Family history center (FHC) computers are provided by the Family History Department (FHD) and are paid for using FHD funds. While local facility management (FM) groups can assist in requesting and placing FHC computers from the FHD, they should not include funding for the FHC computers in their annual plan, nor should they increase or decrease the number of computers in an FHC without approval from the FHD.
In 2011 efforts begun to implement a proactive five-year replacement cycle for family history center computers, as department budget allows. While there are a large number of systems in FHCs that exceed five years in age, the department continues to work towards this goal as quickly as budget allocation allows.
Replacement computers can be requested by submitting a Family History Center Computer Hardware and Software Order form signed by the stake president. Submitting a request form does not guarantee that the hardware will be provided, as requests are filled based on department objectives, available budget, and other criteria.
In accordance with instruction given in Handbook 1: Administering the Church, 14.7.2: The local unit budget allowance does not include expenses for computers. Computers are paid for from general Church funds according to current guidelines.
While family history centers have been allowed to accept donated equipment in the past, this is no longer the case, as outlined on page 32 of the Family History Center Operations Guide, “Centers may accept donations of research materials and money. Do not accept equipment, furnishings, computers, or printers.”
When a new FHC is approved by the FHD, the FHD will provide the necessary number of computers and printers to open the center. The FM group will work with the FHD to arrange for delivery of the equipment to the FHC location.
As with other computers in the meetinghouse, computer repairs become the responsibility of the technology specialist and FM group, after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. The FM group completes a cost analysis to determine whether to repair or replace a computer that is no longer under warranty but is not yet scheduled for replacement and submits the results of the analysis to the FHD.
FHC computers should be disposed of in the same manner as other church owned systems, including, but not limited to erasing the hard drive. In most cases, the FM group will dispose of or transfer the computer. Computers are considered hazardous waste, and the Church can be held at significant liability if computers are not disposed of properly.