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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.

4.3 Surplus Property Sales

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Policy Contact

Alejandro Perez
Surplus Property Sales

When a department has a piece of working equipment that is of salable quality and no longer needed by any campus department, the Surplus Property Sales (SPS) department should be notified. SPS will make an attempt to locate a buyer for the equipment. 

1. About Surplus Property Sales

As stated in Administrative Guide Memo 5.2.4, Surplus Property Sales (SPS) is the only entity authorized by the University Board of Trustees to sell university property.  SPS is organized under the Property Management Office (PMO) within the Office of Research Administration (ORA).  It is a self-sustaining Auxiliary.  

SPS oversees the reutilization, sale and environmentally sound disposal of excess university assets.  The operation seeks to support a sustainable campus through the collection of surplus equipment and materials for recycling, and when appropriate, through sales to departments, staff, and select online offers to the public.

SPS strives to return the maximum proceeds to departments from the sale of excess assets. SPS is dedicated to continuous program improvements and growth in support of the university’s needs related to the value of its excess property.

2. Sales of Surplus Property

When a department has a piece of working equipment that is of salable quality and no longer needed by any campus department, the SPS department should be notified.  SPS will attempt to locate a buyer for the equipment.  An excess request must be generated by the Department Property Administrator (DPA) or their designee. Included in the request should be an appropriate account number (PTA-Project/Task/Award) which will be credited, by SPS, with the department’s share of the proceeds if enough sales revenue is generated to warrant it.  If the item was acquired with funding from a sponsored award and the award is still active, the proceeds should be credited back to the award.  Otherwise, the account should be an unrestricted account.  For additional information see the Surplus Property Sales Fee Structure.

Occasionally, departments ‘sell’ unneeded equipment to other departments.  This is not considered disposition, as the item is not leaving Stanford, but is simply transferring from one department to another for a monetary consideration.  In such cases, a journal should be generated to transfer the funds, using Expenditure Type (ET) 58510 for both the debit and the credit.  In all cases, the funds used in these transactions must be from unrestricted accounts.  A sponsored account may be credited (and must be if the acquisition was originally on a sponsored project that is still active) but only unrestricted accounts may be debited.

Contact PMO for additional information.

3. Excess Property Pickup/Delivery Process

For assets being physically disposed, the DPA must initiate an excess request in the Stanford Property Administration Resource Center (SPARC). Serial numbers are a required field in the SPARC request to initiate pickup of all (capital and non-capital) computing devices. 

SPS collects the majority of excess equipment and materials at no charge to departments, usually within 10 business days of request receipt. Large or heavy items or other circumstances may require additional labor assistance, in which case the department may be required to pay for these services. Contact SPS or your Property Programs Manager (PPM) for guidance.

SPS will evaluate the condition and salability of the items and make a decision regarding the final disposition method (e.g. sale, recycle, or scrap).

Refer to Chapter 4.2 and the SPARC User Guide for additional information and instructions on disposal requirements and generating excess requests.

4. Vehicle Sales

Vehicles require additional processing, and must be delivered to the Fleet Garage for decommissioning and notification to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.  The Fleet Garage will determine whether the vehicle is considered roadworthy and eligible for reassignment to another department or sale.  If determined not to be roadworthy, the vehicle is to be scrapped.  If transferred, PMO will update the accountable department.  If sold, SPS will contact the last accountable department to obtain proceeds directions (if any).  If scrapped, PMO will retire the record.  When your department has deemed a vehicle to be excess, contact your PPM to have the record transferred to a holding code, pending the determination of the vehicle's final disposal method.

For additional information, please see Administrative Guide Memo 8.4.1 and 8.4.2.

5. Computers/Universal Waste

Computers and other electronic items are collected by SPS once an appropriate excess request is received.  SPS will remove and wipe or destroy hard drives collected as excess. Serial numbers are a required field in the SPARC request to initiate pickup of all (capital and non-capital) computing devices.

This does not absolve departments from the responsibility of ensuring that "non-public" Stanford data is removed from the system.  Non-public files should be deleted before requesting the computer be collected for disposal.  This should also be done prior to transferring a computer from one user to another within Stanford.  Please see the Data Classification Guidelines on the Information Security Office website site for details.

The safeguarding of non-public data is a high priority for Stanford, and the responsibility for ensuring this remains with the user of an individual system, including the deletion of files deemed to be non-public in nature.  While Surplus Property Sales takes precautions to protect computers and process hard drives, it does not take responsibility for the failure of users to remove such data prior to collection.

For additional information, please see the Computer Equipment Transfer and Disposal Guidelines on the University IT Website and Administrative Guide Memo 6.3.1.

6. Excess Furniture Collection Process

When a department has furniture that is no longer needed and needs to be removed, the DPA must process a customer-funded work request through the Building and Grounds Maintenance (BGM) web site to have it collected.  The furniture will be picked up and taken to storage or disposed depending on the condition of the items in question.  The department generating the work is responsible for costs associated with the labor and disposal fees, if any.  For departments having material delivered to Surplus and/or the university’s contracted waste disposal company by their own internal or external means, an Excess Request must be generated in the SPARC application.  If being done via a BGM work request, no request in SPARC is required.  Furniture in good condition may be held in storage for the Furniture Reutilization Program, and eligible for reuse by departments, usually at no cost other than the expense of moving it to their location.

7. Surplus Property Sales Terms

Sale terms and conditions are available from SPS.  Surplus sales retains a portion of all sales on a sliding scale. The fee structure can be found by contacting SPS. All sales are considered ‘as-is where-is”, and fob origin.  SPS does not provide packaging or shipping services.

Per Administrative Guide 5.2.4, only SPS has the authority to negotiate sale transactions for University property.