GAP 200.120, Surplus Federal Government Property Donated Through State Agencies

  1. General
  2. Definition of Terms
  3. Acquisition
  4. Restrictions on Use
  5. Record Keeping Requirements
  6. Disposal or Transfer




When agencies and departments of the Federal Government find they have more personal property than they need, they can have the property declared "Surplus." The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 authorized the transfer of federal surplus personal property to State Agencies for Surplus Property. The State Agencies donate this property to eligible applicants.

Property obtained through this procedure must NOT be confused with Government-owned property obtained through an active federally sponsored project. For instructions on how to obtain excess Federal Government property for use on a federally funded sponsored project, refer to GAP 200.110, Excess Federal Government Property – Use by Sponsored Projects.




Relinquishment of the title of property: includes the sale, cannibalization, or disassembly of the property.


Includes all types of property except real property, naval vessels, and governmental records


The acquisition cost value of an item of property as determined by the Federal Government. This is not the amount charged for the item.


New or used property for which the Federal Government can foresee no future use and which has been formally declared surplus property.



State Agencies for Federal Surplus Property usually have a varied inventory of property including furniture, motor vehicles, communications and electronic equipment, aircraft, small boats, handtools, office machines and many other types of equipment. Because State Agencies are unable to maintain complete listings of available property, the only way to find out if they have any desired equipment is by personal inspection.

Because surplus property is offered on an "as is, where is" basis, you must provide for shipment of the equipment from the N.C. Federal Surplus Property Agency in Raleigh. There is also a nominal service charge to cover the state agency's costs of administration, transportation, warehousing and distribution.

To obtain Federal Surplus property:

  • Contact the Duke University Surplus Store for information on obtaining a Federal Surplus Yard authorization letter. This letter is only good for one day and must be returned to the Surplus Store after use.


  • Go to the Federal Surplus Yard in Raleigh and select the desired item from those on hand at the surplus yard.


  • Present the authorization letter to surplus yard personnel, and arrange delivery of the equipment.


  • The surplus yard will give you a transfer document (similar to a sales receipt) which you must return to the Duke University Surplus Store. They will hold this document until the invoice is received.


  • The Federal Surplus Yard sends an invoice for their nominal service charge to the Duke University Surplus Store. They match the invoice to the transfer document and then charge the cost object provided by the individual who received the items.



Federal Surplus property acquired from the State Agency must be used for health or educational purposes. All property must be placed in use within 12 months from the date of acquisition.

  • Property with an acquisition cost of less than $5,000 (except vehicles) must be used for the purpose for which it was acquired for a minimum of 12 months.


  • Property with an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more and all vehicles must be used for the purpose for which it was acquired for a minimum of 18 or 36 months (as designated by the agency).

During this restricted period, the property cannot be sold, traded, leased, cannibalized, or disposed of without the written authorization from the Federal Surplus Property Agency. When the restrictions have been met, you must notify the Office of Sponsored Programs so that the Government Owned tag and designation can be removed.



Surplus government property acquired is Government owned until the restrictions on use are met. The Federal Government requires that the custodian maintain adequate records of the location, acquisition date, and purpose for which the property is being used. To comply with these regulations, any person obtaining a surplus item must immediately report to the Office of Sponsored Programs and Plant Accounting: the acquisition date, University location of property, custodian's name, org. code of the department possessing the item, and a copy of the acquisition document that includes the single item acquisition cost. Plant Accounting must also be informed of changes in location, custodian changes, and disposals.

Plant Accounting will periodically inspect Federal government surplus property to verify its location, condition and existence. The custodian of the property will be given advance notice of inspections.



After the restrictions on use have been met (see Section IV above), if the Federal surplus property is no longer needed, notify the Duke University Surplus Store. The property may be sold provided that the proceeds of the sale are also used for health or educational purposes.

Property still in its restricted use period cannot be sold, traded, leased, cannibalized, or disposed of without the written authorization from the Federal Surplus Property Agency.