Personal Property Management

Rev. 07/11




    1. Title

      Title  to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) property rests with the United States government. Laboratory policies and procedures governing the effective and efficient stewardship of government property and supplies are summarized below. The Laboratory Personal Property Policy Manual (PPPM) (PUB-3032) provides procedural detail and guidance for employees. It is available for reference on the Property Management Web site.

    2. Charter

      The Property Management Charter is twofold:

      1. Oversight and Control

        Oversight and control of the Laboratory’s government property are in accordance with the policies and procedures described in the PPPM.

      2. Support and Guidance

        Support and guidance are provided for Laboratory personnel in the life-cycle management of their property activities, from creation of the asset record to final asset retirement from the database.


    1. Official Use

      The facilities, tools, supplies, materials, and equipment at the Laboratory are U.S. government property and are for official use only by division-authorized employees. Use for any purpose other than official Laboratory business, regardless of the location, constitutes a conflict of interest, and is illegal and prohibited. Employees who use government property for personal business or who remove property from Laboratory jurisdiction without proper authorization are subject to disciplinary action as well as prosecution under federal law (Title 18, U.S. Code). The Laboratory may impose penalties commensurate with the gravity of an improper, dishonest, or illegal offense. Consequences range from a warning or official reprimand to salary reduction, suspension without pay, demotion, or dismissal. Prosecution at the discretion of the U.S. Attorney may result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.

    2. Responsible Use

      Berkeley Lab policy mandates responsible use of all property in the custody of its employees. Property must be used in a safe manner, and adequate care must be taken to protect it from loss or damage. Each Laboratory division is responsible for establishing requirements that ensure the effective stewardship of its resources, including hierarchical responsibility for reporting losses and misuse of property.


    1. Equipment

      Property acquired at or above $5,000 is classified as equipment

      1. Capital Equipment

        Property acquired or valued above a $50,000 threshold is classified as Capital Equipment.

    2. Sensitive

      Property that is highly portable, easily converted to personal use, and susceptible to theft is classified as Sensitive.

    3. High Risk

      Property that is associated with nuclear proliferation and/or national security, public health, safety, and the environment is classified as High Risk.

    4. Precious Metals

      Eight DOE-designated metals with special accountability requirements are classified as Precious Metals.

    5. Controlled Substances

      Illegal drugs allowed for use in strictly regulated research activities are classified as Controlled Substances.

    6. Stores

      Miscellaneous low-value utility items are classified as Stores.

    7. Property of Others

      Property borrowed from external organizations for short-term use by Laboratory employees is classified as Property of Others.


    Divisions are responsible for the property under their stewardship and must account for it during inventories and/or upon demand by internal or external government auditors. Property Management plans and issues the campaigns, and supports divisions’ efforts in conducting their inventories.

    There are two main types of inventory:

    1. Statistical Sampling

      Randomly selected sample representing a percentage of the total assets

    2. Wall to Wall (100%)

      All the active assets in the Sunflower Asset Management System must be accounted for.     

      The following categories of property are subject to 100% verification of every inventory:

      1. Capital Equipment
      2. Sensitive Items
      3. High-Risk Property
      4. Precious Metals
      5. Controlled Substances

    Inventory guidance, schedules, and forms are available on the Property Management Web site.


    Divisions allow off-site use of equipment under their stewardship and issue a Property Pass to document the change of location. See Section K(3)(a)(ii) (Division Property Pass) below.


    Laboratory property that is temporarily idle may be loaned to external organizations. Loans are arranged by Property Management and are governed by very specific U.S. Department of Energy criteria and Berkeley Lab procedures (see the Property Management procedure, Loans).


    Employees may be allowed to borrow property from external organizations for short periods of time when it is practical and economical. Property may be borrowed from another government or educational organization for use in research or from a vendor for test and evaluation. The purpose of the borrowing arrangement determines the protocol that must be followed.

    1. Use in Research

      Borrowing property for use in research requires prior authorization through the Berkeley Lab Property Management Group. Information about this organizational agreement can be found in the Property Management procedure, Borrowing Personal Property for Use.

    2. Testing and Evaluation

      Borrowing equipment for testing and evaluation is managed by divisions on behalf of their employees. See the Property Management procedure, Borrowing Personal Property for Testing.

    In all cases where borrowed equipment may be considered hazardous, an EH&S Division Safety Coordinator must be notified to review and clear it for use.


    1. Reporting Losses

      Reporting losses of Berkeley Lab property and/or damage beyond normal wear and tear must be reported to Property Management upon discovery. If theft, vandalism, sabotage, or willful destruction of any Laboratory property is suspected, the incident must also be reported to

      Berkeley Lab Site Access & Security. Property losses occurring off site must immediately be reported to police in the jurisdiction where the loss occurred.

    2. Reimbursement/Liability
      1. Property Received or Shipped

        Employees will not be reimbursed for insurance of property that is received at or transported from Berkeley Lab to off-site locations.

      2. Property Loaned or Borrowed for Use

        Agreements for property that is loaned or borrowed for use in research are coordinated by Property Management. Reimbursement against loss or damage is governed by the terms of each individual agreement.

      3. Property Borrowed for Testing

        Responsibility for property borrowed from a vendor for testing and evaluation rests with the borrower and the employee's division. Berkeley Lab’s limited liability for borrowed property must be acknowledged in writing by the loaning entity prior to its being shipped. (See the Property Management procedure, Borrowing Personal Property for Testing.)


    Equipment, office furnishings, and other material (including software) identified as excess property are handled according to national disposition objectives, which may include redeployment within Berkeley Lab. Equipment for which there is no current or projected need should be forwarded to the Facilities Division Excess Program after review and clearance by an EH&S Division Liaison . Note: Employees are not allowed to remove government-owned property for personal use.

    Excess equipment that is not redeployed within the Berkeley Lab complex may be transferred to government organizations or academic institutions with active DOE grants. DOE approval is required.

    Guidance for determining the suitability of transferring excess Laboratory equipment and the process for gaining approvals can be found on the Property Management Web site.


    Warehouse storage of Laboratory equipment is provided by Facilities Division Material Services/Warehouse Storage and must satisfy requirements for retention.


    1. General

      Movement of property must be well documented so that changes in location can be verified. Documentation requirements are specific to movement within and away from the Laboratory.

    2. Relocation of Property Within the Laboratory Complex

      Relocation of property within the Laboratory complex is documented by a triplicate form — the Equipment Movement Tag — initiated and retained by the custodian of record.

    3. Property Removed From the Laboratory Site

      Except as noted below in Section K(4) (Exceptions) , government property shipped or carried away from the Laboratory requires prior authorization and appropriate documentation.

      1. Shipping Approvals
        1. Common-Carrier Shipping

          Division approval is required in all situations in which property is shipped from the Laboratory via a “common carrier.” Property that is identified by a DOE/LBNL bar-code tag is subject to additional approval by the Property Management Group. Information about shipping property off site is available from the Facilities Division Shipping Department.

        2. Division Property Pass

          Divisions may issue a Property Pass to their employees for off-site use of government property, such as:

          • Arrangements with suppliers performing Laboratory work if the material will remain in the custody of Laboratory personnel
          • Short-term or intermittent use to perform Laboratory work at home or at a Bay Area work location (e.g., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Richmond Field Station)
          • Incidental use in connection with authorized attendance at a meeting, seminar, exhibit, or lecture
    4. Exceptions

      Property-removal approvals are not required when employees:

      • Carry their Laboratory-issued cell phones for use away from the Laboratory
      • Temporarily remove printed matter for reading and reference
      • Take away their personal items

      Contracted scrap and salvage dealers and refuse services are preapproved to remove equipment, materials, and garbage from the Laboratory.


    The status of a Property Record may change from active to retired in the database if criteria are met in the following categories:

    Each of these categories is defined in the Retirement Instructions and Form section of the Property Management Web site. The Request to Retire Personal Property form must be completed and submitted to Property Management for approval.


    Any property item that has been accepted as a gift or that has been purchased with funds specifically accountable as a gift must be reported in accordance with University and Laboratory practices. See RPM Section 1.18 (Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts). Gifts are accepted in the name of, and title is vested in, the Regents of the University of California. The Office of Sponsored Projects and Industry Partnerships notifies Property Management when a gift has been accepted so that an inventory record can be established.  


    Employee-owned property may not be installed in, affixed to, or made a part of any government-owned property. This restriction does not apply to small decorative items or memorabilia displayed in an employee’s work area. In all cases, the Laboratory cannot be held responsible for loss of or damage to any employee-owned item.

Printed . The official or current version is located in the online LBNL Requirements and Policies Manual.
Printed or electronically transmitted copies are not official. Users are responsible for working with the latest approved revision.

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