Office of Sponsored Programs
The Ohio State University

Property Management

Property management includes activities and documentation associated with movement and control of equipment used by projects. The property administrator authorizes all changes in equipment status and location. To maintain current property records, the property administrator must be notified of any changes in property status using the following methods of equipment documentation and forms. The property management system is comprised of the following definitions, approval processes, procedures, notifications, and forms. The sponsor may require an accounting and disposition of equipment purchased under the project. This type of report should be coordinated with Office of Sponsored Programs Procurement.

Property Management Forms

The following section lists the various property management forms and the instances when each is to be used. Completed forms should be forwarded to the property administrator and copies should be retained by the department’s equipment coordinator to be made available upon request to internal or external auditors.

The “Property Status Change Form” (PR-036) is used for equipment that is:

  • moved to another room or building
  • returned to sponsor (Submit with shipping documents and a signed letter transferring accountability.)
  • stolen or destroyed (Submit with police report or letter of explanation.)
  • used as credit on a new purchase (trade-in). (Submit with a requisition.)
  • transferred to another institution or state agency if the grant or contract is currently active

The “Release of Surplus Property Form” is used for equipment that is:

  • donated to a nonprofit organization
  • scrapped by the Office of Surplus Materials Disposal
  • sold through the Office of Surplus Materials Disposal
  • transferred to another institution or state agency if the grant or contract is inactive

The “Off-Campus Property Notification Approval” form (PR-003) is used for equipment that is:

  • temporarily located in educational or research areas not identified as university space
  • loaned (Provide letter of explanation including terms of loan agreement.)

Shipping documents are forwarded to the property administrator, who uses them to add or delete sponsor-furnished equipment. A letter of notification from the principal investigator is used to inform the property administrator of:

  • receipt of sponsor-furnished equipment
  • receipt of transferred equipment

Equipment Accountability and Control

Office of Sponsored Programs Procurement maintains a federally approved property system that is routinely audited by an agency of the federal government to ensure compliance with the federal acquisition regulations and other property regulations as required by individual sponsors.

All equipment items purchased with project funds or furnished to a project by the sponsor are assigned an inventory number and a Office of Sponsored Programs identification tag. Inventory control records are created and maintained by the property administrator. The continued maintenance of accurate records for all research equipment furnished to a project or purchased with sponsored agreement funding is the shared responsibility of the principal investigator, equipment coordinator, and department head.

Property purchased on sponsored project accounts may not be disposed of without prior authorization from the property administrator or director of Procurement. Losses are an unallowable project expense. The principal investigator’s department therefore will be held liable in the event any equipment is lost, stolen, or destroyed.

Equipment Title

Certain sponsors retain title to equipment purchased under their programs and reserve the right to recall the equipment upon completion of the project. Most sponsored agreements from the federal government provide for the transfer of equipment title to nonprofit educational institutions when the conditions of the appropriate contract clauses have been met.

Although these conditions vary with agencies and individual contractual agreements, generally the university receives title to items costing less than $5,000. Title to the remaining equipment is determined at a later date or at contract completion. The Office of Sponsored Programs will attempt to obtain title or permission to retain equipment if it is desirable to keep the property.

Upon termination or completion of a sponsored project, an inventory will be conducted of all federal, state, or sponsor-owned property items acquired during the life of the project. Following the inventory and after the principal investigator has determined which items should be retained, the project administrator will request a transfer of title from the government or industrial sponsor.

Furnished Equipment

Projects receiving property for project-use directly from the government or sponsoring agency should forward all receipts or shipping documents immediately to the property administrator. This permits property to be tagged and inventoried to ensure accountability and responsibility to the government or sponsoring agency in accordance with the Office of Sponsored Programs property control procedures.

Fabricated Equipment

When the principal investigator contemplates construction of equipment or system, the project supervisor completes a “Fabricated Equipment Request and Completed Property Notification” form, (PR-014). Completion of this form identifies the equipment item, assists in cost determination of the item, requests a subproject number, initiates property records, and facilitates all approvals.

Upon approval, a property identification number and subproject number are created under the master project number specified for the amount shown in the total budgeted estimated cost column on part one of the form. The form is then returned to the principal investigator authorizing the purchase of items and services required to fabricate the item. The identification numbers indicated on this form must be used on all Ohio State “Requisition Form” (1303) requisitions submitted to Office of Sponsored Programs Procurement for all items or services requested. All purchases must be processed through Procurement which will issue standard purchase orders when buying materials and services for the fabrication of equipment or property.