The new law allows the federal government to provide surplus repairable used computers directly to non-commercial refurbishers, who then provide them to individuals in need.
hide inside Vast 2023 Appropriations Bill Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in December was a provision updating how the federal government disposes of used computers.
Previously, laws permitted federal agencies to provide surplus assets, including computer equipment, to states, which could provide them to local governments, businesses, or nonprofits. However, some equipment first needed repair and refurbishment, and the federal government did not have the authority to provide electronic equipment directly to third-party electronic equipment repair companies.
The bill’s language, endorsed by US Congressman Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), provides that power. The language was previously included in a bill called the 2022 Computers for Veterans and Students Act.
according to Press release Wording from Spanberger’s office reads, “Authorized non-profit refurbishment companies can directly acquire surplus government computers, refurbish them, and distribute them to veterans and others who need the devices. Additionally, the new law requires each non-commercial computer refurbisher that receives computers to offer a training program to use this technology.”
Per the bill’s language, surplus computer and technology equipment can be provided to refurbishers only if federal agencies determine that the equipment is repairable and meets NIST data sanitization guidelines. On the other hand, the refurbisher must make any necessary repairs to the device, distribute it free of charge (excluding shipping and handling charges), and provide the recipient with a computer training program.
Refurbishers must also “use recyclers to the greatest extent practicable in the event that surplus computer or technology equipment transferred under this section cannot be repaired or reused.”
Invoice language allows the General Services Administration (GSA) to create rules for implementing the donation program. These regulations include eligibility and certification requirements that non-commercial refurbishers must meet. This includes reviewing threats to national security (GSA must disclose foreign-owned refurbishers that receive federal equipment in reports to Congress).
The GSA also plans to draft a rule to “determine appropriate recyclers to dispose of surplus computer or technology equipment if it cannot be repaired or refurbished under this section.”
In its report to Congress, the GSA will eventually provide a tally of computers provided by refurbishing partners to educational institutions, disabled, low-income, students, seniors in need, or veterans.
Its purpose is to help bridge the digital divide, with the Spanberger office helping low-income families, homeless veterans, and seniors move online as the pandemic shifts the job search process, educational opportunities, and hiring processes online. He points out that he is in a situation where he does not have a computer.
“After several years of pushing for this bill, we are proud to have passed the final line and been signed by the President,” Spanberger said in a press release.
The bill’s language is supported by many electronics recycling stakeholders, including Tech for Troops, Human-IT and Digitunity. dozens of members Alliance for Technology Refurbising and Reuse (AFTRR).
In a statement to E-Scrap News, the GSA said it was “in the early planning stages of law enforcement” and began designing a program called the Computer for Veterans and Students (COVS) program. We plan to consult with stakeholders. , establish implementation rules.
“We look forward to implementing this new program to help bridge the digital divide,” GSA wrote.
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