Personal Property Management Policy Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the criteria for an Accountable Property Officer? Can it be anyone in a staff or does it have to be a line officer, director or manager?
Currently there are no governmentwide criteria. Agency policies govern the criteria for an accountable property officer and agency policies determine who may/must be appointed.
- What is the difference between non-reportable available property and reportable available property? Is non-reportable or reportable property determined by the FSC class or acquisition costs?
Policies no longer use the term reportable and non-reportable. Technically, all property is reportable; however, you should not report property that meets the criteria in 41 CFR 102-36.220.
- Where do I find the policy regulating what needs a government property sticker (for non-controlled property)?
Your agency policy will identify property with an account number object code. Generally, all property valued over $5,000 (this $ amount may vary by agency) is labeled with a unique easily identifiable property tag. Property valued less than $1000 may be tagged if it has a significant value and can be easily pilfered.
- What is the GSA Guidance regarding disposition of electronic equipment and computers?
The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, as amended (15 U.S.C. 3710(i)), authorizes Federal agencies to transfer excess education-related Federal equipment to educational institutions or nonprofit organizations for educational and research activities. For information on the transfer of computer equipment for use by schools or non-profit organizations, go to the "Computers for Learning" website, https://computersforlearning.gov/.
- Is there any governmentwide guidance for scrubbing/erasing data, information, and records from portable electronic devices (cell phones) prior to excess, surplus or donating to the Computer for Learning (CFL) program?
Most wireless devices and their accessories have material that can either be reused or recycled. For more information on the disposal of Federal Electronic Assets, please see FMR Bulletin B-34 [PDF - 84 KB].
- Would recycling of surplus printer toner cartridges be appropriate, considering the shelf life, the original purchase cost, and possible improper disposal after sale?
Federal agencies and facilities may use manufacturer take-back services through one of two methods: exchange/sales or abandonment/destruction. If a federal agency or facility is using a manufacturer's take-back service that is provided because the product is registered with the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), there is no need for further due diligence.
- What instruction governs the disposition of useful used furniture?
Essentially all unneeded property should be reported to GSA as excess.
- Must chairs with four or fewer wheeled legs be replaced, not donated?
The policy for use and replacement of chairs is left to each agency; however, the decision must be based on a rational decision to accomplish the mission at a minimal cost. So, there is no federal policy related to the number of wheeled legs on a chair.
- Are there any restrictions on the disposal/sale of ATVs and 3 wheelers?
The governmentwide policies covering ATVs are in 41 CFR 102-40.140. Three-wheeled and four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be exchanged with a dealer under the provisions of 41 CFR 102-39. Three-wheeled ATVs not exchanged must be mutilated in a manner to prevent operational use and may be sold only as salvage or scrap. Four-wheeled ATVs not exchanged may be offered for transfer and donation only when documented in accordance with §§ 102–40.75 and 102–40.80. In addition, any transfer or donation documentation for four-wheeled ATVs must require the recipient to acknowledge that the recipient will follow regulations and guidelines published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission related to these items, including age recommendations, restrictions on usage, and operator training. Four-wheeled ATVs not exchanged, transferred, or donated may be offered for sale as either salvage or scrap only after they have been mutilated in a manner to prevent operational use. Four-wheeled ATVs must not be released to the public after donee use, nor may they be released to the public after Federal use if the ATVs are not donated.
- Do incubators need to be recycled?
There isn't anything that specifically covers incubators. However, the following guidance could be used FMR 102-36.425 which broadly talks about the disposal of hazardous materials or contaminated products, and also Bulletin B-7 which addresses the environmentally safe disposal procedures for electronic equipment.
- Can a Federal agency donate excess supplies deemed with condition code x or s, such as pencils, folders, paper clips etc., directly to a public school?
Once your agency has made the determination that the property has no commercial value, or that the estimated cost of its continued care and handling would exceed the estimated proceeds from its sale, you may abandon or destroy the property. Reference 41 CFR 102-36.305 through 102-36.330.
- Does a SASP have to wait until the entire GSA screening period is over before they can screen property to pick up for a state local unit?
Screening starts when GSA receives the report of excess personal property. See 41 CFR 102-36.100 and 41 CFR 102-37 for further information.
- Can an Alaska Native Corporate 8(a) subsidiary have access to the Personal Property Management System (PPMS)? Can not-for-profit village counsels have access to PPMS? Can the not-for-profit acquire equipment from states other than Alaska?
- The PPMS property system is available to three groups of users: (1) federal agencies, (2) authorized non-federal recipients, and (3) surplus customers. Nonfederal recipients are activities which receive excess property through a federal sponsor but are themselves neither a federal agency nor a donee. The State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASP) advise applicants of eligibility requirements and procedures to be followed in acquiring federal surplus personal property.
- Can we transfer personal property under $10,000 to a tribe without going through BIA or GSA?
There is no authority for agencies to transfer useable property directly to the Indian tribes without going through GSA and or the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
- After an item has been submitted to PPMS and is available for sale/disposal, if it is sold through FAS, what percentage of the proceeds are appropriated back to the original owning facility and how is that reimbursed?
The regulation guiding surplus sales is 41 CFR 102-38. The funds to be returned to your agency are agreed between you and your sales center.
- Does an agency have the authority to give property (nothing costing over $200) to foreign governments. Does the Foreign Assistance Act have anything to do with this situation?
GSA is responsible for issuing guidance and interpreting 40 USC which covers asset management for the entire government; however, some agencies have separate legislative authority. That authority is not applied to every agency. Your agency legal counsel may provide a definitive answer.
- Are there any regulatory provisions that allow a federal agency to transfer excess or surplus property, located in the United States to a foreign government?
There is no general authority under 40 U.S.C., given to agencies to dispose of property to a foreign government; however, some agencies, like the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State (DOS), have special legal authorities to do so as part of their mission.
- Can used binders that are no longer needed be shipped to Iraq or Afghanistan to use? Is there a process to follow?
It is necessary to go through regular disposal or transfer procedures.
- Is there a rule of thumb, or understood acceptable percentage of not-found items when an agency performs a wall-to-wall inventory of its personal property?
At this point there is no governmentwide policy; however, your internal agency policy may address inventories. In accordance with the Personal Property Management Review Guide, the accepted norm is two percent.
- What policies or regulations apply when a contractor loses/misplaces government furnished property?
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 45, Government Property.
- What is the policy pertaining to the Property Board of Survey for lost, stolen or damaged property assigned to federal employees?
Your agency policies will determine the procedures to initiate and conduct an inquiry to determine what happened; how it happened; where it happened; who was involved; when it happened and any evidence of negligence; willful misconduct or deliberate unauthorized use or disposition of the property.
- As a federal employee in WDC, may I purchase computers and bookshelves?
If you are interested in acquiring personal property for your own personal use, first check your agency's policy on its employees purchasing from GSA Auctions. If you are permitted to do so, you will need to register to use the site with your personal information, not your agencies.
- May an agency commissioner take his rolodex with him when he leaves government services?
No. An agency commissioner or employee may not take government property into their personal possession. 5 CFR 2635.704
- What is the definition of sensitive property?
Sensitive property includes all items, regardless of value, that require special control and accountability due to unusual rates of loss, theft or misuse, or due to national security or export control considerations. It is up to each agency to determine what is sensitive, controlled, accountable, and capitalized. Each agency is responsible for maintaining accountability for sensitive property. Source: 41 CFR 102-35.20.
- Can Federal Law enforcement agencies dispose of agency owned and used firearms by selling those weapons to the members of the Department as private citizens?
No. Unless you have specific statutory authority to do otherwise, excess firearms may be transferred only to those Federal agencies authorized to acquire firearms for official use. Firearms not transferred or donated must be destroyed and sold as scrap.
For additional guidance on the disposition of firearms refer to FMR Part 102-40.
- Are tasers, flare guns, flares considered sensitive or dangerous property?
Tasers were declassified by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as a firearm in 1998 due to the method utilized to propel the darts from the barrel which no longer qualified it under the ATF definition of firearm; however, this is a sensitive item and should be controlled as such.
The ATF determined that flare guns are excluded from the term "destructive device" that is any device which is neither designated or re-designated for use as a weapon and any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is re-designated for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device. References: 18 U.S.C. 921(a) (4); 26 U.S.C. 5845(f) (2); Gun Control Act (GCA), 18 U.S.C. chapter 44; National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. chapter 53.