Policy for Federal
The University must properly classify, safeguard and
depreciate its equipment as well as abide by federal guidelines and the terms of
sponsored awards with respect to the purchase, use and disposition of
equipment. Requirements can be found under OMB Circular A-110.
For University purposes, equipment is tangible
non-expendable property that has an estimated useful life of greater than one
year and a value of $5,000 or more. Delivery and installation costs included
with the initial purchase of the equipment will be recorded as part of the total
value of the asset. Purchases of replacement parts will not be considered
If component parts are purchased or designed and assembled,
the component parts may cost less than $5,000 individually but will be
considered equipment if the final assembled product costs more than $5,000 and
has a useful life of more than one year.
All equipment purchased with federal funds must have
sponsor approval. Approval by the sponsor of a budget containing equipment
constitutes prior approval. If the equipment was not included in the sponsor
approved budget, a rebudgeting request must be sent to the grants accounting
office as well as the sponsor.
Once purchased, the equipment is to be used on the original
project as long as needed. The equipment must be made available for shared use
as long as it will not interfere with the original project. In addition, there
can be no user charge to other departments and the equipment cannot be leased to
outside organizations unless expressly allowed by the agency. Personal use of
federally acquired equipment is prohibited.
Departments should provide the care necessary to maintain
the equipment in the condition received (normal wear is expected). Adequate
safeguards should be in place to prevent loss, damage, or theft of the
Departments are responsible for using the proper account
code on vouchers to identify an equipment purchase. Account code 85045 should
be used for equipment. If the equipment is acquired by any other means than a
voucher, the department is responsible for notifying the grants accounting
Each department will assist grants accounting in locating
and identifying equipment during the physical inventory.
Tracking Federal Equipment
It is the responsibility of grants accounting to maintain a
list of all equipment purchased with federal funds. The list will be compiled
as equipment purchases are identified during the voucher review process. The
list will be reconciled with the asset management system at least biannually.
This list will include:
- Purchase date
- Item description including model number and serial
number if available.
- Purchase cost
- Record of receipt of purchase (copy of
- Funding source used for purchase
- Principal Investigator purchasing equipment
- Inventory tag number
Grants accounting will assign property tags with unique
numbers to all equipment. These tags will be used to help identify equipment
during the physical inventory.
Wesleyan University is required to perform full physical
inventory of its federal equipment at least once every two years in accordance
with the Office of Management and Budget Circulars A-110 and A-21. The grants
accounting office will conduct this physical inventory. Before visiting a
department, a spreadsheet showing a list of the equipment will be sent to the
department. Each department will review the list and note any changes or
discrepancies before the visit takes place. Each department will assist grants
accounting in locating and identifying equipment during the physical inventory.
Disposition of Equipment Purchased With Federal Funds
Prior to disposing of federal equipment, the grants
accounting office must be notified. Grants accounting will need to determine
who retains title to the equipment. In general, equipment purchased with
federal funds becomes the property of the University when it is delivered.
There are however some sponsored agreements under which the sponsor retains
title to any equipment purchased with sponsored funds. If title is retained by
the sponsor, the agency must be notified if you want to dispose, transfer or
sell the equipment. Once the federal agency is notified, approval must be
granted in order for an action to take place. The money received from a sale
must be returned to the agency.
Transfer of Equipment
When a principal investigator moves to another institution
and requests transfer of equipment to the new institution, the following
standards will apply:
- Equipment purchased with federal funds may not be
transferred to a for-profit institution
- If an active grant is being transferred to another
academic institution, equipment purchased on that grant may be transferred
to the new institution in accordance with the terms of the grant.
- Equipment purchased with federal funds on a grant that
is no longer active will be released only if the department chair certifies
that the equipment is not useful to the other investigators in the