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STATE AGENT FOR SURPLUS PROPERTY

1. Background and Operation of the State Agency for Surplus Property

Each State and territory has a State Agency for Surplus Property (SASP). These agencies were established to receive Federal surplus personal property and to donate it to public agencies and certain nonprofit, tax-exempt agencies. SASP operations are funded by the surcharges they receive for their services. The authority is found in Public Law 94-519 (1976), which amended the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to improve the process for donating Federal surplus property to States and local organizations.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has the responsibility to administer this program and has issued regulations for its implementation. Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) that are enrolled in the 1033 Program are among the governmental agencies eligible to obtain property from their SASP. They should become acquainted with the SASP as a resource and should be aware of four important differences between the two programs:

--SASPs have access to personal property from all Federal sources, while the 1033 Program handles exclusively Department of Defense personal property.

--The 1033 Program transfers excess personal property, that is, property in the first 21 days of screening at the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office DRMO). Only property that survives this 21 days becomes available to SASPs as surplus personal property.

--SASPs charge recipient agencies a processing fee, while Ohio LESO facilitates the transfer of property without charge. 

--LEAs must screen and pick up property at DRMOs--not a truly cost-free process--and the property is acquired as is. On the other hand, some SASPs perform the screening and transportation functions for their customers and often will repair or refurbish property. Also, because of their networking, staff, and transportation resources, SASPs can draw from DRMOs worldwide.

2. Public Safety and Corrections

Access to SASPs is open to all State and local public safety and corrections activities. Sheriff's departments and police agencies that may be denied certain excess personal property under the 1033 Program--because their requests did not fall within the law enforcement parameters as determined by the Defense Logistics Agency Law Enforcement Support Office (DLA LESO)--may find appropriate supplies or equipment through SASPs. Police departments whose requests for administrative equipment and supplies may be refused under the 1033 Program may fill these needs with surplus property from SASPs. The SASP resource may be especially useful to jailers and wardens and to operators of drug treatment activities, none of whom now have access to the 1033 Program. Likewise, fire, rescue, and emergency medical activities, which cannot be supported by the 1033 Program, should look to SASPs for their needs.

3. Rules of Property Utilization

The rules that apply to property donated by SASPs parallel those contained in the 1033 Program Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). In fact, the SASP/GSA rules were the model for the MOA:

--Property requested must be needed and useable by the requesting agency and must not be for personal use.

--Property is offered as is (although it may have been repaired or refurbished by the SASP) and is transferred without warranty.

--Property must be placed in use within 12 months of its acquisition and used for at least 12 months.

--Property with an original acquisition cost of $5,000 or more will have additional periods of restricted use, as will vehicles, aircraft, and vessels.

4. Controls and Audits

SASPs have been in business for many years. Their professional organization, the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property, was founded in 1947, and SASPs have developed a store of experience and procedures that enhance efficiencies and protect against fraud and abuse. Their operations must follow State property laws as well as requirements imposed by the Federal Government. The "Single Audit Act" is a Federal law (P.L. 98-502) that requires semiannual reports from all recipients of Federal financial aid. Donated Federal property qualifies as financial aid. State audit agencies submit the required reports for all property donated to the State in excess of $25,000 market value. The market value of donated property is currently computed (guidance provided by GSA) to be about 23.3 percent of original acquisition cost. (The Single Audit Act applies as well to property transferred through Section 1033.) Officials in GSA regional offices and SASPs routinely perform reviews to ensure compliance with regulations and conditions. Instances of fraud or theft are referred to the GSA Inspector General or to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), whereas lesser problems are corrected administratively.

5. Address of Ohio SASP

Amy Rice                                                                                                                                         Administrator                                                                                                                                                                 Federal Surplus Property Program                                                                                                                                          4200 Surface Road                                                                                                                                                    Columbus, OH     43228-1395                                                                                                                                            Phone: (614) 466-6585                                                                                                                                                         Fax: (614) 466-1584
E-mail: Amy.Rice@das.state.oh.us

6. Firearms

A new program through which excess firearms may be transferred from Federal agencies to the States for use by State and local law enforcement agencies has been inaugurated. GSA issued an amendment to the Federal Property Management Regulations that enables certain usable firearms acquired for Federal law enforcement purposes to continue serving a law enforcement role.

GSA's Rocky Mountain Region, located in Denver, Colorado, coordinates firearms transfers. Federal agencies report excess firearms to GSA and the transfers to the States and local law enforcement agencies are handled by SASPs. LEAs interested in taking advantage of this source of firearms should contact their SASP.

Only handguns, rifles, shotguns, individual light automatic weapons, and rifle and shoulder-fired grenade launchers may be offered for donation. SASPs may donate weapons to State and local law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes only. Qualifying law enforcement agencies are those whose primary function is the enforcement of laws and whose compensated officers have powers of arrest and apprehension. Each request for weapons submitted to GSA must be accompanied by a conditional transfer document signed by both SASP and the intended recipient of the weapons, accepting the terms, conditions, and restrictions prescribed by GSA. Surplus firearms approved for donation will be shipped directly from the holding Federal agency to the receiving law enforcement agency and may not be stored by SASP.

Alternatively, SASP may arrange for the law enforcement agency to pick up the weapons at the holding Federal agency. Law enforcement agencies can expect SASP to charge a small fee for processing the transfer of these weapons.

7. Body Armor and Other Police Equipment

State and local law enforcement agencies can anticipate the inauguration of another program through which they can obtain bulletproof vests and other police equipment that is excess to the needs of Federal law enforcement. The equipment may include forced entry devices, ballistic shields, helmets, radios, armored vehicles, night vision gear, and holsters. This property does not belong to the Department of Defense and will not be available through the 1033 Program, but rather through the donation program administered by GSA. Law enforcement agencies should maintain contact with their SASP in order to take advantage of this program when it becomes available. Expended cartridge cases are currently authorized for donation through SASPs to State and local governments to be reloaded and used for law enforcement purposes.

1970 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223 | (614) 995-3789 |fax (614) 466-5181

1970 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223 | (614) 995-3789 |fax (614)