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State Property Accounting (SPA) Core Training

Lesson 4: SPA Missing and Stolen Property Transcript

Introduction

Welcome to the Fiscal Management training video for State Property Accounting Missing and Stolen Property. State Property Accounting is also referred to as SPA.

After viewing this training, you should have a thorough understanding of:

  • Missing and stolen property types
  • The procedures to follow when property becomes missing or stolen

Missing or Stolen Property

Each agency should ensure that an employee entrusted with property exercises reasonable care for its safekeeping. Reasonable care means that steps have been taken to ensure:

  • Acceptable upkeep and maintenance of the asset
  • Security of the asset
  • The asset can be located at all times
  • Documentation is retained specifying the person responsible for the asset

If assets are found to be missing, stolen or damaged during the physical inventory or anytime during the year, the loss must be immediately reported to the SPA system.

There are certain procedures that must be followed. The type of procedure depends on the nature of the loss. There are two types of missing, stolen or damaged property events:

  • Loss occurs due to employee negligence
  • Loss results in no employee negligence

Missing or Stolen Property

Immediately upon recognizing that a property is missing, an agency is required to notify the Comptroller’s office by assigning the property a disposal method code of 19, Missing/Hold for Deletion. Disposal Method 19 is called a “soft disposal” because it does not remove the property from the agency’s accounting records and is only a temporary disposal method.

An asset can only have disposal method 19 status for two years. If the property is not located or recovered within two years from the date the property was reported missing, the property must be deleted using a hard disposal code that indicates if the asset was truly missing or was stolen.

Employee Negligence

If the property manager or agency head has reasonable cause to believe that any property in the agency’s possession has been lost, destroyed or damaged through the negligence of any state official or employee, the head of the agency or property manager must report the loss, destruction or damage to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) within 72 hours of discovery.

The agency must fax (or send by interagency mail if the agency is located in Austin) a copy of the Missing, Damaged or Stolen Property Report form (74-194) and a copy of the police report (if applicable) to the OAG.

Stolen property should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency within 48 hours of realizing the property has been stolen and within 72 hours to the OAG.

Appropriation Reductions

A state agency or institution of higher education must annually report to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the Comptroller's office the value of property lost or missing from the possession of the agency or institution. The LBB and the Comptroller's office may prescribe forms and dates for reporting.

If an agency or institution reports property loss that exceeds the standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Comptroller’s office must withhold 50 percent of the net book value of the excess amount from the agency’s appropriated general revenue, General Revenue – Dedicated or other funds appropriated to the state agency or institution of higher education (See GAA, Article IX, Section 12.04).

If an agency or institution subsequently recovers or accounts for the lost property to the satisfaction of the Comptroller’s office, the Comptroller’s office returns a proportional amount of previously withheld funds.

According to ASTM standards, the acceptable ratios for LDD property are:

  • Zero percent for high-risk assets. The Comptroller’s office has designated firearms as high-risk. In the future, the Comptroller’s office may determine that other types of property meet the definition of high-risk.
  • One percent of an agency’s non-high-risk assets by AFR category. All property except firearms is designated as non-high-risk.

If SPA staff determines that the calculated loss ratios exceed ASTM standards, they will direct Appropriation Control staff to reduce the appropriations of the agency that owns the property in an amount equal to 50 percent of the depreciated value of property (net book value) that exceeds the standard. This reduction is in the first quarter of the fiscal year. The reduction is based on property reported with disposal methods 17, 18, 20 or 21 in the previous fiscal year.

Appropriations are reduced by 50 percent of the full historical cost (acquisition cost) for missing or stolen firearms.

Lost Property in the News

Lost property is particularly important because it consistently attracts the attention of media. Here is a news clip highlighting lost property.

Conclusion

Thank you for viewing this presentation. You should now have a thorough understanding of:

  • Missing and stolen property types
  • The procedures to follow when property becomes missing or stolen

This concludes the SPA Stolen and Missing Property training.

For more SPA training and other Fiscal Management training opportunities, log on to Training Center on FMX.


Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
Comptroller.Texas.Gov | FMX
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