University Policy


Tangible Asset Administration

Approval Date: 2017-05-11

Effective Date: 2018-03-06

Review Date: 2021-05-11


The Vice-President (Administration and Finance)


To enable Memorial University of Newfoundland to effectively manage its Tangible Assets and provide Units with procedures for the tracking, safekeeping, reallocation and appropriate disposal of those assets.


Tangible Assets of Memorial University of Newfoundland and those members of the University who purchase, construct, use, manage, or otherwise have access to the University’s Tangible Assets.


Asset Administrator — This role is normally carried out by the employee in the Unit who has responsibility for financial matters. This role is responsible for ensuring measures are in place within the Unit for safeguarding Tangible Assets, for reviewing, maintaining and updating the Unit's Tangible Capital Asset property report and corresponding with FAS to ensure necessary updates are made to Tangible Capital Asset records. This is a functional description, not a position title.

Associate — A person: who is related to a University employee by blood or adoption, or is or has been related to the employee by marriage or common-law marriage; or with whom a University employee has or has had in the previous five years a financial, intimate, other close or substantial professional relationship.

Campus Facilities Management — Refers to the unit(s) at each campus responsible for management of facilities and capital work.

Capital Lease — A lease arrangement where in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the leased asset must be recorded as a Tangible Capital Asset.

Electronic Device — Any device that is powered and is used to access, process or store University data including any information technology storage media run by, or attaching to, a device.

FAS — Department of Financial and Administrative Services.

Financial Management System — The software solution and methodology that the University uses to record, manage and report on its income, expenses, and Tangible Assets.

Permanent Tag — A permanent Tangible Capital Asset number created by FAS. This number is assigned to each Tangible Capital Asset and is printed on a tag that must be attached to the Tangible Asset, where it can be easily seen. Only one tag is issued for the Tangible Capital Asset, regardless of the number of components it may have.

PO — Purchase Order.

Surplus Asset — A Tangible Asset that has reached its optimal benefit for reasons such as wear, obsolescence, or changes in technology, teaching methods or Unit requirements.

Tangible Asset — Anything owned by the University that has a monetary value and includes Items such as buildings, property, furniture, equipment, computers, electronic devices, machinery, instruments. For purposes of this policy, financial assets, supplies and inventory, artwork, library holdings, and archival collections are excluded. For administration of artwork, see the University's Art Collection policy and procedures.

Tangible Capital Asset — Those Tangible Assets which are of a continuing or long-term use in the conduct of the University's operations and which must be recorded in the University's financial records as capital to meet financial reporting requirements and for insurance purposes. See Schedule of Tangible Capital Asset Determinations.

Tangible Capital Asset Inventory Listing — A listing of items recorded as Tangible Capital Assets by the University.

Tangible Capital Asset Threshold — The dollar value at which a Tangible Asset is deemed to be a Tangible Capital Asset. See Schedule of Tangible Capital Asset Determinations.

Unit — Academic or administrative unit as defined in the University Calendar.

Unit Head — Deans, Department Heads, Division Heads, Heads of Schools, Directors, Executive Directors, University Librarian, University Registrar and other senior administrators at a comparable level; Associate Vice-Presidents and Vice-Presidents, as applicable.

University — Memorial University of Newfoundland.

University Premises — Any building or property that the University owns, leases or occupies for its operations.


1. GENERAL – Management of Tangible Assets
1.1 Stewardship and Ownership of Tangible Assets

Tangible Assets are fundamental to achieving the University's mission. The University is responsible for stewardship of its Tangible Assets. Ownership of Tangible Assets rests with the University, whether the Tangible Asset was purchased (regardless of the source of funds), procured on a Capital Lease or donated. Tangible Assets normally should be used only for University-related activities.

Units are responsible for managing Tangible Assets in accordance with this policy and related procedures, other applicable University policy and procedures and applicable legislation. In particular for the procurement and operating of University vehicles, see also the Vehicles – University Owned or Leased policy.

The Asset Administrator is the custodian of records related to the administration of Tangible Assets and must manage those in accordance with the Information Management policy and procedures. The Asset Administrator is responsible for ensuring that a Tangible Asset containing University information or Memorial–licensed software has that University information and software removed when the Tangible Asset is transferred, moved or declared a Surplus Asset, in accordance with the Data Removal, Information Management and Privacy policies and procedures.

1.2 Safeguarding of Tangible Assets
The University is responsible to take appropriate measures to maintain and safeguard all Tangible Assets. Members of the University and Units who have a responsibility for the use and care of Tangible Assets must ensure that adequate security measures are in place to prevent theft, abuse, misuse and loss, regardless of whether the Tangible Assets are used on or removed from University premises. Any suspected theft or loss of Tangible Assets must be reported immediately to the applicable campus enforcement and patrol office. For suspected theft or loss of a Tangible Asset containing University information see also the Procedure for Reporting Suspected Security Incidents. The University carries insurance policies for the protection of Tangible Assets, as per the Insurance Coverage - Property and Liability policy.

1.3 Surplus Assets
The Unit Head has the authority to deem a Tangible Asset as a Surplus Asset. Disposal of the Surplus Asset must occur in a manner that ensures a fair, transparent and sustainable process.

Options for disposal include:

  • Re-allocate within the University
  • Transfer to a public body (municipal, provincial or federal)
  • Trade-in
  • Reconfigure
  • Use for parts
  • Recycle, where available
  • Sell through solicitation of bids or public auction
  • Discard (if of negligible or scrap value or no option above applies)

All applicable options should be explored, in consideration of the type of Surplus Asset and the needs of the Unit.

Campus Facilities Management oversees the processes relating to disposal of Surplus Assets.

No disposal action may result in an employee of the University or an Associate realizing any personal gain through acquisition of the Surplus Asset or share of proceeds obtained from its disposal. See the Conflict of Interest policy.

Disposal of Surplus Assets purchased with research grants or contract funding must follow the applicable research grant or contract guidelines for disposal of those Surplus Assets, including distribution of any proceeds obtained from its disposal. In the event that no stipulations are in the applicable contract, University policy applies.

Disposal of Surplus Assets that were donated must follow any applicable terms of the gift agreement. In the event that no stipulations are in the agreement, University policy applies.

2. Tangible Capital Asset Administration
In addition to the authority, roles, responsibilities and procedures outlined above for Tangible Assets, there are specific responsibilities associated with administration of Tangible Capital Assets, to ensure they are identified, tracked and amortized over their useful life. Members of the University involved in the acquisition and administration of Tangible Capital Assets must do so in accordance with the following. See also the Tangible Capital Asset Handbook and in the case of vehicles, see the Vehicles – University Owned or Leased policy.

2.1 Vice-Presidents Council
The authority to set and revise the Schedule of Tangible Capital Asset Determination, including the Tangible Capital Asset Threshold rests with Vice-Presidents Council. The details are available here: Schedule of Tangible Capital Asset Determinations.

2.2 Units
At the time of procurement of a Tangible Asset, the Unit must determine whether the Tangible Asset falls within the definition of a Tangible Capital Asset. If so, the Procedure for Procuring Tangible Capital Assets must be followed.

If a Tangible Capital Asset has been donated to a Unit, it must be added to the Tangible Capital Asset inventory system at the fair market value of the Tangible Asset at the time it was received. See the Gift Acceptance policy and the Procedure for Appraising and Accepting Outright Gifts.

Units must ensure records are updated when there are changes, transfers or deletions of their Tangible Capital Assets and must periodically check inventory for accuracy. See Procedure for Administering Tangible Capital Assets.

2.3 Moving Tangible Capital Assets
Through the procurement process, each Tangible Capital Asset is assigned a location where it will reside and be used, which may be on or off University premises. Normally, the Tangible Capital Asset should remain at the location originally assigned to it. Moving a Tangible Capital Asset requires the following:

a. If the move is to a location other than the assigned location yet within an area controlled by the Unit, the location of the Tangible Capital Asset must be updated. See Procedure for Administering Tangible Capital Assets.
b. If the move is to another Unit of the University, the move must be appropriately authorized. See the Transfer of Tangible Capital Asset section of the Procedure for Administering Tangible Capital Assets.
c. If the move is to a location other than University premises, the removal must be appropriately authorized. See Procedure for Removing a Tangible Capital Asset from University Premises.

Lending Tangible Capital Assets to an entity external to the University requires a written contract or loan agreement. See the Contract Administration policy and procedures. If the Tangible Capital Asset was funded by a research contract or grant, any terms or conditions associated with that funding must be followed.

2.4 Financial and Administrative Services
FAS is responsible for oversight of the University's Tangible Capital Assets program, with the objectives of ensuring:

  • the Tangible Capital Assets as recorded, are located at the assigned location and have a Permanent Tag attached;
  • that purchases, gifts and leases greater than or equal to the Tangible Capital Asset Threshold are appropriately recorded;
  • that movement of Tangible Capital Assets is properly recorded; and
  • that Tangible Capital Assets deemed surplus or disposed of are indicated as such.

Related Documents

Tangible Capital Asset Handbook
Schedule of Tangible Capital Asset Determination
Conflict of Interest policy
Contract Administration policy
Data Removal policy
Electronic Data Security policy
Gift Acceptance policy
Information Management policy
Insurance Coverage – Property and Liability policy
Privacy policy
Purchasing policy
Trust Funds policy
Tangible Capital Asset Addition Form
Tangible Capital Asset Transfer Change Delete Form
Declaration and Disposal of Surplus Property Form
Authorization for Removing a Tangible Capital Asset from University Premises Form 


For inquiries related to this policy:

Department of Financial and Administrative Services 709-864-8985


Vice-President (Administration & Finance)



Previous Versions:

There is at least one previous version of this policy. Contact the Policy Office to view earlier version(s)

Approval Date: 2017-05-11
Effective Date: 2017-06-01
Policy Amendment History

There are past amendments for this policy:

Date: 2019-05-31 08:56:24
This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Connected definitions using the definitions from the glossary.
Date: 2022-08-30 15:52:09
This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: 8/30/22 fixed links
Date: 2023-10-26 10:57:54
This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Update broken links