Federal Acquisitions

Grant and contract (sponsored) acquisitions should be assigned an expenditure code based upon the University/State definitions for supplies and equipment.  Sponsor requirements regarding the allowable purchase of equipment funded with grant and contract budgets are dependent upon individual sponsor regulations and/or type of award.  The award document, sponsor regulations, and the Grants Information Memoranda (GIM) contain information regarding budget restrictions, prior approval requirements, and rebudgeting.

Pre-approval Procedures

  • Purchase Requisition Notation - If specifically included in the approved award budget, annotate this by noting "Named in Grant" on the purchase requisition.
  • Items Requiring Prior Approval - Some grant and contract sponsors require prior written approval for equipment purchase. Most contracts require prior agency approval for items with a unit cost of $5,000 or more.  Carefully review the grant or contract award document and specific sponsor regulations/guidelines for details concerning acquiring, transferring, and disposing of equipment.
  • University Office Requiring Notification - All requests for approval submitted to sponsoring agencies must have the written concurrence of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).  Exceptions to this policy are requested under certain Department of Defense (DOD), National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), and Department of Energy (DOE) contracts administered by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).  For these exceptions, verification of prior approval for items costing $5,000 or more is required when not specified in the contract.

Expenditure Restrictions

NASA and DOD contracts have established screening requirements for specific kinds of equipment acquired under contracts. Screening approval must be obtained in these situations whether or not the item was part of the approved budget.  These agency screening requirements do not generally pertain to grants.  The following are very common examples in which these procedures apply:

  • NASA Contracts: All equipment items costing $1,000 or more must be screened through the NASA Equipment Visibility System (EVS) by using the DD Form 1419.  Contact Equipment Inventory's Federal Program Coordinator for the form and instructions.
  • DOD Contracts: 
    • All items classified as industrial plant equipment having an acquistion cost of at least $15,000 must be screened through the Defense Industrial Plant Equipment Center, Memphis, Tennessee by using the DD Form 1419.  Contact EIO's Federal Program Coordinator for the form and instructions.
    • Most DOD contracts require prior approval to purchase items of equipment with a unit cost of $5,000 or more.

When required, the purchase must also be approved by the contracting officer.  When approval has been granted, EIO will notify the requesting department and release holds pending on the purchase requisition.  Reasonable time must be allowed for agency approval. 

Equipment Acquisitions Governed by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)/Uniform Guidance

Section 200.313 (a) of the CFR, also known as the Uniform Guidance, addresses proper title of equipment governed under these regulations.


Last updated 25 February 2019