Building the Necessary Foundation for an Effective Property Management Plan — Part Four
The workflows supporting the physical movement in the life cycle of Government Furnished Property (GFP)
This is the final installment of a four-part series on the property plan to manage Government Furnished Property (GFP). In Part One, we talked about what a Property Plan is. In Part Two, we discussed the key elements in ensuring data security in the Property Management Plan. In Part Three, we have discussed how to prepare for reporting and auditing.In Part Four, we will focus on the business processes to assign and track the equipment use.
The protocols for equipment handling include: how equipment is entered into the system, who are authorized to make changes to equipment records, how equipment will be maintained, and when and how equipment should be disposed. The requirements for these processes are outlined in FAR part 45 and part 52, guidelines for managing GFP. From the lifecycle management perspective, we can break the protocols into three stages. Let’s try to understand how the property management system should support the activities in each stage.
There are three key things that need to be done during this stage: record the cost of equipment and source of it, follow the established procedures for entering the equipment into the asset management system, and linking the equipment with a specific contract, task order, or project. In order to support these, the asset management system for GPF needs to have the following functions:
- Integrate with the procurement and contract management system, so the information about the equipment (e.g. vendor, model number, serial number, purchasing cost) will feed into the asset management system automatically. This will eliminate errors in data entry, and remove the need for reconciliation later. If the asset management system is integrated with the contract management system, the equipment will be linked to the contract number, task order, or project. As the contracts evolve, and the equipment gets reassigned, these relationships only need to get updated once, in either the asset management system or the contract management system. This will reduce delay, confusion, or errors.
- Group assets by the specific contract, project or task order, so they can be managed together. If the decision is made to take one piece of equipment from a particular contract to another, certain approval process needs to be followed. The system should support these activities.
Tracking and Transferring Equipment
Throughout the physical life cycle of the equipment, assets need to be tracked. Each piece of equipment should have its asset history, including physical locations, chain of custody changes, assignment to different contracts, and any changes to its financial value. The asset history log should be maintained throughout the lifecycle.
The equipment chain of custody tracking is of particular importance. When a piece of equipment is moved, it should trigger some notice, and approval if needed, and the digital record of the change in custody. This custody report not only ensures accountability but also supports financial transactions later (e.g. reimbursement).
When dealing with government property management, there are specific protocols that must be used when disposing of government-owned property. The EPA’s outline for the Recycling of Federal Electronic Equipment provides a number of disposal options, but for any option, proper documentation of the equipment’s usage, maintenance, and life cycle history is required. When equipment handling is done properly, companies can identify assets that are costing them money (every asset in a company contributes to the overall tax burden; most assets within a company are considered when calculating insurance costs). By properly maintaining equipment records, equipment disposal can occur more efficiently and rapidly when the asset is no longer needed.
For any government contractors that use Government Furnished Property, having the business processes and system in place to address these workflows is important for their business. At E-ISG Asset Intelligence, we have an out-of-the-box government property management framework , that supports these workflows, support the best practices, and generate required government reports automatically. You can obtain this solution at a low monthly subscription.
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