Handbook of Business Procedures
Feb. 17, 2005
July 7, 2014
16.5.3. DISPOSITION OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT
This part describes when U.S. Government property (federal-owned) tags are to be removed from a piece of equipment: transfers of equipment, contract or grant completion, excess property, disposition of scrap and salvage, and the disposition records for the equipment.
The project director removes federal tags when:
- title to this equipment has been transferred to The University of Texas at Austin. Do not remove the UT barcode tag.
- equipment has been sold or disposed of as scrap. The UT barcode tag must be removed before disposal.
Federal tags are not removed from equipment when the equipment is transferred:
- back to the federal agency with title remaining with the federal agency. The UT barcode tag must be removed before disposal.
- to another non-federal agency (i.e., another university) with title remaining with the federal agency. The UT barcode tag must be removed before disposal.
Some grants contain provisions permitting the transfer of equipment acquired with federal funds when the project director accepts a position at another institution. However, these provisions are not always compatible with the rules and regulations governing the administration of state property. While some grants and contracts contain provisions giving a conditional title at the time of purchase, some contain disposition restrictions. The final approval for equipment transfers rests with The University of Texas at Austin property manager who makes decisions based on benefits to the State, the U.S. Government, and the overall research program. The project director should not plan on requesting a transfer of the equipment if:
- The original grantee retains the project for which the equipment was acquired and, with the approval of the awarding agency, places the project under the direction of a new investigator; or
- The cost of transferring the equipment, as determined by the awarding agency, would be excessive relative to its current value; or
- The new grantee does not require the equipment in order to continue the project.
The following actions should be taken by the project director in conjunction with the departmental inventory contact to obtain transfer approval:
- Prepare the transfer per the appropriate disposal (Inventory Removal Request upload template) or transfer (Property Transfer Receipt) process as noted in Handbook of Business Procedures 16.3.1 Equipment Transfer.
- Submit a request to the sponsoring agency concerned or contact the Federal Inventory team at INVFed@austin.utexas.edu for assistance with obtaining disposition instructions from the sponsoring agency.
- Obtain a written acceptance agreement from the receiving institution. (This should be from the accounting/business element rather than the academic department.)
- Submit all of the above data to the Federal Inventory team at INVFed@austin.utexas.edu for a recommendation to the Property Manager for review and approval.
The equipment must not be removed from the campus until the department unit administrator receives written approval from the Property Manager. At this time, inventory tags should be removed.
The university is sometimes requested to send items of federal equipment to other locations. This is normally initiated by the cognizant Federal agency, but sometimes a prospective receiving organization contacts the university directly and requests the property be sent to them. However, it must be emphasized that no federal-owned equipment may be transferred to another organization without the concurrence of the appropriate contracting officer. This is essential to preclude any question of accountability or subsequent liability. The equipment custodian must ensure there has been coordination with the contracting officer and should contact the receiving organization to advise them of the shipping arrangements. The project director is responsible for making the actual shipment in accordance with instructions, fund citations, etc., as provided by the Office of Accounting.
Upon completion of a contract or grant, Contract and Grant Services is required to submit a final inventory or final listing of federally-owned property to the property administrator, possibly even for equipment that was titled to the university. Applied Research Laboratories (ARL) submits the reports, as required, for grants and contracts awarded to ARL. These inventories or final listings are verified by the project director as to availability, condition, value (sometimes), utilization, and disposition recommendation. It is sometimes possible for the university to obtain title to the federal property, but circumstances vary by agency rules and federal statutes. There are times when the equipment must be crated and shipped to another location. The contracting officer directs this type of transfer and usually provides the project director with shipping instructions. In other instances, continued use of the equipment may be arranged under a new contract or grant.
The project director must identify any excess federal-owned property. A list of the excess property is sent to the Office of Accounting Inventory Services within 14 calendar days of identification of the item(s) as excess. The federal property administrator forwards the list to the appropriate contracting officer declaring the equipment as excess and requesting disposition instructions. Although not a function or responsibility of the property manager, the procedures for obtaining federal-owned excess equipment can be found herein.
If a determination is made that scrap material is to be disposed of or that a property item is to be turned in as salvage, there are two methods of disposition available. Title or ownership of the property dictates the method to be used. If federal-owned, the sponsoring agency is advised by the university’s Inventory Federal Team. The contracting officer or property administrator may directly turn in the item to a designated federal property disposal facility, or sold in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Register (FAR). If title has been passed to the university, disposition is made in accordance with the provisions in effect for the disposition of federal-owned property. If title resides with the university, the federal tag is removed.
Because the federal property disposal facilities are not located in Austin, and because there are administrative and scheduling constraints involved in turning property over to the disposal facility, the Office of Accounting requests transfer of title to university when feasible.
Under no circumstances will federal property be disposed of without proper authorization. Information on how to initiate a request for authorized disposition can be obtained from the Office of Accounting. Refer to the Handbook of Business Procedures 16.3.4 Methods of Discarding Equipments for more detailed processing instructions.
The Federal Property Administrator will update the disposition records for Government-owned property that are disposed of or have a transfer of title to UT Austin.