on China, especially when it comes to trade and manufacturing. “There are things we can do to help as we negotiate, but ultimately we’ve got to get China to trade on a fair basis, not steal our technology, and take down some of these trade barriers,” Hoeven has said. (Read more on his efforts here

Senator Kevin Cramer – Senator Cramer recently led legislation that increases transparency, protects American investors, and prevents companies owned or controlled by foreign governments, most notably China, from continuing to exploit our financial system. “It’s asinine that we’re giving Chinese companies the opportunity to exploit hardworking Americans,” Cramer said about the bill.  (Read more about his efforts here)

Analysis

Despite military and intelligence agency bans, the North Dakota State Government has spent $26,499 on Lenovo products in recent 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 North Dakota’s personal and financial information.

The North Dakota University System is designed to prepare students for a broad range of professions by providing career and technical education, traditional academic programs, graduate studies and research opportunities. They have spent $119.00 on Lenovo equipment. 

The City of Fargo Government is responsible for a range of civic institutions including the city’s public health and transportation systems. It has spent at least $17, 200.00 on Lenovo equipment.