REVISED OCTOBER 2019. This document applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements for budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2019.

Property management system standards, real property, equipment and supplies, exempt property, nonexempt property, and revocable license

8.3.3 Property Management System Standards

Generally, recipients may use their own property management policies and procedures for property purchased, constructed, or fabricated as a direct costCosts that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. using NIH grant funds, provided they observe the requirements in 45 CFR Parts 75.316 through 75.323, as applicable, and the following. State governments will use, manage, and dispose of equipment acquired under a grant in accordance with state laws and procedures as specified in 45 CFR 92.32.

The dollar threshold for determining the applicability of several of the requirements in those regulations is based on the unit acquisition cost of an item of equipment. As defined in 45 CFR 75.2, the acquisition cost of an item of equipment to the recipient includes necessary modifications and attachments that make it usable for the purpose for which it was acquired or fabricated. When such accessories or attachments are acquired separately and serve to replace, enhance, supplement, or otherwise modify the equipment's capacity and they individually meet the definition of equipment (see Glossary in Part I), any required NIH prior approvalWritten approval by an authorized HHS official, e.g., a designated IC GMO, evidencing prior consent before a recipient undertakes certain activities or incurs specific costs (see Administrative Requirements-Changes in Project and Budget-Prior Approval Requirements). for equipment must be observed for each item. However, the aggregate acquisition cost of an operating piece of equipment will be used to determine the applicable provisions of 45 CFR 75.320. If property is fabricated from individual component parts, each component must itself be classified as equipment if it meets the definition of equipment. In this case, the aggregate acquisition cost of the resulting piece of equipment will determine the appropriate accountability requirements in 45 CFR part 75.320.

Recipients are required to be prudent in the acquisition of property under a grant-supported project. It is the recipient's responsibility to conduct a prior review of each proposed property acquisition to ensure that the property is needed and that the need cannot be met with property already in the possession of the organization. If prior approvalWritten approval by an authorized HHS official, e.g., a designated IC GMO, evidencing prior consent before a recipient undertakes certain activities or incurs specific costs (see Administrative Requirements-Changes in Project and Budget-Prior Approval Requirements). is required for the acquisition, the recipient must ensure that appropriate approval is obtained in advance of the acquisition. The recipient also must follow appropriate procurement procedures in acquiring property as specified in Administrative Requirements-Management Systems and Procedures-Procurement System Standards and Requirements.

Recipients of NIH grants other than Federal institutions cannot be authorized to use Federal supply sources.

8.3.3.1 Real Property

See Construction Grants-Real Property Management Standards in IIB for requirements that apply to the acquisition, use, and disposition of real property. Fixed equipment that is part of a construction grant is subject to those requirements.

8.3.3.2 Equipment and Supplies

In general, title to equipment and supplies acquired by a recipient with NIH funds vests in the recipient upon acquisition, subject to the property management requirements of 45 CFR Parts 75.317, 75.320, 75.321, and 75.323. Limited exceptions to these general rules are States, which may use, manage, and dispose of equipment acquired under a grant in accordance with State laws and procedures, and certain research grant recipients with exempt property (see 45 CFR 75.326). These requirements do not apply to equipment for which only depreciation or use allowances are charged, donated equipment, or equipment acquired primarily for sale or rental rather than for use.

8.3.3.2.1 Exempt Property

Under the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. 6306, NIH may permit non-profit institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations whose primary purpose is the conduct of scientific research to obtain title to equipment and supplies acquired under grants for support of basic or applied scientific research without further obligation to the Federal government. However, there is one exception: NIH has the right to require transfer of title to equipment with an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more to the Federal government or to an eligible third party named by the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. under the conditions specified in 45 CFR 75.319. NIH may exercise this right within 120 days of the completion or termination of an award or within 120 days of receipt of an inventory, as provided in 45 CFR 75.320(e)(2), whichever is later.

8.3.3.2.2 Nonexempt Property

All other equipment and supplies acquired under all other NIH grant-supported projects by any other type of recipient are subject to the full range of acquisition, use, management, and disposition requirements of 45 CFR Parts 75.320 and 75.321. Property acquired or used under an NIH grant-supported project, including any federally owned property, also is subject to the requirements for internal control specified in 45 CFR 75.303. Pursuant to 45 CFR 75.323, equipment (and intangible property and debt instruments) acquired with, or improved with, NIH funds must not be encumbered without NIH approval.

The recipient's management system for equipment must meet the requirements of 45 CFR part 75.320(d), which include the following:

  • Records that adequately identify (according to the criteria specified in the regulations) items of equipment owned or held by the recipient and state the current location of each item.
  • A physical inventory of the equipment, at least once every 2 years, to verify that the items in the records exist and either are usable and needed or are surplus (a statistical sampling basis is acceptable).
  • Control procedures and safeguards to prevent loss, damage, and theft.
  • Adequate maintenance procedures to keep the equipment in good condition.
  • Proper sales procedures when the recipient is authorized to sell the equipment.

For items of equipment having a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, NIH has the right to require transfer title to the equipment to the Federal government or to an eligible third party named by the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. under the conditions specified in 45 CFR 75.320(e)(3). Such transfer shall be subject to the following standards: (1) The equipment shall be appropriately identified in the award or otherwise made known to the recipient in writing. (2) The awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. may require submission of a final inventory that lists all equipment acquired with NIH funds and federally-owned equipment. (3) If the awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. fails to issue disposition instructions within 120 calendar days after receipt of the inventory or if so instructed, the recipient shall sell the equipment and reimburse the HHS awarding agency an amount computed by applying to the sales proceeds the percentage of HHS share in the cost of the original project or program. However, the recipient shall be permitted to deduct and retain from the NIH share $500 or ten percent of the proceeds, whichever is less, for the recipient's selling and handling expenses. If the recipient is instructed to ship the equipment elsewhere, the recipient shall be reimbursed by the awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. an amount which is computed by applying the percentage of the recipient's share in the cost of the original project or program to the current fair market value of the equipment, plus any reasonable shipping or interim storage costs incurred. If the recipient is instructed to otherwise dispose of the equipment, the recipient will be reimbursed by the HHS awarding agency for such costs incurred in its disposition. If the recipient's project or program for which or under which the equipment was acquired is still receiving support from the same HHS program, and if the HHS awarding agency approves, the net amount due may be used for allowable costs of that project or program. Otherwise the net amount must be remitted to the HHS awarding agency by check. This right applies to nonexempt property acquired by all types of recipients, including Federal institutions, under all types of grants under the stipulated conditions.

If there is a residual inventory of unused supplies exceeding $5,000 in aggregate fair market value upon termination or completion of the grant and if the supplies are not needed for other federally sponsored programs or projects, the recipient may either retain them for use on other than federally sponsored activities or sell them, but, in either case, the recipient must compensate the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. for its share as a credit to the grant.

Recipients of NIH grants must not use equipment acquired with grant funds to provide services for a fee to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent services, unless the terms and conditions of the award provide otherwise.

8.3.3.2.3 Revocable License

As permitted under Federal property management statutes and regulations and NIH property management policies, federally owned tangible personal property may be made available to recipients under a revocable license agreement. The revocable license agreement between NIH and the recipient provides for the transfer of the equipment for the period of grant support under the following conditions:

  • Title to the property remains with the Federal government.
  • NIH reserves the right to require the property to be returned to the Federal government should it be determined to be in the best interests of the Federal government to do so.
  • The use to which the recipient puts the property does not permanently damage it for Federal government use.
  • The property is controlled and maintained in accordance with the requirements of 48 CFR 45.5 (the FAR).