Table of contents

Accessing MoJ IT systems from overseas

This guidance information applies to all staff, contractors and agency staff who work for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Note: If you are national security cleared to SC or DV levels, or subject to STRAP briefing, follow this process for all your trips, regardless of whether they are for business or personal reasons.

As a government official travelling overseas, you should consider that you may be of interest to hostile parties regardless of your role. By following MoJ policies and processes, you can help reduce the risk to yourself and limit the damage of exposure of sensitive information.

Essential guidance is provided in the overseas travel information.

In general, it is acceptable for MoJ users to access MoJ services from overseas, and to do this using their MoJ equipment. But before you travel, consider:

  • Do you need to take MoJ IT equipment overseas or access MoJ IT systems to do your job?

  • Can the business need be met in another way or by someone else?

  • If you just need to manage your inbox while away, can you delegate permissions to your inbox to a colleague to manage on your behalf?

  • Have you left enough time to check and obtain necessary approvals? You should ensure that your request is submitted using the Overseas Travel Form a minimum of fifteen working days before you intend to travel, or if you are subject to STRAP briefing a minimum of twenty working days before you intend to travel. This is because it may be necessary to apply additional technical controls to protect you, your devices, and any data the devices can access.

  • Be aware that some countries only consider a passport as valid for a maximum of ten years from its issue date, regardless of the expiry date printed on it. Before travelling, make sure you understand the passport acceptance rules of all the countries you may travel to or through.

Steps to follow before travelling

Part One

  1. Get confirmation from your Senior Line Manager (Head of your immediate team) that there is a business need for you to take MoJ IT equipment overseas and access MoJ services. Keep a note of the answers you get.
  2. Your Senior Line Manager should inform your HR Business Partner (HRBP) of your request to work overseas. The HRBP shall advise your Senior Line Manager of any HR considerations concerning your request.
  3. Proceed directly to Part Two of this process if you are travelling to or passing through one or more countries that are not in the following regions:
    • Western Europe
    • North America
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
  4. If you are unsure whether a country you are travelling to or through is considered part of the Western Europe, North America, Australia, or New Zealand regions, then proceed to Part Two of this process.
  5. If you have reached this step, you do not need to seek further formal approval for your trip.
  6. Take a copy of this guidance; it includes useful contact details that help in the event of a problem while travelling.
  7. Check if you need to do anything to prepare for International Roaming. Refer to the International Roaming section.

Part Two

  1. Collect the following information:
    • Name.
    • Email address.
    • Your business area.
    • Your Security Clearance.
    • The network you use to access MoJ data, services, or applications, for example DOM1 or Quantum/MoJO, or online services such as AWS or Google Workspace.
    • The make/type of equipment you want to take with you.
    • Asset Tag details.
    • Countries you’ll be visiting or passing through.
    • Dates of travel.
    • Transport details where possible, for example flights or rail journeys.
    • Proposed methods of connecting to MoJ systems or services, for example MoJ VPN, Global Protect VPN (for Macs), wifi, or Mobile Data (3G/4G/5G).
    • Reason for maintaining access while overseas.
    • The MoJ data, applications, or services you expect to access during your trip.
    • Who you are travelling with.
    • Whether you are subject to STRAP briefing.
  2. The next step depends on your MoJ business area:
    • If you are part of MoJ HQ, HMPPS HQ, HMCTS, or NPS, contact your Senior Line Manager and ask for approval to take MoJ equipment overseas and access MoJ services. Ask for any special details or considerations that apply to your proposed travel arrangements. Keep a note of the answers you get.
    • If you are part of HMPPS (but not HQ), contact your Governor and ask for approval to take MoJ equipment overseas and access MoJ services. Ask for any special details or considerations that apply to your proposed travel arrangements. Keep a note of the answers you get.
  3. Fill in the Overseas Travel Form.
  4. Send the completed form to security@justice.gov.uk, including the answers obtained from the earlier parts of this process.
  5. Your request will be considered, and an answer provided, as quickly as possible.
  6. When you receive approval for your trip, you might need to schedule a debrief with your line manager or security representative for when you return. Travel approval might be conditional on having a debrief after the trip. If your trip involved visiting a ‘special attention’ country listed in Part One, a debrief when you return is mandatory.
  7. Check if you need to do anything to prepare for International Roaming. Refer to the International Roaming section.
  8. Take a copy of this guidance; it includes useful contact details that help in the event of a problem while travelling.

On your return

When you return from your trip, you might need to attend a debrief with your line manager or security representative. The purpose of the meeting is to review events and identify anything that needs further attention or action from a security perspective.

In addition to confirming the dates and countries visited, the debrief asks questions such as:

  • Did you have any problems arriving at or departing from each country visited?
  • Did you have any unusual experiences while travelling, for example actual or suspected surveillance, customs inspections, or removal or disturbance of property?
  • Did you have to make any changes to your planned travel arrangements?
  • Were you asked unusual or detailed questions about your role, your work, or the MoJ?
  • Were there any attempts to bribe, influence, or in some way compromise you, your family, or your colleagues?
  • Were you invited to make or maintain on-going contact with a foreign national?
  • Were you the victim of any criminal act, or detained or arrested?
  • Did you lose or misplace any official material or personal items?
  • Did you require medical treatment or legal assistance during your travel?
  • Were there any technical difficulties during your travel?

Remain vigilant. In particular, report any approaches or foreign contacts if they occur in the future.

International Roaming

While travelling, you might incur roaming charges when using your MoJ equipment for calls or accessing services. These charges must be paid by your Business Unit. This is another reason for having a good business need to take MoJ equipment overseas.

By default, MoJ equipment is not enabled for use overseas. Before travelling, request the ServiceNow Catalogue item for International Roaming, and the remote wipe function. This helps protect the MoJ equipment in case of loss or theft.

Note: International Roaming can be found on Service Now using: Home > Order IT > Telephony > Mobile Devices > Request for International Roaming.

If you have any problem when using MoJ equipment overseas

Contact the IT Service Desk immediately. Tell them if the MoJ equipment is lost, stolen, or was potentially compromised. This includes any time the equipment is deliberately removed out of your sight, such as by a customs official.

If any security-related incident occurs overseas, regardless of whether it involves MoJ equipment, you should contact security@justice.gov.uk as soon as possible. Refer to the following Contacts section, and the guidance on Reporting a Security Incident on the MoJ Intranet. This includes information on reporting an incident outside of UK working hours. For convenience, the out-of-hours telephone number for reporting incidents is repeated in this guidance.

If there is a problem with your MoJ equipment, it might be necessary to disable your ability to connect to the MoJ network or services from your device. The IT Service Desk will do this if required. MoJ-issued phones might still have some functionality, to let you make phone calls, but the device should be treated as compromised and not used any more for any MoJ business.

Note: Do not be tempted to use non-MoJ equipment for MoJ business purposes. If you are having problems with MoJ equipment, you might wonder about using non-MoJ devices to carry out a particularly important task, or to respond to an urgent email. This is not acceptable.

External websites

Contacts

Security Team

IT Service Desk

Technology Service Desk - including DOM1/Quantum, and Digital & Technology Digital Service Desk. Use one of the following two methods for contacting service desk:

Note: The previous itservicedesk@justice.gov.uk and servicedesk@digital.justice.gov.uk email addresses, and the Digital & Technology Digital Service Desk Slack channel (#digitalservicedesk), are no longer being monitored.

Information Incident Reporting Line

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 3334 0324 for HMPPS staff at any time.
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 3334 0324 for MoJ staff outside UK working hours.

During UK working hours, MoJ (but not HMPPS) staff should follow the process on the Reporting a Security Incident page on the MoJ Intranet.

MoJ Security

Feedback

If you have any questions or comments about this guidance, such as suggestions for improvements, please contact: itpolicycontent@digital.justice.gov.uk.