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Fixed Assets Accounting (Property) - Acquisition of Research Equipment and Materials

Policy: VIII.E.3

Issued: October 31, 1996

Owner: University Comptroller

Latest Revision: April 25, 2005




This policy is currently under revision at the University. Although the statements herein reflect enforced policy guidance, please contact the "Owner" listed above if you have questions about how this policy applies to your office. The statements herein are to be used as general guidance until the policy has been revised and added to the University Policy Directory. Thank you.

1.0 Purpose

This policy describes the process for acquiring research equipment and materials.

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 Need

The University must be prudent in buying research equipment and materials. A review assures equipment is needed for the successful completion of the project and is not available from existing resources.

2.2 Prior Approval

Prior approval by the sponsoring government agency is usually required before equipment purchase. Such approval may come through an approved equipment budget. However, in many cases the sponsor will require prior written approval even though the equipment is listed on an approved budget. The cost level requiring prior approval is usually given in the contract/grant. When prior approval is required, the principal investigator will send a request through OSP to the government agency, including the description, estimated cost, and technical justification for the equipment desired.

2.3 Under Department of Defense and NASA Contracts

Prior to the purchase of certain equipment with specified unit costs, certain forms will be prepared by the principal investigator and processed through OSP to the sponsoring government agency. If the required equipment is available from government stocks, transfer will be arranged. Otherwise, purchase will be approved. If approved, a copy of the form and/or letter should be attached to the Purchase Order when it is forwarded to Procurement Services for processing.

For automated data processing equipment costing $25,000 or more, a DD Form 1851 is required.

For items controlled by DIPEC, a DD Form 1419 is required.

For equipment items for NASA contracts costing $15,000 or more, a DD Form 1419 is required.

See also:

Procedure 8-50, "Preparation of DOD Industrial Plant Equipment Requisition," for specific categories of equipment for which it applies.

2.4 Fabricated (Constructed) Equipment

Equipment is considered "fabricated" if it is constructed at the University with contract/grant funds. Acquisition cost is the total of all charges, including material, specifically allocated salary charges (such as shop labor), and other proper charges. These latter charges may be estimated but should be sufficiently documented to satisfy audit requirements.

2.5 Government-furnished Equipment

A government agency may provide government-owned equipment or materials under the terms of a contract/grant. The items will often be specifically identified in the contract/grant document, but may also be itemized on a "Requisition and Invoice/Shipping Document," (DD 1149), or on other sponsor-provided documents. Requisitions for government-furnished equipment will be processed through the Fixed Assets Accounting Group (Property) of Financial Analysis.

2.6 Excess Government Property

Excess government property is equipment and materials with a remaining useful life but no longer required by the holding government agency. It has the same status as government-furnished equipment, in that it is owned by the government and accountable as such. LISTS OF EXCESS PROPERTY ARE PUBLISHED PERIODICALLY BY THE GOVERNMENT.

Most government agencies encourage and authorize excess property acquisitions when the property furthers the work of an active contract/grant. Excess property may be requisitioned by completing the GSA Form SF 122. See also Procedure 8-53. Send the form to the Fixed Assets Accounting Group (Property) of Financial Analysis, with a letter from the principal investigator describing the justification and use of the equipment for a specific active contract/grant.

Excess government property CANNOT be requisitioned under the authority of a PHS grant. Only excess equipment and materials for specific purposes will be requested. In general, facilities and office equipment (items normally supplied by the University as "overhead") are not supplied through excess property listings.

Prior to the request, excess equipment should be physically inspected to ensure it is suitable.

Excess equipment may never be requisitioned for spare parts or components. The University must return excess equipment in the same condition as received, as long as title remains with the government.

See also:

Procedure 8-53, "Preparation of Transfer Order."

3.0 Definitions [Top]

4.0 References [Top]

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]

Previous version in effect from 10/31/96 to 4/25/05 available in policy archive.