Locksmith System Gets Update
NIH's locksmith section, a part of the Office of Research Services' Division of Public Safety, recently updated its operations. As of mid-May, the Key Lock Work Request (form NIH-2138) became virtually obsolete. The form had been used in one iteration or another since 1956 to request keys, change locks and otherwise secure campus buildings and belongings. The new system, which is Delpro-based and paperless, promises increased efficiency and ease. Institute and center administrative officers will now initiate locksmith services at their desktop stations, reducing data entry by locksmith administrative staff, who up to now had been entering and cross-referencing by hand and computer some 1,000 key requests each month. When keys are ready, AOs will be notified via computer as well.
"This should significantly cut down on delays," said Clarence Bruce, a nearly 30-year veteran of the locksmith section and its chief since 1986.
Between 50,000 and 75,000 keys are in circulation at any given time around NIH's main campus and its rental facilities. Currently, the serial number of every key is listed in green record books by employee name, building and room location, and lock number. The earliest record book, raggedy around the edges from overhandling and falling apart at the spine, is dated some 40 years ago. Bruce said that gradually, as the computer entry system eliminates the need for a paper trail, use of the manual log books to track down keys, owners and locks will be permanently phased out.
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