Control and Management of University Equipment and Other Property

University Policy 601.15, Control and Management of University Equipment and Other Property

Executive Summary: 

The University has statutory obligations to record, control, and account for equipment purchased with University funds. Those items with a purchase cost of $5,000 or more and an expected life of two or more years will be given an inventory number, entered in the Fixed Assets Report, and physically inventoried on an annual basis.

Purpose

It is the Policy of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to protect and preserve all University Property under University control. The purpose of this Policy is to:
 
  1. set forth the responsibilities of all University employees to comply with applicable State laws regarding arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any state-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property; and
  2. require the University to establish and maintain accurate systems to record and account for all fixed assets.

Specifically, the University will tag, record in the University Fixed Assets System, and physically inventory annually all fixed assets valued at $5,000 or more.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy:
 
"University Property" is defined as fixed assets and physical facilities owned by the University or within its custody or control, including assets purchased with grant funds.
 
"Fixed assets" are defined as University property, such as land, buildings, and equipment, with a cost equal to or greater than $5,000 and a useful life of two or more years. Fixed assets are acquired for use in normal operations and are not intended for resale.
 
"Equipment" is defined as a fixed asset that is not consumable or expendable; it is movable, even though sometimes attached to other objects or buildings. Examples of equipment include, but are not limited to, office equipment, electronic data processing equipment, educational equipment, motor vehicles, and other equipment (construction and maintenance equipment, air conditioners, athletic equipment, firefighting equipment, forklifts, lawn mowers, street sweepers).
 
"Physical facilities" are defined as buildings and infrastructure, i.e., permanent structures. Infrastructure includes dams and bridges; fences; exterior lighting; utility stations; parking lots; towers, tanks and wells; and roads and sidewalks.

Responsibilities

All University Employees

All University employees have the responsibilities set forth in this Policy. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 114-15.1, when any University employee receives any information or evidence of actual or attempted arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property, he or she shall, within three days, report such information or evidence to his or her immediate supervisor. The supervisor shall, as soon as possible, report such information or evidence to the head of the respective department or unit, who shall, as soon as possible, report such information or evidence to the Fixed Assets Officer and to Police & Public Safety.
Police & Public Safety will investigate such reports and make a report to the State Bureau of Investigation as set forth below. All University employees are required to cooperate with the State Bureau of Investigation, its officers, and agents, as far as may be possible, in aid of such investigation. If such investigation reveals a possible violation of the criminal laws, the results thereof shall be reported by the State Bureau of Investigation to the appropriate district attorney.

Department Heads and Unit Directors

Each Department Head/Unit Director is responsible for safeguarding all assets purchased for his or her department, regardless of the source of funding for those assets. This accountability includes taking adequate precautions to ensure that arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property is prevented. Additionally, the Department Heads and Unit Directors are responsible for compliance with University policies and procedures for inventory verification; disposal of damaged, obsolete, or surplus equipment; reporting of lost or stolen equipment; compliance with all federal and state laws, and guidelines for federally funded equipment; and any OSHA or NCDENR regulations applicable to capital equipment. Department Heads and Unit Directors must maintain or ensure the maintenance of the necessary records and forms (as set forth in the procedures supplemental to this Policy) to provide reasonable assurance that University Property is adequately protected.
 
Additionally, Department Heads and Unit Directors are strongly encouraged to control equipment not included in the provisions of this Policy (i.e., computers, data projectors, and other easily pilferable equipment items costing less than $5,000). Departments may maintain their own databases or spreadsheets of assets to track equipment locations, serial numbers, and other pertinent information. For assistance in setting up departmental inventory processes, please contact the Fixed Assets officer. Each department is also subject to internal and external audit verifications on a sample of fixed assets.
 
Department Heads and Unit Directors with a large amount of and/or sophisticated equipment may appoint a property liaison to assist with the security and control of that equipment. A property liaison must assist in tagging, identifying, and locating equipment during periodic inventory and in general controlling departmental equipment. Department Heads and Unit Directors shall ensure that property liaisons understand this Policy and are trained in the control of University Property prior to their appointment.

Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans

The Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans are responsible for ensuring that employees in their areas are informed about and understand their responsibilities under this Policy. In addition, the Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans are responsible for reasonable assurance that employees in their divisions appropriately safeguard University property against arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property by enforcing this Policy effectively. Such enforcement includes the responsibility for disciplining any employee who misuses or is negligent with regard to security or control of University Property. The Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans will notify the Fixed Assets Officer when responsibility for control of departmental property is vested in a person other than the Department Head or Unit Director, or in the event of a change in property control responsibility.

Police and Public Safety Director

When the Police and Public Safety Department receives a report of actual or attempted arson, , damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property, the Police and Public Safety Director, or his or her designee, will conduct an investigation and document the investigation in writing. He or she will report the results of the investigation to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) as follows: Within ten (10) days of receipt of the report, the Police and Public Safety Director will send a letter to the Professional Standards Division with the theft/misuse form (SBI-78 Form) attached. At the end of each month, Police & Public Safety will transmit electronically a monthly criminal report to the Division of Criminal Information (DCI). A copy of each report sent to the SBI will be forwarded to the Internal Audit Department and to the Fixed Assets officer.

Internal Auditor

As a part of the annual audit plan, the Internal Auditor will monitor control measures that apply to safeguarding of the University's fixed assets. The Internal Auditor will report weaknesses in internal inventory controls as a part of each audit to the responsible Department Head/Unit Director and Vice Chancellor. Finally, the Internal Auditor is responsible for reporting additional findings of stolen or misused University Property to the Police & Public Safety Department for further investigation and reporting as required.

Controller's Office

The Controller's Office, in conjunction with the Materials Management Department, is responsible for maintaining accurate fixed asset records, coordinating the annual physical inventories, and reporting as described in this Policy. The University's Controller or the Controller's designee will forward a list of all assets that cannot be located or their absence or damage explained during the annual physical inventory to the responsible Department Head or Unit Director or designee. The Fixed Assets officer will also provide an annual report to the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance depicting the amount and value of assets listed as missing during the annual inventory process, as well as the amount and value of the assets meeting the criteria to be retired. The Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs will forward the annual report to other individuals as deemed appropriate.

Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs

The Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs is responsible for administration of the fixed asset control program. Accordingly, the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs will establish procedures and forms to ensure that the University's fixed assets are properly accounted for, safeguarded, and controlled.

Procedures

All University employees are obligated to comply with any procedures supplemental to this Policy. The Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs is responsible for establishing and enforcing such supplemental procedures related to the protection and control of University property as to insure compliance with all applicable North Carolina state laws. These procedures are also available from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs or online.
 
Revision History: 
  • Initially approved September 8, 1986
  • Revised June 22, 2001
  • Revised January 16, 2003
  • Revised June 4, 2004
  • Revised November 29, 2007
  • Updated September 14, 2012