University of California
Office of the President

Senior Vice-President-- 
Business and Finance 

Research Administration Office



Operating Guidance






No. 98-07 

August 10, 1998


Subject: NSF Property in the Custody of the Awardees  

This memo provides guidance on completing the National Science Foundation Form "NSF Property in the Custody of Awardees", OMB No. 3145-0058, which appeared to require depreciation of government furnished property, and contractor acquired property title to which vests in the NSF.

Column (e) of the Form requires a dollar amount for the depreciation of NSF property in our custody. This requirement for information appears to require Universities to calculate and report equipment depreciation.  

We checked CASB, GASB and FASAB financial accounting rules and found no requirement to depreciate equipment.

The apparent requirement to report depreciation on NSF owned property did not make sense, since this is something NSF should do for itself from their own records of government furnished property and equipment reported to NSF.  

In response to our telephone inquiry, Mr. Donald Wilkins, Property Manager at NSF, clarified that colleges and universities are NOT required to depreciate or report either university-owned or agency-owned property. The depreciation instructions only apply to for-profit organizations. Therefore, do not complete column (e), depreciation.

Enclosed is a letter to Mr. Wilkins confirming the foregoing clarification.


David Mears, Director, Research Administration Office
David Haskins, Director, Material Management
Jorge Ohy, Manager, Costing Policy and Analysis

Refer: Meredith O'Connor
(510) 987-9847

Subject Index: 15, 08 

August 3, 1998


Donald Wilkins
Property Manager
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230

Dear Mr. Wilkins,

I was pleased to learn of your telephone conversation with Meredith O'Connor on July 29th clarifying NSF's expectations for completion of the form "NSF Property in the Custody of the Awardee".

When we first looked at the form it appeared that we were required to depreciate property in our custody. However, our review of CASB, GASB and FASAB accounting principles led us to believe that we were not required to depreciate property.

I understand that NSF intended to clarify that only for-profit organizations are required to depreciate property. I further understand that NSF will issue an Important Notice if and when the requirement to depreciate property becomes applicable to the University.

We appreciate your clarification of NSF's expectations for completion of this form.


David Mears
Director, Research Administration Office