Headlines: April 30th, 2008

Public sector organisations are being urged to consider updating their IT stock more frequently. The call has come from Remploy e-cycle, which says it is in line with the National Audit Office’s ‘Improving the disposal of public sector ICT equipment’ report. The company is highlighting the report’s claim that the public sector could benefit by as much as 70 million pounds a year.

The company is part of Remploy, the UK’s leading provider of employment services for disabled people. It says public sector organisations typically dispose of ICT equipment every five years by which time it has little or no value and has to be disposed of at a cost. Instead, it says, organisations could achieve significant financial returns by selling IT equipment in the way private sector businesses do. The recycling company also believes public sector operational performance is being hampered.

Sixty per cent of public sector organisations are estimated to use specialist waste management companies to dispose of equipment but Tony Stroud, general manager of Remploy e-cycle, says they are overlooking a new and lucrative revenue stream. “Most public sector organisations looking to dispose of redundant computer equipment believe they only have a few limited, and costly, options available to them. But by selling the equipment on at an earlier stage, organisations can start to realise some additional value from their equipment,” he says.

He adds that often the costs of disposing of equipment in compliance with legislation including the new European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive are being overlooked and public bodies need to be made aware that they can generate value from their ICT equipment. Using a company such as Remploy
e-cycle can, Mr. Stroud says, bring peace of mind on meeting legal obligations and ensuring data is properly cleaned from machines.

Tony Stroud adds, “The NAO report suggests there is a lack of coordination between the ICT equipment procurement and disposal functions within public bodies. This threatens to increase the risk of inappropriate and illegal disposal practices being adopted as well as breaching regulations and data wiping standards.”