COMPUTERS AND LAPTOPS
SIBCR funds may be used to purchase desktop and laptop computers for use in or support of VA-approved research. To purchase a laptop computer, a specific rationale that explains the need for a laptop instead of a desktop computer must be provided.
All computers and laptops are to be purchased through the SIBCR accounting department. Personal reimbursements for computers and laptops are not allowed.
Please note that SIBCR computers and laptops may not be used to store VA sensitive data and cannot be linked to the VA network.
All portable media devices are to have encryption software installed by SIBCR before use.
All computers and laptops will be affixed with an SIBCR tag. The accounting department prepares a computer/laptop property form that indicates the date of purchase, type of computer/laptop, serial number and location. The PI (or authorized designee) must sign the form and return it to the accounting department.
SIBCR does not pay for desktop computers, printers, or scanners that are for use in your home office.
Computers purchased with SIBCR funds that are not related to federal awards may later be donated to the VA for use on the VA network if required. Forms for donation can be obtained from the SIBCR accounting department.
Purchases in support of an educational activity must be within the scope of the proposal as approved.
Principal investigators are required to return all computers and laptops to the SIBCR accounting office for disposal. It is the responsibility of the investigator to ensure that all personal programs and information have been erased from the hard drive prior to returning them to SIBCR. All data held on the computers will be irrevocably erased before disposal by either SIBCR or the VA ADPAC. These requirements apply to all computers as well as other items of computer equipment (e.g., printers, scanners). All computer equipment will be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner.
OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES
SIBCR funds may not be used for the purchase of cell phone equipment. Personal Data Assistant (PDA) devices may be purchased, but must include a specific research-related rationale for their use and should reflect reasonable pricing. Other specialty devices or electronic items such as digital cameras may have a valid research rationale, but due to the potential personal use must be pre-approved before purchase.
The acquisition of any equipment requiring space, utilities, or other resources not available in the member's assigned research space must be reviewed by VAPSHCS R&D administration prior to placement of the order. Equipment to be purchased as part of an educational activity must be explicitly included in the approved proposal.
Members should advise SIBCR of any equipment purchase prior to placing the order to assure sufficient funds are available. Note that SIBCR is not exempt from Washington State sales tax and the appropriate amount must be included in your cost estimate unless the equipment is eligible for the High Technology Sales Tax Deferral (see below).
Equipment purchased with SIBCR funds will be classified according to the depreciation policy as defined below.
- Fixed Assets
- Durable, non-expendable items with an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more with a useful life of more than a year will be considered equipment. All such equipment, including furniture, will be SIBCR property and listed as a fixed asset.
- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles require that such fixed assets be depreciated over a reasonable term or the estimated useful life. Therefore, fixed assets will be depreciated using the straight-line method at a term set uniformly at five years.
- The equipment or furniture listed as part of the Institute's fixed assets will be affixed with an SIBCR property tag and tracked biennially for location and condition.
- The acquisition cost will include all reasonable components that allow the equipment to function. The acquisition date will be the date of the invoice.
- Durable items (equipment/furniture) purchased with SIBCR funds for less than $5,000, but greater than $2,000 will be listed on the SIBCR inventory and affixed with an SIBCR property tag in order to maintain an inventory record.
- All computer equipment, regardless of cost will be tagged by SIBCR.
- An annual inventory of all laptops purchased with SIBCR funds will be performed. All laptops not in use are to be returned to SIBCR immediately.
- Individual components purchased for $2,000 or more and added to an existing computer system will be tagged as SIBCR inventory, if reasonable to do so.
- A durable item purchased for less than $2,000 will not be tagged or listed as inventory.
If a member transfers to another 501(c)(3) research institution, the member may direct a request to the Board of Directors to transfer fixed assets or inventory items that were purchased with SIBCR funds if the item will continue to benefit VA research or education.
Please see Transfers of Funds and/or Equipment for more information.
A member may request that SIBCR items purchased with non-federal funds be donated to VAPSHCS for research support.
Durable items ordered through SIBCR will ordinarily be delivered to VAPSHCS and will be subject to acceptance based on available facilities and safety policy.
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