Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 4: Business & Administration

04:20:00   Equipment Inventory Control

The following procedure applies to moveable equipment but not to general supplies, fixed equipment, or library holdings. Items such as built-in furniture, lights, plumbing fixtures, and so forth, are to be considered fixtures and a part of the building.

There are certain characteristics of equipment to which consideration should be given in making a proper determination; however, discretion is necessary in applying the definition in order not to classify as equipment items which should properly be treated as expendable supplies and materials:

  1. Equipment generally retains its original appearance and shape with use which extends over a period of more than one year, whereas materials and supplies usually change in appearance and shape as they are used and are consumed within a relatively short period of time.
  2. Equipment is non-expendable. If the article is damaged or parts are worn out, it is usually more feasible to repair it than to replace it.
  3. Equipment does not lose its identity through incorporation into a different or more complex unit.

Definition of Equipment

Equipment is defined as items of a moveable nature, having a minimum unit cost of $5,000, and having an estimated life of more than one year. Exceptions to the equipment definition are as follows:

  1. Items purchased at less than $5,000 are classified as equipment when the items are to be incorporated into another piece of equipment already existing or being constructed. If the item being purchased will lose its identity by incorporation into a different or more complex piece of equipment, it will not carry its own inventory tag number.
  2. Surplus equipment purchased by or donated to Northeast State will be classified as equipment if the estimated current value is $5,000 or more. This estimate will be made by the person purchasing the equipment and the Vice President for Finance and Administration, or their designee.

Responsibility for Equipment

Ownership of property acquired by Northeast State Community College rests with the College as an agency of the State of Tennessee whether acquired by public funds, special grants, or by gifts. The Director of Budgeting and Purchasing will maintain inventory records and make all additions, deletions, and transfers of equipment changes to these records. Changes to inventory records necessitated by location changes will be made by designated personnel within the department responsible for the equipment.

Department heads are responsible for the custody and maintenance of all equipment purchased for, or assigned to, their respective departments. Deans and directors have this same responsibility with respect to all equipment in their areas or divisions which is not assigned to specific departments, and in addition, have a general responsibility to see that department heads exercise their individual equipment responsibilities.

Items Not Owned by Northeast State Community College

Items owned by the federal government and other contracting agencies will be inventoried and accounted for separately in accordance with the contract provisions. This method of accounting will also be followed for all other equipment in possession of, but not owned by the College. Items on loan to Northeast State Community College will be reported in writing to the Director of Budgeting and Purchasing when entering or leaving the campus. Northeast State Community College will not be responsible for the personal property of others used or kept on college property.

Transfers Between Departments

Transfers of items of equipment between departments at Northeast State Community College are to be arranged by agreement between the departments involved and are to be listed on a Request for Transfer of Equipment Form. The form is to be sent directly to the Director of Budgeting and Purchasing if physical movement of the items by the Plant Operations and Maintenance Department is not required. Otherwise, a work order form should be completed and forwarded to the Office of Plant Operations and Maintenance with the Request for Transfer of Equipment form. The Office of Plant Operations and Maintenance will forward the transfer form to the Director of Budgeting and Purchasing after the move is completed.

Approval is required for all equipment transfers by the department head/budget manager and the appropriate chief administrative official. The signature of the transferee” indicates acceptance of responsibility for the equipment.

Inventory Deletions

Deletions to the equipment inventory records are necessary when items are traded, sold, lost, obsolete, stolen, destroyed, or declared surplus property. With proper documentation and after securing the necessary approvals, the department is relieved of responsibility for the item subject to the following conditions:

  1. Department heads may recommend the trade-in of equipment. The purchasing agent, in coordination with the department head, will make best use of the equipment to be traded. All sales of excess equipment will be made by the purchasing agent in accordance with college procedures.
  2. The department head will immediately report the theft or loss of property to the Office of Police and Safety.
  3. Items excess to a department's needs which are not to be transferred to another department are to be listed on a Request for Transfer of Equipment Form and forwarded to Central Receiving. Central Receiving will move the equipment to a surplus property location and forward the form to the Director of Budgeting and Purchasing. Equipment declared surplus" by a department remains the responsibility of that department until the transfer form is signed by Central Receiving indicating the item has been moved to surplus.
  4. Any equipment being moved from a department in any way must be reported to the Director of Budgeting and Purchasing.

Physical Inventories

The equipment in each department will be physically checked once each year. Any item which is missing and cannot be accounted for must be reported in writing to the proper authorities at Northeast State Community College.

Equipment Loans

The use of equipment by college personnel at locations outside the building in which it is located is permitted only for college work and only after the Director of Budgeting and Purchasing is notified in writing using the Equipment Checkout Form. All uses of college equipment by persons other than college personnel must be approved in writing by the President or someone designated by them to make these approvals. A copy of such approval must be sent to the Director of Budgeting and Purchasing. All removals must be reported prior to moving the equipment.

Equipment Repairs

When equipment needs repairing, an Equipment Trouble Report must be submitted to the Office of Purchasing with the following information: state tag number, equipment serial number, description of item, nature of the repair needed, estimated cost, and any other appropriate information or special instructions. The Office of Purchasing will contact the vendor and make arrangements for repairs. If the selected vendor has to take an item in need of repair off campus, the requisitioning department should secure a signed Return to Vendor Report from the service personnel. If the item to be repaired needs to be sent via common carrier to a remote vendor for repairs, the mail room will prepare the shipping documents and arrange for the item to be sent to the vendor. This procedure is necessary in order to provide for appropriate inventory control.

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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Finance and Administration

Revision History: Nov. 2005; July 2008; March 2013; Edited Feb. 2020; Edited June 2021