Property Control

Corresponding Policy: See ‘Fixed Assets-Intro’ policy. 
Corresponding Forms: Equipment Loan Agreement, Fixed Asset Transfer, Real Property Update
Process: Finding out Additional Information about Property Control at PSU

Property Classifications
Personal property is grouped into several general classifications:

Expendable Supplies:

  1. Supplies which are consumed or destroyed in the normal course of operation, such as stationery or fuel.
  2. All materials or parts used in repair work, such as building materials or machine parts.
  3. Items that have a useful life of less than two years.
  4. All items not classified as equipment as defined below.

Equipment:
Capitalized Equipment - Personal property with useful life of more than one year and a unit cost of $5,000 or more (vehicles, scientific equipment, major computer purchases, etc.). All equipment over $5,000 must be capitalized and recorded on the University’s fixed asset inventory records. OUS uses straight-line depreciation with zero salvage value, and useful lives that vary depending on the type of asset.   Use account codes 40101 (non-proprietary funds) or A8011 (proprietary funds).

High Risk Minor Equipment (Non-Capitalized) – Personal property and equipment that is under the $5,000 threshold for capitalization and is portable by nature or easily misplaced or stolen is tracked by individual.  It is the responsibility of the department to track High Risk Minor Equipment by serial/model number of item.  High Risk items are neither capitalized nor depreciated in Banner Fixed Assets  Account codes vary depending on the type of high risk minor equipment. Certain minor equipment, whether high risk or not, and supplies may need to be tracked and monitored pursuant to specific requirements under Certificates of Participation (COPs) or specific requirements from a federal or non-federal sponsoring agency. 

Non-Inventoried Equipment under $5,000 (Other than High Risk Minor Equipment) - Personal property with a unit cost under $5,000 is NOT inventoried. Instead, items in this category are included on department's supplies inventory records.

All books and related items carried in Libraries - All library purchases are capitalized and added to Investment in Plant at fiscal year end. Entries are made via journal voucher to record 1) purchases, 2) gifts and donations, and 3) removals from library holdings. The subsidiary inventory file for library assets is also adjusted at fiscal year end. Library personnel provide data for gifts and removals. Library purchases (account code 40190) are tracked through the operating ledgers. For more information pertaining to library accounting, please see the procedures manual. 

Note:  Certain minor equipment, whether High Risk or Not, and supplies may need to be tracked and monitored  pursuant to specific requirements under Certificates of Participation (COPs) or  specific requirements from a federal or non-federal sponsoring agency.

Property Accountability and Responsibility:
Members of the PSU staff and faculty are responsible for the safeguarding and proper care of the equipment provided them. Each employee is expected to take reasonable precautions to protect that property from unauthorized removal or use. Employees are also responsible for exercising reasonable care in operation and maintenance of University equipment. In each University department, the Dean, Department Head, or Director is accountable and responsible for the property and for any changes in location of equipment. Accountability includes responsibility for the care of departmental equipment and tracking of high risk minor equipment. The accountable department official is also responsible for the proper use of departmental equipment until relieved of that responsibility in writing. Individuals in charge of an organized storeroom (e.g., Duplicating, Smith Center Store, Health Service, Physical Plant) are accountable for all property under their control.

Accountability:
A person who is accountable for property must maintain current records of the location of all inventory carried on the fixed assets records and high risk minor equipment for the department. Location changes, additions or equipment disposal must be tracked and reported along with monitoring subsequent additions or adjustments. 

Responsibility:
Individuals must have the property assigned to them in their care and possession, or have evidence, in the form of a written receipt, that responsibility for the equipment has been transferred to another. A person responsible for property may be held financially liable for any missing items.

Equipment Loan to Faculty and Staff:
Equipment Loan Agreement form must be completed whenever faculty or staff members use PSU-owned equipment (laptops, digital cameras, etc.) off campus for educational or research purposes. This form releases the borrower from personal liability for the loaned equipment. Staff members should not borrow PSU equipment without a signed agreement because, in the event of loss or damage to the loaned property, the borrower may be personally liable. State property may not be used for personal gain, unlawful purposes, or activities inconsistent with PSU’s mission. When equipment cost exceeds $5,000, it should be placed on the departmental inventory and included within the Fixed Asset System. All high risk minor equipment should be tracked and recorded in accordance with the High Risk Minor Equipment Guidelines. At the end of the loan term, equipment must be returned to PSU in the same condition as it was at the time of a loan. If employee is terminated, loaned equipment should be returned to PSU and Property Control notified (ext. 5-3109).

The following information must be provided on the form:

  1. Name, off-site address, and telephone number of borrower.  The off-site address is required for tracking and insurance purposes.
  2. A list of equipment to be loaned, including description, model, serial numbers, inventory numbers, replacement value of each item, condition at time of loan, date of purchase, and fund #.
  3. Name, department, and phone number of the individual who is responsible for the property.
  4. Loan term (date when property will be borrowed, date it will be returned to PSU) not to exceed two years.
  5. Signatures of the borrower, department head, and Research Strategic Partnership VP or PI, if applicable.

Original should be sent to Property Control (mail code UFS-CAS)

Acceptance of Loaned Property from Private Parties:
From time to time, private individuals and local businesses will offer to loan or lease property to the University. In order to protect the lender and the University and clearly define the extent of liability applicable to each party, a contract must be completed before the loaned property arrives on campus. Miscellaneous Personal Property Loan Agreement must be completed by the lender and PSU department accepting the loan.

If for some reason, the lender does not wish to sign a Loan Agreement, a Waiver of Responsibility  must be completed. This form releases the University from liability for the loaned property. In other words, the lender assumes all risk involved in the loan. Staff members should not accept loaned property without a signed contract or a waiver because, in the event of loss or damage to the loaned property, the individual who accepted it may be held personally responsible.

In most cases loaned property will be placed on the departmental inventory if the loan period exceeds 90 days. Works of art loaned for display in one of the University's three galleries, or for display at locations other than the galleries, may be covered under the Optional Coverage section of the State of Oregon's property insurance fund, a self-insurance program. Departments contemplating the loan of personal property should contact Property Clerk for the proper forms. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name, mailing address, and telephone number of lender.
  • The date the property will come into University possession.
  • The date the property will be returned to the lender.
  • A list of the property to be loaned, including description, model numbers, serial numbers, value of each item, date of acquisition.
  • Name, department, index code, and extension number of the individual who will be responsible for the property.

It is important to remember that, in the event of a loss of loaned property, the University will be unable to pay any difference between the value of the property and the insurance payment (i.e., applicable $2,500 deductible), if there is no signed agreement on file.

Donated Equipment and Gifts:
Gifted or donated equipment received by the University should be acknowledged by the receiving department. A Report of Gift or Grant  must be completed by the department and routed to Property Control Clerk. Items identified as “High Risk” should be added to the department’s Minor Equipment inventory spreadsheet maintained by the department and those valued over $5,000 should be added to Banner Fixed Assets.

All gifts in kind of $5,000 or more require an independent appraisal from a qualified appraiser or some other comparable form of independent determination of fair market value. Generally the cost of an appraisal at the time of gift acceptance is borne by the donor. Please consult IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property, for additional information and the proper completion of IRS Form 8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions. For more information, please see the procedures manual. 

Final approval for accepting and receipting gifts in kind rests with the appropriate Dean or designee. The department is responsible for coordinating with Financial Services to ensure the gift in kind property is appropriately inventoried. Gift and administrative fees are not imposed on gifts in kind accepted by PSU.

Master Inventory Records:
Master inventory records for equipment are stored and updated in Banner Fixed Assets by Property Control Clerk. High Risk Minor Equipment inventory will be stored and updated within the individual departments.  Each department's Fixed Assets inventory records can be retrieved online through the GQL Data Warehouse.

Property Related to Sponsored Projects:
Ownership rights and title to property funded through sponsored projects will be specified in the individual award documents and/or sponsoring agency’s policies and regulations.  If according to the award documents, title to property acquired with the funds vests in the grantee, the equipment becomes Portland State University property and is assigned to the department of the principal investigator. If according to the award, title vests in the sponsor, the University acts as custodian of the equipment. The University also acts as custodian of the equipment when the equipment is furnished by the sponsor and the sponsor retains title.

Property purchased with sponsored project funds or on loan from a sponsoring agency must follow all the same requirements for acquisition and receipt as all State property.

Title and Ownership of Property

Federally-funded Awards Exempt Property
Exempt property is tangible personal property acquired in whole or in part with Federal research funds, the title to which is vested in the University without further obligation to the Federal government, unless the sponsoring agency explicitly reserves the right to transfer title and issues disposition instructions within 120 days after the end of the Federal support of the project for which the property was acquired.

Federally-owned Property (non-exempt property)
Federally-owned property is acquired by either charging the cost directly to a Federal grant or contract with applicable Federal-title property clauses or by acquiring it through a loan agreement with a Federal agency.

Procurement of Property: To insure that all Federal equipment is promptly recorded on the University’s inventory records, all Purchase Orders for equipment from Federal funds must designate in the “FOATEXT” field the ultimate owner at the end of the grant/contract (the University or the Federal Sponsoring agency).

Loaned Personal Property: Research and Strategic Partnerships must be notified if Federal supplies & equipment are loaned either to or from the University. The Federal Office of Management and Budget has requirements for reporting annually on federal property used by the University or our subcontractors. Research and Strategic Partnerships prepares and submits all closing and annual property reports in coordination with the investigator for clarification and assistance.

Non-inventoried Low-cost Items
In cases where the terms and conditions of an externally funded grant or contract require tracking of non-inventoried low cost items acquired through or on loan from the awarding agency, PSU Research and Strategic Partnerships will advise Principal Investigators on an appropriate practice for tracking and reporting these items in accordance with the award requirements.  Tracking will be performed on an award by award basis within the department or center in which the sponsored project is housed (as indicated by grant org). Minimum data requirements for tracking include item name, quantity, physical location, and an indication as to whether the item(s) is expendable or is to be maintained and returned to the awarding agency. Responsible departmental officials and Principal Investigators will conduct manual inventories as required to meet award-specific reporting requirements.

Restrictions on Use of University-titled Equipment Acquired with Federal Funds
The University must use equipment acquired with Federal funds on the project or program through which it was acquired as long as it is needed, regardless of whether or not the project or program continues to be supported by Federal funds.   In addition, the University shall not encumber the property without the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency. "Program" is defined in broad terms as the research program in which the investigator is engaged over a long period of time. When no longer needed for the original project or program, the recipient shall use the equipment in connection with its other Federally-sponsored activities, in the following order of priority: (i) activities sponsored by the Federal awarding agency which funded the original project, then (ii) activities sponsored by other Federal awarding agencies.

During the period of time equipment is used on the project or program for which it was acquired, the Principal Investigator and Department Head shall make it available for use on other projects or programs if such other use will not interfere with the work on the project or program for which the equipment was originally acquired. Preference for such other use shall be given to other projects or programs in the following order of priority: (i) activities sponsored by the Federal awarding agency which funded the original project, then (ii) activities sponsored by other Federal awarding agencies.

Non-Federal Awards
Under non-Federal awards, title to and disposition of any equipment purchased with sponsor funds should be specified within the terms of the award. Questions pertaining to property related to externally sponsored projects should be directed to your assigned Grant Accountant within the Research and Strategic Partnerships unit.

Records
To insure that all Federal equipment is promptly recorded on the University’s inventory records, all Purchase Orders (PO’s) for equipment from Federal funds must designate in text the eventual owner at the end of the grant/contract (the University or the Federal sponsoring agency). This is generally dictated within the terms of the specific grant/contract.

When the equipment is delivered to the department, the person in the department receiving the order matches the delivered equipment to the original order. Quantities received should be verified and serial numbers, if any, should be noted on the packing slip. If the delivered equipment matches what was ordered, the person receiving the order approves delivery by signing the packing slip and forwards the paper work to the departmental administrator. The department administrator should match the packing slip with the PO and the vendor’s invoice. The packing slip should be retained in the department’s records as indication to an auditor that the goods actually were received. The University may use Federal property only for the approved purpose, as outlined above. Departments must contact their Research Accountant to report any change in use.

Physical Inventory of Property
As a recipient of Federal grants and contracts, PSU is required to be in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations.

OMB Circular A-110 states in part:  "A physical inventory of equipment shall be taken and the results reconciled with the equipment records at least once every two years. Any differences between quantities determined by the physical inspection and those shown in the accounting records shall be investigated to determine the causes of the difference. The recipient shall, in connection with the inventory, verify the existence, current utilization, and continued need for the equipment."  See OMB Circular A-110, Property Standards, Section 34 (f) (3).

Property purchased, loaned, or acquired through sponsored project funds requires the collection of descriptive and identifying information by the receiving department or unit, Property records will include the following information:

  1. A description of the item
  2. The manufacturer's serial number, model number and PSU inventory asset tag number
  3. Fund source of equipment, including sponsoring agency award number
  4. "Owner" with whom title is vested (Entered on Purchase Order in “FOATEXT” field.)
  5. Item acquisition date
  6. Information for determining the calculation of Federal participation in cost of item
  7. Location and condition of equipment and date the information was last reported
  8. Unit acquisition cost of the item
  9. The ultimate disposition data, including the date of disposal

Equipment and other property purchased with Federal funds or on loan from a Federal entity will be maintained according to the classification type.  Personal property with a unit cost under $5,000 generally is not inventoried unless the property has been identified as “high risk”.  Items in this category are typically expendable and included on individual departments’ supplies inventory records. This category includes property on loan to the institution from external sponsors, including the Federal Government, that do not meet the capitalized equipment and High Risk minor equipment classification thresholds. 

Reports
Award-specific requirements: Recipients shall submit an inventory listing of federally-owned property in their custody to the Federal awarding agency according to the requirements in the award document. In some cases, Federal awarding agencies require an annualized inventory listing. Upon completion of the award or when the property is no longer needed, the recipient shall report the property to the Federal awarding agency for further Federal agency utilization.

Government-owned Property Control System Analysis: The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is the cognizant agency for property procedures and rates the university on its ability to protect, preserve, account for and control Government-owned property.  ONR regularly conducts reviews of PSU’s property control system, (a Property Control System Analysis (PCSA)), to assess its capability of controlling, protecting, preserving and maintaining Government property in it's custody. ONR performs PCSAs at all Institutions that are in custody of Government titled property under awards that have been delegated to ONR for administration.

PSU is required to notify ONR upon completion of its biennial inventory and provide them with:

  1. A listing that identifies all discrepancies disclosed by the physical inventory, and
  2. A signed statement that a physical inventory of all or certain classes of Government property was completed on a given date and that the official property records were found to be in agreement except for discrepancies reported.

Research and Strategic Partnerships staff will coordinate with the PI and departmental staff to ensure this requirement is met and submit the required reports.

Relief of Stewardship/Release of Responsibility
PSU’s responsibility for managing Federal property extends from the initial acquisition and receipt of property, through stewardship, custody, and use until formally relieved of responsibility by authorized means, including delivery, consumption, expending, disposition, or via a completed investigation, evaluation, and final determination for lost, damaged, destroyed, or stolen property. This requirement applies to all Government property under PSU’s stewardship, possession or control, including its subcontractors.  Stewardship of Federal property is a shared responsibility of the PI, departmental staff, and Research and Strategic Partnerships staff, as well as the Fixed Assets (Inventory Control) unit within Financial Services, as appropriate.

Disposition of Federally-Owned Property
The disposition of equipment at the end of the grant or contract period is determined by the Federal awarding agency. If the federal government retains title to the property at acquisition, during closeout Research and Strategic Partnerships may ask the agency to give title to the property to the University for use on additional research projects. If they do not give the title to the University, the agency may direct the University to:

  1. Return the equipment to the sponsoring agency or other designated site;
  2. Dispose of or sell the equipment. Research and Strategic Partnerships credits the net proceeds of any such disposal or sale to the award or pays it to the Government; or
  3. Continue to use the equipment on additional research within the University while the Federal agency retains title to the equipment.

Identification of Equipment
Each piece of inventoried property must be labeled with the assigned inventory number for identification. An adhesive label bearing PSU identification is affixed at the time the equipment is accepted by the department. This inventory label shall under no circumstances be altered, obscured or removed. Worn or illegible inventory labels should be replaced by reporting this fact to Property Control.

Inventory Reporting Requirements
A formal annual physical inventory is no longer required by each department. However, it is recommended that departments continue to track any equipment in their custody. Biennial Fixed Assets inventory reporting is required for all equipment over $5,000. Property Control Clerk will distribute an inventory report to departments. Staff in each department must physically locate items listed on the inventory report and verify that each asset has an inventory sticker affixed to it.  Any changes to item location or responsible organization should be noted on the inventory report and Fixed Assets Transfer Form should be completed along with the report. Missing items must be reported to the Property Control Clerk. Updated inventory report along with Fixed Assets Transfer Form should be signed by the Department Head and routed to Property Control Clerk for record update.

Use of Institutional Property
All University property (scientific and technical equipment, motor vehicles, office equipment, etc.) is limited to official institutional use and may not be used for private purposes. Under no circumstances may property be removed from campus without Equipment Loan Agreement form.

Physical Inventory of Organized Storerooms
At the close of each fiscal year, organized storerooms of the University must take inventory of supplies and materials on hand. Forms and instructions are provided at the time inventory is requested. Organized storerooms are those facilities with an inventory in excess of $15,000 or those making annual purchases in excess of $150,000 or are designated as organized storerooms by the institution.

Supplies Inventory
Every other year a complete physical inventory is required for supplies in departments other than organized storerooms. Otherwise, supplies on hand are estimated each year in April. Departments are sent a printout with full instructions. The estimated amount of supplies on hand is based on the last complete inventory plus a "replacement cost factor" applied each succeeding year to the original value. The accuracy of the total supplies evaluation is critical to the processing of future insurance claims through the department of Risk Management. Personal items should not be included on supplies inventory unless they have been officially loaned to the university and a Miscellaneous Personal Property Loan Agreement has been submitted to Property Control Clerk.

Transfer of Equipment
Transfer of inventoried equipment from one department to another normally requires a journal voucher to record the internal sale and reimbursement in the financial ledgers. A Fixed Assets Transfer Maintenance form should be completed and forwarded to the Property Control Clerk.

Transfer of equipment from operating funds to budgeted funds will not be allowed except in the following circumstances:

  1. The original entry was in error and the equipment's cost is to be charged to the budgeted funds account.
  2. The equipment is fully depreciated, i.e., the equipment is over ten (10) years old.
  3. The equipment is "sold" to the budgeted operations with a corresponding transfer of funds between funds. If sold at no cost, the operating account is charged a loss on disposal of equipment.
  4. The operating account was terminated.

Equipment Not Reassigned
PSU will use a method of disposal that is cost-effective, taking into account the costs of disposal and the potential for financial return.

  1.  Disposal methods include, but are not limited to:
    1. exchanges,
    2. trade-ins,
    3. auctions,
    4. sealed bid sales,
    5. scrapping,
    6. fixed price retail sales,
    7. donation to other state agencies, Oregon political subdivisions, public non-profits, web-based auctions or sales and,
    8. for scrap, transfer for no valuable consideration.
  2. No current or former employee or agent for such will be granted any benefit or opportunity not granted the general public in acquisition of items through the disposal process.
  3. All property is conveyed "AS-IS, WHERE-IS" with no warranty, express or implied, of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, or any other warranties or guarantees. A purchaser or disappointed bidder will have no recourse against the State of Oregon, PSU, or any of their officers, employees, or agents. All sales will be final.
  4. PSU may provide that payment may be made by credit card, cash, cashier's check, personal check, wire transfer, or money order.
  5. Surplus property paid for, but not claimed with the time specified in the sales terms and conditions will be conclusively considered the property of PSU and may be disposed of in compliance with these rules.
  6. Title to surplus property or scrap is transferred to the purchaser when PSU makes the item available to the purchaser either by the purchaser, purchaser's agent, or purchaser's or institution's designated shipper taking possession of the item. Surplus property must be paid for in full before PSU will make it available to the purchaser. Purchaser assumes all responsibility, including risk of loss or damage, for the item when title is transferred.

Expenses of such a sale are the responsibility of the department and must be authorized and paid for out of departmental funds. Expenses will include required advertisements in a local paper and may include other expenses such as printing and duplicating.

Disposal of Computer and Other Electronic Storage Devices and Media
Prior to disposal of any computer, computer peripheral, software, electronic storage device, or storage media device, PSU will, as applicable, completely erase or otherwise render unreadable all information, data, and software residing on the device, unless the information, data, or software is to be conveyed and may be conveyed lawfully. Disposal fee of $10 will be charged for disposal of each computer monitor.

Department should contact PSU Warehouse *5-4921 for equipment pick up. More information can be found on PSU Surplus website

Environmental Standards
Disposal of surplus property and scrap will be accomplished in accordance with all state, federal, and local regulations regarding environmental health and recycling. If ownership of surplus property or scrap is transferred to another party, PSU must document passing of title. The acquiring party assumes environmental responsibility when title transfers.