Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
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Operations Manual



7110. Purpose and Scope

  1. This section establishes a system for compliance with state procurement guidelines and inventory accountability. It is intended to ensure that Children's Administration (CA) organizational units effectively manage CA's resources and maintain an audit trail for the ordering, receiving, returning, partial ordering, making full payment, inventory, and surplus of equipment and supplies.
  2. See section 7400, below, for additional requirements for control of fixed assets.

7120. Standards

7121. Approval to Purchase

  1. All equipment purchases must comply with the requirements and limitations of DSHS Administrative Policy 14.13, Equipment Purchases.
  2. All other purchases require the approval of the Regional Administrator, Regional Manager, or Director or their respective designee, as applicable.

7122. Responsibility for Purchasing and Inventory

  1. The Regional Administrator, Regional Manager, or Director, as applicable, shall implement procedures indicating staff responsibility for purchase of office supplies, equipment, and services in compliance with state guidelines, for maintenance of proper inventory controls, and for surplus of state-owned property.
  2. In exercising these responsibilities, the designated staff must:
    1. Adhere to the separation of duties guidelines in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) when ordering, receiving, inventorying, and surplusing equipment and supplies.
    2. Maintain a level of inventory consistent with use and reorder items as necessary to avoid depletion of supplies.
    3. Maintain a desk manual detailing all the necessary procedures for purchasing, inventorying, and surplusing equipment and supplies.
    4. Retain a copy of all purchasing documents; e.g., request notes, purchase order copies, invoices, and packing lists.
    5. Update information on the Agency Inventory System (AIS) computer program.

7123. Responsibility for Managing/Using Inventory

  1. Children's Administration staff must:
    1. Use property assigned to the staff only for official state purposes.
    2. Take precautions necessary to protect state property from theft and damage.
    3. Report lost or stolen property immediately to staff designated in regional or state office procedures.

7130. Procedures

7131. Requesting a Purchase

  1. Staff shall request purchase of an item through their immediate supervisor, except that those positions reporting directly to the Assistant Secretary shall receive sign-off from the Director, Division of Management Services.
  2. The supervisor or Director, Division of Management Services, shall confirm the need for the purchase and transmit the approved request to the staff person designated in regional or state office procedure.

7132. Ordering

Staff designated by the Regional Administrator, Regional Manager, or Director shall prepare the purchase order and route it for required approvals according to regional or state office procedures.

7133. Receiving, Paying, Inventorying, and Surplusing

Staff designated by regional or state office procedures shall:

  1. Record items received, as required, in the automated inventory system, noting the item(s) location and assignee, if appropriate.
  2. Tag items according to requirements in the AIS Manual.
  3. Process the order for payment through regional or headquarters accounting staff, as applicable.
  4. When surplusing items, complete a Property Disposal Request, SF 267A, in accordance with the AIS Manual and submit it through the regional business office or headquarters property control to the Office of Staff Services for processing.
  5. Conduct biennial property inventories as required by the AIS Manual using computer print-outs from the AIS system.


7210. Purpose and Scope

Field facility management and planning are responsibilities of the regional business manager. This section outlines those responsibilities.

7220. Standards

7221. Management of Facilities

  1. Requests for changes affecting the physical structure or layout of a facility are to follow DSHS facility guidelines and CA regional office protocol. Changes include repairs, additions, and/or improvements to the building or equipment; moving or rearranging panels, shelves, modular equipment, computers, copy machines; and requesting telephone services, such as the addition of a new line or switching existing numbers.
  2. Each CA office will have a representative to the local office safety committee. This person is responsible to ensure that changes to existing facilities follow regional office protocol and do not place staff or equipment safety at risk.

7222. Planning for New Facilities

  1. CA shall co-locate with other DSHS and/or other state agencies whenever feasible.
  2. Regional business managers are responsible for coordinating and/or projecting office-staffing levels based on staffing history and anticipated growth.
  3. All space requests are generated by the regional office with input from the local offices, the Regional Manager, and area manager, as applicable, and forwarded to the CA headquarters facility coordinator.
  4. Space requests must be approved by the Director of Management Services before submittal to the DSHS Capital Facilities Section.
  5. The CA management team will prioritize requests for new facilities.


7310. Electronic Files

  1. Following the procedures outlined in this section and in the DSHS Information Technology Security Manual does not guarantee that staff's messages and files will be protected. If a user fails to maintain their password security or leaves their terminal unattended while logged into the system, their messages and files are vulnerable. Also, staff need to be aware that messages that are sent can be forwarded to others, printed where others may read them, or sent to the wrong user.
  2. Electronic message systems, including voice mail, FAX, e-mail, the FamLink bulletin board, and the CA Intranet server, may be used only for state business purposes. Use of state resources for private gain or benefit is specifically prohibited by RCW 42.52.160. Records created through these systems are legally the property of the state. In the use of computer technology, staff are to comply with the provisions of DSHS Administrative Policy 15.10; chapter 15000, section 15205, of this manual; and the DSHS Information Technology Security Manual, a copy of which is available in each region through its Computer Information Consultant (CIC). However, WAC 292-110-010 provides for the occasional use of state resources when:
    1. There is no actual cost to the state; or
    2. The cost to the state is de minimus; i. e., so small as to be insignificant or negligible.
  3. The following points apply to CA staff:
    1. A manager, in the supervisory line of the employee, with reasonable justification, has access to data within CA's systems to carry out required business functions.
    2. State-provided electronic message systems may not be used to transmit or store information that promotes:
      1. Discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, gender, creed, marital status, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation;
      2. Harassment;
      3. Copyright infringement;
      4. An employee's personal political beliefs or personal business interests; or
      5. Any activity prohibited by federal, state, or local law or regulation.
    3. Transmission of e-mail messages containing confidential or privacy-protected data (e. g., confidential client or employee data) shall:
      1. Be marked private;
      2. Not be proxied or forwarded, except in "need to know" situations.
    4. Supervisors shall not disclose to third parties the contents of electronic files under an employee's control, except under unusual circumstances; for example:
      1. Compliance with applicable public disclosure laws, discovery rules, or pertinent law; or
      2. When disclosed as part of an official department, state, or external investigation.
    5. Staff shall not disclose confidential passwords used to gain access to local, wide area, and FamLink. If the password is compromised, staff shall change it immediately.
    6. In order to assure confidentiality of client information, staff will not print FamLink client information at any location other than a CA work site.

7320. Computer Hardware, Software, and Related Equipment

7321. Purpose and Scope

This section establishes policies and procedures for the security, use, and maintenance of computer hardware/software and printers.

7322. Standards

  1. Protection-Staff to whom computers and printers are permanently or temporarily assigned shall:
    1. Ensure protection of data processing equipment from theft or damage.
    2. Protect division software from theft or unauthorized, accidental, or malicious use, modification, or destruction.
    3. Protect division confidential documents from theft or unauthorized disclosure.
    4. If an employee, through personal negligence, causes damage to state equipment, CA may require the employee to pay for repair or replacement of the damaged equipment.
  2. Appropriate Use-Staff shall use department computers, peripheral equipment, and software only for official state purposes.

7323. Procedures

  1. General Protection
    1. Regional Administrators, Regional Managers, and Directors shall ensure that portable fire extinguishers -- preferably a Halon type -- suitable for treating electrical fires are located near data processing equipment in their areas of responsibility.
    2. Users of computers shall:
      1. Protect diskettes from excess cold, heat, direct sunlight, electromagnetic sources such as telephones and static electricity, and from ball point pens and pencils.
      2. Remove all diskettes from the computer when they are no longer in use.
    3. Computer users shall utilize surge control devices to protect all computer and peripheral equipment.
    4. Staff shall not plug coffee pots, hot plates, or other high current devices into a surge protector serving computer equipment.
    5. Staff shall secure computer hardware and software when not in use. See chapter 15000, section 15212.
    6. User staff shall secure lap-top computers in file cabinets or closets at the end of each work day.
    7. When in travel status, staff shall not ship computers or printers as general luggage through the airlines.
  2. Security of Data
    1. Staff shall store confidential documents or data in accordance with chapter 15000, section 15203.
    2. Staff shall not leave documents or diskettes containing confidential information unattended in areas readily accessible to persons without authorization to see such documentation.
    3. Computer users shall save important documents and those for which there may future need in FamLink or on their F Directory, as applicable, to assure automatic back-up of files.
    4. When an employee ends employment in a location, supervisory personnel shall review all files on hard drive, main frame, and floppy diskettes controlled by the employee to determine which files to delete or retain.
  3. Software Use
    1. Computer users shall not use programs obtained through shareware or from a bulletin board until they have been certified as free of computer virus by the user's Computer Information Consultant (CIC) or other authorized staff.
    2. Staff shall install and/or use only software purchased, distributed, or approved by the department.
  4. Prohibited Activities-Staff are prohibited from the following activities:
    1. Unauthorized copying or use of software.
    2. Unauthorized entry into restricted data bases.
    3. Use of state computer resources for private business purposes.
    4. Loan of computer hardware or software to unauthorized individuals.
    5. Use of recreational computer games during work periods for other than supervisor-approved training purposes.
    6. Use of privately owned personal computer hardware during business hours except as part of a pre-approved telecommuting project.
  5. Accountability and Tracking of Laptop Computers

    CA Directors and Regional Administrators are responsible for the accountability and tracking procedures. To assure accurate tracking and accounting for laptop computers, laptop computers must either be assigned to specific staff or signed out to staff following the procedures below.

    1. For managing laptop inventory:
      1. Each CA office will designate one specific employee, plus one backup employee, to be responsible for tracking laptop computers.
      2. Any lost, stolen, or missing equipment must be reported immediately to the designated staff, who will immediately report to the Regional Business Manager or headquarters property manager for reporting in the Tracks inventory system.
      3. Designated staff for the office must send a lost, stolen, or missing equipment report to the Regional Administrator or applicable Director on a monthly basis.
    2. Laptop Computers Signed Out by Staff
      1. All laptop computers will be kept in a locked cabinet or area unless checked out by staff.
      2. The designated staff responsible for tracking will ensure that each laptop has a sign-out log, which will be kept with the laptop in the locked area. When the equipment is signed out, the log sheet will remain in the locked area.
      3. Staff checking out the laptop will do so only through the designated staff. The designated staff will completely fill out the log sheet immediately upon a staff person checking out or returning the equipment.
      4. The staff person who signed out the equipment is responsible for the computer until it is returned to the designated staff and properly logged in and returned to the locked area.
    3. Laptop Computers Permanently Assigned to Specific Staff
      1. The designated staff person will maintain a current list recording the name of the staff person assigned the equipment, the date assigned, and the equipment's make, model, and State Tag Number.
      2. The staff person assigned to the equipment is responsible for it.
      3. If staff assigned to the equipment allows other staff to use it, the staff person assigned remains responsible for the equipment.

7330. Vehicles

7331. Purpose and Scope

This section requires accountability for state-owned vehicles, including correct inventory, tracking of location and sub-assignment, and replacement of vehicles.

7332. Standards/Procedures

  1. Staff shall use state vehicles in accordance with state vehicle regulations and the department travel manual. Responsible staff shall ensure that each vehicle receives sufficient use each month to justify retention of the vehicle.
  2. All operators of state-owned vehicles, or private owned vehicles used for state business, shall:
    1. Have a valid driver's license in their possession.
    2. Maintain sufficient property damage and personal liability insurance to protect the employee and the state.
    3. Use state vehicles for official state business only. Travel between official work station and official residence is prohibited unless approved by the Secretary or designee for one of the reasons cited in Office of Financial Management (OFM) Policies, Regulations, and Procedures,
    4. Lock vehicle doors when not in use.
    5. Adhere to careful driving practices and observe traffic laws and regulations, including mandatory use of seat belts.
    6. Maintain state vehicle in a clean and presentable condition, interior and exterior, in accordance with Motor Pool regulations.
    7. Report all accidents in state vehicles on State Vehicle Accident Report (SF 137) within 24 hours and State Motor Vehicle Collision Report (WSP 161) if damage exceeds $500.
    8. Prohibit smoking in state vehicles.
    9. In accordance with office procedures, obtain supervisory approval prior to checking out a vehicle from a State Motor Pool, and return the yellow copy of the Trip Ticket to the designated accounting staff person.
    10. Refer to State Motor Pool Rules and Regulations and DSHS Travel Manual for additional guidelines for the use of state-owned vehicles.
    11. For state vehicles assigned to a CA office, staff must follow local procedures for check-out of the vehicles.
  3. When sub-assigning a vehicle (e.g., regional offices to local offices), the business manager must notify the Agency Transportation Officer, MS 45813.
  4. No CA staff may have a permanently assigned vehicle. Individual staff may be designated for priority use of state vehicles in accordance with regional procedures.

7340. Telephones

7341. Standards

  1. Telephones provided to employees are state property, with usage paid by the state. Therefore, employees must use them only for official department business.
  2. Each Regional Administrator, Regional Manager, or Director, as applicable, must ensure that a different SCAN authorization number is assigned to each individual staff member who may place long distance telephone calls.
  3. CA staff conducting state business must place long distance telephone calls using the SCAN or SCAN-PLUS system. They must not place personal or private business long distance calls through the system. The sole exception would be when an employee is detained on state business beyond normal work hours and is expected elsewhere.
  4. To use the SCAN or SCAN-PLUS system, volunteers must receive authorization in advance from the DCFS Regional Administrator or designee or DLR Regional Manager and use their own individual access code.

7350. Cellular Telephones

  1. CA will purchase cellular telephones for staff use, and staff will utilize the telephones in conformity with DSHS Administrative Policy 14.11, Cellular Telephone Purchasing and Management.
  2. RCW 42.52.160 provides that no state employee may employ or use any property under the employee's official control or direction, or in the employee's official custody, for the private benefit or gain of the employee.
  3. This section prohibits the addition of personal lines of service to state-owned cellular telephones while continuing the practice of use of approved state telephone lines on private cellular telephones. Employees' use of state-paid telephone lines on the employees' personal cellular telephones is not an entitlement, and CA may rescind authorization for such use at any time.
  4. CA staff must not install a personal cellular telephone line of service on a state telephone.
  5. Any CA staff that has a second, personal line of service installed on a state-owned cellular telephone must immediately remove the service from the state telephone. If the employee does not immediately remove the personal line, the applicable Director or Regional Administrator must take appropriate action under applicable department personnel policies.
  6. Upon authorization by the applicable CA Director or Regional Administrator, a CA employee may have a state telephone line on the employee's private cellular telephone. The employee must use the state-paid telephone line only for official department business.
  7. The applicable CA Director or Regional Administrator must implement a system to review all telephone charges to the state coming from use of state telephone lines to ensure that all billed charges are for department business and not for personal business.
  8. If the employee uses the state telephone line for personal business, the applicable Director or Regional Administrator must recover from the employee any state funds improperly spent for the personal telephone calls.
  9. The applicable Director or Regional Administrator may cancel an employee's use of a state telephone line on a private phone at any time because of employee's abuse of the privilege or for other reason based on the needs of the Administration.
  10. Accountability and Tracking of Cellular Telephones

7360. Telefacsimile

7361. Standard

Telefacsimile (FAX) machines in CA offices are state equipment. Staff, volunteers, and others must use the machines only for official state business.

7362. Procedures

  1. Each Regional Administrator and DLR Regional Manager must ensure that each of their respective local and regional offices develops and implements written procedures for use and maintenance of its FAX machines.
  2. Staff must not use FAX machines for the transmission of Criminal History Record Inquiry (CHRI) and other sensitive information unless both sending and receiving machine are protected from access by unauthorized personnel.


7410. Purpose And Scope

  1. The purpose of this section is to establish guidelines and internal controls necessary to promote efficiency and accountability of fixed assets within the Children's Administration (CA) and to protect fixed assets against loss. This section applies to all organizational units within Children's Administration.
  2. Assets covered in this policy include:
    1. All items with a total initial cost of $5,000 or more;
    2. Software costing $5,000 or more;
    3. All cellular telephones regardless of cost;
    4. "Small and attractive" (e.g. Pocket PCs, Cameras, and recording devices) items costing $300 or more; and
    5. All computer equipment considered vulnerable to loss according to the Office of Financial Management (OFM) Manual, Chapter 1, Part, and the Asset Management (AM) Manual, Appendix 1.
  3. Purchase cost includes transportation charges, sales tax, installation costs, maintenance contracts, and costs required to place the asset in its intended state of operation.

7420. Policy

  1. The Director, Management Services Division, for CA headquarters, or the applicable Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Regional Administrator or Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) Regional Manager must:
    1. Appoint an Asset Inventory Coordinator (AIC) to be responsible for the inventory control activities listed in the DSHS Asset Management Manual and TRACKS, the DSHS inventory system;
    2. Appoint an Asset Inventory Representative (AIR) to be responsible for the oversight of inventory at the regional and local levels;
    3. Ensure annual completion of a physical fixed asset inventory and reconciliation and that each inventory is documented by a signed "Certificate(s) of completion";
    4. Ensure that staff with no direct responsibility for assets subject to the inventory count performs physical inventories;
    5. Ensure the AIC is informed of any changes in the physical locations of the division or region's organizational units or their mailing addresses; and
    6. Attest to the completion of all biennial inventories by co-signing a "Certification of Completion" with the AIC.
  2. The AIC must:
    1. Facilitate exchange of information between CA and the DSHS Asset Management Section;
    2. Return the quarterly TRACKS confirmation packet of location code information and other inventory data updates to Asset Management within 15 working days of issue;
    3. Provide guidance to the AIR's on implementing division or regional and TRACKS procedures;
    4. Conduct inventory training necessitated by staff turnover;
    5. Coordinate the annual and biennial physical inventories with the AIR's and Asset Management;
    6. Compile the CA Physical Inventories and attach a "Certificate of Completion," co-signed with the division director or regional administrator and send to Asset Management.
    7. Notify Asset Management in writing of any changes in the AIR's, locations, phone numbers, organization, and security levels for access to TRACKS; and
    8. Perform inventory control tasks, including timely computer input and reconciliation, according to the guidelines in the Asset Management Manual.
  3. The AIR must:
    1. Account for the receipt, tagging, maintenance, and disposition of inventory according to the guidelines in the Asset Management Manual;
    2. Notify the AIC immediately of any changes in fixed assets, inventory staff, or the organization that might affect TRACKS; and
    3. Confirm the completion and reconciliation of the annual inventory by the signature of the regional administrator.
  4. The Headquarters Local Area Network (LAN) Administrator and the regional Information Technology Application Specialist/Information Technology System Specialist (ITAS /ITSS) or designee must:
    1. Share with regional staff the responsibility of inventory control functions associated with the coordination of new equipment, transfers, equipment loans, surplusing and the disposal of computers and related equipment;
    2. Send the updated information to the AIC/AIR/RBM and update TRACKS; and
    3. Assist in the annual physical inventories of all IT equipment.

7430. Procedures

7431. Purchasing Items Meeting Definition

  1. CA staff must complete all purchases in compliance with the DSHS purchasing guidelines published annually by Purchased Service Contracts.
  2. In addition to following other applicable DSHS guidelines, CA staff must request all IT purchases with the assistance of IT staff as follows:
    1. IT staff provide technical consultation during the entire purchasing processes for office automation hardware and software. This would include the following:
      1. Research products prior to the completion of an Information Technology Purchase Request (ITPR) to ensure compatibility with current systems and future upgrades.
      2. Provide recommendations to regional staff regarding products that would help resolve automation issues.
      3. Assist the Fiscal staff in locating vendors that will provide the right product at a competitive price with adequate post-purchase service.
      4. Ensure existing resources are exhausted prior to purchasing additional ones.
    2. Assigned staff must forward the completed Purchase Request with appropriate signatures to the CA Office Chief with proper justification and include the inventory location on the Purchase request to ensure accurate issuance of state tags on applicable equipment.
    3. The CA IT Office Chief will approve or disapprove the purchase. If disapproved, the IT Office Chief will send the ITPR back to the originator. If approved, the IT Office Chief will forward the ITPR to Purchase Services Contracts, where staff will complete the purchasing process and forward to the originator of the ITPR, a copy of the Field Order/Purchase Order (FO/PO). The Purchase Services Contracts staff will return the FO/PO with state tags, if applicable, for the item being purchased.

7432. Receipt And Payment

  1. Upon receipt of the equipment and signing by the appropriate staff, the receiving copy of the PO will go to the staff responsible for payment.
  2. Staff responsible for payment will send a copy of the received PO and invoice to the AIC/AIR.

7433. Issuance And Placement Of State Tag

The AIC/AIR will:

  1. Verify the number of state tags issued;
  2. Return excess tags to Asset Management for removal from inventory using the TRACKS disposal function;
  3. Refer to the Asset Management Manual for recommended placement location of inventory tags.
  4. Activate the state tag(s) in TRACKS. IT staff will update the state tag(s) in TRACKS for IT equipment.

7434. Equipment Returned To Vendor

The AIC/AIR must request disposal of state tags and new state tags upon receipt of the replacement product or prior to the return of equipment if not being replaced. The AIC/AIR may do both requests on the TRACKS disposal function. IT staff may submit a disposal request in TRACKS for IT equipment only. The department will maintain a history record electronically for six years. State Tags are not to be removed without the prior approval of DSHS Asset Management.

7435. Equipment Transfers

  1. Transfer outside of CA Cost Center: Upon notification, the AIC or ITSS staff will initiate the request to transfer on TRACKS from present location to the new location across cost centers. IT staff may only initiate a transfer following notification of the RBM.
  2. Transfer within CA Cost Center: Depending on the AIR's level of access, the AIR or ITSS staff for IT equipment only may have transfer authority to and from all locations and sub-locations in a given region.
  3. Assigned staff must process and complete transfers as soon as possible. For CA IT equipment to be properly insured, the state tag's location must match the physical address of the location code where the equipment resides.

7436. Loaned Equipment

  1. CA may loan an inventory item to another cost center location or state agency for a period not to exceed 90 working days by completing the Equipment Loan Agreement, DSHS 17-058(X), subject to Asset Management approval.
  2. The loaning location will notify Asset Management within 14 working days of the loan expiration date, if the borrowing location has not returned the inventory on time.
  3. The borrowing location must certify that the borrowed inventory item will be returned in the same condition as received less normal wear and tear.

7437. Equipment Disposal

All equipment, whether or not it has a state tag, must be disposed of using the TRACKS disposal function. IT Staff must and will provide a list of surplus items to the RBM prior to disposal.