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Desktop Equipment Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) Information Services (IS) manages the funds supplied by the University to provide “fit for purpose” desktop computing equipment, henceforth referred to as “equipment” for the University.

(2) This Policy provides the framework for the management and supply of this equipment.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all areas of the University requesting the supply of equipment, including:

  1. All Staff
  2. All Higher degree by research students.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The University provides computing equipment that is based on a standard specification published by IS and is sourced through the University’s preferred suppliers.

(5) IS will supply equipment as specified on the IS ASK Services Knowledgebase and based on a Standard Operating Environment (SOE).

(6) The Standard Operating Environment (SOE) Committee will meet as required to review and endorse any updates to the standards.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Standard Equipment

(7) Equipment (standard specification) for full-time staff and Higher degree by research students is provided and funded from central funds that are managed by IS.

(8) Peripheral items or IT accessories (e.g. webcams, custom keyboards, bags, etc) may be purchased by the local work area or department, upon budget holder approval.

(9) The funds allow for one computer per position, any exception to this rule will be fully funded by the department and is to be endorsed by IS and a member of the Senior Executive Group (SEG) (or their delegated authority).

(10) Equipment for staff in casual, part-time or fixed term appointments and in job share arrangements will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the requesting area and IS.

(11) Equipment for CONAGOTHs, adjunct, honorary and emeritus staff will be funded by their area but will still need to comply with the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) or follow the non-standard equipment request process (see below). IS will seek to re-use existing equipment before acquiring a new device.

(12) By default, the equipment provided will be a standard desktop. If a staff member’s role requires a standard laptop, the requesting area is required to provide a justification in the ASK Services request that is endorsed by the line manager and financial approver.

(13) No equipment will be purchased without the knowledge of and consultation with the IS Asset Management Team. IS will also manage the asset lifecycle for all equipment; the details of the lifecycle will be published with the standard specification.

(14) Purchasing Card holders must not use their La Trobe Purchasing Card to purchase equipment as defined below.

Part B - Non-Standard Equipment

(15) Non-standard equipment (including all Apple & higher specification Windows models) is also procured and maintained by IS. Individuals or departments are to acquire all equipment via IS or in close consultation with IS – independent procurement or design is not permitted. When a request for non-standard equipment is made via ASK Services, the requesting area will be required to:

  1. provide a business justification to IS when submitting the request including details pertaining to the variation from the SOE and why this is a requirement; and
  2. provide Budget Holder approval to fund the cost difference between the SOE and the requested model/s.

(16) IS will assess the request and will supply a costing for the difference between the request and the SOE. Any additional expenditure will need to be approved by the Manager of the requesting area and individual who has the appropriate financial expenditure delegation.

(17) If a requested non-standard configuration is not recommended by IS for technical or support reasons or because the request is considered to be over-specified, a member of the Senior Executive Group will be required to consider the request.

(18) When non-standard equipment is replaced, it will be replaced (as a default) with the current standard equipment as specified by IS unless a new non-standard exemption is approved.

(19) Equipment funded exclusively with external research funds must be agreed with IS prior to purchase, but is not covered by Clauses 15-18.

Part C - Leased Equipment

(20) All equipment will be leased unless an exception applies. An exception may be requested via ASK Services. An exception can apply in the following circumstances:

  1. An annual allocation of equipment for HDR students is purchased via Central Funds. This allows for flexibility with the student to extend the usage of the computer on an as needs basis. Noting if the area requires a laptop or more expensive configuration than the standard, the cost difference will need to be funded by the area.
  2. Equipment as part of an Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) project, refurbishment, or new building is to be purchased as part of the project, and at end of life, replaced by a leased device if still required.
  3. New teaching spaces/lab equipment is to be initially funded through the project, and at end of life, replaced by a leased device if still required.

(21) Any additional equipment or variation in the specification of equipment will be with specific prior approval and at a cost to the requesting area.

(22) If an area wishes to upgrade or change the type of equipment before the end of the lease cycle, the area is required to pay for the buyout cost of the lease and any additional costs that may be incurred regarding the change of specification. This does not apply in situations where IS can redeploy the device.

(23) If equipment is to be funded out of research funds, the equipment will need to be purchased instead of being leased, as research funds are non-recurring funds. The purchase of research funded equipment must still adhere to the SOE and SOE exemption process outlined in this Policy.

(24) At the end of the lease, IS will make and document 3 attempts to contact the equipment user and their Budget Holder to arrange for the replacement of their equipment. If no response is received from the user, the Budget Holder will be advised and charges for the non-returned leased item(s) will be passed on to the area, unless there is a legitimate reason for the user’s lack of response (e.g. user is on an extended period of leave). These charges will be the full equipment replacement cost to encourage areas to make more strenuous efforts to recover equipment. This is also to reduce the data loss risks posed to the University and the cost of lost software on the equipment.

(25) If leases are to be terminated early, the cost of the lease buyout will be funded in its entirety by the requesting area. This does not apply in situations where IS can redeploy the device.

(26) Any non-returned or damaged leased equipment will be charged back to the area. All equipment that is provided at the time of deployment must be returned at the lease end lifecycle. Non-returned items will be charged back to the department (this includes monitor arms, peripherals, etc).

(27) Buyouts of equipment for personal retention are not permitted, unless in exceptional circumstances and approved in writing by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or the relevant member of the Senior Executive Group. In line with software licencing agreements the equipment will be wiped (all data securely erased) prior to release.

Part D - Modifications and Repair of Equipment

(28) All non-warranty repairs will be charged to the area that has been allocated the equipment.

(29) All modifications to the equipment, made at any time, will be funded by the area, for example: expansions to RAM, disk or video cards.

(30) Staff are not permitted to personally or independently modify their device at any time. If upgrades or alterations are
required the device must be returned to IS to perform or arrange the modification(s).

Part E - Decommissioning and Re-purposing Equipment

(31) IS may recover and re-purpose equipment that has not been utilised in six months.

(32) For security and privacy reasons:

  1. Computers that are allocated directly to a user and are to be re-purposed and supplied to another user must be returned to IS to ensure data is securely erased before being provided to the new individual. Hot desk/departmental loan equipment will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Computers that have not been utilised in six months (dormant computers) will require re-installation of up to date software. Requests to re-use dormant computers will result in charges being incurred for the software re-installation.
  3. Non-leased equipment that is no longer supported by the vendor and consequently presents a security risk to the University, will either be upgraded at cost to the area or decommissioned.

(33) IS will manage the disposal or salvage of all desktop equipment at its discretion.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(34) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. CONAGOTHs: Consultants, Agency staff, Others. Non-staff, Non-employees who require equipment.
  2. End of life: For leased devices, end-of-life is defined against the device in the SOE. For non-leased devices, end-of-life is defined by IS based on a number of factors including ability to be security patched, availability of support necessary for software and ability for the device to perform its intended functions in situ.
  3. Equipment: Desktop computing equipment. This includes all laptop PCs and Apple Macs, all desktop PCs and Apple Macs and computer monitors. This includes items/equipment supplied to individuals or located within teaching spaces. This excludes mobile devices as defined in the Mobile Communication Device Policy(phones and tablets). This also excludes IT accessories.
  4. Full equipment replacement cost: cost of a new device of equivalent specification, as determined by IS.
  5. Standard Operating Environment (SOE): The specification of the architecture, operating systems, applications set and configuration of computers within the University.