Internal Audit explains proper disposal of state property

July 1, 2016

Summer coincides with the annual end-of-the-year purchasing spree by some campus departments and units, and it is a time for offices to purge, replace, repurpose or recycle equipment. While most items make their way into the trash or recycle bins, University employees should exercise caution, as certain items require special handling.

If an item is a University-classified fixed asset, it must be turned into inventory control and surplus property for proper disposal. To determine if property is a University-classified fixed asset, look to see if it has a sticker or stamp similar to the below.

Recently, an alert member of the facilities management recycling team located a marked item in a cardboard recycling bin and turned it into surplus, which was fortunate for the offending department that mishandled the University-classified fixed asset.

Losing track of a fixed asset could result in an audit finding from the Office of the State Auditor during the annual financial statement audit – not to mention, the cost and operational time to replace the asset.

Computers and electronic devices also require special handling, especially if they have internal digital memory that could retain University data.

These items require certification by the owning unit prior to transfer that all internal memory has been cleaned according to the University standard and guidelines for hardware and media disposal.  A campus unit’s information security liaison can act as an intermediary to assist with implementing the University’s information security policy, standards and guidelines. Improper disposal of an electronic device that retained University data could expose the institution to significant financial, operational and reputational damage. 

General office supplies and non-fixed asset items can be repurposed by campus units via the “admin listserv.”  Inventory control and surplus also will take these items, which are available through a warehouse in Harrisburg. Surplus is a good place for units with a limited budget to “shop” for supplies that only cost a signature.

Additional guidance on disposing University property is available through University Policy 601.10.  Also, John Cashion, stock supervisor, can answer questions; email him at or call 704-687-0374.

Internal Audit explains proper disposal of state property