Howard University
Purchasing Policies and Procedures Manual
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Purchasing Manual
XIV. Property and Equipment Management
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Page Index:
   A. Title to Property and Equipment
   B. Equipment Identification Procedures
   C. Custodial Responsibilities
   D. Equipment Inventory
   E. Disposal of Surplus Property
   F. Safeguarding University Property
   G. Transfer and Disposal of Surplus/Obsolete Furniture and Equipment
   H. Viewing and Acquiring Surplus Furniture and Equipment
   I. Disposition and Report of Surplus Property
       Transfers to Other Departments
       Sale to Outside Parties
       Sale for Scrap


  • Title to all University owned equipment is vested in the name of Howard University.
  • The Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer is the University's official property custodian.
  • A bi-annual physical inventory is required of all University owned property and equipment.
  • Disposal of all surplus property and equipment must be authorized in writing by the Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer or his designee.
  • The Materials Management Department (MMD) shall be responsible, subject to the approval of the Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer, for disposition of all surplus property for Howard University.
  • All University departments are required to report all surplus property to MMD.
  • MMD shall dispose of University property in the best interests of Howard University and wherever practical dispositions shall be made on the basis of competitive bid sales.
  • MMD shall determine, subject to the approval of the Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer,  the manner of disposition of all property, e.g., transfer to other university departments, sale to third parties, trade-ins.
  • When surplus is sold to third parties Central Services, as part of the bid sale process, should describe the condition of the asset and list any defects.
  • Howard University is relieved of any responsibility and does not give any warranties for the assets that are sold to third parties.

A. Title to Property and Equipment

The title to all University owned property and equipment shall always be in the name of Howard University rather than any particular school, department head, or section. Title to research equipment purchased on grants belongs to the sponsoring organization until such organization specifically vests ownership and title with the University.

B. Equipment Identification Procedures

All University owned and research equipment will be tagged and assigned specific locations. The Materials Management Department (MMD) is responsible for providing decals, and a special identification coding system will be used to distinguish between University owned equipment and research equipment belonging to sponsors

C. Custodial Responsibilities

In accordance with University by-laws, the Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer is the official property custodian. However, the Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer may utilize, as necessary, the Office of the Comptroller and MMD to assist in this responsibility. In addition, the Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer may from time to time issue memoranda delegating specific custodial responsibilities to deans, department heads, and other responsible individuals.

D. Equipment Inventory

A biannual physical inventory is required of all equipment. Inventory records will be periodically updated to reflect new purchases, as well as disposals. Equipment must be kept in the assigned locations indicated on the equipment inventory record.

E. Disposal of Surplus Property

Disposal and/or disposition of surplus property must be approved in writing by the Senior VP/CFO/Treasurer. Disposition of surplus property is handled by MMD and must be done in accordance with established procedures.

F. Safeguarding University Property

No individual is authorized to remove, for any purpose, equipment from University premises without prior written approval from the property custodian.

G. Transfer and Disposal of Surplus/Obsolete Furniture and Equipment

Surplus/obsolete furniture and equipment will be disposed of or transferred in accordance with the provisions of Howard University's Equipment Inventory System Manual, supplemented by the following guidelines:

  • When an item listed on the departmental inventory report (computer listing) has been declared surplus, obsolete or uneconomical reparable, a Physical Plant Work Request should be prepared requesting that the item be moved to Central Services (CS). Small items may be transported by the department concerned
  • The request will be sent to CS with the revised Moveable Equipment Input Form transmitted to CS for signature to acknowledge new ownership.
  • Surplus/Obsolete or uneconomical reparable property that is not listed on the departmental inventory report will also be transferred to CS. Upon completing the Request/Authority to Transfer Property Form (Note: Requires Acrobat Reader) the document is forwarded to CS with a Physical Plant Work Request, requesting the property be moved to CS. Small items may be transported as indicated above.
  • Additionally, departmental property managers are responsible to insure that property transfers meet the following prerequisites:
    1. Cabinets, desks and other equipment with drawers are free of supplies and nonsensical material.
    2. Equipment is transferred complete with all component parts, as an example, (L-Unit with secretarial desk, stand and feed trays with copying machines, prime power source accompany electric-powered machines, electric cords, i.e.)
    3. Mechanical items of equipment should be transferred with their supporting publications, operation manual or brochure.
To insure maximal accountability and protection of university property at all times, property should no longer be left on loading docks and ramps, in hallways nor building exits unsecured. Property awaiting transfer must remain in a secure area until such time it is moved to the premises of the new owner, who, assumes responsibility for the property upon receipt.

The above requirements are necessary to insure the orderly and comprehensive transfer of property, and express the importance and concern for property accountability in all transactions.

H. Viewing and Acquiring Surplus Furniture and Equipment

The representative designated by a department to purchase supplies and equipment contacts Central Services to set up an appointment to view surplus property. An appointment will be canceled if a representative fails to arrive within thirty (30) minutes after the appointed time. Representatives should inform Central Receiving of any changes in scheduled appointments.

Upon arrival at Central Services, the representative is required to present valid University identification to authorized personnel who will then accompany him/her to the viewing area. A student representing a recognized student group should present authorization from the Student Affairs Office i.e. student ID.

Property selected will be labeled with the representative's name and department and held until required documents are processed. In order to complete the transfer, a Physical Facilities Work Request must be prepared by the requesting department for submission to Central Services for the removal of property from surplus storage. On receipt of the signed work request, Physical Facilities Management will assign a job order number and transport the property to the requesting department. Items selected must be removed from the warehouse within 60 days. Items left in the warehouse longer than 60 days may be reassigned to another department.

I. Disposition and Reporting of Surplus Property

User departments should periodically review their inventory levels of equipment and other tangible assets to determine whether excess items are on hand. In the event such conditions exist user departments shall complete and forward to MMD a Transfer Property form specifying the items which are no longer required.

Upon receipt of a Transfer Property form, MMD verifies by serial number that the item(s) listed is part of the declaring department's property inventory. The accumulated depreciation is computed based on the original cost to arrive at a net book value.

After items are declared to be surplus MMD must determine the best method of disposition. Depending upon the condition and nature of items and the needs of other departments, items may be transferred, traded-in, sold by sealed bid, or sold as scrap.

  • Transfers to other departments
    If surplus items are still operable and not obsolete they should be transferred to other departments who need them. To accomplish this MMD will periodically circulate to all departments a listing of surplus property. Should a department have a need for any of the items listed MMD will arrange for a property transfer to the requesting department.
  • Trade - ins
    If a user department needs to purchase an item to replace obsolete equipment, and the surplus property cannot be used by another department, MMD should explore the possibility of a trade-in. If trade-ins are acceptable on a particular equipment item, which a user department desires to replace, the bid solicitation should require bid prices with and without trade-ins, and indicate that an award may be made on either basis. In so doing, the best trade-in offer can be evaluated against the expected sale price for the obsolete item.
  • Sale to outside parties
    If neither a transfer nor a trade-in is feasible, MMD will arrange to sell the surplus property on a sealed bid basis. To accomplish this a public notice of sale should be made and sealed bids requested from interested parties. The sale will be made to the highest bidder. Since the University is not in the business of selling property it is important that it be made clear to all bidders that the University makes no guarantees for items sold. However, to be fair the bid solicitation should describe the condition of items and list known defects, but beyond that, it should be indicated that the buyer assumes all risks.
  • Sale for scrap
    In the event surplus items are no longer operable MMD may sell them for scrap to the highest bidder.
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