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SPA Process User’s Guide – Chapter 2 – General Policies

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Surplus Property

Surplus property is any personal property which is in excess of the needs of any state agency and which is not required for its foreseeable need. Surplus property may be new or used but must have additional useful life.

Surplus property must first be made available to eligible entities such as other Texas state agencies, political subdivisions and assistance organizations before it can be offered to the general public. For a description of political subdivisions and assistance organizations, see the Texas Facilities Commission’s (TFC) Certificate of Acquisition form.


State agencies not exempted from the general provisions for surplus and salvage property (Texas Government Code Annotated Section 2175) must follow the TFC and Comptroller’s office policies and procedures for transfer, sale or disposal of surplus property. When applicable, agencies must adhere to the federal guidelines and regulations for disposal of surplus property.

Note: SPA advertises the property for 12 calendar days to account for weekends and meet the 10 business day policy requirement. 

Agencies officially notify the TFC and the Comptroller’s office (using disposal method 05 in SPA) when surplus property is available for sale or other disposition (see Chapter 6 for more information about disposal method 05). Property with this disposal method is advertised on the TFC Surplus Property website for 12 calendar days beginning on the advertisement date indicated by the agency. During these 12 days, a state agency has a priority option-to-buy property with disposal method 05 over any other entity.

Note: Although state agencies have priority to buy items advertised on the website during the 12-day period, bids from political subdivisions or assistance organizations may be submitted for consideration during these 12 days. These bids must remain pending until the entire 12-day period has passed.

The agency advertising the surplus property determines the selling price and the first state agency, political subdivision* or assistance organization* agreeing to the price is entitled to the property. Once sold, the transfer is coordinated directly by the agency that owned the surplus property.

* During the initial 12-day advertising period, a state agency has a priority option-to-buy over political subdivisions or assistance organizations. However, these entities may submit a pending bid for consideration. Political subdivisions or assistance organizations must be on the TFC Approved Assistance Organizations list.

If the property is not acquired, the agency must change the disposal method 05 in SPA to another disposal method and indicate the next course of action to be taken by TFC (TFC storefront, live auction or Internet auction). This should be done immediately after the advertisement period. The agency may also choose to advertise the property again on the TFC website.

However, if the property is data processing equipment, all state agencies must transfer all data processing equipment to a school district, open enrollment charter school or the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The agency transferring the data processing equipment may not collect a fee or other reimbursement for the transfer. Data processing equipment cannot be sold to the general public.

Note: Statute allows political subdivisions to send data processing equipment to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The TFC may authorize a state agency to dispose of surplus or salvage property (bypassing the procedures above) if the agency demonstrates that it can dispose of the property in another way that saves the state money. For example, if the property is not acquired by an eligible entity, TFC may authorize the agency to sell the property by competitive bid, auction or direct sale to the public, including a sale using an Internet auction site. TFC determines which method of sale shall be used depending on what is most economically advantageous to the state under the circumstances.