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Compliance protocols MUST be approved and linked in SeRA to a SPO project record prior to award acceptance. 

See ORA's Award Acceptance Resources for additional information.

3.2 Identification

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Policy Contact

Scott O. Ray, CPPM
Assistant Director
Property Management Office

The primary purpose of asset identification is to readily identify ownership. By accurately identifying items once they are received, Stanford can better defend rightful ownership should a dispute occur, and can keep track of assets for many purposes including use, availability, stewardship, compliance, tax, depreciation, and insurance. It is essential that all University owned capital equipment, and all sponsor owned equipment, loans and leases be properly identified, tagged with a barcode, and recorded in the Sunflower (SFA) database.   

The Department Property Administrator (DPA) is responsible to ensure that equipment is correctly identified, tagged, and recorded in a timely manner. Tags and overlays are available from the Property Management Office (PMO) and can be ordered online by visiting the Stanford Property Administrators Resource Center (SPARC). The order form contains a detailed list and description of each tag and overlay.

1. Key Policy Statements

  • University owned capital equipment must be tagged using a Stanford barcode tag and recorded in the Sunflower database within 30 days of receipt. 
  • Sponsor-owned, loaned and leased equipment must be tagged using a Stanford barcode tag and recorded in the Sunflower database within 30 days of receipt. In addition, sponsor identification tags are affixed to equipment when and as required.
  • U.S. Government owned equipment must have “U.S. Government Asset” identification strip affixed adjacent to Stanford barcode tag.
  • Item Unique Identification (IUID) tags will be affixed in accordance with contractual requirements.
  • Additional department-specific identification may be affixed at the discretion of the accountable department.

2. Required Identification and Tagging

The following property requires Stanford barcode tagging and recording in the Sunflower database:

  • All Stanford-owned capital equipment
  • All Federally owned equipment must also be labeled as US Government Asset.
  • All sponsor-owned equipment for which Stanford is accountable, regardless of cost or location; may include property at a Subcontractor’s facility
  • Sponsors may require and provide special individual agency tags, which must be affixed in addition to Stanford University tags.
  • All equipment owned by a third party (other than the Federal government) for which Stanford is accountable.  Examples include loaned and leased equipment
  • All donated capital equipment

3. Optional Identification and Tagging

Optional department identification tags may also be assigned to property, depending on department policies, or requirements. Examples include:

  • Non-capital equipment
  • Items that departments track for utilization or management purposes

4. Obtaining Identification Tags and Overlays

Stanford University barcode tags and overlays are provided by PMO. A sample and description of each tag is available on the Property Tag Order Form on the SPARC website.

When tags are needed, the DPA should submit their order directly to PMO following the instructions at the top of the form.

5. Placement of Tags

When the space allows, it is recommended to affix the tag on the equipment so that it directly faces the user and can be conveniently read or scanned without disrupting the item when it is in active use. Care should be taken to not cover manufacturer’s markings. When space on the front of the asset is insufficient, recommended alternative location is the front right side.

6. Untaggable Assets

In some situations, it is not possible or feasible to affix a barcode tag to the equipment due to extremely small size of the equipment/property, inaccessibility, sensitivity or weather/tag deterioration factors. In these instances, the DPA must create an “Untaggable Asset Record” by affixing the barcode tag to a printed copy of the SFA property management database record. This record must be retained by the accountable department and be readily accessible for inventories, audit verifications, etc.  

The untaggables record file should be periodically reviewed and updated by the DPA to ensure accuracy.

7. Materials

Identification of material inventories or bonded storeroom operations is done in accordance with contract terms or specific project needs. Contact your Property Programs Manager (PPM) for additional guidance.

See Chapter 3.3 -Records, for additional information.

8. Replacement of Tags

Replacements for barcode tags that are lost or damaged can be obtained from PMO. The SPARC application contains an option for requesting a replacement tag for an existing barcode tag number.

Typical examples of circumstances where a replacement tag is needed include:

  • Tag fell off of or was removed from asset
  • Tag affixed to an asset is damaged or illegible
  • Tag is removed by a service vendor

For replacement of Sponsor provided tags, contact your PPM.

9. Removal of Tags

Identification tags should remain on the asset for its entire useful life with only a few exceptions. Unless otherwise directed by PMO, the DPA should only remove property identification tags when an item is:

  • Returned to the manufacturer for replacement
  • Used as a trade-in towards another purchase
  • Returned to the sponsor or other third-party owner
  • When specifically instructed by PMO

Additionally the US Government Asset label should be removed as directed by PMO, upon receipt of approval to transfer ownership of Government property to Stanford.