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Disposition of Brown University Surplus Property


This document is designed to ensure that members of the University community dispose of (or transfer) Brown and federally-owned property properly and in accordance with government standards and regulations.  The purpose of the policy is to define the standards for transferring or disposing of property.  The standards are designed to ensure the efficient utilization of property, maximize the property’s residual value, maintain financial accountability and reporting accuracy, ensure compliance with safety/environmental laws and regulations, and minimize risk exposure to Brown University.


This policy applies to all members of the Brown community who transfer or dispose of University or federally-owned property/equipment that include, but are not limited to, computer and related equipment, furniture and related items, general and scientific equipment, and supplies.  University property is defined as any item which was donated or transferred to the University or was purchased by the University with gift, grant, contract, restricted, or general fund money.


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 or his/her designee.

Departments are strictly prohibited from gifting or selling surplus materials directly to Brown faculty, staff, students, and other individuals.  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 the Purchasing Department under a competitive process in accordance with the position set forth in this document.


University Department:

  • Accurately reflect property inventory by disposing of surplus property according to policy.
  • 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 professional 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 customer service to the community regarding the policy and procedures related to surplus property.
  • Facilitate and document the flow of declaration forms through the Purchasing Department, Office of Research Administration, Environmental Health and Safety, and Facilities.
  • Do not authorize property for surplus until all issues have been resolved and all required signatures have been obtained.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review and assessment of the property identified as surplus and determine the best manner and method of disposition and execute that action.
  • Execute the “Release, Waiver and Indemnity for Transfer of Title to Personalty” 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 title is held by other than Brown, notify the department and Purchasing 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
  • Acknowledge OSP’s review of the form and generate the appropriate entries for asset accounting or deny the request providing rationale for denial to the department and Purchasing. 

Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)

Environmental Health & Safety is committed to helping 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.

  • 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.

Description of Environmental Hazards Assessment


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






*  Computer monitors that are destined for disposal/recycling must be labeled as follows:                    UNIVERSAL WASTE  Cathode Ray Tube  Date: (insert date).  See related forms.

*  Computers and monitors must have their serial numbers affixed so that the proper disposal of inventory can be accurately tracked.


  • Department completes the appropriate Declaration and Disposition of Surplus Property Form and corresponding spreadsheet (ensuring all actions necessary have been taken) and forwards to Purchasing.
  • Purchasing assigns a surplus property tracking number and forwards all forms to ORA for inventory tracking and acknowledgment of review.
  • OSP signed surplus computer equipment and furniture forms will be reviewed by Purchasing.  Final determination for disposition method will be made and a 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 determination for disposition method will be made and a 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Related Documents and Links

Send completed forms to Brown University

Purchasing Department Box 1845

Electronic Equipment Disposition Policy
Data Removal Recommendations

Property Management Manual

Decon Form


Declaration and form of Surplus Computer and Related Equipment Spreadsheet for Declaration

Includes:  computers, keyboards, monitors, televisions, scanners, fax machines, printers, and other peripheral devices

Surplus Furniture form and Spreadsheet for Declaration and Disposal of Furniture and Related Items

Includes:  desks, file cabinets, shelves, chairs, tables, and related items

Declaration Form and Disposal of Surplus Equipment and Materials Spreadsheet for Declaration and Disposal
Includes:  equipment, refrigerators/freezers, scientific material, supplies, and all other property not identified as furniture or computer and related equipment

Donation Form of Brown University Equipment to a Non-Profit Organization
Required to be completed in order to donate equipment

Release Waiver Transfer Form

Required for transfer of title for Brown-owned property to another organization

Universal Waste Monitor Labels
These are standard Avery labels #5160 place the label face up into the printer. Required for any computer monitor that will be destroyed/recycled