Capitalized Assets (Inventorial Equipment) Guidelines and Policies

The following brief overview of certain guidelines and polices are derived from Campus Bulletins, University-wide Bulletins and Federal Publications, which contain policies, procedures and advice on Equipment Management matters:

Equipment Threshold

Effective July 1, 2004, the equipment threshold for capitalized assets was increased from $1,500, to $5,000. This means that any non-expendable, tangible personal property item purchased for $5,000 or more, with a useful life of one year or more (see UCOP's Useful Life Schedule) must be added to the university's physical inventory of personal property. This threshold may be superseded by other government, state, or other funding source terms and conditions associated with the funding and university purchase of assets associated with a funded project.

Further, in an effort to exercise appropriate stewardship of departmental assets, departments may employ additional asset tracking requirements for those items under $5,000 and deemed at risk to loss.

Department Stewardship Responsibility

The head of the custodial department and the Principal Investigator have primary responsibility for the care, maintenance, records, physical inventory, control, and disposition of inventorial equipment. They must maintain up-to-date departmental records and, if a contract is involved, fully inform the Equipment Management Department as to all provisions of each document regarding the care, custody, maintenance, records, control and all transactions involving said property (BUS-29).

Equipment Location

The location of each item of inventorial equipment shall be noted in the departmental records (BUS-29), and in the BETS system. The custodial department is responsible for insuring that the Equipment Management records (via BETS) reflect the current building location and room number of inventorial equipment.

Current records as to movement of equipment shall be maintained in such a manner that any item of equipment can be located for inspection or inventorial purposes within a reasonable time (BUS-29).

Equipment Safekeeping

The head of the custodial department and the Principal Investigator shall make adequate provision for the physical security of the material in their custody. Areas containing equipment shall be kept locked after business hours or at other times when not in use. Special precautions shall be taken in the case of high value, portable equipment (BUS-29).

Equipment Tagging

All inventorial equipment is identified, marked with the property number, and recorded promptly upon receipt. The Equipment Management Department identifies, marks, and records government inventorial equipment promptly upon receipt. The Equipment Management Department shall be notified promptly by the Custodial Department upon receipt of any inventorial equipment, University or Government owned, which does not bear a property number tag.

Equipment Use

Custodial departmental responsibilities for the utilization of equipment when title vests in the University and when title vests in the government is fully discussed in BUS-29.

Biennial and Other Equipment Management Audits

Every two years, Equipment Management conducts an audit of department's inventorial equipment. University policy specifies the number of item to be sampled, the criteria for a successful audit and the required action associated with a failed audit. These specifics can be found in BUS-29.

Periodically, Equipment Management, in consultation with the Principal Investigator under each contract must conduct a physical inventory of government property in its possession or control. This is further discussed in BUS-29.

Equipment Custodian

Custodial department equipment custodians and their assistants are responsible to know those policies that pertain to the appropriate stewardship of capitalized equipment. During periodic visits by the Office of Naval Research, equipment custodians are subject to impromptu questions by the ONR auditor in order to determine their possessing the requisite regulatory knowledge. Regulatory guidelines can be found in the following publications:

UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-29, "Management and Control of University Equipment." This bulletin establishes procedures for the management and control of material hereafter defined as inventorial equipment owned by or in the custody of The Regents of the University of California and to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Government respecting control over Government Property, as hereafter defined, for which The Regents are responsible and accountable.

UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-38, Disposal of Excess Material and Transfer of Federally-Funded University-Owned Material." This Bulletin sets forth general requirements for the disposal of excess University-owned material. Special provisions may be applied in the case of transfers of federally-funded University-owned material to other educational institutions, governmental bodies, or non-profit organizations.

Office of the President Contract and Grant Manual, Chapter 15 outlines the Federal property standards with which University property policy and procedures comply.

OMB Circular A-110 establishes the general requirements of an acceptable property control system.

OMB Circular A-133 establishes audit requirements and defines Federal responsibilities for implementing and monitoring such requirements for institutions of higher education and other nonprofit institutions receiving Federal awards.

OMB Circular A-21 establishes principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements with educational institutions.