Handbook of Business Procedures
February 17, 2005
May 5, 2014
16.5. UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT - GENERAL INFORMATION
These procedures briefly cover aspects of procuring, receiving, controlling, tracking, maintaining, and disposing of U.S. Government property. It is the responsibility of the user of government property to follow these procedures. When questions arise that are not answered by these procedures, the Office of Naval Research Regional Office (ONRRO) or cognizant Property Administrator should be consulted to determine the procedure to be followed.
This document provides instructions to project directors/principal investigators and Department Chairmen on the procedures necessary for the control of U.S. Government-owned equipment in the possession of The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) operating in the capacity of a non-profit research and development contractor. It is based on procedures and policies of the various Government agencies as announced in their respective publications and guidance letters.
These procedures apply to Government contracts and grants handled by UT Austin. However, the guidelines presented in this document do not preclude the utilization of supplemental systems such as those at the Applied Research Laboratories (ARL) and Electrical Engineering Research Laboratory so long as such supplemental systems come within the basic framework and ensure adequate control and accountability.
The property manager is responsible for the implementation of the Government Property Program for UT Austin as prescribed by the University's Property Manager and Federal guidelines. Subcontractors working for UT Austin under U.S. Government contracts or grants and having Government property in their possession or control will comply with the provisions of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), 52.245-1. Subcontractor's property systems will be subject to approval by the U.S. Government or UT Austin.
The property system at UT Austin is subject to audit review from numerous sources including: Office of Naval Research, State Auditors Office, and UT's Office of Internal Audits. Any corrective actions needed as a result of these audit activities are the responsibility of the UT property manager and will be implemented as soon as possible. These procedures will be reviewed annually by the Office of Accounting to ensure compliance with contractual obligations. Whenever procedures are revised and updated, a copy will be forwarded to the Government Property Administrator.
These procedures are in accordance with FAR, Part 52.245-1 & OMB Circular A-110.
Note: When available, the pertinent Government source from which a definition was obtained is shown in parentheses. The most common source is the FAR. Also, the words "equipment" and "property," as used herein, are considered to be synonymous. "Equipment" is the preferred word, however, as "property" is often used to refer to real property, i.e. land, buildings, etc.
The Project Director assumes responsibility for the control of an item of Government property at the time it is physically received, and this responsibility continues until the property is officially transferred from his/her control. Transfers typically occur when equipment is reassigned for continuing use under a different Government contract or grant, when equipment is moved to another location other than UT Austin as determined by the sponsoring Government agency, or when the Government agency assigns title to UT Austin.
Subject to the terms of the contract and other conditions, UT Austin may be liable when shortages of Government property occur; when such property is lost, damaged, or destroyed; or when there is evidence of unreasonable use or consumption as measured by the allowance provided for by the terms of the contract, the bill of materials, or other appropriate criteria.
The Project Director or Principle Investigator is responsible to expeditiously report to the University Property Manager any instance of loss, damage, or destruction or theft of Government property as soon as it is known.
The University Property Manager is responsible for promptly notifying the sponsor’s Government Property Administrator, investigating the incident and providing a formal report to the Government Property Administrator and the sponsor’s Contracting Officer:
FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(vii)(B) Loss, damage, destruction, or theft
Unless otherwise directed by the Property Administrator, the Contractor shall investigate and report to the Government all incidents of property loss as soon as the facts become known. Such reports shall, at a minimum, contain the following information:
- Date of incident (if known)
- The data elements required under (f)(1)(iii)(A).
- Accountable contract number.
- A statement indicating current or future need.
- Unit acquisition cost, or if applicable, estimated sales proceeds, estimated repair or replacement costs.
- All known interests in commingled material of which includes Government material.
- Cause and corrective action taken or to be taken to prevent recurrence.
- A statement that the Government will receive compensation covering the loss of Government property, in the event the Contractor was or will be reimbursed or compensated.
- Copies of all supporting documentation.
- Last known location.
- A statement that the property did or did not contain sensitive, export controlled, hazardous, or toxic material, and that the appropriate agencies and authorities were notified.
The above information will also be required of subcontractors in the event Government-owned property is damaged, lost, or destroyed while in their custody.