Material and Property Accountability
All Postal Service employees and suppliers working with Postal Service
property are responsible for the security and proper use of the property in
their possession. Installation Heads are responsible and accountable for all
material in their facility. Installation Heads always retain responsibility for
materials, but may delegate accountability activities to a Material
Accountability Officer (MAO). Functional Managers, who manage a portion of
the facilities material, are accountable for all capital and sensitive property in
their area. The Functional Managers assign Material Accounting Assistants
(MAAs) to represent them in the day-to-day dealings with capital, expense,
and sensitive property; to maintain the accuracy of their property records and
files; and to aid the MAO. Supervisory personnel, District Material
Management Specialists (DMMSs), and Material Service Center (MSC)
personnel work with the MAO in some capacity in their own areas.
MAOs are directly accountable for all property assigned to their finance
number. They are also responsible for overseeing compliance with material
accountability policies and procedures. The Installation Head's delegation of
accountability to the MAO makes the MAO responsible for specific tasks.
These tasks are the controls necessary for optimal maintenance, use, and
disposal of Postal Service materials and property, and they include:
• Ensuring that all capital property verification, physical inventory,
and reconciliation procedures are followed.
• Evaluating the status and maintain property records and files.
• Ensuring prompt and proper disposal of all material declared
obsolete, surplus, not repairable, and authorized for disposal.
• Reporting all inactive property into the excess item catalog (EIC)
or to the District Material Management Specialist.
The Item Manager and Client must ensure that the material or property type
is appropriately classified, because the type dictates accountability processes
and procedures. Material and property types include:
• Capital - has a service life of more than one year, is identified as
a stand-alone item of property throughout its useful life, has a unit
cost of $3,000 or more, and depreciates in value
• Expense - items that cost less than $3,000; repair parts and
replacement components (e.g., batteries, motors), regardless of
cost; and, for the most part, mail transport equipment (MTE),
neighborhood delivery and collection box units (NDCBUs),
workroom furniture, and similar items
• Sensitive - materials considered especially vulnerable to theft or
loss (e.g., calculators, computers, cameras, valuable portable
The MAO plays a role in the following transactions that occur throughout an
asset's life cycle:
• Receipt Processing - discussed in the Receipt and Inspection
topic of the Complete Delivery task of Process Step 4: Deliver
and Receive Requirements
• Transfers - internal transfers (within a facility) and external
transfers (from facility to facility)
• Equipment Loans - capital or expendable equipment loaned to a
private mailer or a Postal Service activity or furnished as Postal
Furnished Equipment (PFE) to a supplier
• Inactive Equipment - equipment that is not in use because it is
either not needed (excess), not yet needed or installed (restricted
use), surplus, obsolete, or unserviceable
• Disposal - discussed in the Dispose topic of the Investment
Recovery task of Process Step 6: End of Life
• Depreciation - allocation of the cost of an asset over a period of
Handbook AS-701, Material Management should be referred to for more
information regarding asset transactions.
The Property and Equipment Accounting System (PEAS) is a system
managed by the Accounting Service Center (ASC) in San Mateo, California.
It is designed to record capital personal property transactions and maintain a
national inventory of capital personal property. The system tracks each item
of capital personal property through the purchase, use, and disposal stages.
The PEAS inventory record is related to the finance number of the facility to
which the property is assigned and can provide accountability information
within the finance number. A primary function of the PEAS is to calculate,
allocate, and record depreciation expense against the finance number.
The Postal Service has property reports available in the Accounting Data
Mart (ADM) that provide assistance to account properly for capital property.
Figures for the undepreciated values of current equipment are also available
through reports from the ADM. Information in the ADM reports come directly
from the PEAS.
Suppliers working with or on Postal Service
Just as Postal Service personnel are accountable and responsible for
materials and property entrusted to them, in relation to the performance of a
contract, Postal Service suppliers are also accountable and responsible when
they are working with or on Postal Service property, especially those material
and property types described above. The Postal Service may provide
materials or other property to suppliers when it will result in significant
economies, standardization, expedited production, or when it is otherwise in
the Postal Service's interest.
As the purchase is planned, the property to be furnished must be identified,
and then specified in the request for proposals (RFP) in sufficient detail
(including requisitioning procedures) so that potential suppliers may evaluate
it accurately. When special tooling or test equipment is associated with a
supplier's future contract performance, and the Postal Service will obtain
identifiable special tooling or test equipment under a contract, the request for
proposals (RFP) must specify each item or category as a contract line item. A
category of items costing less than $1,000 may be grouped as a single line
item. Further information regarding RFPs, their development, and their
publication, are discussed in detail in the Review and Finalize Request for
Proposals (RFP) topic of the Perform Solicitation-Related Activities task of
Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources.
Depending on the nature, scope, and complexity of the purchase and
associated contract performance, the Purchase/SCM Team must consider
• Information concerning the eligibility requirements of mail
transportation suppliers in relation to contract performance
associated with Postal Service property is contained in the Mail
Transportation Purchasing topic of Commodity Specific Practices.
• Security considerations regarding the protection of sensitive
Postal Service information technology is contained in Information
Technology topic of Commodity Specific Practices.
• Information regarding data rights and intellectual property is
contained in the Clarify Data Rights and Intellectual Property topic of
the Develop Sourcing Strategy task of Process Step 2: Evaluate
• Information regarding the supplier's overall capability and
integrity, which is generated in the Conduct Supplier Capability
(Technical and Financial) Analysis topic of the Evaluate Proposals
task of Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources.
• Generic issues related to the protection of Postal Service
resources, personnel, and assets are discussed in the Supply
Chain Security topic of the General Practices.
The Purchase/SCM Team may decide to provide Postal Service special
tooling and test equipment to suppliers for use in contract work, if doing so
will not disrupt programs of equal or higher priority, or it is in the Postal
Service's best interests. Contracts authorizing the furnishing of special tooling
or test equipment must contain:
• A complete description of the tooling or equipment
• The terms and conditions of shipment
• The terms covering the cost of adaptation and installation
In competitive purchases when Postal Service special tooling or test
equipment is not available, suppliers ordinarily provide and retain title to
special tooling and test equipment required for contract performance.
Competition usually results in fair charges for amortizing the costs of such
tooling and equipment. In noncompetitive situations, the Postal Service
should obtain the special tooling or test equipment, or the rights to it, because
it may facilitate future competition.
When special tooling or equipment is provided by the supplier, the
Purchase/SCM Team must determine whether to purchase the tooling or
equipment, or rights to it, by considering:
• Future needs for the items (including in-house use)
• The estimated residual value of the items
• The added administrative burden of reporting, record-keeping,
preparation, handling, transportation, and storage
• The feasibility and probable cost of making the items available to
other offerors in future purchases
• The amount, if any, offered by the supplier for the right to keep
• The effect on future competition and prices
When there is a possibility of future purchases of the same item and the
Purchase/SCM Team has decided not to obtain rights or title, the solicitation
must indicate current estimates of the future requirements, in the interest of
reducing amortization charges. Suppliers must be cautioned that these are
only estimates and not a guarantee to purchase future quantities.
When the Postal Service will furnish property that is valued at or above
$10,000, the Contracting Officer will include one of the following clauses in
• Clause 2-11: Postal Service Property - Fixed-Price, when a
fixed-price contract will be awarded and the total value of Postal
Service property is $50,000 or more. If the contract provides for
reimbursement of costs for certain materials, the clause with its
alternate paragraph c will be used.
• Clause 2-12: Postal Service Property - Short Form, when a
fixed-price, time-and-materials, or labor-hour contract will be
awarded and the total value of Postal Service property is less
• Clause 2-13: Postal Service Property - Non-Fixed-Price, when
a cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, or labor-hour contract
will be awarded with Postal Service property valued at $50,000 or
more. If the contract is for basic or applied research at a nonprofit
institution of higher education or nonprofit organization whose
primary purpose is to conduct scientific research, the clause with
its alternate paragraph c will be used.
• Clause 2-14: Postal Service Property Furnished "As Is", when
Postal Service property will be furnished "as is"
• Clause 2-15: Special Tooling, or Clause 2-16: Special Test
Equipment, must be included in solicitations for fixed-price
contracts when the rights or title to special tooling or test
equipment will be required but cannot be identified as a specific
line item. Rights or title to special tooling or test equipment in a
cost-reimbursement contract are obtained using Clause 2-13:
Postal Service Property - Non-Fixed-Price.
Clause 2-11: Postal Service Property - Fixed-Price
Clause 2-12: Postal Service Property - Short Form
Clause 2-13: Postal Service Property - Non-Fixed-Price
Clause 2-14: Postal Service Property Furnished "As Is"
Clause 2-15: Special Tooling
Clause 2-16: Special Test Equipment
Supply Chain Security topic, General Practices
Clarify Data Rights and Intellectual Property topic, Develop Sourcing Strategy
task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources
Review and Finalize Request for Proposals (RFP) topic, Perform
Solicitation-Related Activities task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources
Conduct Supplier Capability (Technical and Financial) Analysis topic,
Evaluate Proposals task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources
Receipt and Inspection topic, Complete Delivery task, Process Step 4:
Deliver and Receive Requirements
Implement Investment Recovery Plan topic, Manage Demand task, Process
Step 5: Measure and Manage Supply
Dispose topic, Investment Recovery task, Process Step 6: End of Life
Mail Transportation Purchasing topic, Commodity Specific Practices
Information Technology topic, Commodity Specific Practices