Report 2008-112 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2008-112: Electronic Waste: Some State Agencies Have Discarded Their Electronic Waste Improperly, While State and Local Oversight Is Limited (Release Date: November 2008)

Recommendation #1 To: Highway Patrol, California

To avoid contaminating the environment through the inappropriate discarding of electronic devices, state agencies should ascertain whether the electronic devices that require disposal can go into the trash. Alternatively, state agencies could treat all electronic devices they wish to discard as universal waste and recycle them.

1-Year Agency Response

CHP stated that it developed an e-waste disposition process and updated desk procedures and a standard operating procedure. These procedures include indicating whether any e-waste items were disposed of in accordance with CHP's e-waste program and defining all electronic devices as universal waste that require disposal only by authorized e-waste recyclers. (See 2010-406, p. 98)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Justice, Department of

To avoid contaminating the environment through the inappropriate discarding of electronic devices, state agencies should ascertain whether the electronic devices that require disposal can go into the trash. Alternatively, state agencies could treat all electronic devices they wish to discard as universal waste and recycle them.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2011

It has always been the department's policy to properly dispose of unwanted or damaged equipment. In April 2010, the department's policy was revised and more clearly outlines what we consider to be e-waste and how it should be disposed of. A copy of this policy from the department's Administrative Manual (sections 11262 and 11263) is attached for your reference. As with all administrative policies, there is an ongoing effort to ensure education and compliance, especially with staff turnover. The department Property Controller actively works with the field property custodians throughout the state to help them identify an appropriate means of disposal for all surveyed equipment. (See 2010-041, p. 151)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

Justice stated that it continues to educate staff regarding the proper disposal of all waste and surplus items, including e-waste. It also stated that it is still in the process of revising its property control manual that will further emphasize the proper disposal and documentation of all assets. Justice indicated that conflicting priorities and staff shortages have delayed completion of this manual until February 2010. (See 2010-406, p. 98)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Employment Development Department

To avoid contaminating the environment through the inappropriate discarding of electronic devices, state agencies should ascertain whether the electronic devices that require disposal can go into the trash. Alternatively, state agencies could treat all electronic devices they wish to discard as universal waste and recycle them.

1-Year Agency Response

Employment Development stated that all staff responsible for the disposition of surplus items have been trained on the proper disposition of electronic equipment and e-waste. It also stated that it identified and is using an accredited e-waste recycler. (See 2010-406, p. 98)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Motor Vehicles, Department of

To avoid contaminating the environment through the inappropriate discarding of electronic devices, state agencies should ascertain whether the electronic devices that require disposal can go into the trash. Alternatively, state agencies could treat all electronic devices they wish to discard as universal waste and recycle them.

1-Year Agency Response

Motor Vehicles stated that as of August 1, 2008, it does not allow any electronic equipment to be disposed of in a landfill. It also stated that it donates operable equipment to public schools and equipment in poor condition is disposed of through an approved recycler or an e-waste event that will properly dispose of the electronic equipment. (See 2010-406, p. 98)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #5 To: Transportation, Department of

To avoid contaminating the environment through the inappropriate discarding of electronic devices, state agencies should ascertain whether the electronic devices that require disposal can go into the trash. Alternatively, state agencies could treat all electronic devices they wish to discard as universal waste and recycle them.

1-Year Agency Response

Caltrans stated that it established a recycling program and, as part of this program, all electronic waste will be treated as universal waste and recycled. (See 2010-406, p. 98)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #6 To: General Services, Department of

To help state agencies' efforts to prevent their e-waste from entering landfills, Toxic Substances Control, the Waste Management Board, and General Services should work together to identify and implement methods that will communicate clearly to state agencies their responsibilities for handling and disposing of e-waste properly and that will inform the agencies about the resources available to assist them. This report identifies five specific approaches that the State could use to implement this recommendation. One approach is to have General Services, in consultation with Toxic Substances Control and the Waste Management Board, amend applicable sections of the State Administrative Manual to include e-waste among the items that state agencies are required to recycle.

1-Year Agency Response

The three oversight agencies included in our audit—General Services, Toxic Substances Control, and the Waste Management Board—stated that they have worked collaboratively to implement solutions for ensuring that e-waste from state agencies is managed legally and safely. General Services stated that the three entities emphasized the need for proper e-waste management to department directors and jointly provided training about recycling and e-waste disposal to approximately 200 state employees. Further, General Services stated that after receiving input from the other two entities, it amended the State Administrative Manual to clearly require state entities to dispose of irreparable and unusable e-waste using the services of an authorized recycler. (See 2010-406, p. 99)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #7 To: Integrated Waste Management Board, California

To help state agencies' efforts to prevent their e-waste from entering landfills, Toxic Substances Control, the Waste Management Board, and General Services should work together to identify and implement methods that will communicate clearly to state agencies their responsibilities for handling and disposing of e-waste properly and that will inform the agencies about the resources available to assist them. This report identifies five specific approaches that the State could use to implement this recommendation. One approach is to have General Services, in consultation with Toxic Substances Control and the Waste Management Board, amend applicable sections of the State Administrative Manual to include e-waste among the items that state agencies are required to recycle.

1-Year Agency Response

The three oversight agencies included in our audit—General Services, Toxic Substances Control, and the Waste Management Board—stated that they have worked collaboratively to implement solutions for ensuring that e-waste from state agencies is managed legally and safely. The California Environmental Protection Agency also stated that Toxic Substances Control and the Waste Management Board coordinated with General Services to create an informational poster about e-waste for mounting by state agencies in locations where e-waste items may be handled and disposed of by staff. (See 2010-406, p. 99)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: Toxic Substances Control, Department of

To help state agencies' efforts to prevent their e-waste from entering landfills, Toxic Substances Control, the Waste Management Board, and General Services should work together to identify and implement methods that will communicate clearly to state agencies their responsibilities for handling and disposing of e-waste properly and that will inform the agencies about the resources available to assist them. This report identifies five specific approaches that the State could use to implement this recommendation. One approach is to have General Services, in consultation with Toxic Substances Control and the Waste Management Board, amend applicable sections of the State Administrative Manual to include e-waste among the items that state agencies are required to recycle.

1-Year Agency Response

The three oversight agencies included in our audit—General Services, Toxic Substances Control, and the Waste Management Board—stated that they have worked collaboratively to implement solutions for ensuring that e-waste from state agencies is managed legally and safely. The California Environmental Protection Agency also stated that Toxic Substances Control and the Waste Management Board coordinated with General Services to create an informational poster about e-waste for mounting by state agencies in locations where e-waste items may be handled and disposed of by staff. (See 2010-406, p. 99)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #9 To: Highway Patrol, California

State agencies should consider implementing the two best practices we identified: developing a thorough duty statement for recycling coordinators that includes a list of responsibilities related to e-waste and using vendors from General Services' master services agreement when the agencies need recycling services.

1-Year Agency Response

In its follow-up response to our audit report CHP stated that it had created or updated the duty statements for its recycling coordinators or updated other comparable documents such as desk procedures and standard operating procedures.

Regarding the use of recyclers from the master services agreement, we noted in our audit report that CHP used vendors from the master services agreement. (See 2010-406, p. 102)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #10 To: Justice, Department of

State agencies should consider implementing the two best practices we identified: developing a thorough duty statement for recycling coordinators that includes a list of responsibilities related to e-waste and using vendors from General Services' master services agreement when the agencies need recycling services.

60-Day Agency Response

Regarding a thorough duty statement for a recycling coordinator, we mentioned in our audit report that Justice already follows this best practice.

Regarding the use of recyclers from the master services agreement, we noted in our audit report that Justice used vendors from the master services agreement. (See 2009-406, p. 108)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #11 To: Employment Development Department

State agencies should consider implementing the two best practices we identified: developing a thorough duty statement for recycling coordinators that includes a list of responsibilities related to e-waste and using vendors from General Services' master services agreement when the agencies need recycling services.

1-Year Agency Response

In its follow-up response to our audit report Employment Development Department stated that it had created or updated the duty statements for its recycling coordinators or updated other comparable documents such as desk procedures and standard operating procedures.

Regarding the use of recyclers from the master services agreement, we noted in our audit report that Employment Development Department used vendors from the master services agreement. (See 2010-406, p. 102)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #12 To: Motor Vehicles, Department of

State agencies should consider implementing the two best practices we identified: developing a thorough duty statement for recycling coordinators that includes a list of responsibilities related to e-waste and using vendors from General Services' master services agreement when the agencies need recycling services.

1-Year Agency Response

In its follow-up response to our audit report Motor Vehicles stated that it had created or updated the duty statements for its recycling coordinators or updated other comparable documents such as desk procedures and standard operating procedures.

In its follow-up response to our audit report, Motor Vehicles stated that it had developed guidelines on the use of the DGS master service agreement for e-waste disposal and procedures for handling e-waste. (See 2010-406, p. 102)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #13 To: Transportation, Department of

State agencies should consider implementing the two best practices we identified: developing a thorough duty statement for recycling coordinators that includes a list of responsibilities related to e-waste and using vendors from General Services' master services agreement when the agencies need recycling services.

1-Year Agency Response

In its follow-up responses to our audit report, Caltrans stated that it had created or updated the duty statements for its recycling coordinators or updated other comparable documents such as desk procedures and standard operating procedures.

Regarding the use of recyclers from the master services agreement, we noted in our audit report that Caltrans used vendors from the master services agreement. (See 2010-406, p. 102)

  • Response Date: December 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2008-112

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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