I appreciate the fact that you are willing to take questions from the staff.
I think that the policy for surplus computers should be changed. Currently old computers go to the warehouse and then are discarded. I think employees should be able to buy them. I understand the district’s concern about
confidential information leaking. However, it wouldn’t take much to empty all info from the computers.
I have researched this and the 3 other districts in the state that I looked in to sell their computers on a surplus auction website, after removing all software and information. Also the University of Utah sells their old
computers, but removes the hard drive.
By having the GSD sell old computers they could make some money and employees could have some fairly decent computers. Also, it would prolong the time they would go to the dump.
In researching your question, I spoke with Phil Johnson from our warehouse. He can be reached via email here if you have additional questions. Here is his response:
Naturally, we do not like to discard working equipment without offering these surplus assets to the public. We have determined the cost of dismantling, washing (cleaning data off the hard drive) and posting computers is not worth what patrons or employees are willing to pay. We currently recycle the computers with a company called Electronic Recycling Solutions. This company has a $1,000,000.00 liability insurance per incident policy. They are also qualified to clean or wash hard drives to the Department of Defense standards. The risk factor along with the estimated 20 to 30 minutes to actually clean the data off a computer and restore the operating system back to the original starting point is simply not cost effective when you take in account what people are willing to pay for the old machine.
We do have a policy in place to make a computer available for auction. In order for a computer to be authorized for public sale it must be cleaned by an STS professional or a staff member of Information Systems. One of these employees of the district must donate their time to prepare the computer. Once the computer has been prepared for sale, the employee submits a form available through Information Systems Service Center. The sale is then approved by the Information Systems Service Center, and the machine is posted on the auction site, www.publicsurplus.com where the employee can then bid on the specific machine.
I would like to point out that the Surplus Warehouse does not send the computers to the Land Fill. Each computer is recycled according to strict electronic waste standards. Computers that are worth keeping complete are prepared for resale and those of no value are dismantled into various waste categories. The recycle company pays one rate for the usable computers and a different rate for scrap.