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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 7710: Property Management and Control

Date Originally Issued: 11-01-1991
Revised: 12-13-1991, 10-15-1995, 02-05-1996, 03-21-1997, 05-08-1998, 12-08-1999, 07-01-2001, 09-25-2002, 07-01-2004, 03-01-2006, 08-01-2006, 06-01-2007, 06-05-2009, 04-30-2014, 12-17-2015

Authorized by RPM 7.9 ("Property Management")
Process Owners: University Controller and HSC Senior Executive Officer for Finance and Administration

1. General

The University of New Mexico may acquire, maintain, protect, use, and dispose of property required to perform its mission. University property and resources may be used only for University business. For the purposes of this policy, inventoried property is defined, with one exception, by the following three criteria: 1) The cost is greater than $5,000, 2) the property is moveable and 3) the property has a useful life of more than one (1) year. Inventoried property costing more than $5,000 is also defined as equipment and is capitalized on UNM's financial statements and is depreciated.  Computers, however, are treated as inventoried property regardless of cost.  In most cases the cost of a computer is less than $5,000, in which case it is not capitalized and is not depreciated.  Questions regarding computers should be addressed to the office of Inventory Control.

University property must be managed according to University policies and applicable state and federal law, including the following:

  • State of New Mexico Law Section 12-6-10 NMSA 1978;
  • Office of Management and Budget;
  • Uniform Guidance;
  • NASA procurement regulations;
  • DHHS procurement regulations;
  • DOE Procurement Regulations; and
  • Appendix C of the Defense Acquisition Regulations as consolidated into the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

University property includes all:

  • equipment purchased by University departments, regardless of the source of funds used to purchase the equipment;
  • U. S. Government-owned equipment used by University departments;
  • components and material used to make equipment, whether furnished to, acquired by, or fabricated by the University;
  • property donated to the University; and
  • property loaned or leased to the University by outside organizations.

University property is in the custody of the department which purchased or is using the property. The department is responsible for the management and control of the property assigned to it. The dean, director, department head, or the principal investigator for government-sponsored projects, is responsible for:

  • initiating requests to acquire property or use restricted or government excess property;
  • the proper use, maintenance, and security of assigned property;
  • maintaining inventory records on all property in custody of the department; reporting any shortage, damage, loss, or theft of property; and
  • disposing of University property according to University policies.

2. Acquiring Property

2.1. Purchases

All purchases of equipment are made according to University policies, the Higher Education Department (HED) regulations, and the State of New Mexico Procurement Code. Expenditures for units of equipment of $10,000 or more are to be charged to a plant fund index. Departments may contact Credit, Collections and Merchant Services to request creation of a plant fund index to transfer the funds into if the department does not have a plant fund index.

2.1.1. Purchases Using Federal Funds

All purchases involving federal funds must comply with the guidelines of the individual contract or grant, and be approved by the University's Main Campus or Health Sciences Center (HSC) Contract and Grant Accounting Department. The purchase of equipment must be necessary, in accordance with the terms of the contract or grant, and comply with U.S. Government regulations. The principal investigator must complete all required government forms.

2.1.1.1. Avoid Duplicate Purchases

The University must avoid purchasing duplicate items. If it will not interfere with a project, users should make property acquired for use on a project available to other projects.

  • First preference for other use shall be given to other projects sponsored by the federal agency that financed the property.
  • Second preference shall be given to projects sponsored by other federal agencies.
  • Use on other projects not sponsored by federal funds is permissible if authorized by the federal agency.

The University office of  Inventory Control maintains a database of property available for shared use. Send Purchase Requisitions (PRs) using federal funds for equipment items of $10,000 or more to the office of  Inventory Control. They will perform a search of the equipment database to determine if duplicate equipment is available.

2.2. Gifts of Equipment

All gifts of equipment to the University must be made in accordance with UAP 1030 ("Gifts to the University"), Section 4.6. Written approval for the acquisition of the gift must be obtained from the cognizant chair and dean on the Check List for Donations of Equipment Form found on the UNM Foundation's website, UNM Depositor's page. The execution of any formal acknowledgment forms must be processed by the UNM Foundation; however, the department receiving the gift may and should express appreciation and gratitude for the gift. Receiving units must report all property valued over $5000 to the office of Inventory Control by providing a copy of the Check List for Donations of Equipment Form. This property is then added to the University Property Inventory as described in Section 4. herein.

2.3. Property Loaned to the University

External organizations and agencies sometimes lend property to the University. Loaned property may include such diverse items as a fine arts collection or a piece of equipment.

2.3.1. Record Keeping and Insurance

Any property on loan to the University must be immediately reported to the office of Inventory Control for insurance purposes. The loaned property is added to the University inventory records and is included in the annual physical inventory. When the property is returned to the lending organization, the department must notify the office of Inventory Control and supply them with documentation that the returned equipment was received by the lending agency (i.e. copy of the receipt of goods).

2.3.2. Use, Maintenance, and Security

Property on loan to the University will be returned in the same condition in which it was received. While property is on loan to the University, the department that has custody of the property is responsible for its use, maintenance, and security. Refer to Section 3. herein for guidelines.

2.4. Hazardous Materials

If hazardous or dangerous materials are needed in the course of conducting research, contact the University Department of Safety and Risk Services before acquisition.

3. Use, Maintenance, and Security of Property

University departments who have custody of University property are responsible for its proper use, maintenance, and security.

3.1. Use of Property

Normally all property should be used for the purpose originally intended. However, a piece of equipment acquired for use on a federally sponsored project may sometimes be used elsewhere within the University after the project ends. The terms of the contract or grant must be complied with.

3.1.1. Government Owned Property

Any government property with an acquisition value of $5,000 or more must be monitored for a minimum level of use as required by Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Subpart 45.902-2 and OMB Circular A-110. If the equipment is no longer being used, the department must contact the office of Inventory Control.

3.2. Maintenance of Property

Departments must take care of and properly maintain property to ensure the longest useful life possible. All items should be maintained according to manufacturers' recommendations or accepted standards. Follow suggested schedules of lubrication, cleaning, calibration, and inspection. If preventive maintenance is not required, the property should be maintained in a clean and orderly manner.

 3.3. Location and Security of Property

The location of each item of property is included in the University inventory records. Current location records must be maintained so that any item can be located for inspection or inventory purposes within a reasonable time. When property is temporarily idle or placed in storage, the department must provide adequate protection from damage or loss. Property must be protected when moved.

Departments should make adequate provisions for the physical security of the property in their custody. Areas containing equipment should be locked after business hours or at other times when not in use. Special precautions should be taken for high-value, portable items.

3.3.1. Theft of Property

Departments must immediately report the theft of any inventoried equipment to the University of New Mexico Police Department (along with the serial numbers and UNM tag numbers), the Office of Inventory Control, and the Department of Safety and Risk Services. Unexplained disappearances and losses must be reported to the office of Inventory Control as soon as possible following the discovery of the loss. For more information, refer to UAP 6150 ("Casualty and Liability Insurance Claims").

3.3.2. Precious Metals and Sensitive Items

Every precaution must be taken to ensure the safekeeping of precious metals and sensitive items. Sensitive items are items of property that are susceptible to being taken for personal use or which can be readily converted to cash. Sensitive items must remain in a secure area when not in use. Precious metals must be locked in a safe when not in use. Changes in form, including extraction from the original product, must be according to the terms of the contract or grant.

4. Inventory Control and Reporting

The office of Inventory Control is responsible for overseeing the disposition of all inventoried property (equipment and moveable computers) assigned to University departments.  The office of Inventory Control sends property tags to departments for each piece of assigned inventoried property; departments must then ensure that the property tags are then placed on all inventoried property. Departments are also required to prepare an accurate annual inventory of their equipment and computers and return those inventories to the office of Inventory Control in a timely manner. In addition, throughout the year it is the responsibility of departments to make any necessary adjustments to their inventory, which may include disposing of old, obsolete equipment through Surplus Property.  Departments are also responsible for maintaining accurate records on all non-inventoried property, i.e. all property not overseen by the office of Inventory Control.  Questions regarding inventory, tagging processes, account codes, disposals, ownership titles, equipment checkouts, donations, etc. should be directed to the office of Inventory Control.

4.1. University Equipment Inventory

The office of Inventory Control maintains the University Inventory System, a database containing information on each item of property valued over $5000 and certain computer items such as laptops, desktop workstations, and tablets. The following information is maintained on the inventory database for each item of equipment:

  • UNM identification number (per property tag)
  • name or description of item
  • manufacturer, model number, and serial number
  • reference number, index number used for purchase, and fund code
  • department name and location where equipment is assigned
  • acquisition and assigned date to current department (if different)
  • cost
  • availability code (available for use elsewhere, used in the current department, surplus, not usable in current condition, or available for shared use)
  • government code (designates government-owned equipment)
  • source of acquisition
  • disposition record

The office of Inventory Control forwards to the department a report identifying specific item(s) as having been recently acquired by the department. Property tags are included with the report and the department is responsible for placing the tags on the item(s) in a location that is easily identifiable. The report must be completed by the department and returned to the office of Inventory Control  within thirty (30) days after receipt of the report. The report will supply them with required information, such as location of equipment and serial numbers, that will assist in maintaining accurate inventory records.

4.2. Physical Inventories

New Mexico State Law Section 12-6-10 NMSA requires the University of New Mexico to conduct a physical inventory of all property valued over $5000 annually. The annual physical inventory also provides departments with an accurate inventory of property assigned to the department.

4.2.1. Each year, the office of Inventory Control distributes to departments a listing of the department's equipment and computers, as currently reflected on the University inventory.  Instructions, a form for identifying federal property on loan to the University, and a Certification Statement are also distributed.  The Asset Adjustment form and others are also provided online at the Inventory Control website.

4.2.2. Department administrators are responsible for completing a physical inventory and returning all forms to the office of Inventory Control by the specified deadline. The department should retain copies of inventory documents.

4.2.2.1. Physical Inventory of University Art and Library Collections

The units maintaining the University's art and library collections have established appropriate internal procedures for inventorying and documenting their holdings, and are exempt from the University's annual physical inventory requirement.  However, the units maintaining the art and library collections should notify the office of Inventory Control of additions and deletions ot the collections as part of the University's annual inventory process.

4.2.3. The office of Inventory Control uses the certified inventories to make adjustments and corrections to the inventory.

4.3. Adjustments to Inventory

Changes in a department's inventory should be reported to the office of Inventory Control as they occur throughout the year. The Asset Adjustment form or the Request for Disposal of Surplus Property form is used to report additions to or deletions from the department's inventory. The Asset Adjustment form may also be used to request that property be tagged.

4.4. Assistance from the Office of Inventory Control

Departments may request assistance from the office of Inventory Control to affix the property tags and complete the report for a fee. A representative will come to the department acquiring the property, inspect the equipment, affix property tags, and record all identifying information. If a department requests assistance, or is unable for any reason to complete their annual physical inventory or to complete tagging of newly acquired assets, the required inventory and tagging will be completed by the office of Inventory Control and the department will be invoiced at the current rate per hour.

5. Disposition of Property

When an item of property is no longer useful to a department, it may be transferred to another University department, traded in on new equipment, or disposed of through the University Surplus Property Department. The department that is transferring, trading in, or disposing of the property is responsible for completing an Asset Adjustment form or the Request for Disposal of Surplus Property form and submitting it to the appropriate office.

5.1. Interdepartmental Transfer of Property

When equipment is transferred between University departments, no change is made in the recorded value of the equipment. The department transferring the equipment must report the transfer to the office of Inventory Control on an Asset Adjustment form.

5.2. Transfer of Assets to Another Institution

Equipment purchased with funds from contracts and grants administered by the University legally belong to the University of New Mexico. If a principal investigator transfers to another institution, in general, research grants will transfer with the principal investigator. However, contracts and grants for public service or training projects will usually remain at the University. Guidelines within the contract or grant will specify the procedure to follow if the assets are to transfer with the grant. Any equipment not officially transferred with the grant remains with the University.

5.3. Trading In Property

If a department wishes to trade in an item of property on the purchase of a new item, the department should contact the University Purchasing Department for approval. The Purchase Requisition should identify the item to be traded in, including a full description, manufacturer, serial number, and University identification number (per property tag). The department trading in the property must send a Request for Deletion of Assets form to the office of Inventory Control.

5.4. Cannibalization of Equipment

When an item can no longer be used for the purpose for which it was acquired or cannot be economically repaired and its components or parts are usable in a like item of equipment it may be desirable and advantageous to cannibalize (dismantle) an item of property. After cannibalization, the inventory control tag must be turned in to the office of Inventory Control with a completed Request for Deletion of Assets form. Components that are not used should be sent to the Surplus Property Department.

5.5. Works of Art, Historical Treasures, and Special Collections

Any funds received from the sale of works of art, historical treasures, or special collections must be used in accordance with the collection's accessioning and deaccessioning policies, UAP 6410 ("Museums and Collections"), and other professional standards. In general as these collections are held for public exhibition, education, or research in furtherance of public service rather than financial gain, the proceeds will be used to further these goals and objectives.

5.6 Government Property

If the government equipment is no longer being used, the department must contact the office of Inventory Control.

5.7. Disposal of Surplus or Obsolete Property

Property to be disposed of (not traded in on new equipment or transferred to another University department) must be sent to the Surplus Property Department. A department that has property that is not being used should contact the Surplus Property Department. The department should complete and submit the Request for Disposal of Surplus Property form. For more information refer to UAP 4610 ("Acquisition and Disposition of UNM Surplus Equipment").

 5.8. Loan of Equipment to a Non-University Entity

All requests to loan University property to a non-University entity must be submitted for approval to either the University Associate Vice President for Financial Services or the HSC Financial Services Division. The request should describe the property in detail and include a statement justifying the proposed loan of the property.

5.9. Hazardous Materials

If hazardous or dangerous materials are to be sold after use, SRS must be consulted first.

6. Related Links

UAP 1030 ("Gifts to the University")

UAP 4610 ("Acquisition and Disposition of UNM Surplus Equipment")

UAP 6150 ("Casualty and Liability Insurance Claims")

Asset Adjustment Form

Request for Disposal of Surplus Property Form

Request for Deletion of Assets Form

Checklist for Donations of Equipment Form