Surplus Property Technology Resources Enable Teleworking for State Employees
Having the ability to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic helps State employees maintain social distancing while continuing to meet the needs of customers throughout Georgia.
The DOAS Surplus Property Division was recently instrumental in supporting the technology requirements of two state agencies for teleworking. Through the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Public Defenders Council (PDC) both received laptops on loan to support staff who needed to telework in the wake of COVID-19. Surplus Property's vendor for disposing unrecyclable electronics for the State provided 100 laptops - 88 were loaned to PDC and the remaining 12 went to DCA.
The laptops loaned had reached their end-of-life being a few years old but were still operable and in good condition, according to Robbie Head, Director of Facility and Asset Management Services for GTA. "It's not about the type of machine or the capacity - it's can I put an operating system on it, [can I] make sure it's secure, and can I get on the internet to get to their application. That's the kind of basic need that these folks are looking for and DOAS Surplus has been a lifesaver for us and the agencies that have contacted us for equipment," says Head. Head also notes that with the pandemic and recent equipment shortages in the supply chain, agencies on Capitol Hill also have been working closer together and "thinking outside the box to get people what they need."
Surplus Property Director Steve Ekin arranged the transactions and quickly connected GTA with the vendor. As part of the arrangement, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Public Defenders Council are able use the laptops indefinitely - for as long as they need them during the pandemic. "From a cost-savings and business perspective, it eliminates the need to immediately spend thousands of dollars in technology purchases during a time of budgetary constraints," says Ekin. "The mobility of laptops also makes it more practical for working remotely on a day-to-day basis, particularly for those who might need to travel outside of their homes."
Ekin underscores the value of maintaining a good rapport with vendors as well as customers and attributes the loan accomplishment to that. "We were able to meet a necessary operational need which speaks to the importance of relationship building on all levels of business and customer service," Ekin adds.
Agencies can contact the Surplus office directly to assist with locating surplus items. Surplus Property is continuing to search for and offer available technology and other property to agencies upon request.