A recent inventory requested by the Department of Human Resources has turned up nearly $15 million in equipment owned by the department and may eventually identify more, DHR officials said.
Last summer, a team of professional inventory takers began counting DHRproperty after the department learned its own inventory takers were not listing the property correctly. The professional team identified 33,000 items valued at $100 or more. Information concerning the items was then placed on a computerized master list, which will be verified through spot checks.
Virgil MacDonald, director of the Office of Material Support and Contract Division, said spot checks may indicate missing or misplaced equipment not in the records compiled by DHR workers.
He said the professional team located merchandise that was improperly identified or unidentified altogether.
In other cases, they found that DHR workers had switched equipment from one office to another without authorization, and that workers had received purchased property directly rather than sending it through the property management office to be listed before being distributed.
The items included IBM typewriters, office furniture, medical equipment and other merchandise. MacDonald said new DHR administrative procedures will help keep track of the merchandise in the. futrre.
Under the new procedures, all purchases must be submitted to the Office of Material Support and Contract Division to be codified before they are distributed. Surplus or unusable items must also be reported to this office to be removed from the master list.
Other DHR announcements last week concerned its maintenance and repair office and the enforcement of court-ordered child support payments.
A warehouse at 1126 First Street NE will be converted into headquarters for DHR's 79-member maintenance and engineering crew. The warehouse, previously used to store surplus food products, was closed after several hundred cases of food spoiled there.
The facility will provide storage and office space for DHR staff members who handle about 1,500 repair jobs annually, including the repair of office furniture and medical and dental equipment.
Construction, janitorial and grounds maintenance crews will also be located at the facility, as well as a lock and key repair shop and a fire extinguisher repair and maintenance unit.
The maintenance unit was previously located at D.C. Village in Southeast. The vacated site will be used as a Job Corps Center.