Tagging Property


This document describes the tagging procedures used for identifying property. The document first presents general information about tagging procedures. Then it discusses tagging procedures as they relate to how the property was acquired. Finally, the document defines responsibilities associated with tagging functions.

Time of Tagging

When feasible, decals should be affixed as soon as property is received. The operating location must develop a process that ensures that property gets tagged in a timely manner after receipt. A PCS record cannot be made for an item until it has been tagged with a Research Foundation (RF) decal. Since property may come directly to a project director from a vendor, project directors must cooperate with those in charge of tagging by providing them with notification of arrival. Project directors must also cooperate by providing access to property for tagging by the office having the property control function.

Placement of Decals

Decals should be placed so that they can be accessed for subsequent inventory and audit procedures. If equipment requires installation within a housing, then provision should be made for an access port. Decals should also be placed where they will not be damaged.

Problem Tagging

Some property can be difficult or impossible to tag. Software is an example. Other examples are: 1) a diffusion pump becomes very hot during operation and a decal would burn if affixed to its housing, 2) certain optical lenses are too narrow to accept a decal, 3) some antiques and works of art could be defaced by tagging, and 4) some property is so delicate that tagging would be inadvisable. An asset number must be assigned and a record created on the PCS even when property cannot be tagged.

A solution for a number of the examples listed above (for example, software, lenses, and fragile equipment) is to keep the items in a drawer or container to which the decals are affixed. This should be a secure location. A description of important features of the property should be noted in the PCS Description field. A notation should also made in the PCS Additional Description fields that the property has not been tagged.


In these problem cases, careful documentation must be made and kept by the office in charge of the property control function and by the appropriate project director. The documentation should include the location, responsible person(s), and where possible, manufacturer, serial, and model numbers. This documentation must provide a clear trail for inventory and audit.

Tagging Purchased Property

The source of funds and the vesting of title for purchased property necessitate different tagging requirements. The following table describes the various procedures for tagging purchased property.

If purchased with...

and title vests...

then affix...

sponsor or RF funds


with the RF

an RF decal.

with the sponsor

an RF decal and a U.S. Government sponsor decal if required. The RF decal provides an audit and inventory trail. The other decals provide compliance with specific sponsor guidelines for tagging. If the sponsor sends its own decal, it must replace any RF generated sponsor decal that may have already been placed on the equipment.

sponsor or RF funds from multiple accounts


with the RF

just one RF decal. This decal is assigned an asset number with a suffix of RF or R. In the PCS, individual records are made for each contributing account, each having the same asset number but differing in the 10th digit of the asset number (....R1, ....R2, ....R3, etc.).

at least in part with a sponsor

an RF decal and a sponsor decal for each funding source.

central office funds, used at central office

with the RF

a central office decal. These decals have a six digit asset number.

Tagging Loaned or Donated Property

The following table describes the tagging procedures for property acquired by loan and donation.

If the property was acquired by...

and title vests...

then affix...


the sponsor

a Research Foundation decal to the property as well as a sponsor decal. The RF decal maintains control over the property.


the Research Foundation unconditionally (see Gifts, Contributions, and Fund-Raising Policy.

only an RF decal to the property.


Property that is leased without purchase does not have to be tagged. However, if leased property is purchased during or at the end of a leasing agreement and if the A-110 or sponsor's value and service life limits are exceeded, then the property must be tagged according to the RF and sponsor requirements. For the purpose of evaluating the service life, the date of initiating the lease agreement should be taken as the service life start date. The tagging requirements are the same as for any other purchased property.

Fabrication Using Sponsored Funds

When property is fabricated using sponsor or RF funds, the tagging procedures are the same as for purchased acquisitions funded from single or multiple accounts. At the start of a fabrication a record should be initiated for the construction so that the contributing accounts can be tracked with their participation amounts. This will determine the need for tagging. Any participating account towards an asset that eventually exceeds the A-110 or sponsor limits, must have its tagging requirements met.

Tagging of Modifications

Modifications and enhancements to an original item are managed in the following ways:


Operating Locations

The RF operations manager is responsible for ensuring that

Central Office

The Office of the Secretary-Treasurer is responsible for assisting operating locations in obtaining RF, U.S. Government, and sponsor decals upon request.

This office also manages all property tagging procedures for central office equipment.


Refer to document Decals for a description of decals and how to obtain them.



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