Business Services Policies

BS15 Disposal and Purchase of Obsolete, Surplus or Scrap University-Owned Equipment, Supplies and/or Materials

Policy Status: 

Under Review

Policy Steward: 

Associate Vice President for Auxiliary & Business Services



To establish regulations that must be observed by departments of the University for disposal, reuse, transfer or purchase of obsolete, surplus, or scrap University-owned equipment, furnishings, supplies and/or materials. Any questions pertaining to this policy must be directed to Lion Surplus or to the Director of Procurement Services.


Lion Surplus is responsible for the collection, sale and/or disposal of University-owned equipment, supplies and/or materials which have become obsolete, surplus or scrap to the needs of any University department.

Departments may dispose of surplus items directly to Lion Surplus. To dispose of an item, it is required that the department owning the item use the preferred form for disposal, the Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in SIMBA


Departments have the privilege of using their tagged equipment as a trade-in when new equipment is purchased. However, Property Inventory must be notified so that University records are properly updated. This process must occur via departmental completion of the Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in SIMBA.


University departments may transfer or sell certain surplus items on a direct basis between themselves. Prior to transfer or sale the Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in SIMBA must be completed and forwarded to Property Inventory to record any property originally valued at $5,000 or higher that was tagged by Property Inventory.

University departments may transfer office furniture, partitions and office furnishings to other departments within their college or unit at no cost. At no time can a department sell these office furnishings internally to other departments, colleges or units

In no event may any department sell or donate equipment, supplies, and/or materials directly to any private individual or organization.

Property being transferred or sold between departments must receive appropriate care in its disposition, in accordance with the guidelines specified in "Disposal of Electronic Media and Office-Generated Paper."


When a University department transfers or disposes of vehicles, that department must notify the Office of Property Inventory by completing the Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in SIMBA.


Upon termination of lease contracts, or when loaned vehicles are returned or transferred by a University department, that department involved must also notify the Office of Property Inventory by completing the Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in SIMBA.


University departments may purchase items from Lion Surplus. The Penn State Purchasing Card is the authorized and preferred method of department payment.  Regardless of the method of purchase, the Property Inventory department must be notified of such purchases so that accurate record keeping can be maintained, and PSU tag numbers can be included/recorded.

Registered student organizations may also purchase items from Lion Surplus by submission of the appropriate Associated Student Activities' Purchase Order.

The valid student organizations' Purchase Order must be processed within five (5) working days of the visit, or the items will be reallocated for another department. Upon receipt of the student organization Purchase Order, Lion Surplus will arrange for delivery, or advise the department to make arrangements with Physical Plant Operations if the items are too large for Lion Surplus personnel to handle.

Purchases over fifty dollars will be delivered to the department at no cost. Purchases under fifty dollars will be assessed a handling charge, or the department can arrange their own pick-up within five days of purchase. Any item not picked up within five days will be reallocated.


Lion Surplus will dispose of surplus items at public auctions held periodically throughout the year, by sales to the public on competitive bid, or through the Sales Store. Lion Surplus also sells surplus items to other University departments. (See above and Policy FN16.)


A percentage of the net sale from obsolete or surplus equipment and/or supplies and materials will be credited to the administrative area that transferred the equipment to Lion Surplus. Net income is the sale price less the associated costs of disposition such as advertising, handling, warehousing, etc. Departments should contact Lion Surplus as far in advance as possible when disposing of high value or unique items in order to advertise and identify the optimal market value for the item(s).

Lion Surplus will not issue credit to departments for scrap material that has been collected by Lion Surplus.


In order to transfer equipment acquired through research funds to a different facility, in conjunction with a move by a faculty member to that facility, the following five steps are required.

  1. The equipment must be available for transfer; i.e., either it belongs to the University and the terms of the grant or contract do not prohibit such transfer to another institution, OR, if the University is accountable to another party (e.g., property owned by a Federal Agency Sponsor), that agency has approved the transfer. The Cost Analysis and Property Inventory Office will work with all parties involved to insure that the proper paperwork is completed and that everything is in compliance with applicable regulations for the transfer.
  2. The equipment to be transferred must be requested by the departing faculty member.
  3. A written request for transfer must come from the budget administrator or budget executive involved, along with the confirmation that the equipment is of no value in other teaching or research programs at the University.
  4. A letter is required from the recipient institution agreeing to accept title, with the understanding that the equipment is for the initial use of the new faculty member. The recipient institution must indemnify and hold harmless The Pennsylvania State University from all loss, damage, or liability arising from the said transfer.
  5. The Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in SIMBA

All such equipment disposition must be approved by the Senior Vice President for Research and processed through the Office of Sponsored Programs.

To properly protect the interests of the University with respect to potentially sensitive information, such property must receive appropriate care in its disposition, in accordance with the guidelines specified in "Disposal of Electronic Media and Office-Generated Paper."


Government or Sponsor-provided property shall not be disposed of/transferred prior to receiving proper approval, as follows:

  1. Principal Investigators (PI) must obtain and complete a Disposition/Transfer Request Form, available from the Cost Analysis and Property Inventory Office.
  2. Upon PI completion, the Disposition/Transfer Request Form is forwarded to the appropriate department property administrator, who will add the following information:
    • Agreement Number
    • Fund Number
    • Reason for request
    • Condition Code for the item(s)
    • Receiving Agreement/Fund that the PI wishes to transfer the property to
  3. The department property administrator will forward the completed Disposition/Transfer Request Form to the Cost Analysis and Property Inventory Office.
  4. The Cost Analysis and Property Inventory will submit all requests for disposition/transfer of equipment to the government/sponsor Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO), with a copy to the appropriate contracts department.

Property must be disposed of/transferred in accordance with the guidelines specified in "Disposal of Electronic Media and Office-Generated Paper."


To insure proper disposal, departments having operations which result in the accumulation of scrap items are required to coordinate disposal of such items through Lion Surplus. Scrap items will subsequently be collected and accumulated by Lion Surplus. Non-precious scrap items will be picked up by a contracted scrap dealer, upon coordination and request by the Manager of Lion Surplus. Lion Surplus exchanges the services of hauling away these scraps for the value of the scraps. As market conditions dictate, the contract with the scrap dealer will be renegotiated.

Any precious/semi-precious metal scraps received will be accumulated separately, then made available for sale through the Lion Surplus Sales Store, or at their annual public auction.


Items found to contain University proprietary or confidential data must receive appropriate care in disposition; i.e., they must be shredded, securely wiped, or rendered unreadable, as applicable. Regardless of format, all property capable of retaining data must be checked and certified by the department or area as University “data-free” before they may be transferred, passed on for resale, or sent for destruction.

Data can reside on paper, electronic hard drives and other media, and may include information that is sensitive and must be kept confidential (such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), student or employee records, email, health information, etc.) This policy helps to ensure that confidential information is not accessible by someone who is not authorized to view that information. Additionally, this policy will help to mitigate the potential exposure of PII, such as Social Security Numbers (SSNs), Driver’s License numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers, all of which are considered to have notification responsibilities if proper disposal or storage was not followed.

Users shall ensure that data covered by Policy AD35, University Archives and Records Management is copied and securely stored before their disks are securely erased.

If more stringent security requirements exist that have been established for special purpose items, such as grant-funded research data, data covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) related data, those more stringent requirements shall be followed with respect to this policy. Systems located at Hershey Medical Center should refer to HMC Policy C-08 in the Hospital Administrative Manual (Disposal of Information, Sanitizing of Electronic Media, and Destruction of Hard Copy Documents).

Procedures for Disposal:

  1. Paper files left in drawers of furniture or equipment that contain PII or other sensitive-related paper-based data shall be shredded using an office cross-cut shredder or sent for secure disposal using the University Blue Bag Program ( Locations which do not have access to the University Blue Bag Program may use an approved third party company with which the University already has a contract in place for shredding.
  2. Any electronic device destined for Lion Surplus shall be securely erased by Lion Surplus or a 3rd party under contract with Lion Surplus. No special action is required from the sending department or end-user, unless they wish to securely erase the electronic device prior to sending to Lion Surplus. Electronic devices include but are not limited to: removable media (CDs, USB flash drives), Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), wireless email devices, mobile phones and any other hard drive capacity device not already mentioned.
  3. Electronic devices which are transferred to another individual inside of the department or out of a department to somewhere other than Lion Surplus, must be securely erased by the department prior to the transfer. The responsible Budget Executive shall certify the computer has been securely erased by indicating so on the Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in SIMBA.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following: 
    • Computers being transferred from one department to another.
    • Computers being returned directly to a vendor or other 3rd party. This includes systems being returned that had been rented, loaned, leased, or part of a trade-in program. The one exception that applies is if a contract is in place with the vendor to securely erase the data to the Penn State standard upon return of the device; then no sanitizing is required by Penn State prior to return.
    • Computers being sold directly to employees for personal use unless the machine has physically gone to Lion Surplus to be securely erased and purchased.
  4. Any electronic device or media (not mentioned above) that has the capacity to store University data shall be considered to have sensitive information on it. Examples include photocopier memory, fax machine memory, lab equipment, and computer network hubs and routers. If such units are to be transferred to another department, Lion Surplus, or otherwise disposed of, the originating department should contact the manufacturer for procedures to erase the data as securely as possible. If the units/devices are destined to be returned to the vendor, the data must be securely wiped by the department prior to return unless the vendor has a contract in place to securely wipe the data upon return.


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Associate Vice President, Auxiliary & Business Services.


AD35 - University Archives and Records Management

HMC C-08 - Disposal of Information, Sanitizing of Electronic Media, and Destruction of Hard Copy Documents

Procedure BS2011 -Lion Surplus Operation, Including Sales Store

Effective Date: May 1, 2015

Date Approved: April 30, 2015

Date Published: May 1, 2015


Most Recent Changes:

  • October 12, 2022 - Editorial Changes - Removed references to IBIS, changed references to Asset Transfer & Retirement Form in Simba, Deleted IDCC and Furniture Reuse Program (no longer exists)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • September 18, 2019 - Changed Vice President for Research to Senior Vice President for Research

  • May 1, 2015 - Changes to the PURPOSE, RESPONSIBILITY, APPLICABILITY and REPORTING INFORMATION sections to reflect current operations. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • October 25, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • March 29, 2012 - Major revisions to reflect current operations:
    • References to "Salvage and Surplus" changed to "Lion Surplus" to reflect departmental name change.
    • Revisions to the "Collections, Sales and Disposal," "Transfers/Sales Between University Departments" and "Purchase of Items from Lion Surplus by University Departments" sections to reflect current methods of operation.
    • The section entitled "Disposition of Equipment Acquired Through Research Funds " has been renamed "Transfer of Equipment When Faculty Leave the University."
    • Section entitled "Disposal/Transfer of Government or Sponsor-Provided Property" has been added to clarify disposal/transfer protocol for government or sponsor-provided property.
    • Section entitled "Disposal of Scrap Items" has been added to clarify requirements for proper disposal for areas having operations that accumulate scrap items.
    • Section entitled "Disposal of Electronic Media and Office-Generated Paper" added to the policy, per Lion Surplus IT audit.
    • The section "Furniture Reuse Program" has been added to reflect the role of this operation in potential reuse of University-owned furniture, office furnishings and partitions.
  • November 8, 2006 - Editorial change - changed Vice President for Research to Senior Vice President for Research.
  • February 2, 2005 - Editorial change - removed reference to General Forms Usage Guide.
  • March 6, 1998 - Renumber and relocate Policy BS15 from PC10.
  • January 6, 1996
    • Changed "Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School" to "Dean of the Graduate School."
    • With regard to University departments purchasing items from Salvage and Surplus, the IDCC or PO must be processed in 5 working days.
  • January 5, 1995
    • Position title changes and addition of IBIS "IDCC."
  • May 28, 1992
    • Changes in form titles and applicability of the Disposition of Permanent Transfer form.
  • April 26, 1991
    • Recognized authority of the Director of Business Services over Salvage and Surplus.
  • November 16, 1990
    • The section DISPOSITION OF TYPEWRITERS was removed.
    • The title of disposition form was changed.
  • March 3, 1982
    • Added cross-reference to Policy PC-9.
  • January 1980
    • Amount of sales income to be realized by an administrative area from the sale of its items through the sales store was reduced from 75% to 50%.
  • January 1979
  • February 1978
    • Allowed Salvage and Surplus to sell directly to private individuals and organizations.
  • December 31, 1969
    • New Policy.