The University is required to have policies and procedures in place to comply with state and federal property management standards. This chapter describes the general policies and procedures established by the University to comply with those standards and provides guidance to faculty and staff on the various aspects of equipment management. More information concerning specific operating procedures can be found at the following Capital Assets Management Office web site: cam.fo.uiowa.edu/.
12.2 DEFINITION OF EQUIPMENT.
(Amended 7/05; 3/06; 1/09)
The Federal Government defines equipment, in both OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Circulars A-21 and A-110, as an item of non-expendable, tangible personal property, having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the recipient organization for financial statement purposes, or $5,000. Since the University's definition of equipment must conform to the federal government definition, it has established a capitalization level of $5,000 and a useful life of more than one year (including fabricated equipment, purchased computer software, and computer software developed internally) for all departments.
For assets that are funded by more than one funding source, the asset will be capitalized and depreciated based on the total cost basis.
Each item of equipment acquired will be assigned a serially numbered University tag. Non-capitalized items (valued at less than the appropriate University threshold) may be identified with an unnumbered tag furnished by the Property Management Office. These tags will be marked "Property of The University of Iowa." University equipment that is federally titled must also be tagged with a government label that indicates federal ownership and the applicable federal agency.
12.3 TITLE TO EQUIPMENT.
All equipment purchased or otherwise acquired by the University for the conduct of activities related to its mission is considered University property upon acquisition unless otherwise noted. Specific exceptions to this policy include equipment furnished to the University by the federal government for use on federally sponsored projects, equipment purchased for use on federal contracts, and other equipment loaned or contracted to the University by public or private entities. The University may request the transfer of accountability for federally titled equipment to other federal projects once the original project has been completed or it may request outright title to the equipment if the equipment continues to be utilized for similar activities. The Grant Accounting Office should be contacted for instructions when a department wishes to transfer accountability or request outright title to federally titled equipment.
12.4 EQUIPMENT SCREENING AND PURCHASE.
In order to maximize University resources, departments are asked to avoid the purchase of items of scientific equipment that are currently accessible, available, and suitable for sharing. An item of scientific equipment would not be considered suitable for sharing if the nature of the scientific problems being addressed and/or the time schedules indicated in the scope of work under a sponsored project require the dedicated use of the equipment item throughout the life of the project. The University's equipment inventory system contains information on the make, model number, location, and custodian of scientific equipment that may be searched for a needed item of scientific equipment deemed suitable for sharing.
Departments and colleges submitting applications for external project funding that contain equipment requests are asked to certify that, to the best of their knowledge, no comparable piece of equipment is available for use in conducting the proposed project activities. A similar statement appears on equipment requisitions that are forwarded to Purchasing for approval and processing. Departmental and/or collegiate approval of an equipment requisition is deemed evidence that appropriate measures have been taken to assure the purchase is necessary and that the funds for the purchase are appropriate. (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense agencies may require that equipment costing in excess of $5,000 go through an agency screening process prior to purchase. Departments acquiring equipment under agreements with these agencies should contact the Grant Accounting Office for instructions.)
All equipment purchased by the University for the conduct of activities related to its mission must follow the procurement policies and procedures outlined in the Purchasing Policy and Procedures Guide.
12.5 EQUIPMENT ACQUISITION, DISPOSITION, AND TRANSFER.
Since the University acquires and disposes of equipment on a daily basis, it is necessary to employ standard operating procedures when processing the various types of acquisitions, dispositions, and transfers.
b. Disposition. Dispositions of equipment result from declarations as surplus property, trade-ins, cannibalizing for parts, or transfers to another institution associated with a departing faculty member. Surplus property must be transferred to the Surplus Department for appropriate disposition.
c. Transfer. Transfers of equipment between University departments can occur only when equipment will remain property of the University and the receiving department agrees to use the equipment for University purposes. Transfers of computer-related equipment must follow the Computer Data and Media Disposal Policy.
12.6 ADDITION OF EQUIPMENT FOR INCOMING FACULTY.
The responsibility of accounting for the addition of equipment to the University lies with the departmental executive officer of the incoming faculty member's department. The Additions Request form and the detailed instructions for implementing such an addition may be obtained from the Property Management Office or are available at the following web site: www.uiowa.edu/~fusprop/forms.
12.7 ADDITION OF FEDERALLY TITLED EQUIPMENT.
b. Furnished by the federal government. Assets furnished by the federal government or its agencies must be reported to the Property Management Office by use of the Property Management Additions Request Form (www.uiowa.edu/~fusprop/forms).
12.9 REPORTING LOSS, THEFT, OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY.
b. Federal property: In addition to reporting the loss, theft, or destruction of federally titled property to the University Department of Public Safety as in paragraph a above, written notification must also be made to the Grant Accounting Office so the incident can be reported to the applicable federal agency.
12.10 PRIVATE USE OF PUBLIC PROPERTY.
No public officer, deputy, or employee of the state or any governmental subdivision thereof, having charge or custody of any automobile, machinery, equipment, or any other property owned by the state or a governmental subdivision of the state, shall use or operate the same or permit the same to be used or operated for any private purpose (IC 721.2). In addition, no public officer, deputy, or employee of the State of Iowa or any governmental subdivision thereof shall, either directly or indirectly, make use of the purchasing power of the State of Iowa or said governmental sub-division for any private purpose. (See also II-18.1d(5) Conflict of Interest.)
12.11 LIBRARY BOOKS.
Library books are catalogued in the University Library where detailed records of the book inventory are maintained. The libraries furnish the Property Management Office with annual reports for proper update to the central assets records. The annual report from the Main Library and the Law Library must be provided on a timely basis and will include the annual expenditures for collection additions by fund, the amount of gifts-in-kind, the number of volumes added, the number of volumes withdrawn (lost, destroyed, etc.). The Property Management Office will post the library collection additions and withdrawals to the asset management system for reporting to the University's Annual Financial Report. All negotiations leading to gifts and bequests of such materials must be submitted to the University Librarian before commitments are made. (See also V-1.2.)
12.12 OFF-CAMPUS USE OF PROPERTY.
b. Long-term use: When any equipment belonging either to The University of Iowa or to the federal government, and under the custody of The University of Iowa, is going to be used off-campus for periods longer than six months, this off-campus use shall be approved by the appropriate departmental office and that office shall notify the Property Management Office in writing (Off-Campus Use of Property form) as to the University number, asset description, location, custodian (person responsible), and the expected return date.
Note: The Off-Campus Use of Property form and the instructions for completion are available in the Property Management Office or can be found at the following web site: www.uiowa.edu/~fusprop/forms.
b. Disposition. Departments wishing to dispose of a work of art must notify the Director of Facilities Management. Operating with the advice of the Art on Campus Committee, the Director of Facilities Management will determine whether the work should be moved to another site on campus, offered for sale, or disposed of in some other manner consistent with University policy and federal law.
c. De-accession. De-accessions of Museum of Art collection items will be according to the recommendation of the Director of the Museum of Art, in consultation with the curatorial staff and the Museum Advisory Committee and approval of the Executive Vice President and Provost. De-accessioned objects will be sold or disposed of in a manner consistent with University policy and federal law.
12.14 EQUIPMENT CAPITALIZED AS PART OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECT.
The University of Iowa has an equipment capitalization threshold of $5,000 for all individual asset purchases. However, an exception to this policy exists when equipment is acquired as a component of a construction project. In these situations equipment items below the University's capitalization threshold of $5,000 that are part of the building project are grouped (bundled) together with other similar asset classifications and capitalized in the University's capital asset management system.
12.15 EQUIPMENT INVENTORY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.
b. Spot checks. Spot checks may be performed by the Property Management Office to test the validity of the biennial inventories received from departments. In general, inventory spot checks may be undertaken in any department responsible for more than 200 assets. If a sufficient number of discrepancies is noted during a spot check, the department may be asked to perform additional work on the inventory before the physical inventory is accepted by the Property Management Office.
c. Federal compliance. The federal government requires the University to audit its federally titled assets each year and conducts its own audit once every two years. Departments holding federally titled equipment must annually provide appropriate information to the Property Management Office for validating and updating the location, custodian, and condition of these federally titled assets. The departments also need to provide disposition requests when appropriate. The Grant Accounting Office is responsible to submit the disposition requests to the appropriate federal agency and for the government award closeout process as defined by the Department of Defense Property Manual 4161M. Submission of year-end property reports (i.e., DoD 1662, NASA 1018, and grant reports) is the responsibility of the Grant Accounting Office.
12.16 EQUIPMENT TAGGING.
The physical tagging of capitalized equipment is the responsibility of any department acquiring equipment to be capitalized. The Property Management Office (PMO) will assign tag numbers for such acquisitions and will send tags to either a designated department representative, to the custodian if appropriately noted by the department, or to the requestor noted on the requisition. Departments must tag assets in cooperation with the PMO and verify various information, e.g., serial number, model number, custodian, location, etc.