Disposition of Brown University Surplus Property


The purpose of this policy is to define the standards for selling, transferring or disposing of University property. 

Policy Statement 

This policy ensures that members of the Brown community sell, dispose of, or transfer, Brown and federally-owned property properly and in accordance with both Brown University procedures and government standards and regulations.  The procedures are designed for the efficient utilization of property, maximizing the property’s residual value, maintaining financial accountability and reporting accuracy ensure compliance with safety/environmental laws and regulations, and minimizing risk exposure to Brown University. 

Disposition of surplus property is defined as any property:

-       To be traded-in against a new purchase,
-       Cannibalized for spare parts,
-       Externally transferred,
-       Donated to a non-profit charitable/community organization,
-       Sold for salvage value, or
-       Destroyed (waste removal).

No property, whether purchased with University funds or otherwise acquired, may be defined as surplus without the prior written approval of the Director of Purchasing Services or his/her designee. 

Departments are strictly prohibited from gifting or selling surplus materials directly to Brown faculty, staff, students, and other individuals and organizations.  This provision is mandated in order to minimize the University’s risk exposure to product liability, sales tax exemption regulations, potential loss of commercial discounts, and potential violations of special pricing structures if deemed a reseller.  When a sale of surplus property is deemed appropriate, the transaction will be administered by Purchasing Services under a competitive process in accordance with the procedures set forth in this document.


Description of common Environmental Hazards and the Responsible Party to assist in addressing Environmental Hazard needs: 


Responsible Party

Other Info


Facilities Management/EHS

Special arrangements must be made


Facilities Management

EHS submit S.O. to Facilities


Facilities Management

Includes oscilloscopes, TVs, monitors*


Department to decontaminate

Contact EHS for assistance

Fume Hoods

Department / EHS / Facilities

Decontaminate, remove asbestos



Lead acid, ni-cad, NiMH, Li-ion



Includes switches, barometers



Action depends on Class of Laser


EHS for research / FM for other


Radioactive Materials

EHS Radiation Safety Officer


Biological Materials

EHS Biosafety Officer






University Departments

  • Accurately reflect property inventory by disposing of surplus property according to policy and related procedure.
  • Take actions necessary to ready property for disposition, i.e., sanitize computers, label monitor as Universal Waste, etc.
  • Complete the appropriate surplus form with department manager approval and submit to the Purchasing Department prior to any action.
    • Signature approval by the Department Chair is required for any disposition of property associated with the transfer of a faculty member or principal investigator (PI) to another university or organization.
    • Signature approval by the Department Chair or Department Head is required for the donation of Brown owned property to a Non-Profit Organization
  • Be available to meet with Environmental Health & Safety staff to identify property and assist in performing hazard assessment.
  • Upon Purchasing Department approval, execute a service request with Facilities Management for final disposition or transfer of property.
  • Maintain copy of completed documents for department records. 

Purchasing Department

  • Provide advice and direction to the community regarding the policy and procedures related to declaring property as surplus.
  • Facilitate and document the flow of declaration forms through the Purchasing Department, Office of Sponsored Projects, Environmental Health and Safety, and Facilities Management.
  • Do not authorize property for surplus until all issues have been resolved and all required signatures have been obtained.
  • Execute the “Release, Waiver and Indemnity for Transfer of Title to Personality” form for any disposition involving transfer to another individual or organization.
  • Notify Facilities Management of property ready for disposition and advise department of document tracking number to be used in the service request process.
  • Provide copy of fully executed disposition to the department for their records
  • Maintain records of all surplus property for audit purposes.

Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP)

  • Review the Declaration and Disposal of Surplus Equipment form to ascertain title status and restrictions to disposition, if any.
  • If title is held by Brown, acknowledge OSP’s review of the form and generate the appropriate entries for asset accounting. If request is denied, provide rationale for denial to the department and to Purchasing.
  • If title is held by other than Brown, notify both University department and Purchasing Services that disposition is pending approval or notification of other action by the external agency.  Departments can expect this process to take up to 90 days depending on the agency.
  • Respond to external agency recommendations as required.

Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)

  • Ensure that the University has met all environmental and safety requirements prior to the final disposition of surplus equipment.
  • Department representatives must be available to help perform hazard assessments, particularly in research areas, as follows:
    • Assess environmental and safety conditions for property,
    • Conduct visual inspection of the property with department representative,
    • Determine what action should be taken and by whom,
    • Provide assistance as requested by department or Facilities Management.
  • Department completes the appropriate Declaration and Disposition of Surplus Property Form and corresponding spreadsheet, ensuring all actions necessary have been taken, and forwards both to Purchasing.
  • Purchasing assigns a surplus property tracking number and forwards all forms to OSP for inventory tracking and acknowledgment of review.
  • Select forms, located in Forms/Instructions section below, with review accountability are shown below:
    • OSP signed surplus computer equipment and furniture forms will be reviewed by Purchasing.  Final approval for disposition will be executed.
    • OSP signed surplus equipment and materials forms will be forwarded to Environmental Health & Safety for assessment.  EHS will conduct site visits and take additional action where appropriate.
    • EHS approved surplus equipment and materials forms will be reviewed by Purchasing.   Final approval for disposition will be executed. 
  • Purchasing will notify Facilities Management that property is ready for disposition and advise department of the document tracking number to be used in the service request process for having the items picked up by Facilities Management.
  • Department will complete a service request with Facilities Management to initiate the pick-up process.
  • Department and Facilities Management staff will sign for transfer of property from department to Facilities Management possession and for proper disposal of items.
  • Facilities Management will forward complete surplus property forms to Purchasing.
  • Purchasing will document completion of the surplus property cycle and provide copies of the final surplus property form to the department.
Policy Owner
Approved by 
Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration

Courtney Wuethrich
Administrative Coordinator

Revision Date:  Thu, 2014-06-19 10:26