Lesson learned at SIUE?

June 22, 2013 

The recent loss of more than 250 state-owned computers valued at purchase at more than $416,000 is concerning, especially in light of the apparent cavalier attitude of officials toward their disappearance. From my experience, in contrast to SIU's seemingly casual approach, the federal government takes such losses seriously.

While on active duty in the Air Force I was appointed as investigating officer for just one lost computer, identified as missing during a periodic required inventory. During the thorough investigation the search area was expanded, statements were taken from all responsible and/or involved parties, and existing handling and safeguarding procedures were reviewed.

In the end the computer was not found but actions were taken to assign responsibility for the loss, monetary restitution was mandated, and procedures were modified to help prevent reoccurrence.

Computer value tends to depreciate rapidly so not much money actually changed hands. The real value of the investigation process was the importance of safeguarding government assets was brought to the forefront for all involved and needed process improvements were made.

Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned by SIU too?

Bill Malec

O'Fallon

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