Office of the Provost

Budget Spending

Equipment & Property Management

See Preparing the Budget, for guidance on including equipment in proposal budgets.

The University’s policy for management and accounting of equipment and property purchased with funds provided by a sponsoring agency will comply with OMB Circular A-110, section 34. Important provisions of the stated requirements that the PI should be aware of include the following:

  • Title to equipment acquired by a Principal Investigator with Federal funds shall vest in the University, subject to conditions of this section;
  • The Principal Investigator shall not use equipment acquired with Federal funds to provide services to non-Federal outside organizations for a fee that is less than private companies charge for equivalent services, unless specifically authorized by Federal statute, for as long as the Federal Government retains an interest in the equipment;
  • The Principal Investigator shall use the equipment in the project or program for which it was acquired as long as needed, whether or not the project or program continues to be supported by Federal funds and shall not encumber the property without approval of the Federal awarding agency. When no longer needed for the original project or program, the University shall use the equipment in connection with its other federally-sponsored activities, in the following order of priority:
    • Activities sponsored by the Federal awarding agency which funded the original project, then;
    • Activities sponsored by other Federal awarding agencies.
  • During the time that equipment is used on the project or program for which it was acquired, the Principal Investigator shall make it available for use on other projects or programs if such other use will not interfere with the work on the project or program for which the equipment was originally acquired. First preference for such other use shall be given to other projects or programs sponsored by the Federal awarding agency that financed the equipment; second preference shall be given to projects or programs sponsored by other Federal awarding agencies;
  • When acquiring replacement equipment, the Principal Investigator may use the equipment to be replaced as trade-in or sell the equipment and use the proceeds to offset the costs of the replacement equipment subject to the approval of the Federal awarding agency.

The University’s property management standards for equipment acquired with Federal funds and federally-owned equipment shall include all of the following.

  • Equipment records shall be maintained accurately by the Accounting office and include the following information:
    • A description of the equipment;
    • Manufacturer's serial number, model number, Federal stock number, national stock;
    • number, or other identification number;
    • Source of the equipment, including the award number;
    • Whether title vests in the University or the Federal Government;
    • Acquisition date (or date received, if the equipment was furnished by the Federal;
    • Government) and cost;
    • Information from which one can calculate the percentage of Federal participation in;
    • the cost of the equipment (not applicable to equipment furnished by the Federal Government);
    • Location and condition of the equipment and the date the information was reported;
    • Unit acquisition cost;
    • Ultimate disposition data, including date of disposal and sales price or the method used to determine current fair market value where the University compensates the Federal awarding agency for its share.
  • Equipment owned by the Federal Government shall be identified to indicate Federal ownership;
  • A physical inventory of equipment shall be initiated by the Accounting Office and the results reconciled with the equipment records. Any differences between quantities determined by the physical inspection and those shown in the accounting records shall be investigated to determine the causes of the difference. The Principal Investigator shall, in connection with the inventory, verify the existence, current utilization, and continued need for the equipment;
  • A control system shall be in effect to ensure adequate safeguards to prevent loss, damage, or theft of the equipment. Any loss, damage, or theft of equipment shall be investigated and fully documented; if the equipment was owned by the Federal Government, the Principal Investigator shall promptly notify Accounting Office and SPARC. SPARC and the PI shall notify the Federal awarding agency;
  • Adequate maintenance procedures shall be implemented to keep the equipment in good condition;
  • PIs authorized or required to sell the equipment will follow the disposition instructions provided by the sponsoring Federal agency.

When the Principal Investigator no longer needs the equipment, the equipment may be used for other activities in accordance with the following standards:

  • For equipment with a current per unit fair market value of $5000 or more, the Principal Investigator may retain the equipment for other uses provided that compensation is made to the original Federal awarding agency or its successor. The amount of compensation shall be computed by applying the percentage of Federal participation in the cost of the original project or program to the current fair market value of the equipment;
  • If the Principal Investigator has no need for the equipment, he/she shall request disposition instructions from the Federal awarding agency... The Federal awarding agency shall issue instructions to the Principal Investigator no later than 120 calendar days after the Principal Investigator’s request and the following procedures shall govern.
    • If so instructed or if disposition instructions are not issued within 120 calendar days after the Principal Investigator’s request, the Principal Investigator shall sell the equipment and reimburse the Federal awarding agency an amount computed by applying to the sales proceeds the percentage of Federal participation in the cost of the original project or program. However, the University shall be permitted to deduct and retain from the Federal share $500 or ten percent of the proceeds, whichever is less, for the University’s selling and handling expenses;
    • If the Principal Investigator is instructed to ship the equipment elsewhere, the University shall be reimbursed by the Federal Government by an amount which is computed by applying the percentage of the Principal Investigator's participation in the cost of the original project or program to the current fair market value of the equipment, plus any reasonable shipping or interim storage costs incurred;
    • If the Principal Investigator is instructed to otherwise dispose of the equipment, the University shall be reimbursed by the Federal awarding agency for such costs incurred in its disposition;
    • The Federal awarding agency may reserve the right to transfer the title to the Federal Government or to a third party named by the Federal Government when such third party is otherwise eligible under existing statutes. Such transfer shall be subject to the following standards;
    • The equipment shall be appropriately identified in the award or otherwise made known to the Principal Investigator in writing.

The Federal awarding agency shall issue disposition instructions within 120 calendar days after receipt of a final inventory. The final inventory shall list all equipment acquired with grant funds and federally-owned equipment.

  • If the Federal awarding agency fails to issue disposition instructions within the 120 calendar day period, the University shall apply the standards of this section, as appropriate;
  • When the Federal awarding agency exercises its right to take title, the equipment shall be subject to the provisions for federally-owned equipment.