Washington State University

Revised 2-08
Facilities Services, Operations

Federal Excess Property

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University personnel are responsible for following federal and University procedures when acquiring, utilizing, returning (re-excessing), and disposing of federal excess equipment.


Federal excess property is available from the federal government for use on the following types of projects and programs:

NOTE: The procedures described in this section do not apply to Energy-Related Laboratory Equipment (ERLE) grants. Such grants are considered equipment grants and are processed through the Office of Grant and Research Development (OGRD) in accordance with section 40.02. ERLE equipment is subject to standard University inventory procedures.


Federal excess property is property that has been declared excess to the needs of a federal agency. By declaring the property excess, the agency is permitting allowable University programs, as well as federal agencies, to request the use of the property.

The following statements apply to University use of federal excess property:


The Facilities Services, Operations Waste Management division coordinates University federal excess property activity.

Contact the Federal Excess Property Coordinator at Waste Management (telephone 335-4630) for assistance with any of the following:


The college dean (or equivalent administrator) is directly responsible and accountable for equipment acquired under this program.


Before a department or principal investigator may participate in the federal excess property program, the responsible dean (or equivalent administrator) must select a management-level officer to serve as the college's Accountable Property Officer (APO) for federal excess property.

The dean sends a written notification of the APO's selection to the University's Federal Excess Property Coordinator. The notification includes the name of the APO and identifies the applicable federal programs.

If the college is involved in Research and Extension Programs, the dean also notifies the responsible federal agency, i.e., USDA.


The APO acts as the dean's representative and serves as a liaison with the central administration and with federal agencies providing federal excess property. The APO is responsible for:


A principal investigator and/or department personnel may initiate a request for excess property by completing a Federal Excess Property Request form.

Federal Excess Property Request

Obtain supplies of the form by photocopying or printing the master on page 20.78.6. Complete all sections of the form. After obtaining the department chair's approval, route the form to the college's APO.

Under Federal Grants and Contracts

If the equipment is to be obtained under a federal grant or contract the APO routes the form to Sponsored Programs Services for review. Sponsored Programs Services returns approved requests to the APO.

Screening and Obtaining Property

The APO and/or the principal investigator are responsible for obtaining the equipment. The APO may request that the Federal Excess Property Coordinator assist with screening and completing the necessary federal documentation.

Notifying the Controller's Office

As soon as federal excess property arrives, the college APO sends the Property Inventory Section of the Controller's Office a copy of the form transferring the property to WSU. (The form may be a federal form SF-122, Transfer Order -- Excess Personal Property.) Property Inventory records the property in accordance with section 20.50.

Use Tax

According to state law, the University is charged a use tax for acquired federal excess property. The tax is assessed at the prevailing state sales tax rate based upon the fair market value of the acquired item. (RCW 82.12.020)

When routing the acquisition documentation to Property Inventory, the APO includes the fair market value of the item and the program/budget/project number of the account that will support the use tax charge.

Exempt From Use Tax

Expendable supplies that are totally consumed during the grant, contract, or program for which the supplies are obtained are exempt from state use tax. (This applies to research, development, experiment, and testing activities.) (RCW 82.12.0265)


Accountable Property

The Property Inventory Section of the Controller's Office records accountable excess property in the University's central online inventory system. Accountable property includes all property that meets the University's definition of inventoriable nonexpendable equipment. See 20.50 for the current definition.

Nonaccountable Property


Nonaccountable, nonexpendable equipment must be tracked by the acquiring department even though it is not included in the University's online inventory system. The department is responsible for labeling such equipment as federal excess property.


Expendable nonaccountable items (e.g., supplies) are not inventoried. However, the use of expendables must be recorded and tracked by the department or principal investigator.

Physical Inventory

When the responsible federal agency requires a physical inventory of excess equipment assigned to a given University unit, departmental personnel are to request a current listing from Property Inventory. Property Inventory generates a list of federal excess property held by any specified University unit.

In addition to physically locating the equipment, departmental personnel:


All property acquired through the excess property program must be properly maintained using the manufacturer's suggested maintenance procedures.


All property items must be utilized properly and to the fullest extent possible.

Changes in Utilization

The principal investigator or departmental personnel report any of the following changes in utilization of federal excess property to the college APO:

Seeking Federal Approval

The APO notifies the appropriate federal officials of the change in utilization and seeks authority to transfer, dispose, sell, or cannibalize the property. The APO also notifies Sponsored Programs Services if the property was acquired under a federal grant or contract.

The Federal Excess Property Coordinator is available to assist APOs in obtaining federal approval for changes in utilization.

NOTE: Transfer, disposal, sale, or cannibalization of federal excess property may not occur before federal approval is received.

Notifying Property Inventory

The college APO notifies Property Inventory of any required inventory corrections by routing an Inventory Control Report or by routing a copy of the appropriate federal transfer or disposal documentation.

See the PDF form:
20.78.6: Federal Excess Property Request
Complete and/or print as needed.