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EIU Office of Internal Auditing

#163 - University Personal Property Control

Approved: March 19, 2003

Nomenclature changes: March 30, 2021

Monitor: President

This policy provides guidelines and procedures to assure that University personal property is used only for the educational, research or public service purposes of the University and in accordance with the requirements of the State Property Control Act and other applicable laws and regulations governing State property.

Property belonging to Eastern Illinois University is state-owned property and, as provided under the State Property Control Act, is subject to the regulations of the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) as administrator of the Act.   These regulations are codified in Section 5010 of the Illinois Administrative Code.  The President of the University is accountable to CMS for the supervision, control, and inventory of all personal property in the custody of Eastern Illinois University.  These custodianship duties and responsibilities are delegated as outlined below.

The Vice President for Business Affairs has been delegated the authority to develop and issue necessary procedures and to provide general supervision of the property control function.  The Business Office is primarily responsible for the maintenance of property control records, identification of equipment by department and location, overseeing the annual equipment inventory, and the annual equipment inventory reporting to CMS.  Facilities Planning and Management is responsible for the moving, holding of surplus equipment, and disposal of equipment.

Private Use of University Property

The private use of University property is not permitted except as may be provided for in certain Board of Trustees employer-employee contractual arrangements.  No one connected with the University in any capacity may use any University property for any personal purposes.  It is a misuse of University property to:

  1. give it to, permit its use or consumption by, or to use or consume it for the benefit of any person, group or organization within or outside the University except in pursuit of the public purpose of the University.
  2. waste, abuse or neglect University property causing its damage, destruction, or impairment of function or useful life.

Financial Managers/Custodian Duties and Responsibilities

Financial managers/custodians are delegated the responsibility of maintaining proper accountability and control of the equipment within their jurisdiction.  Financial managers/custodians shall have the following specific responsibilities regarding University equipment:

  1. know the location of all equipment inventoried to them and assure that such equipment is reasonably secure from possible theft and other hazards;
  2. assure that assigned equipment is being used and maintained in the best interests of the University;
  3. complete an annual verification of the status of departmental equipment on a timely basis and complete required forms provided by the Business Office;
  4. discourage theft and loss of University equipment by fixing responsibility for its maintenance and proper use.

Addition of University Property

An item that costs $100.01 or greater and has a useful life of one year or longer is considered equipment.  Equipment costing between $100.01 and $2,499.99 and not considered a high theft item is tagged with a blue tag, provided by the Business Office, marking it as property of Eastern Illinois University.

Equipment that costs $2,500.00 or greater and equipment that is considered a high theft item are tagged with a red pre-numbered tag, provided by the Business Office, with records maintained in the University’s fixed assets system.  These items are added to the fixed asset system (a) after payment has been made by the Business Office, (b) following post of a procurement card purchase and receipt of the required information from the cardholder, (c) following receipt of a complete Gift-In-Kind form, (d) following request of a department, or (e) following transfer from another location or agency. 

Departments are responsible for providing information to complete property control records.

Equipment purchased with grant funds will follow the applicable federal regulations and approved grant documents.

Equipment Considered to be High Theft Items

Certain types of equipment are considered by the University to be high theft items.  These items are tagged with a red, pre-numbered tag, provided by the Business Office, regardless of cost.  Those types are equipment include:

  1. Video equipment, including televisions and video recorders
  2. Digital cameras
  3. External hard drives
  4. Cellular phones and mobile devices
  5. Computers, tablets, and hand-held devices
  6. Microscopes
  7. Firearms
  8. Binoculars
  9. Certain types of networking equipment
  10. Walkie-talkie radios
  11. Video gaming machines
  12. Credit card processing equipment
  13. Equipment used to access virtual machines
  14. Equipment that is purchased to be checked out to students (may use a blue tag)

Relocation of University Property within the University

An item on a department's inventory may be moved either within the department or between departments by following these steps:

  1. Complete an online Moving Request form for each item to be moved.
  2. Attach a printed copy of the Moving Request form to each item to be moved.
  3. Property Management will coordinate scheduling of the actual move.
  4. After the move is completed, the Business Office will process the change in location on each area's inventory.

Temporary Removal of University Property

University property may be temporarily removed from University premises when it is determined that such removal will advance the University programs or activities of that unit.  The person or entity to which the property is assigned shall be liable for any losses, damage or destruction, or impairment of function or useful life of the property that may result due to negligence or carelessness.  Even though the property may seem to be of no value, removal is prohibited unless it is removed in accordance with the following guidelines.

  1. Short Term Temporary Removal Guidelines and Approvals

    Overnight or weekend removal of University property must be approved, in writing, by the financial manager/custodian and dean or director.  The written approval shall specify the date the property is to be returned to the campus.  All other requests for removal of property up to one month must be submitted through an online Temporary Removal of Property form.  All temporarily removed property must be returned to the assigned unit by the designated date, unless written approval from the responsible financial manager/custodian and dean or director has been obtained for an extension.  The total period of temporary removal may not exceed one month.

  1. Extended Removal Guidelines and Approvals

    The Vice President for Business Affairs, or designee, may authorize extended removal of property from University premises for use in university-related activities.  In such cases, a length of time up to one year may be stated, with the intent being that the property will remain at the off-campus location for as long as the University program or activity is conducted at that location.

  2. Contractual Agreements

    University property may be loaned to, or used for the benefit of, a person or organization outside the University pursuant to a contractual agreement, executed by the Vice President for Business Affairs or designee when a full and fair consideration is to be received in exchange for its use and where the consideration is, or may be used, to advance the public purposes of the University.

Transfer of University Property

When an item is no longer of use to a department, it is the financial manager’s/custodian’s responsibility to have the item removed from his/her inventory through the online Moving Request form.  In no case may a financial manager/custodian dispose of University property without Property Management’s prior written approval.

If the item is to be cannibalized by the department, Property Control will file the necessary forms with CMS to receive authorization. Once authorization is received from CMS, Property Control will notify the department, who may then remove the inventory tag and cannibalize the item. Cannibalization should not begin until authorization is received from CMS. The item will be removed from the department’s inventory list by Property Control.

Items may be used as trade-in for replacement items of like nature.  Written notification to CMS must be completed and approval received before the transaction takes place.  The written notification should include:  description of the item, date purchased, inventory number and serial number, if applicable; full description of the new equipment being purchased; name of the person or business accepting the trade-in; cost of the new item; and value allowed on the trade-in.  Once approval is received, and the transaction takes place, Property Control shall complete the necessary form with CMS to reflect this transaction.

Tagging of University Property

All University property with a value of $2,500.00 or more and items considered to be a high risk for theft, regardless of the acquisition cost, are required to be identified with a red, pre-numbered tag.  This tag shall be affixed to the property in a general area easily located by all and in no danger of being damaged.  In addition, Eastern Illinois University and the inventory number is to be printed on the equipment in an inconspicuous location with a marking device to facilitate identification if the red, numbered tag has been removed.  If the item consists of several pieces which are likely to be used separately (such as tool sets), each piece should be marked in such a manner that the identification number is not easily removed.  The status of the items in this category is maintained on the University’s fixed assets system.  These items are listed on the department’s equipment inventory verification list.

University property with a value between $100.01 and $2,499.99 that are not considered high-theft items are tagged with a blue non-numbered tag.  The status of these items is not maintained on the University’s fixed assets system, and these items do not appear on the department’s inventory verification list.  However, the departments are responsible for maintaining appropriate internal controls over all equipment in this category to avoid waste, theft, or other loss.

If an item loses its inventory tag, the financial manager/custodian must request a replacement tag from the Business Office.  As inventory tags are numbered sequentially and cannot be duplicated, a new inventory tag number may need to be assigned to the item at the time of retagging.

Inventory of University Property

An annual physical inventory of all “state-owned” property in the University’s possession is required by CMS.  This inventory must be completed as of a certification date set forth by CMS and the results reported to CMS within 90 days of the certification date.  At the time of the inventory both the location code and identification number of each item must be verified.

The process for this inventory is as follows:

  1. An online Inventory Verification List as of the certification date assigned by CMS, is sent out to the financial manager/custodian by the Business Office.  This list contains all inventory assigned in the University’s fixed asset system to the financial manager/custodian as of that date.  The Business Office will also communicate instructions (including a due date for completion).
  2. The financial manager/custodian is responsible for verifying the location code and identification number of each item on the list.  If the financial manager/custodian is not able to locate an item, the status of the item must be so reported on the online form.  In addition, items located in the financial manager’s/custodian’s area that are not included on the online list are to be reported to the Business Office using the online form provided.
  3. When the inventory is completed, the financial manager/custodian electronically submits his/her certification.

Information received from the financial managers/custodians is then consolidated and used by the Business Office to prepare reports to CMS on the status of the University’s inventory.

Theft of University Property

If University property is discovered to be stolen, the following procedure must be followed:

  1. Notify EIU University Police Department at 581-3213 of the theft.  This should be done as quickly as possible so that Security personnel may take all necessary steps to recover the stolen property.
  2. The financial manager/custodian should then send a written report to EIU University Police Department about the theft.  The report should include the date the theft was discovered and a complete description of the item or items taken, including the inventory tag number and serial number if applicable.  These numbers can be obtained from the department’s inventory verification list or the University’s fixed assets system.  The University Police Department will forward Property Management a copy of the police report, which Property Management will forward to CMS with a request to remove the item from the University’s fixed asset system.  Property Management will forward that approved request to the Business Office so that the equipment may be removed from the University’s fixed asset system.

Ramifications of Non-adherence

Failure to provide requested tagging information or complete the equipment inventory certification in a timely manner may result in communication with the area’s dean/director and/or vice president.  In the event that the Business Office or Property Management staff must do work required of a financial manager/custodian under this policy, the cost of performing that work may be charged back to the financial manager.

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