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6000 Stolen, Missing, or Damaged Property

DFPS Asset Management Handbook December 2013

DFPS employees entrusted with DFPS property must, at a minimum, exercise reasonable care for its safekeeping.

Reasonable care means taking steps to ensure that:

  •  the asset is properly maintained;

  •  the asset is secure;

  •  the asset can be accounted for at all times (even when not in use); and

  •  documentation is retained specifying the person responsible for the asset.

Examples of commonly understood practices of reasonable care include:

  •  keeping equipment in a protected location when not in use (for example, in a car trunk or in a locked drawer or file cabinet);

  •  removing equipment from vehicles overnight (after hours, bring it inside);

  •  knowing where equipment is at all times, even when it is not in use;

  •  handling equipment with adequate care to minimize dropping and falling;

  •  using equipment as trained to do (for example, using a convertible keyboard to cover the screen of a Tablet PC when traveling); and

  •  keeping liquids and food at least three feet away from all electronic and communications equipment, including personal computers, storage media, and data processors

A person is financially liable for the loss sustained by the state, if one of the following is true:

  •  DFPS property disappears as a result of the failure of an employee entrusted with the property to exercise reasonable care for its safekeeping

  •  DFPS property deteriorates as a result of the failure of an employee entrusted with the property to exercise reasonable care to maintain and service the property

  •  DFPS property is damaged or destroyed as a result of an intentional or negligent act by an employee

Employees may be held liable for stolen, missing, or damaged equipment and required to make restitution. Liability prescribed by this section may be applied jointly and severally (that is, to more than one person in a particular instance).

All state or leased property belonging to DFPS that is stolen, missing, or damaged, regardless of negligence or fault is reported to the:

  •  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts;

  •  Attorney General of Texas; and

  •  Texas law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.

6100 Procedures for Reporting Stolen, Missing, or Damaged Property

6110 Reporting Responsibilities

DFPS Asset Management Handbook February 2011

When state property is stolen, missing, or damaged, the employee responsible for the asset immediately calls in a report to the DFPS Customer Service Center 24-hour help desk, providing official facts of the loss.

  •  If the item is missing or stolen, the employee first notifies the local law enforcement agency in order to provide appropriate police report information to the DFPS Customer Service Center agent.

  •  Damaged items in staff possession do not require notification of law enforcement.

IT Personnel

IT personnel receive the notice from Customer Service Center, and within eight business hours forwards it to:

  •  DFPS Asset Process Support for immediate initiation of the loss notification process; and

  •  IT Logistics for initiation of the Statement of Financial Loss, and replacement of the property (if appropriate).

DFPS Asset Process Support

DFPS Asset Process Support, within eight business hours from receipt of notice:

  •  reviews the notice for completeness and appropriate law enforcement contact;

  •  transfers the official facts into the AM02, routing it to:

  •  the employee,

  •  the employee’s supervisor, and

  •  employee’s regional or divisional director;

  •  contacts the employee and supervisor by phone to advise that process has been initiated;

  •  e-mails the employee and supervisor separately with notice of the initiated AM02 and guidance for timely completion, copying the regional director;

  •  prepares notice to the OAG (74-194) and forwards to the DFPS property manager; and

  •  for missing or stolen property, initiates a report to Computrace to facilitate recovery.

DFPS Asset Process Support ensures that all pertinent information has been collected, and the preliminary investigative report is accurate. Asset Process Support may request additional information at any time during the investigative process.

Employee

The employee confirms information contained in the AM02 and advances the AM02 within eight business hours of receipt.

Employee’s Supervisor

The employee’s supervisor:

  •  confirms information contained in the AM02 and advances the AM02 within eight business hours of receipt; and

  •  supports the DFPS Asset Management unit’s requests for further information.

Regional or Divisional Director

The regional or divisional director reviews official facts contained in AM02 and, within eight business hours, makes preliminary determination whether reasonable cause exists to believe employee negligence contributed to the loss or damage. In making the preliminary determination, directors may consult Sec. 6210 for factors that will be considered in the final determination of liability. The regional or divisional director advances the preliminary determination through the AM02.

IT Director of Field Operations

The IT director of Field Operations (DFO) reviews the initial determination of negligence within eight business hours and makes a final determination of reasonable cause to believe negligence. See 6200 Determination of Liability. The IT DFO advances the final determination to DFPS property manager through the AM02.

6120 Further Reporting Responsibilities if Reasonable Cause to Believe Negligence Is Found

DFPS Asset Management Handbook February 2011

If reasonable cause to believe negligence is found:

  •  DFPS property manager (or designee) submits any additional or revised information, and the Statement of Financial Loss, to the comptroller and the OAG;

  •  DFPS Property Manager (or designee) forwards the AM02 and Statement of Financial Loss to HHS Enterprise Security, with a copy to DFPS IT Security Officer;

  •  DFPS property manager initiates the financial recoupment process; and

  •  DFPS Asset Process Support enters the final information into the Missing, Stolen, or Damaged Property central records.

6130 Further Reporting Responsibilities If Reasonable Cause to Believe Negligence Is Not Found

DFPS Asset Management Handbook February 2011

If reasonable cause to believe negligence is not found:

  •  DFPS property manager (or designee) submits revised information, and the Statement of Financial Loss, to the OAG;

  •  DFPS Asset Process Support enters the final information into the Missing, Stolen, or Damaged Property central records.

In all cases, DFPS Asset Records Support notifies the state comptroller’s office of the loss by utilizing the appropriate disposal code in the SPA Inventory System.

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