Policies & Procedures


Fixed Asset Policy


1. Basis for Policy

The Institute is required by the Comptroller and Auditor General to maintain an Asset Register of all capitalised items of equipment and to physically account for the existence of these assets. The Register shall also record “Controlled Assets/Tagged Equipment” which have a value below the capitalised threshold. These include items that are sensitive, portable, or prone to theft.


2. Policy Objectives


The objective is to provide a systematic transparent and accountable method of monitoring and controlling the acquisition of, disposal of, and granting access to, Institute assets, and to protect the Institute and its staff from any conflict of interest, either potential or real, which may arise in relation thereto and to ensure value for money in the acquisition of, disposal of, or granting access to, Institute assets, and to maximise the residual value from such disposals, where applicable.


3. Procedures


The Institute shall have Fixed Asset Procedures with give effect to this policy and set out the detailed authority and responsibilities in addition to specific requirements in terms of acquisition of, disposal of or access to Fixed Assets.


4. Responsibility


The Governing Body has overall responsibility for the custody, safekeeping, utilisation access to and disposal of, Institute assets. In general these functions are delegated through relevant Officers (e.g. Heads of Department/Heads of Function) who act on behalf of the Institute.


5. Conflict of Interest


Heads of departments, service/research centres, offices, etc, nominated responsible officers and nominated destruction witnesses must ensure that no conflict of interest occurs in, or as a result of, asset disposals, or granting access to Institute assets.


6. Compliance with Policy


Heads of Department / Heads of Function are responsible for adherence to this policy in the disposal/granting access to, all assets registered to or located in their Unit. They must also ensure compliance with any other related relevant Statutes and Government Regulations.


7. Modification


Any modification to the Fixed Asset Policy shall require the approval of the Governing Body.

 

Fixed Asset Register


8. Fixed Asset Register


The Fixed Asset Register shall comprise of all items capitalised in the Institute’s Balance Sheet including Controlled Assets/ Tagged Equipment and all items acquired by the Institute by means other than through direct purchase (e.g. Donations) which would be capitalised had they been so acquired.


9. Maintenance of Register


The Fixed Asset Register will be centrally maintained by the Capital Assets Section of the Finance Office as part of its finance system. Responsibility for updating the register is that of individual departments, schools, faculties, centers and offices.


10. Audit of Register


To provide assurance to the Governing Body and internal audit or check of assets recorded in the Fixed Asset Register shall be conducted on an annual basis. This may include internal checks, internal audit and/or external verification. A report shall be presented to the Finance Committee of the Governing Body for review on at least an annual basis providing the outcome of and details of such checks or audits.


11. Additions to the Register


Assets shall be added to the register based on:

  • Purchased item that require to be capitalised on the balance sheet.
  • Controlled Asset / Tagged Equipment that are sensitive, portable, or prone to theft.
  • Items donated that would have been capitalised based on original cost
  • Items transferred to the Institute from other bodies that would have been capitalised based on original cost


12. Data Recorded


The Fixed Asset Register shall record information regarding each asset including:

  • Financial Information – Cost, Depreciation, Acquiring Cost Centre
  • Purchase Details – Order No. Requisition No, Purchase date, Supplier
  • Asset Details – Make Model, Manufacturer, and Serial No.
  • Location Details – Campus, Room, Owner Department, Status.
  • Audit Information – Audit date, Auditor ID.

Capitalization of Assets & Depreciation


13. Fixed Assets and Depreciation


Fixed assets, with the exception of land, are stated at historical cost or valuation less accumulated depreciation. Land is stated at historical cost or valuation


14. Cost or Valuation


Fixed assets in existence on 1 January 1993 (date of commencement order) are stated at valuation. The basis of valuation is included in the financial statements by way of note. Subsequent additions are stated at cost. Buildings under construction are accounted for at cost based on the value of the architect’s certificates and other direct costs incurred to the financial year end. They are not depreciated until they are brought into use.


15. Equipment


All equipment valued at €3,000 and over is capitalised.


16. Depreciation


All assets purchased before 1 September 2009 and capitalised will continue to be treated as fixed assets and depreciated to the end of their useful life.
Depreciation is provided on tangible fixed assets (excluding land) on a straight line basis so as to write off their historical costs or valuations over their estimated useful lives as follows:

 Fixed Asset

 Years

 Buildings  30 - 50
 Fixtures & Fittings incl Prefabs  5 - 10
 Computer Equipment  3
 Plant & Machinery  5
 Equipment  5
 Motor Vehicles  5

 


17. Equipment funded from Research Grants and Contracts


All equipment funded from Research Grant and Contracts is depreciated over the life of the asset in line with the policy for all other fixed assets.


18. Leased Land & Buildings


Leased Land and Buildings are depreciated over the life of the lease.

 

Disposal of Fixed Assets


19. Removal from the Register


Assets may be removed from the register by disposal. The principal methods of disposal are as follows:

  • outright sale
  • auction by a contracted auctioneer
  • scrap - to a licensed waste dealer
  • recycle - to an authorised agency
  • trade in - to supplier against replacement items
  • donation to registered charities or community organisations


20. Professional Valuation Advice


In all cases where the anticipated disposal value, or where the anticipated value of granting access to an Institute asset is greater than €70,000, the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration should obtain written a professional valuation for the asset in question.


21. Valuation thresholds


The following current market value thresholds shall apply to the disposal of fixed assets

 Market Value

 Authorisation

 Valuation

 Less than €1,000  Head of Department/ Function

 Estimated market value to be  written on disposal form

 €1,001 to €70,000  VP for Finance & Administration  Advertise sale in an open manner in the public domain to obtain at least three offers.
Greater than €70,001  Governing Body  Sale via auction or competitive tender process

 

22. Exceptions


Any exceptions to the disposal valuation thresholds require the approval of the Governing Body.
All IT equipment disposals also require the approval of the IT Manager irrespective of value.


23. Decommissioning of Assets Prior to Disposal


All assets must be adequately decommissioned prior to sale or other disposal. Such decommissioning may involve deleting files and programs from computer hard drives with particular attention to potentially sensitive files and other information or programs licensed to the Institute, and/or ensuring that assets are completely safe and uncontaminated, with all potentially hazardous materials or substances removed or made safe in accordance with current Health and Safety guidelines before exposure to the public.


24. Income from Disposal of, and/or granting access to Institute assets


Income derived from the disposal of and/or granting access to Institute assets must be receipted immediately, with the income being accounted for as central funds of the Institute, unless otherwise agreed by prior written arrangement with the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

 

Custody of Assets


25. Responsibility for Custody of Assets


Whilst assets may be purchased or acquired from various sources of funding, it is the responsibility of the relevant officers (eg. Heads of Department / Head of Function) to ensure the safe custody of assets under its remit including assets acquired under research grants and other external sources of funding.


26. Nomination of Contact Point


The relevant officers (eg. Heads of Department / Head of Function) may nominate an individual within their Department, School, Faculty, Centre or Office (eg. Senior Technical Officer) as appropriate, to ensure that the unit’s register is maintained and updated and to liaise with the Capital Assets Section of the Finance Office in term of the provision or input of data relating to assets and the conducting or facilitating physical checking including internal and external verification of the register.


27. Identification of Assets


To facilitate the verification of the existence and safe custody of assets, all assets should be barcoded as a soon as practicable following acquisition. Bar codes should include a unique reference and the name or acronym of the Institute for security purposes. Items unsuitable for barcoding should be book tagged.


28. Assets on Loan


Assets maybe loaned to staff members or students to facilitate them in carrying out their duties or studies. The Capital Assets Section of the Finance Office shall maintain a central repository of all signed and approved assets that are on loan including who is responsible for the asset whilst on loan and the authorization from the relevant officer.


29. Approval of Policy


This Fixed Asset Policy was approved by the Governing Body on 5th November 2015


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