Property Management

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Property management entails the use of Federal funds to purchase real estate, equipment, and supplies. Federal awarding agencies have specific definitions for each of these categories. Title 2 part 215 of the Code of Federal Regulations specifies rules for acquiring and accounting for property purchased with Federal funds. This chapter will give you an overview of the specific information that may be most applicable to your organization regarding property management, including intangible property and property trust relationships.

Equipment purchased with Federal funds must be used for program purposes.

Equipment is defined in 45 CFR 74 as tangible, nonexpendable personal property, including exempt property charged directly to the award, having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. However, consistent with recipient policy, lower limits may be established. Documentation of your policy must be provided to your grants management officer.

Equipment you purchase may be used for other projects or programs sponsored by the Federal awarding agency if such use will not interfere with work for which the equipment was originally acquired. If the equipment is owned by the Federal government, use on other activities not sponsored by the Federal government is permissible if authorized by the Federal awarding agency. User charges earned will be treated as program income.

You may use the equipment in the project or program for which it was acquired as long as needed, whether or not the project or program continues to be supported by Federal funds. When no longer needed for the original project or program, you may use the equipment in connection with other Federally sponsored activities. For specific instructions regarding equipment use and disposition, see 2 CFR 215, Section 34.

Titles to equipment acquired with Federal funds vest in the recipient, provided it is not used to provide services to non-Federal outside organizations for a fee that is less than private companies charge for equivalent services (unless specifically authorized by Federal statute) for as long as the Federal government retains an interest in the equipment.
Your property management standards for equipment acquired with Federal funds and Federally owned equipment must include all of the following:

  1. Equipment records including the following information:
    • A description of the equipment
    • Manufacturer's serial number, model number, Federal stock number, national stock number, or other identification number
    • Source of the equipment, including the award number
    • Whether title vests in the recipient or the Federal government
    • Acquisition date (or date received if the equipment was furnished by the Federal government) and cost
    • Information from which one can calculate the percentage of Federal participation in the cost of the equipment (not applicable to equipment furnished by the Federal government)
    • Location and condition of the equipment and the date the information was reported
    • Unit acquisition cost
    • Ultimate disposition data, including date of disposal and sale price or the method used to determine current fair market value where a recipient compensates the Federal awarding agency for its share
  2. Equipment owned by the Federal government must be identified to indicate Federal ownership.
  3. A physical inventory of equipment must be taken and the results reconciled with the equipment records at least once every two years.
  4. A control system that ensures adequate safeguards to prevent loss, damage, or theft of the equipment must be in effect.
  5. Adequate maintenance procedures should be implemented to keep the equipment in good condition.
  6. If authorized or required to sell the equipment, proper sales procedures providing for competition and resulting in the highest possible return should be used.

Upon award completion and closeout, equipment records must be maintained, but report only equipment valued at over $5,000.

Property acquired with Federal funds is under your ownership—given you are using it for the purpose of an authorized project.

The title to real property acquired with Federal funds is vested with your organization provided it is used for the authorized purpose of the project for as long as it is needed. When you determine the property is no longer needed for the purpose of the original project, you must obtain written approval by the Federal awarding agency for the use of real property in other Federally sponsored projects. Use in other projects will be limited to Federally sponsored projects or programs that have purposes consistent with those authorized for support by the Federal awarding agency. When the real property is no longer needed, you must request disposition instructions from the Federal awarding agency or its successor agency.

The title to Federally owned property remains vested in the Federal government. Submit an inventory listing of Federally owned property in your custody to the Federal awarding agency on an annual basis. Upon completion of the award or when the property is no longer needed, report the property to the Federal awarding agency for further Federal agency utilization.

Click to open interactivity Property acquired with Federal funds must be insured.

Property acquired with Federal funds must be insured.

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Supplies are vested in the recipient upon termination or completion of a grant.

The term "supplies" refers to all personal property excluding equipment, intangible property, and debt instruments valued at less than $5,000. The title to supplies and other expendable property are vested in the recipient upon acquisition. Upon termination or completion of the grant, you may retain or sell unused supplies exceeding $5,000 in total aggregate value that are not needed for any other Federally sponsored project or program and compensate the Federal government's share.

You must not use supplies acquired with Federal funds to provide services to non-Federal outside organizations for a fee that is less than private companies charge for equivalent services, unless specifically authorized by Federal statute, for as long as the Federal government retains an interest in the supplies.