Best Practices for Attractive Property
This directive establishes the proper methods of safeguarding attractive property. The “Identifying, Decaling, and Maintaining Attractive Property” directive describes Attractive Property as: “….Tangible personal property that costs less than $5,000 and can be characterized as “walk away” items. These items are prone to theft because they are either not secured, are easily portable, contain new technology, and/or they are adaptable for personal use.” Since the item costs less than $5,000, the item is not capitalized or considered a capital asset. Capital assets are identified in the University’s property records and inventoried every year. Refer to the Directives and Procedures for a list of items that are required to be treated as attractive property. In addition to the required items, a department may define additional types of equipment as attractive property.
Note: The discussion below uses the terms “item” and “equipment” interchangeably to refer to tangible personal property purchased by the University that costs less than the University’s capitalization threshold of $5,000.
Reason for Directive
Safeguarding attractive property is done for the following reasons:
- Deter theft of equipment
- Facilitate reporting requirements on certain items, like those purchased with equipment-use funds
- Insurance purposes
- Provide a list of comparable equipment resources readily available in the event of theft or break down
- Maximize control of equipment that, if lost, the exposure to loss (whether financial or otherwise) is greater than the department is willing to accept. Examples include computers with sensitive information or items that could negatively impact personal safety
Who must comply?
The department Property Custodian has the ultimate responsibility to establish and implement policies and procedures necessary to safeguard attractive property. Below are suggested activities to assist the property custodian with these tasks.
Complete an operational risk assessment to determine what items will be treated as attractive property
- Review the Attractive Property directive for items the University requires to be treated as attractive property
- Become familiar with the types of non-capital equipment items purchased by the department, focusing on items not required to be treated as attractive property by University policy
- If you are not familiar with the types of equipment purchased by your department and the associated costs, review departmental purchases in the following account codes:
Account Description 729900 FAX/PHONE EQUIPMENT <5000 731700 MEDICAL EQUIPMENT <5000 731800 AUDIO/VISUAL EQUIPMENT <5000 731900 LAB EQUIPMENT <5000 732900 OFFICE EQUIP & FURNITURE <5000 734800 COMPUTER EQUIPMENT <5000 734900 COMPUTER PERIPHERALS <5000 739400 OTHER EQUIPMENT <5000 739700 SMALL HANDTOOLS <5000 739800 MUSICAL EQUIPMENT <5000 739900 FIREARMS <5000
- The Instructions for Running Transaction Detail by Account Code Report provides navigation to a report in Enterprise Reporting that will identify purchases on the account codes above
- Visually observe equipment
- Tour departmental space, paying attention to the types of equipment and space
- Make note of any equipment at risk of theft or damage because it is in a location that is not secure or in a high traffic area
- As items at risk are identified, determine if changes should be made to reduce the risk
- Determine a need for tracking equipment
- Ask departmental staff if it would be helpful to have a list of certain types of available equipment
- Some examples include projectors or centrifuges that can be shared in the event of an equipment failure
- Determine if there is equipment in the department that will be tracked because, if lost, the risk of exposure to loss (whether financial or otherwise) is too great. This could be based on replacement cost, personal safety, or the costs associated with compliance in the event an item is lost or misplaced
- Review items that have previously been reported as stolen to determine if the risk of theft continues and should be tracked
- Decide what items will be treated as attractive items. Review the information gathered to determine if further quantitative measures are needed. The basis for determining what to treat as attractive property should be documented. Documentation for Operational Risk Assessment provides examples of documentation for each situation below:
- Due to minimal risk, there is no need to expand the list of attractive sensitive items beyond those items required to be tracked by UF policy
- Only items in categories 6 and 7 listed above are identified and no further analysis is needed
- Further quantitative analysis is needed to determine what items will be tracked as attractive, sensitive property. Things to consider when doing a quantitative risk analysis include cost and age of items and risk the department is willing to assume
Determine how attractive property will be tracked
All attractive property is required to be tracked and recorded in myAssets. myAssets is a free resource available to all departments for monitoring and tracking attractive property and this system is fully integrated with UF space, e-mail notifications and surplus pick-ups, it is the preferred UF tool for tracking attractive property.
Establish a process to identify acquisitions of attractive property
- Purchased attractive property – fiscal staff should alert the department’s property custodian. Develop work flow and any needed forms to ensure required information is included
- Donated attractive property – Contact the Foundation to ensure the department is notified of donations that cost less than $5,000. The property custodian will determine if the item is attractive property and should be added to the attractive property list
- Transfer of attractive property with incoming faculty – Work with departmental administration to ensure the property custodian is alerted when a professor or researcher transfers to the department with equipment
Determine inventory frequency and method
An annual inventory of all attractive property items is required. Off-campus items should be inventoried annually using the off-site certification forms. For instructions on how to complete an off-site certification, follow instructions in the Off-Site Certification Directive.
Department should purchase their own Apple device which is compatible with the UF Inventory App, 6s is the minimum recommended iPhone device. If resources are limited loaner iPhones are available from Asset Management for scanning bar codes. When scanning bar codes, locations and inventory dates will automatically be updated in myAssets. Instructions for inventorying attractive property can be found in Directives and Procedures.
Complete a written attractive property policy for your department including the following:
- What items will be treated as attractive property
- How new attractive property items will be identified and added to the departments attractive property list
- Who will be responsible for tagging and inventorying the equipment
- Inventory method and frequency
Share written policies with departmental staff and continuously educate staff on attractive property and guidelines
Once the department’s attractive property policies have been finalized, the property custodian should communicate this policy with all staff members. This can be done through staff meetings and/or email. The policies should be included in training information for individuals involved in identifying and tracking of attractive property. Periodically, review the policies and procedures with staff members to ensure ongoing awareness.
The property custodian should periodically review attractive property to verify the following:
- Purchases of attractive property are being added to myAssets
- Information contained in the department’s attractive property list is accurate
- Inventory is being done timely
- Attractive property equipment is being properly tagged
The department’s attractive property policies should periodically be reviewed and updated as needed by the property custodian
Attractive property is tangible personal property less than $5,000. The University or the department wishes to track the property due to various reasons, including: contains sensitive data, prone to theft or loss, department is required or wishes to track the property. myAssets is the tool used to track and identify Attractive Property. Each department is responsible for tracking and identifying its attractive property.
The University President has final responsibility for all capital assets that are in possession of the University. Based on specific departments, this responsibility is delegated to the Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors or Chairpersons, or a Designee. The person to whom this responsibility is assigned becomes the “Custodian” of the assets. All Custodians must be a full-time EXEMPT employee with direct knowledge of the operations of the department.
07/31/2021: reviewed content
Asset Management: (352) 392-2556