Research Topic

Equipment Compliance


Tips on how to stay compliant with proper equipment cost allocation, justifications, approvals, and more.

Stay Compliant...

  • If the equipment may be used on multiple Federal projects, document proper cost allocation and justification for each project
  • Indicate equipment purchases in the budget and budget justification during proposal stage
  • Obtain written approval prior to the purchase (if required by the sponsor)
  • Do not dispose of Federally titled equipment without approval from SPA prior to submission for disposal. Please contact SPA at if you are disposing or otherwise changing the disposition of Federally titled equipment.

Also Consider...

  • Equipment must directly benefit the project to be allowable
  • In most cases, title of the equipment will vest to the University. However, Federal sponsors may require retaining ownership. *In general equipment purchased on Department of Energy National Lab awards, title vests with the lab and/or funding agency.  Departments are responsible for identifying these situations and contacting SPA to obtain a Federal Property tag 
  • Federally titled equipment must be completely funded by the sponsor
  • Equipment titled to the University may be purchased on split funding (funding from University funds and Federal sponsor funds)


Equipment purchased or fabricated must be properly tracked and inventoried in the property accounting system. The University’s single audit engagement occurs annually, and include equipment observations and testing. Additionally, other sponsors may conduct equipment/inventory audits.

To ensure compliance, departments should…

  • Confirm the equipment is properly recorded in Banner property accounting records (Banner Fixed Asset)
  • Make sure a Ptag is affixed to all equipment purchased with Federal funds
  • If the sponsor retains title, a Federal (or Private Sponsor) inventory tag should be affixed, as applicable
  • Know the location of the equipment; a physical inventory inspection should be conducted at least every two years (OBFS section 12.2.1)
  • Ensure proper documentation and logging in Banner Fixed Asset is completed for disposition status' such as:
    • Transfers of equipment
    • Loans of equipment
    • Disposal of equipment
    • Unlocatable or stolen equipment
    • Surplus equipment

For additional details and assistance, please visit OBFS Equipment Management.

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