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Author Topic: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops  (Read 6990 times)

TakeTheActive

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Dan Lawrence

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2006, 10:49:27 PM »

That's 1,137 laptop computers since 2001!  That's only 5 years!!  How stupid can one Government Cabinet Department be?
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KDR

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2006, 06:29:06 AM »

Read your post above - Thats how stupid!!    >:(
or maybe theres a contest going on with other departments and their trying to win.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2006, 06:31:57 AM by KDR »
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steven r

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2006, 08:08:08 AM »

Several of the lost computers were from the census department. My daughter made the comment, "At least they know how many they lost."

Breaking it down they lost more than 3 computers every 5 days!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2006, 08:12:10 AM by steven r »
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2006, 11:38:47 AM »

To put this into perspective, we need to know the total number of laptops thay had in service over the timeframe.



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steven r

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2006, 12:18:38 PM »

To put this into perspective, we need to know the total number of laptops thay had in service over the timeframe.
Well that's true. What seems like a lot to us may only be a small percentage to the number in use. For it to be only a 10% loss you would have to have 11,370 in use. For 5% 22,740 in use. You would also need to factor in average use each computer had when it was lost taking in to account the average functional use life for each computer. Losing a 4 year old computer is far less significant than losing a 4 month old computer. In my opinion you would, however, have to have a whole H*** of a lot in use to make losing 3 every 5 days insignificant.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2006, 12:23:45 PM »

How things have changed !
I once worked at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard (Closed now). When I worked there even our lunch boxes were searched.
When I was in the Army EVERYTHING had to be accounted for, right down to the tent stakes & C rations. Yes ! We ate C rations from WW11. (I rember the Ham&Eggs, tasted like Sulpher - Give me Spam over that any day).
I degress. The point is that security has certainly lapsed. It seems to me that in this day & age there is absolutely no responsibility by anyone for anything. NO ACCONTABILITY AT ALL !
When I was younger; If you screwed up, you admitted it, took your lumps and got on with it.
A few weeks ago Nathan (Grandson) told me in a very arrogant way that I couldn't hit him because I'd be in trouble. So, I smacked him behind the head.
Amen. I have said my peace.

I believe the laptops were provided to authorized employees for use while away from the office, and many were stolen from the employees' homes or vehicles (or at least reported stolen).  It may be difficult to hold an employee accountable for losses from an event which is beyond the employee's control.



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Charles Sullivan

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2006, 03:15:08 PM »

I disagree. If an employee chooses, even with permission to take equipment home.
Then they assume full responsibility for safeguarding that equipment and should be held accountable.
Unless they can prove that they took every reasonable precaution to safeguard it.

The question arises as to what's reasonable, and that can be a matter of judgement.  E.g., is locking a laptop in the trunk of a car a reasonable precaution?  How about a laptop which is swiped from the xray conveyor belt at an airport while the employee is being held up at the metal detector for a belt buckle (or hip replacement hardware)?  How "reasonably secure" is a home protected by an X-10 security system (especially when the window sticker says "Protected by X10")?

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For instance. The VA person that the laptop stolen from his home.
He knew fully well that it contained sensitive information. Did he have deadbolts ? Did he have a security system ?
If he didn't then he should not have taken it there, because his home was not a secure location.

I think the issue there was that sensitive information was removed from the office, not that a laptop was lost.

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In the case of the Commerce Department. Whoever was responsible for assigning out the laptops should be the first but not the only person held accountable.

I think if I was to be held personally responsible for laptops I assigned to employees, I would never allow a laptop to be removed from the office (and probably wouldn't have any laptops at all in the office).  But then I'd probably be dinged for being too inflexible and not giving employees the tools they needed for doing their jobs efficiently.





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Charles Sullivan

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Re: OT: Commerce Department loses 1,137 laptops
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2006, 06:31:33 PM »

Otis69:
I'm sure we could argue all week about this.  We all know that the government can be horribly inefficient and/or incompetant when it comes to things like this.  But we really don't know all the facts in this case - at least I don't - and it's too easy to get all riled up over some "headline".   If there were a million laptops purchased during the time frame and 1000 are unaccounted for, that's probably not too bad a record; if 10,000 were purchased and 1000 are unaccounted for, that's pretty lousy.



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