Section: Procurement and Auxiliary Services
Policy Number: 5-3
Policy Name: Procedure for Control of Government Owned Property
Date: April 30, 1984
Revisions: July 2, 1990

  1. PURPOSE

    To outline the procedure used in accounting for all government-owned property being held by the University of Delaware.

  2. POLICY

    1. Introduction

      The following shall be the basic governing procedure in accounting for all government owned property being held by the University of Delaware under the terms of government research and development contracts and grants. (Questions on specific agency regulations are to be referred to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, OVPR).

    2. Definition of Terms Used - Property Accounting Officer

      The Vice Provost for Research (OVPR), is the Property Officer of the University charged with the responsibility of maintaining control of all government owned property in the custody of the University. The Property Records Administrator is responsible for the Plant Property Records System.

      Property Administrator - The government officer "designated by appropriate authority to administer the contract requirements and obligations relative to government property."

      Principal Investigator - The University employee responsible for the research being conducted under any given contract or grant.

      Government Property - All property where the title is retained by the government, purchased with government funds, or furnished by the government. Such property shall be classified as follows:

      1. Real Property - Land, buildings, structures together with improvements and additions.

      2. Plant Equipment - Personal property costing over $500 and having a life expectancy of over two years.

      3. Material - Government property that may be incorporated into or attached to an end item to be delivered under a contract or that may be consumed in the performance of a contract.

        Material includes, but is not limited to, raw and processed material, parts, assemblies, small tools and supplies.

    3. Acquisition of Government Property

      Government property may be acquired as follows: (1) by purchase (through the University's Purchasing Department), or (2) by government surplus, or 3) by fabrication as an end product.

      1. By purchase - The policy and procedure governing all University purchasing shall govern the acquisition of property by purchase for use under any research and development contract. It shall be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to see that this procedure is followed as well as obtaining the sponsor's approval for the purchase if such is required. Preacquisition screening prior to purchase is required if DOD or NASA funds are used.

      2. By Government-Approved Transfer

        From government surplus - The Principal Investigator shall submit a written request to the Research Office showing the technical reason for a request when ordering items from government surplus sources.

      3. By fabrication as an end product of the contract - When fabrication is completed, the Principal Investigator will notify the Research Office and Property Records Administrator in writing. At that time, appropriate accounting entries will be made by Research Office which will result in the recording of the value of the equipment in the University Plant Property Ledger. The Research Office will provide an identification tag to be affixed to the equipment.

    4. Receipt of Government Property

      1. Acquired by purchase - The Principal Investigator or his/her representative shall acknowledge the receipt of purchased property by advising the Supervisor, Receiving and Delivery.

      2. Acquired by transfer - The Principal Investigator or his/her representative shall acknowledge the receipt of transferred property to the Research Office and the Property Records Administrator.

    5. Identification of Government Property

      The Research Office shall be responsible for the affixing of identification tags on all government property as soon as feasible after such property has been received. These tags shall bear the legend "Property of the U.S. Government," and shall have an identification number consisting of two parts: a project number, and an item number separated by a dash. The identification tag shall remain on the item of property so long as the item remains under the contract of the same government agency.

      When required, identification numbers issued by the Property Administrator shall also be affixed to items of government property. If transfer of title of government property is made to the University, all government identification tags shall be removed. Unless otherwise specified by the contract, title to each item of equipment costing less than $5,000 and purchased with contract funds shall be vested in the University upon acquisition.

      In all cases, the Property Records Administrator must be advised.

    6. Property Records

      1. The Research Office and Plant Property Records Office shall maintain records necessary to properly account for and control government owned equipment.

      2. The Purchasing Department, in conformity with the University purchasing procedure, shall maintain receiving and delivery slips and purchase orders covering the acquisition by purchase of property for government contracts as evidence of receipt.

      3. The Principal Investigator shall be responsible for advising the Research Office and Property Records Administrator the location of all government property under his/her contract and shall notify same whenever he/she effects any major relocation of such property.

    7. Records of Special Tooling and Test Equipment

      The Principal Investigator will notify the Research Office of all government-owned special tooling and test equipment. The Research Office will then maintain the necessary records.

    8. Record of Material

      All materials furnished by the government shall be considered consumed. No materials are maintained in stock.

    9. Control - Government Owned Facilities

      The Research Office shall furnish the cognizant Property Administrator reports covering government-owned facilities for each agency for which the University is accountable.

    10. Shipping Costs

      Equipment value shall also include shipping costs where such costs are readily identifiable.

    11. Physical Inventories

      As required, or at the termination of a contract (whichever comes first), the Research Office shall furnish the responsible Principal Investigator with a listing of all government property acquired during the life of the contract to date. The Principal Investigator or his/her representative shall make a physical inventory of all the government property held under his/her contract and shall return the listing to the Research Office with the appropriate notation as to location and condition of each item. Based on this listing, the Research Office shall prepare a property accounting statement and submit it to the Property Administrator.

    12. Maintenance Program

      The Principal Investigator shall be responsible for maintaining the property held under his/her contract, exercising due care and security.

    13. Combining of Property

      The Principal Investigator shall not irretrievably combine government- owned property with non-government owned property.

    14. Utilization of Government Property

      The Principal Investigator shall be responsible for seeing that government property in his/her jurisdiction is used only for those purposes authorized in the contract.

    15. Disposals

      The Principal Investigator shall notify the Research Office and Property Records Administrator immediately if an article of government property is stolen, or is rendered beyond repair, or becomes surplus to his/her needs. The Research Office shall then notify the Property Administrator and request appropriate action.

      The Principal Investigator shall not cannibalize or dispose of government property without prior approval by the Property Administrator. The Principal Investigator shall be responsible for obtaining a receipt whenever an item of property is delivered by him/her to a government agency.

Submitted by: Research Office