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Stanford University acquires significant amounts of equipment every year, through purchasing, gifts, loans, leases, or other means. Every member of the Stanford community has an interest and responsibility in the use and care of the University’s assets.

Proper stewardship in the areas of utilization, maintenance, calibration, storage, and movement of equipment will ultimately reduce cost and losses, maximize the useful life of the assets and demonstrate compliance to Sponsor and University requirements for proper treatment and protection of equipment.

1. Use

All property owned by the University, or for which Stanford is accountable (regardless of ownership or location) should be protected and secured.  Reasonable efforts must be made to prevent loss, damage, destruction, or theft (LDDT). Incidents of LDDT should be reported to the Risk Management Department and PMO as soon as discovered. In cases of theft, a police report must be filed with the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS).

Equipment and supplies purchased by Stanford, or otherwise provided to Stanford, should only be used in direct support of University activities (education, research, operations, administration), whether it is on or off campus. Every effort must be made to maximize the benefit derived throughout the useful life of the asset. 

Stanford-owned equipment that is no longer needed may be made available for reuse by another department.  If no longer needed, it should be reported as excess.  The Department Property Administrator (DPA), or designee, is responsible for helping facilitate reuse or for initiating an Excess Request.

Sponsor-funded, or Sponsor-owned equipment, must be used in accordance with the terms of the current accountable sponsored project.  If no longer needed, it may be available for re-use on other projects, Contact the Property Management Office for guidance prior to initiating any action.  When it becomes excess to all needs of the department, contact the Property Management Office for guidance.

Use of personally-owned property in the workplace is discouraged.  In those instances where personally owned equipment is present on campus, the owner is responsible and liable for their property.

Vehicle use is governed by additional rules as outlined in Administrative Guide 8.4.1, and Administrative Guide 8.4.2.

2. Maintenance

Equipment should be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.  If not available, experience or service history is helpful for establishing maintenance plans.  The department to which equipment is accountable is responsible for keeping the maintenance history records for their equipment.

Maintenance may be suspended when equipment is in storage.  Calibration may need to continue; or at a minimum occur prior to being placed into active use, per manufacturer’s specifications. 

3. Movement

Current location of equipment must be reflected in the Sunflower Assets (SFA) record.   University activities often require frequent changes in the location of equipment. If the duration of the move is less than thirty (30) days, it  is considered temporary. Location changes exceeding (30) days are considered permanent. 

For temporary moves, the use of a sign-out log is sufficient documentation. Permanent location changes must be updated in SFA. Equipment that is being moved to an off campus location also requires the completion of an Off-Campus Equipment Verification Worksheet in addition to the SFA updates. See the Off- Campus Assets section later in this chapter for more information.

Movement of equipment outside of the state or continental U.S. may require export control documentation. Refer to Stanford’s Export Control website for additional information.

4. Storage

Storage of property is coordinated through the Department Property Administrator (DPA).  The DPA is available to provide guidance and assist in the documentation of the storage activity. Items must be stored in accordance with sound business practices and adequate protection from corrosion. Adequate protection during storage is required to prevent loss, damage, destruction, or theft of the property. 

Storage of items should be justified to minimize unnecessary retention.  A list of items  in storage should be maintained and periodically reviewed by designated department personnel for continued retention. When stored in a location other than where routinely used, the location and use status in the SFA record should also be updated.

Stored equipment must be accounted for during the University’s biennial equipment physical inventory cycle. If no longer needed, the items should be made available for reutilization or processed as excess for disposal.

5. Unneeded of Unused Property

Periodic reviews of their accountable equipment by department personnel are a key to ensuring maximum utilization and control of University and Sponsor owned assets. It greatly facilitates the physical inventory process and successful completion of audits. In addition, it provides opportunity to identify unneeded assets to expedite timely reuse or disposal.

The funding source, title, and agreement terms and conditions define the utilization options for equipment that is no longer needed by the accountable department.

Unneeded or unused property should be reported to the DPA as excess in a timely manner. Functional Stanford owned equipment purchased with unrestricted Stanford funds should first be offered to other departments when no longer needed. This can be done via the Stanford University Reuse Website. If another department has no need for the equipment, or the equipment is non-functional, an excess request is generated. Excess items are processed for disposal through the PMO protocols for excess equipment. See Chapter 4.2 for additional information.

When Stanford owned property funded by a Sponsor is no longer needed on the project for which it was acquired or provided, it must first be made available for possible use on other sponsored projects. This may occur prior to or on the scheduled end date of the overall project. When the project has concluded, all property acquired with the project’s funds should be made available for use elsewhere, whether on similar projects in the same department, or if not needed there, it should be offered to the rest of the campus via the Stanford University Reuse Website. Contact your Property Programs Manager (PPM) for additional guidance.

Government owned equipment, regardless of condition or functionality, must have prior government approval for reuse or disposal. PMO will coordinate obtaining of disposition instructions .  Contact PMO for guidance.

Equipment that has been declared excess will be picked up by the PMO and processed for eventual sale by Surplus Property Sales (SPS) or for recycling as scrap. See chapter 4.3, for more information.

6. Inter-Department Transfers

When no longer needed by a department, functional equipment may be offered to other departments for use. In some cases, this may be in connection with compensation in the form of a fund transfer (sometimes referred to as an interdepartmental “sale”). If so, a journal is created to move the funds. The accounts used in the transaction must be unrestricted Stanford funds, and the Expenditure type (ET) 58510 should be used. 

For a capital asset transfer, where a property record is involved, assistance from the PMO is necessary to have the property record(s) updated to reflect the new department stewardship. 

Assets acquired on a sponsored project that is still active may require additional clearances before they can be transferred. Particular care should be taken with assets acquired on Federal contracts. Please seek assistance from PMO to ensure these clearances are properly obtained.

7. Computer Transfers

Computers require additional steps and processes when transferring between departments.  There are restrictions on data that can transfer with the computer. Restricted data must be removed whenever a computer is transferring from one user to another within a department, or when transferring between departments. Please see Administrative Guide  6.3.1 Information Security, for additional information. Contact your local DPA or the PMO for details and current requirements.

8. Off-Campus Assets

Occasionally, an asset may need to be taken to a non-Stanford location in furtherance of research or other university activities. In such cases, the removal of the asset from the campus for more than 30 days must be recorded using the Off-Campus Equipment Verification Worksheet and the location data changed in the SFA property management database to reflect off-campus status. A signed copy of this document must be kept on file by the local DPA and the signature must be updated annually. (This update may be performed via email for convenience).

When an asset is frequently removed from campus for short periods of time, such as projectors or departmental ‘check-out’ laptop computers, a supplemental log should be established by the custodian and used to record when the item is checked out and subsequently returned.