Equipment Management at UB

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All assets purchased with state, Research Foundation (RF) or UB Foundation (UBF) funds become the property of the University at Buffalo. Consult the UB policy Managing University Equipment for the exact procedures for all equipment management.

UB is required by New York State, SUNY and RF to record assets that have a value greater than $5,000, are not consumable and have a probable life expectancy of one or more years. This includes machinery, vehicles and apparatus.

This does NOT include:

  • Fixed building equipment such as heating, ventilating, plumbing and electrical items.
  • RF equipment costing less than $5,000 and purchased with funds from a sponsor who requires equipment to be inventoried at a lower dollar level.

New Equipment Items

Equipment Items Costing $5,000 or More and Sponsor-Defined Equipment

All newly purchased equipment items costing $5,000 or more and sponsor-defined equipment must be reported to Asset Management using the New Equipment Inventory Form (NEIF). Asset Management will enter the item in to the Real Asset Management (RAM) System and create the required bar-coded inventory tags for placement on the item.

  1. Asset Management sends the New Equipment Inventory Form (NEIF) and a copy of the purchase order to the department.
  2. Upon receipt of the equipment, the department completes the “boxed” information section of the NEIF.
  3. The department returns the completed NEIF to Asset Management and maintains a copy for their files for use when performing their annual inventory review.
  4. Upon receipt of the completed NEIF, Asset Management records the equipment in the RAM, generating a bar-coded asset tag and creating an entry on the departmental physical inventory report.
  5. Asset Management adheres the tag to the appropriate equipment item.
Return the NEIF Within 30 Days

UB Asset Management must receive the NEIF within 30 days to be in compliance with audit requirements.

NEIF Timeline

  1. After a piece of equipment is paid for, Asset Management will send a NEIF by campus mail to the department to complete and return within 30 days.
  2. If the NEIF is not returned after 14 days, Asset Management will contact the department as a reminder and will continue to do so every two weeks.
  3. If the NEIF is not returned after 30 days, Asset Management will contact the department, the Department Head and the campus Operations Manager (OM), requesting that the form be returned.

High Risk Equipment Items Costing Less Than $5,000

UB identification tags should be placed on high-risk equipment items costing less than $5,000 that are not included in the RAM, regardless of funding source (state, RF, or UBF).  High-risk items include, but are not limited to, laptop computers, cameras, projectors, and items removed from campus.  A Property Removal Authorization Form must be completed for all items removed from campus.

The responsibility for tagging items under $5,000 lies with the department to which the equipment belongs.  At the time of the annual inventory review, the departmental inventory coordinator receives a supply of UB identification tags.  Additional tags are available from Inventory Services.

Departments are required to periodically spot-check high-risk items costing less than $5,000 to verify their existence and condition.  Departments are encouraged to keep an inventory of tagged high-risk items to assist with this periodic review.

Split Funding of Equipment

State and Research Foundation (RF) Split

The title for items purchased with state funds belongs with the state, therefore, it is important to note funding entity and, or sponsor policy regarding title or ownership when split funding of an item is considered.

  • If any amount of state funds (even as little as $1) is used to purchase equipment, title belongs with the state and the item will be recorded in the RAM as state equipment.
  • Purchases may be split between the state and RF only if sponsor policy allows title to the equipment to ultimately belong with the RF and, or state. If title must remain with sponsor, the purchase may not be split.
  • Equipment items for which title belongs to the state:
    •    may not be transferred from state control
    •    may be used as a trade-in only toward the purchase of other state-funded equipment.
  • Project directors are encouraged to consider the possibility of separately purchasing stand-alone components of a system rather than split funding the cost of the system. RF-purchased components can be transferred from RF control, however, state-purchased components cannot be transferred from state control.

State and UB Foundation (UBF) Split

If any amount of state funds (even as little as $1) is used to purchase equipment, title belongs to the state and will be recorded in the RAM as state equipment with a notation in the description specifying the dollar portion contributed by UBF.

RF and UBF Split

Purchases may be split between RF and UBF only if sponsor or donor policy allows title to the equipment to ultimately vest with the RF.  If title must belong to the sponsor, the purchase may not be split.

Handling Special Acquisition of Equipment

Equipment Gifts

All gifts that meet the monetary requirement of assets recorded on Inventory will be reported to Asset Management by the UB Foundation. Proposed gifts and bequests to the University at Buffalo should be initially reviewed to determine that any restrictions or limitations governing the gift or bequest can be met by the university. When an item is being gifted to your department, contact your department’s development officer to complete the Gifts of Personal Property form. The form must be signed by the donor and an authorized representative for the department of the University at Buffalo that is receiving the gift of personal property

The following information must be forwarded to UBF:

  • the approximate market value of the gift
  • a general description of the gift
  • any restrictions attached to the gift
  • any correspondence or documents from the donor or from the estate attorney, if a bequest is involved

Equipment Trade-ins

State assets cannot be traded for Research Foundation or UB Foundation equipment or supplies.

Research Foundation Assets

Sponsor approval must be obtained prior to generating an eReq.

Equipment can be traded in for equipment or supplies.  When trading equipment, it must be done using eReq to generate a purchase order.  When completing the eReq, in the notes section, indicate the traded-equipment’s:

  • Asset number (if there is one)
  • Serial number
  • Model and manufacturer

When Asset Management receives their copy of the purchase order (PO), it will be noted that you are trading-in equipment.  They will retire the old equipment from your inventory at that time.  

Fabricated Assets

When assets are constructed by assembling materials and parts that are purchased from several purchase orders, it is the department's or Principal Investigator's responsibility to notify Asset Management of the existence of the asset.  A listing of the purchase orders used to purchase parts used to assemble the asset must be emailed to Inventory Services.  If the assets were purchased with Research Foundation funding, approval from the sponsor and a cost transfer request may be required.

Research Foundation (RF) Equipment Insurance

Upon request, the Research Foundation offers insurance coverage for equipment purchased for and, or with sponsored program funds. The yearly premium rate approximately 1% of the value of the item and is usually an allowable charge against the grant. This insurance covers loss from theft, fire, vandalism and explosion and carries a deductible for each claim. Please note that your equipment is not automatically insured; you must specifically request such coverage. Email the purchasing agent Dominic LoTempio and copy inventory specialist Nicole Mayer, on your equipment insurance request. Please list the purchase order and asset number of the equipment for which the insurance is requested.

Removing University Property From Campus

All University property whether it is recorded on Inventory or not, that is removed by faculty and staff for work related functions, must be identified on a Property Removal Authorization Form. Assets transported back and forth (such as laptop computers) on a continuous basis must also be identified on a Property Removal Authorization Form. Read the UB’s policy Managing University Equipment for further information, including these steps:

The borrower is responsible for:

  • Completing the form and obtaining the signature of the immediate supervisor at the department chair level or above
  • Keeping the original copy
  • Providing a copy to the Departmental Inventory Coordinator (Asset Management does not receive a copy)

The Departmental Inventory Coordinator is responsible for:

  • Verifying the location of all assets, including those covered by a Property Removal Authorization Form, every year during the normal physical inventory process
  • Affixing a Property of UB label to all assets which are not assigned an asset number (not recorded on the inventory) but will be removed from campus. Contact Inventory Services for a supply of UB Property labels.
  • Noting on the departmental inventory the appropriate status and location of all assets since Asset Management does not receive a copy of the removal form.

Asset Management is responsible for:

Updating the location of all assets in the Real Asset Management System (RAM) based on the information provided by the Departmental Inventory Coordinator

Transferring Assets

Transfer of Research Foundation (RF) Property

When a Principal Investigator is leaving the University at Buffalo and wishes to transfer sponsored awards and/or items purchased with grant funds to another institution, Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) should be contacted to discuss the transfer. All university approvals must be obtained before items may be transferred.

The Principal Investigator will:

  • obtain approval for the transfer from the chair and dean of the department
  • contact the department inventory coordinator to provide Asset Management with a list of the equipment intended to be transferred

Asset Management will:

  • confirm sponsor allowability with SPS
  • prepare the RF property transfer form and forward to the PI, Chair, and Dean for review and signature
  • provide the completed form to RF Central Administration when required
  • record the inventory changes in RAM

Transfer of State Property

Transfers between state agencies (i.e., SUNY) are permitted. Asset Management should be notified in advance of any intended transfer to/from another state agency, and they will coordinate the transfer.

When faculty or staff leave the University at Buffalo and wish to transfer items purchased with state funds to another state agency, Asset Management should be contacted to discuss the transfer. Items purchased with state funds may be transferred only to another state agency.

The faculty or staff member will:

  • obtain approval for the transfer from the chair and dean of the department
  • contact the department inventory coordinator to provide Asset Management with a list of the equipment intended to be transferred

Asset Management will:

  • confirm allowability with SUNY Administration
  • retain approval documentation
  • record the inventory changes in RAM

Transfer of UB Foundation (UBF) Property

When faculty or staff leave the University at Buffalo and wish to transfer items purchased with UBF funds to another institution, UBF should be contacted to discuss the transfer. All university approvals must be obtained before items may be transferred.

The faculty or staff member will:

  • obtain approval for the transfer from the chair and dean of the department
  • contact the department inventory coordinator to provide Asset Management with a list of the equipment intended to be transferred

Asset Management will:

  • confirm sponsor allowability with UBF
  • retain approval documentation
  • record the inventory changes in RAM

Selling Assets

State Funds

Assets purchased with state funds are prohibited from being sold by the university. Please refer to the disposal page for options to remove university assets that are no longer of use to your department.

Research Foundation and UB Foundation Funds

Assets purchased with RF or UBF funds may only be sold when prior approval is obtained to confirm the sale is allowed per terms of the award or sponsor and approval is obtained from the Chair and Dean.

Contact Asset Management for further information on this process prior to pursuing any sale of university assets.

Stolen Equipment

When an asset is suspected of being stolen, contact the University Police. They will send an investigator who will obtain all of the necessary data on the missing property and the circumstances surrounding its disappearance. The investigator will need to know the asset number, description, manufacturer, model, serial number and cost. If the asset is recorded on the inventory, the data should be readily available even through the asset itself is unavailable for personal inspection. A copy of the investigator's report will be sent to Asset Management, Financial Management and depending on the value, SUNY. Asset Management will then retire the asset from your inventory.

Annual Inventory Review

Per Federal guidelines an inventory review must be performed by the university within a time period no greater than two years. Asset Management will mail the inventory listing to the department inventory coordinators with instructions on how to complete the inventory and the time frame required for its completion. Cooperation and priority must be placed on the inventory review to ensure compliance with Federal guidelines and yearly audits that are performed. The university’s standing in the research community is based on the results of these audits. Further information on the annual inventory requirements may be directed to any of the Inventory Services staff.

SIRI Inventory Access

Within the Procurement dashboard of SIRI there is an Inventory tab which includes all assets recorded in the Inventory system for a department based on the Inventory account. The Inventory account used is a state account and used solely for recording purposes and does not reflect the funding for which the item was purchased. Access to SIRI data is based on Financial data access.

Asset numbers are assigned as followed:

 03XNNNNNNN (03X with all numbers) state assets

 03XNNNNNRF (03X with RF at end) Research Foundation assets

 03XNNNNNUB (03X with UB at end) University at Buffalo Foundation assets

Contact an Expert

Nicole Mayer

Asset Management, Financial Management

Valerie Dennis

Asset Management and Cost Accounting

Financial Management

Phone: 716-645-2604

Email: vlb5@buffalo.edu

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