Property Definitions

An Informal Guide to Understand Property Management Terms 


Government Property:  Things in which the Government has the rights and interest that come with ownership.  Everything at Jefferson lab purchased on behalf of the DOE is Government property.  

Custodian:  The person in charge, possession, or in control of property.  (AKA owner or point of contact.)  Responsible for: 

  1. Annual validation of their property 
  2. Reporting losses 
  3. Requesting to excess process property (you can’t throw it away without permission) 
  4. Transferring when they leave, or giving it to another owner/custodian 
  5. Maintaining their equipment in working order/calibration (if required) 
  6. Reporting to S&R, local Credit Card purchases, trade-ins, & temporary loans to you


Types of Property

Personal Property:  All tangible property other than Real Property, such as machines, equipment, furniture and tangible intellectual property. (Think of it like “Personnel property”; it is owned by the Government but the personnel using it are responsible for it.) 

Real Property:  Land and rights in land, ground improvements, utilities distribution systems, buildings and other structures. 


    Classes of Property

    Accountable:  Cost $10,000 + equipment or materials (if they are held as stock); reported to the Government annually. 

    Sensitive (& High Risk):  Determined by several factors (Export Control, rate of loss/theft, safety & calibration requirements); reported to the Government annually.  Items that need controls for tracking can be classified as Sensitive, even if they don’t meet any of the previous requirements, but are desired for accountability. 

    Admin (administratively controlled):  U.S. Government property, not reported on annually. 


    Movement of Property

    Property Pass:  Document required by DOE to allow property & materials to be taken off the facility, but is going to stay in possession of the custodian 

    Shipping Form:  Document required by DOE to allow property and materials to be taken off the facility to another location, but not with a custodian. 

    Excess Request Form:  Document required by DOE to request disposal or make available for re-utilization of property & materials. 

    Transfer Form:  Document required by DOE to transfer custody/ownership. There are 2 types of form:

    1. JLab Transfer Form:  Online/virtual form transferring between custodians. 
    2. SF122 Form:  PDF or hardcopy form transferring custody/ownership between agencies (both federal and state government); also used in transfers from government agency to non-government entities i.e. donation of loans to universities. 

    Disposal:  The physical removal of properly processed property from a facility. 

    1. Trade-in AKA Exchange-Sales:  The process of an item being exchanged and applying the allowance of sale price to be applied to buy a similar item. This must be processed through Procurement and notified to Property Management, so it can be reported to GSA at the end of the fiscal year. 
    2. Transfer:  Process completed to transfer ownership to an entity outside the lab, i.e. another lab, another state or federal agency.  
    3. Donation:  Process to give items no longer needed at the lab to an outside entity. Items must have no commercial value and are going to be used for science & technology education. 
    4. Gift:  Similar to a Donation except items still have commercial value up to $25,000.00.  
    5. Scrap (Recycle):  Process to remove items from the facility but not into a landfill.  Applies to all Automatic Data Processing (ADP) equipment, and metals.  ADP scrap must be sent to an R2 certified vendor.  All hard drives are removed and crushed prior to sending out our ADP scrap.  
    6. Surplus Sales:  Equipment & materials that have not been disposed of in any of the previous manner, can be sold in a public auction. 


    Other Types of Personal Property

    User Property:  Typically computers and equipment owned by the user’s university/ institute for use on projects and experiment at JLab.  These must be marked or have a sticker to identify the owner in order to prevent them being mistaken for unmarked Government property. 

    Privately Owned:  Can be any equipment or materials owned by any person brought to the lab.  These items must be pre-approved before being used on any JLab projects or experiments. 

    Collaborator Property:  Equipment or materials owned by an outside entity to be used on JLab projects or experiments.  Must be marked or have a sticker to identify the owner and be reported to Property Management. 

    Found Property:  Equipment or materials abandoned by someone that worked at the lab.  Typically these items are left once an experiment or project is completed, but serve no other useful purpose to the owner.  Also includes government purchased, but not previously recorded, equipment & materials of high enough value or are Sensitive or High Risk, that they merit controlling.  These items can become Government Property and be assigned to custodians.