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Policy 4080 – Disposition of Property

The purpose of this policy is to provide the guidelines relating to the efficient disposal of Board property other than real property.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes that goods and materials may, over time, become obsolete, unsafe, or outdated. This policy will provide for the efficient disposal of Board property that has been deemed surplus, obsolete, unsafe, or of no further significant use to the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). This policy does not apply to real property.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide the guidelines relating to the efficient disposal of Board property other than real property.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Board Property – An asset held in the name of the Board.

  2. Destruction – The removal of goods or materials from the HCPSS that are no longer recognizable or useable as originally intended.

  3. Disposition – The sale, trade, destruction, or other disposal of any item that is deemed to no longer have a significant use to the instructional or support programs of the HCPSS.

  4. Donations – Equipment, materials, money, or property given to a school or to the school system for use in or in conjunction with educational or extracurricular programs.

  5. Economic Repair – The condition in which the cost to repair is less than the reasonable cost of the purchase price or replacement value.

  6. Fixed Asset – A resource that meets all the following criteria:

    1. Tangible in nature

    2. Has an extended useful life of at least one year

    3. Is not a repair part or supply item

    4. Has an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more.

    Items meeting the fixed asset criteria are classified by major categories, such as:

    1. Land

    2. Buildings

    3. Improvements to sites and facilities

    4. Furniture and fixtures

    5. Machinery and equipment

    6. Construction-in-progress

    7. Vehicles.

  7. Obsolete – Goods or materials that no longer have a value to the HCPSS.

  8. Public Sale – The sale of Board property by sealed bid, fixed price, auction, or other generally accepted process.

  9. Real Property – Real estate, buildings, or other property.

  10. Salvage – Retention of some component(s) of one item for use in the repair of another like item.

  11. Scrap – The liquidation of an item, or its remnants, that is no longer useable.

  12. Surplus Property – Goods or materials identified by school administrators, office or department heads as no longer having a need or use as originally purchased or provided; also called excess property.

  13. Trade-In – A credit or deduction received for property that is being replaced.

IV. Standards

  1. Property of the Board deemed surplus must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    1. It has been condemned for use by the health department or for safety reasons as determined by the Safety, Environment, and Risk Management office.

    2. It is damaged or worn beyond economic repair.

    3. It will be or has been replaced.

    4. It is considered outdated or obsolete.

  2. Textbooks and other materials of instruction are considered Board property and will be governed by this policy.

  3. Media materials are considered Board property and will be governed by this policy.

  4. The disposal of real property will be exempt from this policy.

  5. The disposal of leased/licensed items will be exempt from this policy and will comply with the terms of the use agreements.

  6. Property obtained through a federal, state, local, or private grant will be disposed of in accordance with the grantor’s conditions. If no conditions exist, then disposal will be in accordance with these procedures.

  7. The Purchasing Office has the authority to terminate disposal proceedings or to deviate from these proceedings in a manner that best serves HPCSS.

  8. Proceeds realized from any means of disposal are to be deposited to the Board revenue account or an account designated by the Chief Financial Officer.

V. Compliance

  1. The Purchasing Office is responsible for the disposal, re-utilization, or destruction of surplus Board property and in fulfilling this responsibility may:

    1. Make the property available for use by another division, department, or office of the school system

    2. Trade the property in toward the purchase of an appropriate replacement

    3. Sell the property for scrap directly through public sale

    4. Donate the property with authorization from the Superintendent/Designee

    5. Discard or destroy the property as trash in compliance with any local, state, or federal requirements, e.g., hazardous materials, FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), and HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) provisions.

  2. The HCPSS Warehouse is responsible for maintaining records documenting the disposition of all surplus property, including fixed assets (see Policy 4040 Fixed Assets) as well as records documenting the disposal of goods and materials containing any school data as specified in FERPA and HIPPA regulations.

  3. The Purchasing Office or Warehouse, in consultation with other offices or departments, including Safety, Environment, and Risk Management or Technology, will determine when property may qualify for disposal in accordance with established procedures.

  4. Technology and other related items will be disposed of in coordination with the Technology Department.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

VII. References

  • Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §5-112

  • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)

C. Other

  • Financial Reporting Manual for Maryland Public Schools

VIII. History

ADOPTED: November 26, 2002

REVIEWED: July 1, 2017


REVISED: February 10, 2011

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2011