Oregon State University

902-02: Principal Investigator Responsibilities - Ordering, Receiving & Tagging

Property Management Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 902: Principal Investigator Responsibilities
Effective: 07/01/1996
Revised: 05/22/2006


To comply with federal, state and sponsor mandated requirements regarding equipment purchased or acquired on grants or contracts.

Background Information

The federal government specifies screening, tagging, use, maintenance, reporting and disposal requirements for property accountable to federal grants and contracts.


Departments will order, receive and tag equipment as required by the contract or grant, OMB Circular A110 (Property Standards section), OMB Circular A21, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs), and the NASA Grant Handbook.


Principal Investigator Responsibilities

Ordering, Receiving & Tagging Procedures
  1. Ordering

Acquisition documents should be detailed with accurate descriptions of assets and properly coded with the contract or grant index or identifier. Items and quantities requisitioned, purchased or fabricated should be reasonable, contractually authorized, based on firm requirements, and not available from existing stocks.

Orders for supplies and assets should be processed in a timely manner to minimize emergency acquisitions or requisitions. Economic ordering practices should be applied, when applicable. Outstanding orders should be monitored until received, and cancelled or amended promptly when contract modification or other events change requirements.

  1. Receiving

Government furnished property (GFP) received for sponsored research must be reviewed immediately upon arrival (see FAR 45.502-2 Discrepancies Incident to Shipment). If overages, shortages, or damages are discovered the PI should provide a statement of the condition and apparent causes to the sponsor's property administrator within 48 hours. However, when the shipment has moved by Government bill of lading and carrier liability is indicated, the PI should report the discrepancy to the sponsor's property administrator within five working days. (A copy of all correspondence with the sponsor's property administrator should be sent to the Office of Post Award Administration (OPAA) and Property Management.)

On contractor-acquired property, the PI is responsible for necessary action to correct overages, shortages, or damages in shipment of property from a vendor or supplier. However, when the shipment has moved by Government bill of lading and carrier liability is indicated, the PI should report the discrepancy to the sponsor's property administrator within five working days. (A copy of all correspondence with the sponsor's property administrator should be sent to OPAA and Property Management.)

Packing slips, bills of lading, reports of discrepancies and related documentation must be returned to the department's Accounting Office and filed with other related grant and contract related information. Packing slips for capital equipment should be attached to the copy of the invoice and sent to Property Management where they will be kept for audit and a copy should also remain with the department. (See FARs 45.502, 45.502-1, 45.502-2)

The receiving process should also include the proper identification of the new equipment (see FAR 45.506 Identification). This includes identifying serial numbers for the asset record, adding the asset to inventory and marking the asset with identifying tags (see "3. Tagging" in this document).

  • See PRO-Ex1: Creating an Asset Record from a Banner Invoice to add contractor-acquired property to inventory from an invoice.
  • See PRO-Ex3: Fixed Asset Data Entry form for the method of adding government-furnished property to inventory. A copy of the packing list should accompany the Fixed Asset Data Entry form for GFP, and care should be taken to identify the contract or grant number the GFP will be accountable to for reporting purposes. Property Management should be notified of GFP within 5 days of receipt.

The federal government requires specific information to be maintained in the asset record (see far 45.505-1 Basic information).  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • The name, description, and National Stock Number (if furnished by the Government or available in the property control system).
  • Quantity received (or fabricated), issued, and on hand.
  • Unit price (and unit of measure).
  • Contract number or equivalent code designation.
  • Location.
  • Disposition.
  • Posting reference and date of transaction.
  1. Tagging

All property acquired as part of a sponsored research project that meets the OSU capital equipment definition or the sponsor's capital equipment definition must be added to inventory. When an inventory number is assigned, a barcode inventory tag is sent to the responsible department. Affix this tag to the equipment within five working days of receipt. Use a clear laminate cover (obtained from Property Management) to protect tags that will be exposed to the weather elements or to other harsh environments.

Federally-owned equipment also requires a "Property of U.S. Government" tag, furnished by Property Management. This tag is sent with the barcode tag to the responsible department when the inventory number is assigned. Place this tag on the equipment at the same time as the barcode tag. Some sponsoring organizations supply their own numbered tags for equipment tracking as well. Affix these tags to the equipment upon receipt.

Equipment with Federal and\or sponsoring organization tags may not be cannibalized or disposed of without written authorization from the sponsoring agency. Request for this authorization needs to be coordinated with Property Management and OPAA.

Additional Information

See Federal Publications for additional information on federal requirements at the links below:

Office of Management & Budget (OMB)
OMB Circular A21
OMB Circular A110
Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

Contact Info

Site Maintained by: Office of Human Resources
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
Contact us with your comments, questions and feedback
Copyright © 2009 Oregon State University | Disclaimer
Copyright ©  2014 Oregon State University