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Procedure for Data Removal - Computer Systems

Approval Date: 2015-03-27

Effective Date: 2015-03-27

Responsible Unit: Information Technology Services


Once computer equipment containing data has been deemed to be surplus, the following should occur to erase the data:

  • ensure completion of the Surplus Property form to document the transfer of the computer equipment,
  • provide Administrative signature, and
  • provide necessary signature of an IT-classified employee verifying the erasure of data as part of the transfer process. An IT-classified employee is one so-designated by the Department of Human Resources.

Replaced computer systems are often recycled within a University unit. This is a consideration noted on the IT Information for Surplus Property Form  supplied by MUN IT-classified employees when de-commissioning a computer system. Other than intra or inter-unit equipment transfers, there are three standard options for handling old or obsolete computer systems, and these are covered on the IT Information for Surplus Property Form. They are, depending on the classification of the computer, to:

(1) declare the equipment as surplus,

(2) donate the equipment to the Computers for Schools (CFS) Program or

(3) provide the equipment to the Computer Purchasing Centre (CPC) under its Re-distribution Program for a credit 

These options are outlined in more detail on the IT Information for Surplus Property Form. This form may be provided by IT-classified staff, as part of the computer system replacement process. If provided, this completed form is to be passed, for informational purposes, to staff in your unit who are responsible for asset tracking and financial transfers.

Qualifying Computers for Schools (CFS) Program donations require completion of the corresponding section on the Surplus Property form. CFS systems are signed for by CFS staff on the Surplus Property form. The program ensures appropriate data removal processes before re-deployment.

Qualifying Computer Purchasing Centre (CPC) Re-distribution Program systems are removed from Fixed Assets through the return process. The CPC ensures appropriate data removal processes before re-deployment and issues credit to the supplied FOAPAL for qualifying systems.

Once a unit has identified computer property to be disposed of, or transferred, approval from the appropriate Unit Head or his or her designate is required prior to requesting data removal by IT-classified staff. Erasure of any records from computer components and media must be completed in consultation with the respective Institutional Technology Services units. For the Marine Institute – Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), Grenfell campus – Computing and Communications (C&C), Harlow campus – Systems, St. John’s campus – Information Technology Services (ITS). Verification of the removal of data for computer systems must be provided by the Administrative Signing Authority on the Surplus Property form, prior to designated IT-classified staff permanently removing data from storage devices. Data on computers designated for transfer, surplus or disposal must be erased or otherwise destroyed after data necessary to be retained is backed up or transferred to an alternate storage device. Staff with administrative signing authority will ensure that necessary data retention has been accomplished and will verify this by signing the Surplus Property form prior to making requests for data removal.

Computer systems and storage devices known to contain confidential information are to indicate so on the Surplus Property form. Those responsible for Administrative approval are to check confidentiality status as part of their review of the form. A more thorough data removal procedure will be employed for systems known to contain confidential information, otherwise, a basic data removal procedure will be employed. Computers containing confidential information are to be stored in a secure location while awaiting data removal procedures.

Instructions for IT-classified staff for data removal are available at


Policies using this procedure:

Procedure Amendment History

No recorded history of amendments.