Handbook of Business Procedures
Feb. 17, 2005
Aug. 31, 2006
16.5.3. DISPOSITION OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT
This part describes when the U.S. Government property 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 will remove the U.S. Government-owned property tags from the equipment and send to the Federal Property Administrator, Office of Accounting, Inventory, campus mail code K5306 when:
- Title to this equipment has been transferred to UT Austin.
- Equipment has been sold or disposed of as scrap.
U.S. Government-owned property tags will not be removed from the equipment when:
- The equipment is transferred back to the federal agency with title remaining with the federal agency.
- The equipment is transferred to another non-federal agency (i.e. another University) with title remaining with the federal agency.
Some grants contain provisions permitting the transfer of equipment acquired with Government 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 UT Austin Property Manager's decision, 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 sequential actions should be taken by the Project Director to obtain a transfer approval:
- Prepare a list of equipment pertinent to the transfer. This list should include the inventory number, name of item as shown on UT Austin inventory records, year and month acquired, cost, and the account number under which each item was purchased. This information should be on file in the research department or it can be obtained or compared with the records maintained by the Office of Accounting.
- Obtain transfer approval from the Department Chairman, College Dean (if necessary), and Vice President for Research.
- Submit a request to the sponsoring agency concerned.
- Obtain a written acceptance agreement from the gaining institution. (This should be from the accounting/business element rather than the academic department.)
- Submit all of the above data to the UT Austin Property Manager for a final decision on the request.
The equipment must not be removed from the campus until the Department Chairman receives written approval from the Property Manager. At this time, the inventory tags should be removed and sent to the Office of Accounting Inventory Services.
UT Austin is sometimes requested to send items of Government equipment to other locations. This is normally initiated by the cognizant Federal agency, but sometimes a prospective receiving organization will contact UT Austin directly and request the property be sent to them. However, it must be emphasized that no Government-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 insure 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 Government-owned property to the Property Administrator, possibly even for equipment that was entitled to UT Austin. ARL will submit 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 UT Austin to obtain title to the Government property, but the 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 will direct this type of transfer and will usually provide 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 shall identify any excess U.S. Government-owned property. A list of the excess property will be sent to the Office of Accounting Inventory Services within 14 calendar days of identification of the item(s) as excess. The Federal Property Administrator will forward 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 U.S. Government-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 will dictate the method to be used. If Government-owned, the sponsoring agency will be advised. The Contracting Officer or Property Administrator may direct turn-in to a designated Government property disposal facility, or sold in accordance with the provisions of the FAR. If title has been passed to UT Austin, disposition will be made in accordance with the provisions in effect for the disposition of State-owned property. If title resides with UT Austin, the U.S. Government property tag will be removed.
Because the U.S. 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 will request transfer of title to UT Austin when feasible.
Under no circumstances will Government 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.
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.