Monterey County

Information Technology Policies


Section: 8.0
Subject: Personal Computing Device Policy
Date Issued: September 10, 2002
Issued by: Director of Information Technology, as recommended by the Department Head Information Technology Steering Committee
Applies to: All Officers and employees



To establish a policy for defining the responsibilities and practices across Departments for the ownership and use of personal computing devices.  Personal computer device prices are continuing to drop to the point that they may not be considered capital assets and the County has introduced a leasing program which further moves these assets towards an operational expense.  However, without controlling proprietorship responsibilities this equipment will, in total, cost more, produce less, and jeopardize the County’s overall operational effectiveness and increase information technology security exposures.  It is these risks that this policy is designed to mitigate.


Ownership of personal computing devices will remain with the department that funds the acquisition, but may be transferred to another department with mutual agreement between the parties.  Loaning of devices to other departments, or to individuals, may be permitted by the department that owns the device.  The Information Technology Department will maintain ownership records under the Asset Management policies adopted by the County.

The device ownership responsibilities of ensuring appropriate use, security, and data privacy policy compliance is extended to personal computing devices being leased by a department as well as those purchased or otherwise provided to the County for use.

The Information Technology Department will be responsible for maintaining vendor and supplier relationships to facilitate planned and appropriately managed acquisition processes for personal computing devices consistent with the adopted Procurement policies.

Given the public source of funding for the acquisition of these devices and the potential for dire consequences upon their inappropriate use of the devices by the individuals granted authority to utilize them, special due diligence must be exercised by the owning departments to ensure that the devices are being used appropriately and in conformance with County policy.

Use of personal computing devices is subject to all information technology policies adopted by the County.  Of particular note are the asset management, appropriate use, security, and data privacy policies.  Departments are responsible for taking the necessary actions to ensure that the intent and content of these policies are being satisfied by those that are actually using their personal computing devices, including the conduct of periodic audit of actual use practices to verify actual practice is conforming with established policy.

Those in possession of loaned equipment are to be held responsible for ensuring that the borrowed equipment is operated in compliance and conformance with the County’s appropriate use policies, as well as the County’s security and data privacy policies.

The Information Technology Department will be responsible for facilitating the strategic planning for the personal computer needs of the County to include the hardware, software, maintenance, support, and training for users of this technology.  The planning will be conducted through the Unified Technical Architecture advisory panel (established under the Unified Technical Architecture policy) to guide the management of the technology and settle disputes concerning the current and strategic needs of the County for this type of devices.

The Information Technology Department will maintain and communicate a recommended configuration for personal computing devices, as established by the Unified Technical Architecture Policy processes, and guide procurement and system upgrade processes through a personal computing liaison function.

Individual departments will staff an Information System Coordinator role to liaise with the Information Technology Department on personal computing issues.  The Information Technology Department will convene regular meetings of these coordinators to discuss ownership and implementation issues and recommendations with regard to acquisition and management practice.

The Information Technology Department will maintain and communicate personal computer training programs and opportunities.

The individual Departments will be responsible for mitigating the ergonomic issues associated with personal computing devices to help the human body interact with the system and function with the least amount of fatigue, error, and bodily harm.  The Information Technology Department will consult with the Departments through the Information System Coordinator liaison function to advise departments on the related ergonomic issues.


Personal Computing Devices – otherwise known as microcomputers, these devices are typically small computers that employ microprocessor chip technology and can be identified as:  palm type, mini-notebooks, notebooks, laptops, transportable, mobile, desktop, work stations and personal computers (PCs).


Board of Supervisors – Accept gifts and grants of personal computer devices to the County only upon acceptance of the ownership role within a County Department.

County Administrative Officer – facilitate and encourage inter-Department collaboration to define and document personal computer ownership and good asset management practice with regard to proposed personal computer device acquisitions, grants, leases, etc. including procurement of hardware and software that conform with standard component configurations recommended by the Information Technology Architecture team.

Director of Information Technology – establish, maintain, and communicate best practice guidelines for acquisition, ownership, and use of personal computer devices.  Establish and communicate recommended standard component configurations for personal computing devices via the Unified Technical Architecture policy and processes.  Assist owners in performing their ownership roles by advising on personal computing device best management practices, technology directions, and implications of established and adopted County Principles, Policies, and Strategies.

County Departments – assure compliance with personal computer device policies and periodically audit actual practice for conformance with County Policy.  Create and assign responsibilities for fulfilling the Departmental Information Technology Coordinator role.  Request the acquisition of personal computer devices that are consistent with the established Unified Technical Architecture directions and any associated recommended standard configurations.  Assume personal computer device ownership responsibilities and proactively manage this technology in a manner aligned industry best practices and management techniques.  Proactively address ergonomic issues associated with the ownership of personal computer devices.

Departmental Information Technology Coordinator – liaise with the Information Technology Department and provide local departmental coordination for the implementation of policy and practice with regard to information technologies.

County Officers and employees – Understand the responsibilities of being afforded use of personal computer devices and effectively use the County information technology assets while maintaining conformance with adopted County information technology policies.