Contracts and Grants Policy 11 – Equipment Managaement

Equipment Definition

The Office of Contracts and Grants is responsible for establishing and maintaining accountability for equipment acquired under grants, contracts, and subcontracts for sponsored programs in accordance with sponsoring agency directives and University policy. Equipment, for purposes of the Fixed Assets System, is defined as non-expendable property that costs $5000 or more (including installation charges and freight), has a useful life of more than a year, is of non-expendable material and is not consumed. Sponsor definitions of non-expendable equipment may vary as to the acquisition cost threshold. Most federal sponsors will utilize the definition contained in OMB Circular A-21, i.e., an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit.

Proposal Specifics

Proposals for awards should specify the type and quantities of equipment required (as sponsor agency prior approval policies vary, listing of equipment in an award does not necessarily provide approval to purchase the equipment). More specifically, budgeted equipment must be in compliance with the specific rules and regulations of the sponsoring agency and applicable to the Office of Management and Budget Circulars governing the expenditure of funds. Before requesting any new equipment, the principal investigator (P.I.) must determine that equipment available to the University will either not meet the project’s property needs or is not available for use when required.

Condition of Equipment

The principal investigator assures that equipment received is as ordered and in good condition. Any discrepancies or damage should be immediately reported to the Purchasing Department.

Physical Control of Equipment

Responsibility for maintaining physical control of all equipment acquired under an award and safeguarding it against loss, damage, or unauthorized use, rests with the P.I. The P.I. should notify the Fixed Assets Office of any major changes in the location of equipment. Subcontractors or subgrantees are also responsible for compliance with equipment policies and requirements and will be so instructed in sub-award documents.

Transfer of Equipment

Equipment owned by the federal government or other sponsors is subject to transfer to another institution where approved and directed by the sponsor agency. A request for transfer of such property can originate with a researcher transferring to another institution and requiring such property in the pursuit of continuing research, or with the sponsor agency itself. Subsequent to a researcher’s decision to transfer to another institution, equipment purchases should be limited to those necessary to complete research at UNCG. Additional equipment necessary to continue research at the gaining institution should be purchased by that institution.

A transfer originated by a faculty member requires the advance approval of the appropriate department head, dean, Director of Contracts and Grants, Director of Sponsored Programs and in some instances, the federal or sponsor agency. Agency-originated disposition or transfer instructions do not require such approval. However, if agency-directed or contemplated transfers are likely to impair continuing research or training projects at the University, such considerations should be promptly brought to the attention of the agency through the Office of Contracts and Grants in an attempt to dissuade the agency from making said transfer.

Specific requirements and procedures for obtaining the necessary approvals to effect the transfer of government or other sponsor property are contained in Procedure No. 10: Equipment Management.

When new faculty members will be transferring equipment to UNCG, the department should promptly advise the Fixed Assets Office so that equipment can be decaled, place on accountability records, and insured.

Much of the property acquired on research or training awards becomes University (State) property upon acquisition or by subsequent vesting of title. Disposition or transfer of such property is subject to University and State policies as set forth in Procedure No. 10.

Any questions relative to these policies or to equipment on a federally-sponsored award should be directed to the Office of Contracts and Grants.

Sale of Property

Proceeds from the sale of equipment purchased in whole or part from federal funds should be credited to the federal research project from which purchased or to an active award from that agency. Sponsor policies relative to the disposition of such proceeds do vary and it is suggested that the Office of Contracts and Grants be contacted for further guidance.