Inventory Control of Office and Educational Equipment and Furniture

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University Policy Number 2104


Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:


  • Equipment Procedures


Related Law & Policy:


  • Policy 2103: Internal Controls



This policy applies to all University controlled equipment entrusted to all departments, offices and activities of George Mason University at all locations, regardless of the source of funding.  This policy governs the taking of periodic inventories, day-to-day stewardship and the year-round maintenance of the University’s database reflecting the status of equipment.


This administrative policy implements the Commonwealth of Virginia’s policies and the University’s inherent obligation to exercise appropriate stewardship and accountability for all equipment regardless of the method of acquisition (purchase, lease, fabrication, donation via George Mason University Foundation (GMUF), Equipment Trust Fund (ETF), borrowing, etc.) or the source of funding (educational and general funds, sponsored programs, GMUF, ETF, etc.).  Because of its status as a publicly funded institution, the University is accountable for all the equipment in its possession.


A. Deans, directors, vice presidents and departmental managers are responsible for:

(1) Maintaining written policies and procedures as deemed necessary to supplement this policy, for safeguarding and controlling all equipment in their possession, and complying with this administrative policy;

(2) Assigning and training equipment liaisons/custodians and providing knowledgeable escorts to the General Accounting Office for taking inventories;

(3) Proactively ensuring that all the equipment in their custody is adequately safeguarded and controlled; and

(4) Promptly (within 30 days) reporting status changes (acquisition, transfer between departments, disposition, cannibalization, destruction, loss, theft, etc.) of centrally recorded (i.e., bar-coded) equipment to the General Accounting Office.  Certain discrepancies (unexplained losses, possible thefts, damage, destruction, etc.) must be reported as soon as discovered to the University Police and Risk Management as well as General Accounting.

Assigned equipment liaisons/custodians should be University employees whose regular duties consist in whole or in part of managing the unit’s equipment and acting as the point of contact for equipment.  This includes being the unit’s primary point of contact with General Accounting, Police and Risk Management offices, and for ensuring these offices are provided all necessary paperwork concerning equipment status changes.

B. General Accounting is responsible for ensuring that central equipment records are properly maintained and for taking periodic inventories with the assistance of departmental personnel.  It also maintains and distributes a booklet of procedural guidance titled Equipment Procedures and, upon request, assists departments in training equipment liaisons and custodians.

C. University Police will investigate possible thefts, mysterious disappearances, etc. of University equipment.

D. The Risk Management Office will process insurance claims for accidentally lost, damaged, theft, or destroyed equipment.  The University’s insurance policy excludes coverage for employee dishonesty, unexplained (mysterious) disappearances, and losses and shortages disclosed when taking inventories.


The policies herein are effective July 1, 1999.  This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: May 24, 2004

Revised: January 9, 2013