Accounting For University Equipment
Property Management Policy and Standard of Care
Midwestern State University (MSU) is committed to the responsible use of and the orderly transfer of equipment within the MSU campus, and from MSU to external entities. For the purposes of this policy, “equipment” refers to capital equipment.
Accountable administrative officers must take all necessary precautions to assure that property is used only for official business and that property is secured and maintained in a manner to prevent theft, loss, damage or misuse.
At a minimum, reasonable care for the safekeeping of all institutional property should be exercised. The term “reasonable care” means that steps have been taken to maintain all institutional property in an acceptable manner, to ensure the security of all institutional property; to ensure that all institutional property can be located at any time requested; and to ensure that each person to whom institutional property is assigned is known and is aware of their responsibilities.
Departments must know where all assets are located at all times; should have a method of locating any inventory item whether on-site or off-site under their control; and should be able to locate a given item upon request.
Property that is assigned to employees must be used for state purposes only, and the responsibilities of stewardship and care of the property are maintained at the department level. Employees assume full responsibility for the equipment they are assigned and can be held liable for loss or damages.
Ownership of equipment purchased with state funds, designated funds, or gift and endowment funds vests with Midwestern State University. Ownership of equipment purchased with sponsored project funds may be determined as follows:
- Ownership of equipment purchased with federal grant funds generally vests with Midwestern State University;
- Ownership of equipment purchased with federal contract funds is determined by the terms of the contract;
- Ownership of Equipment purchased with private grant or contract grant funds generally vests with Midwestern State University, unless specifically stated otherwise in the grant guidelines or contract terms;
- Ownership of equipment purchased with sponsored project funds that expired prior to the equipment’s transfer to MSU generally vests with MSU;
- Equipment purchased using state funds, designated funds, or gift and endowment funds are eligible for transfer. This transfer may be affected with approval by the respective department to include the Dean (if an academic department), VP for Business Affairs and Finance, and final approval by the President. All MSU departments have first call on any items declared surplus, but once a determination is made that the respective equipment will not be used by any of those departments, a transfer is permitted with the appropriate authorizations.
Those officers designated as responsible for institutional property are also responsible for maintaining their department’s institutional property inventory, and this responsibility cannot be delegated to another individual.
An independent physical inventory shall be performed within each department once per fiscal year. The taking of this inventory will be coordinated by the Property Manager, and will be the responsibility of the department or program administrator. Each month, a physical inventory count will be performed at several of the University departments until all departments have been inventoried. The order in which each department is inventoried is determined by the Property Manager and will vary each fiscal year. The physical inventory will be to verify that the inventory reported to the State Property Accounting System is actually located in the department and bears the MSU property sticker that corresponds to its inventory number.
The Department Head must initiate the necessary procedures and paperwork to correct any discrepancies in the department’s inventory. At the end of the physical inventory, the Department Head and the Property Manager will sign the inventory sheet as approval of the inventory’s accuracy. The Property Manager and his/her designated back-up will maintain the accuracy of the property records reported to the State Property Accounting System.
Capitalization of Expenditures Policy
All new institutional property with a value greater than or equal to $5,000 and controlled equipment with a value greater than $500 will be tagged with a MSU property tag, assigned an inventory number, and placed on the official inventory records maintained by the Property Manager. Equipment identified by the State as controlled equipment varies somewhat overtime but in general includes hand guns, rifles, stereo systems, cameras, video recorders, laser-disk players, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, camcorders, personal computers, laptop computers, printers and data projectors.
Each department is responsible for taking all necessary precautions to ensure that assets are secured and that assets are tracked in a manner that prevents the theft, loss, damage, or misuse of assets.
Equipment values are recorded at the actual cost of the item (including trade-in value) plus all costs required to place it into service, such as freight and other related professional expenditures incurred in the purchase of the item. If the property is acquired through donation, it is recorded at its estimated fair market value on the date of acquisition. Property manufactured at the University or other state facilities will be valued according to labor and materials cost. Departments receiving untagged property with values that are greater than $5,000 should contact the Property Manager to arrange for the items to be tagged and recorded on the official institutional property inventory.
Property Disposal Procedures: Surplus and Transfers
Surplus or salvage property is any institutional property which, through use, time, or accident is so depleted, worn out, damaged, consumed, or outdated that it is obsolete and/or can no longer serve the purpose for which it was originally intended.
Once an item is declared surplus or salvage, the Director of Purchasing will make recommendations to the Property Manager for final disposal in the option that best meets the needs of the University. Disposal options will include:
- Transfer to another department.
- Cannibalize for parts.
- Sell or donate to another State agency.
- Donate only to a political subdivision, school district, volunteer fire department, or assistance organization classified under 501C(3).
- Mandated transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on IT equipment.
- Advertise for public sale or auction.
- Under certain circumstances, very unique and specialized equipment that is declared surplus may be sold, but only when it is of greater monetary benefit to the state for the individual sale of such equipment and has the approval of the Vice President for Business Affairs and Finance and the President. This is the exception to public sale or auction and can only be made with appropriate approval authority.
- Trade the item in, offsetting the cost of the purchase of new equipment.
- Donate to a private, non-profit entity.
Acquisitions of Surplus Property
The Institutional Property Manager, as the official representative of the University, with the approval of the President, is the only individual authorized to transact business with the Texas Surplus Property Agency. This designation provides assurance to the Federal and State offices declaring surplus property for sale, that MSU has one designated party authorized to handle these transactions. All parties interested in acquiring property from this agency, or any other source of surplus property, should contact the Property Manager.
Responsible for Implementation: Vice President for Business Affairs and Finance
Contact for Revision: Property Manager