FEPP DESK GUIDE
On an annual basis, State foresters should submit an acquisition plan to their regional or area FEPP manager. This will permit discussion of any items requiring further elaboration and also aid the Forest Service in helping the State forester to locate FEPP. The FEPP manager should review the list upon receipt and discuss and resolve any items requiring discussion on type or quantity. The Forest Service may require justifications for specific items. Acquisition Plans should be for a specific 12- to 15-month period and should be signed by a State and Forest Service official.
After approval by the Forest Service, the State may submit the acquisition plan to GSA by either telephone, letter, or the GSA Form 1539, "Request for Excess Personal Property." The GSA Customer Service Bureau will attempt to match State requests from local or national excess inventories. Once a need is registered, GSA normally screens "want lists" for a period of 180 days unless otherwise requested. The Forest Service should retain a copy of the acquisition plan to facilitate the approval process when the desired property is located and a transfer order is made. Note: This process is automated in the FEPMIS system.
The following items are determined to be unacceptable for acquisition:
Items normally unacceptable for acquisition
Request approval from the regional/area FEPP manager when there are legitimate reasons that a State needs to acquire an item from this list.
*Firearms may not be acquired through the FEPP program.
**Only the Washington Office FEPP manager may approve sedans and station wagons.
Note: The Environmental Protection Agency's definition of hazardous
materials contains some items that are allowable as FEPP acquisition (antifreeze,
motor oil, etc.). Caution is urged in obtaining bulk quantities of any
liquid item since subsequent disposal may be extremely costly and will
be the responsibility of the State forester. In several instances State
foresters have tried unsuccessfully to return hazardous materials through
GSA to the military. Very often the small amount of money that a State
expects to save by picking up hazardous FEPP items is grossly overshadowed
by the expense of disposing of that same item.
Program managers should be guided by the knowledge that this program is authorized to directly support the fire program. Acquisition documents and justification statements will be reviewed and approved when appropriate by the appropriate Forest Service official. Please note that the high-risk items and specialized equipment restrictions listed above apply to the State Fire Program as well as local cooperators.
State foresters may acquire for loan to fire service cooperators (including
State conservation camps and inmate crews) only items that are designed
for or can be modified for direct use in fire suppression activities.
Under certain conditions, materials and equipment to fabricate and maintain
these items may be included.* The items to be loaned will normally be
limited to the following:
*Fabrication materials and equipment may be loaned to a fire service cooperator with an established maintenance facility, or to those that can otherwise demonstrate effective use of such shop equipment, based on fire program requirements. Materials to fabricate and maintain such equipment include items such as sheet metal, steel, and other fabricating materials. Equipment used in fabrication includes metal brakes, benders, saws, welders, and similar high-cost items.
Items that should not be acquired for loan to cooperators include furniture, building materials, office supplies and equipment, and hand tools.
Each cooperator must have an agreement in place with the State forester addressing the terms and conditions of the loan of FEPP before it is assigned to a cooperator.
When items not on the above lists are needed by our fire cooperators, they should be obtained through the SASP or some other source.
Acquisition of the Gamma Goat (M-561 and M-592) and HUMMWV (M998 and M1098) requires that you add the following certification on your acquisition document (SF-122):
Since this vehicle does not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and is designed for use under conditions unique to the Department of Defense, extra competence and caution should be exercised in the operation and use of this vehicle outside the design specifications. In accepting the transfer, the USDA Forest Service warrants that it will provide necessary operator training and hold the DoD harmless against all third parties in liability suits involving the operation of HMMWVS in its custody. Our authorization to use these vehicles is granted mainly for transporting water in difficult off-road terrain only.
See Chapter 30 for unique disposal requirements.
Preparation - Property disposal personnel/facilities are not supposed to allow persons to screen, freeze, or in some cases pick up property, unless they have in their possession a current and properly authorized screener's card. These cards are requested by the State forester's office and must be approved by the Forest Service.
Regional Inventory - A record of all screener's cards issued to State or non-State personnel must be maintained by the Forest Service. The inventory record will include date-of-issue and date-of-expiration for each card issued. State employees who have Screener's Cards and become ineligible to screen because of a change in duties or separation from employment shall return their cards or have their cards returned.
Screeners should not be chosen lightly. The number of screeners should be kept to a minimum, numerous enough to adequately cover the generating points on a meaningful schedule. A screener should visit specific installations rather than alternate with other screeners. The screener needs to become well acquainted with the personnel at the base. Good rapport is essential.
A screener needs to be knowledgeable in both wildland and structural fire control programs. This is because much of the property seen was not initially designed for the fire service, and sometimes it takes an experienced and innovative eye to see the fire equipment under the olive-drab paint.
Just where in the organization the screener is located is up to the administrator of the program (State forester). Ideally, the whole excess property program should be within the "Fire Shop," then the unit that screens, acquires, assigns, inventories, reclaims, and disposes of the property would be the same as the one that determines the need. It is recognized that this is not always possible (or even desirable) in a given agency. It is important to remember, however, that the only justification we have to acquire and loan FEPP is for use in the fire program, so Fire must play the major role in determining and assigning the property.
FEPP is being turned in all over the world, so screening is possible at a large number of generating facilities. For most State agencies the State line is a significant barrier, but as a minimum, screeners should visit every generating point in the State. If a good facility exists in another State, and travel regulations allow, it is wise to make some trips there also.
Almost any Federal installation can be a source of excess property, but time is most effectively spent at military installations. Such places necessarily generate large quantities of excess on their own, and many smaller offices in the surrounding area often turn in their property there as well.
Veterans Administration hospitals and munitions plants also generate sizeable quantities of useful property. Your GSA representative will help you locate generating facilities.
Screeners should be trained for the job, motivated to abide by the standards of the program, and advised of the types of property to find.
The wide variety of property being released at Government facilities sometimes overwhelms a new screener. This can lead to undesirably large quantities of unusable property being picked up because the screener exceeded agency needs. There is no doubt that items will show up that were not anticipated but that would be very useful. However, under most situations, screeners should be directed to pick up only those items that fit a well-defined acquisition plan.
Management should develop guidelines on which types of property are allowable and which are not. It should be remembered that property suitable for the agency's own use may not be suitable for use by a fire department. An acquisition plan will be more varied if excess property is to be acquired for both areas. Screeners should be familiar with acquisition guides elsewhere in this chapter.
When a screener finds a piece of excess property that seems appropriate for the program but is not on the acquisition plan, provision must be made for exceptions, possibly via a phone call to headquarters.
Screeners must be told that no excess property is to be acquired for use outside the fire program. It must be either for use by the State forestry agency in fire protection or loaned to a fire department or other fire cooperator.
If the screener's agency has an official uniform, it should be worn, and it should be neat and clean. A uniform can facilitate entering a facility, and neatness improves relations with disposal personnel.
A typical screening trip will usually involve a visit to a military facility, and that means passing through some form of security. Depending on the base's mission and other factors, entry may involve simply driving in, or going into an office to sign in and receive a pass. Each installation is different and requires some adjustments.
The first trip to a facility will require some effort to locate the disposal yard. If there is a guard or check-in point at the gate, directions can be obtained. If no directions are available, the disposal yard can usually be found by remembering two things: it is normally on the far side of the facility and it almost always has a railroad track leading through it or beside it.
Once the disposal yard (DRMO)has been located, it is important to sign
in and present the Screener's Card. It is also helpful to spend some time
socializing before starting to screen.
After signing in with the DRMO, the screener will receive a current calendar and map of property available for screening. The calendar will specify a cycle for each location of property. The DRMO's printout will be made available.
Items on the printout should be inspected to see that they will fill a need in the fire program. Often the description on the printout is misleading, or the property is not in the condition listed.
The search for listed items also provides an opportunity to look at the other excess property being processed at the disposal office. Small items and items that require protection from weather are usually inside the warehouse. They may be stacked on the floor, on shelves, or in bins and carts. Larger items are outside with vehicles lined up and tires, metal scrap, and other bulk items in piles.
This is one of the points where good rapport with all the workers at the disposal yard is valuable. It is amazing how many choice items that are normally hard to find have been located when the screener has the assistance of a friendly guide.
The property will be in one of five stages of disposal: Accumulations, Federal, Donation, "Blue Light," or Public Sales. Property found in the Accumulation cycle will have items being added throughout the entire time it is in the DRMO. Property may be screened and frozen during this cycle.
After the Accumulation cycle, any remaining property enters the 14-day Federal cycle, and only Federal agencies can freeze and pick up the property. State forestry screeners are considered agents of the Forest Service and may screen at this point.
During the 7-day Donation cycle, Federal agencies may screen the property but will have no priority. Donation agencies have priority in this cycle. A Federal screener desiring property in this cycle must process the necessary paperwork promptly to have a chance to acquire it.
When the property enters the Blue Light cycle, it will be awarded to the first customer with an approved document, but is well picked over and must be removed immediately if awarded.
The final cycle is the Public Sale cycle, and States may purchase property in this cycle if their procurement regulations permit.
Screeners should concentrate their efforts in the Accumulation and the Federal cycles, where the best property will be found, and where there is adequate time to process the required paperwork. Monitor the calendar for the dates the cycles will change to facilitate future visits.
After property is located and tagged, a Screener's Tally Sheet (DRMS Form 103) must be filled out. Samples of screener sheets are shown in Chapter 60. Filling out the screener sheet correctly is one of the most important aspects of the job, and is also one that often receives insufficient attention. Some of this information is required to fill out the transfer forms to obtain the property; other information is not required but is helpful to the job.
The required information is almost always available on a form attached
to the property and includes:
If the above listed items are not noted, acquisition of the property may be unnecessarily delayed as the information is not available for the preparation of the SF-122.
There is also other information that is very helpful, although not required
on the SF-122. Examples of this information are:
The screener takes the 103 back to the DRMO Processing Office, where the property is checked for availability and is officially frozen. Some DRMO'sA mark the computer printout to indicate that a screener already has a claim to the property. Others move the property to a holding area with sections identified for various screeners. Others attach tags to the items with the screening agency listed on them. Regardless, it is important that the paperwork process not be delayed or another agency may get the property.
The SF-122 must then be prepared (see Chapter 60).
Property is turned in by Federal agencies and their contractors. Lists of this property may be obtained from a specific agency or from GSA. SCREEN is a good source for online users. Check with your region/area FEPP manager or GSA on how to get access to SCREEN.
If property has been identified as excess from a Federal agency, prepare
the SF-122 including complete shipping instructions. Directions for completing
the SF-122 are found in FSH 3109.12 and the FPMR's 101-43.4901. See GSA's
website at www.gsa.gov/forms/mgmt.htm for information
on ordering the forms.
Telephone GSA to freeze property pending inspection or confirmation of property description and completion of required paperwork. Questions should be referred to the GSA Customer Service Bureau located in each GSA Regional Office or the Forest Service FEPP official in your region or area.
Once the property has been frozen with the proper official, it is important that the paperwork be prepared and processed quickly. A sure way to lose the cooperation of the people at the generating facilities is to delay the acquisition process. That is also a sure way to lose property to other agencies.
The Department of Agriculture has a central excess property function, the DEPPC. DEPPC publishes an electronic monthly catalog of all excess property reported to them at . To obtain property listed in the DEPPC catalog, prepare an SF-122 and submit it to the Forest Service regional/area office for approval. Once approved, the Forest Service will freeze the property online through the NFC PMIS/PROP system. Notification of assignment will be made directly by DEPPC. Contact the holding agency to make shipping arrangements.
To receive a hard-copy version of the DEPPC catalog, send your name and address to:
Department Excess Personal Property Coordinator
NOTE: Forest Service regions/area must offer their excess to State forestry agencies for use in the FEPP program before reporting the property at the Department level.
Hard-copy versions of transfer orders and justification statements approved by the State forester may be faxed to the Forest Service. After approval, the Forest Service will fax these orders to the appropriate GSA regional office or area property officer.
Any SF-122 with an original signature should remain on file at the originating office of that specific signature for audit purposes.
The justification statement is normally completed by the screener; it may be prepared in the State forester's office when the SF-122 is typed or the information is entered into FEPMIS. However, it is important that the person who actually screens the property inform the one who prepares the justification so that a meaningful statement of possible use can be written. If the screener cannot justify the item for use in the fire program, then the item should not be acquired. See Chapter 60 for a sample justification statement and instructions.
The State forester shall provide a statement that clearly justifies the
transfer when any of following exist:
Property obtained by the State forester for the purpose of cannibalization for usable parts must be identified on the SF-122 accompanied by a justification statement. Property acquired for the purpose of cannibalization and identified as such on the SF-122 may not require an Agriculture Department (AD) 112 form.
Inventoried property acquired for cannibalization should be entered on the National Finance Center (NFC) PMIS records for the receiving State unit and remain on the inventory record until total disposal of the remains or miscellaneous parts has been achieved. A reasonable time limit for cannibalization and disposal should be entered on the record when cannibalization is authorized.
After the requested property has been received, a receipt copy of the acquisition document (SF-122, AD-107) should be sent to the Forest Service. The receipt copy should verify quantity received and provide a complete property description that includes year, make, model, serial number, State control number, and State or cooperator location where the property will be assigned. Include the NFC identification (ID) number, if State-assigned. Any discrepancies from the ordering document should be noted by the receipting official.
Aircraft acquired from the military should list both the military serial number (bureau number) and the manufacturer's serial number.
Occasionally, FEPP is declared excess to military needs because it has been determined to be unsafe or no longer meets military standards related to personal safety. Screeners considering items involving or affecting personal safety of end users (e.g., breathing apparatus, air tanks, and turnout gear),should be sure items acquired do not pose health hazards. The DRMO will often ask State forestry screeners to sign a document certifying that they are aware of the risks involved. The DRMO's intent is to minimize the agency's liability. This is currently being done with the M-561 Gamma Goat 11/4-ton vehicle, and may be requested for HMMWV's. In the case of breathing apparatus, justification statements must specify that equipment will be certified by qualified technicians as being safe for use before being assigned to fire departments.
Screeners should also refrain from acquiring liquids in barrels and drums. Several States have had to pay to dispose of oil, preservatives, and other liquid FEPP that was unusable and had to be disposed of in accordance with Federal and State environmental regulations. This disposal service is very expensive.
As the volume of DoD FEPP increases, so does the number of competing programs. About 80 percent of the property obtained by our program comes from the military. The individual State Agencies for Surplus Property traditionally have been a big competitor, but they have been joined by the Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and DoD's Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO). The DoD provides property to State and local enforcement agencies; law enforcement officers may screen at DRMO's.
The BIA Excess Property Program is authorized by P.L. 93-638, Indian Self Determination Act, and P.L. 100-472, which amended the Indian Self Determination Act. It provides statutory authority for the donation of excess and surplus personal property to Indian tribal contractors and grantees. Title passes after the property has been in use for a year.
Each State has a SASP to distribute surplus (donated) property to eligible schools, prisons, hospitals, and other State and local agencies. There are opportunities for our program to cooperate with the surplus program, and most State foresters do so. These two programs usually realize that they are part of the same State government and serving the same constituency. When these two programs are at odds within a State, both lose.
Property seized by the U.S. Customs Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Marshals Service, or other Federal agencies can be acquired for loan to State foresters for fire protection. This includes aircraft, vehicles, boats, etc. Acquiring seized property is a very lengthy process; the courts have to award the property to the USDA Forest Service, often after a criminal trial. Sometimes the receiving agency is required to pay storage costs or a charge to satisfy a lien.
This type of property has been at a premium because several of the confiscating agencies now have the authority to sell the property and keep the proceeds or to give the property to cooperating local law enforcement agencies.
State law enforcement agencies are also confiscating property that they sometimes will transfer to State forestry agencies for a fee.
State forestry employees and Forest Service personnel, especially those
who have to keep track of the property, often ask why the Forest Service
doesn't give rather than loan FEPP to the State foresters. The reasons
ownership is not transferred to the States include:
An SF-97, Certificate to Obtain Title to a Vehicle, should not be provided to the State forester when vehicles are acquired through the FEPP program for loan. Title remains with the Federal Government until such vehicles are disposed of through processes indicated in Chapter 30.
SF-97's are not necessary and should be neither offered nor accepted
for vehicles in this program. Vehicles can be registered and titled with
SF-122 Transfer Order - Excess Personal Property, a letter from the State
forester, or other documents agreed to by the State Motor Vehicle Authority
(DMV, DOT, etc.). Ownership to these loaned vehicles remains with the
Forest Service regardless of how the vehicles are registered or titled.
It will not be the normal practice for Forest Service officials to presign the SF-122 for the acquisition of FEPP. Problems that seem to require pre-signed documents should be reported to regional or national Forest Service officials after advising local GSA personnel. It will be necessary to provide details of FEPP transactions that don't conform to DoD/GSA standards. There are variations between DRMO's and we have cited some of those variations to GSA personnel and supervisory DRMS personnel.
Direct transfers refer to the transfer of property ownership from one Federal agency to another without prior approval of GSA. Federal agencies have authority to transfer property that does not exceed $10,000 (FMR 102-36.145(a)). The SF-122, Transfer Order for Excess Personal Property, is the form used. Direct transfer must be noted on the form and an information copy must be sent to the appropriate GSA regional office by the transferring Federal activity within 10 days.
There is a cooperative agreement between the USDA Forest Service and the DOI. We have agreed that the USDA DEPPC in St. Louis, MO, will send the USDA catalog to the DOI agencies and they individually will send their excess listings to our FEPP managers. This agreement does not change the order of precedence in the assignment of property. The PMO shall make a determination on the feasibility of transfer to or from a Department of Interior agency.
Screeners who have found property that may be eligible for direct transfer should identify it as such to the State forester's office, who should prepare the SF-122 for Forest Service approval. The Forest Service will complete the transaction as noted above.
State forestry agencies are encouraged to cooperate with each other to the maximum extent possible. States can screen property for one another, pick up for each other, and alert other States when usable property is available. The receiving State must complete the SF-122. Cooperative efforts maximize effectiveness, reduce costs, and ultimately make more property available.
Property officers at Federal installations will occasionally release quantities of FEPP that exceed the quantity authorized on the transfer order. All property accepted in connection with a FEPP transaction remains Federal property, whether noted on a transfer document or not, to be used and accounted for in accordance with FSH 3109.12 and this desk guide.
Any differences between FEPP approved on any SF-122 and FEPP actually received should be noted on the signed and dated receipt copy.
Nonappropriated fund property is defined in the FMR's (102-36.40) as property acquired by an activity that is not funded from the general fund of the US Treasurey, such as post exchanges, ship stores, military officers clubs, veteran canteens, and similar activities. Such property is not Federal property. However, per 102-36.165, nonappropriated fund property MAY be made available for transfer under provisions of this part. If made available under this provision, transfer of nonappropriated fund property shall be made upon such terms as shall be agreed upon by the owning activity and the receiving agency.
Unless the time is extended by GSA, nonappropriated fund property is offered by regional GSA offices or APO's for local screening and transfer to Federal agencies for a period of 21 days.
At the end of that time, if not selected by a Federal agency for reutilization, or extended by GSA, the property becomes surplus and will move into the sale cycle. Note: Property that requires reimbursement is not offered for donation, but moves directly from excess availability to sales (102-36.170).
If nonappropriated fund property were to be offered for transfer, and selected by a Federal agency (terms of reimbursement mutually agreed upon), title would transfer to the Federal agency and the nonappropriated fund property would become Federal property. A State forester's agent screening FEPP is picking up property on behalf of the Forest Service. Nonappropriated fund property in the local screening cycle may be acquired upon reimbursement to the nonappropriated fund activity; title passes to the Forest Service.
If the nonappropriated fund property is not selected by a Federal agency, and moves into the sale cycle, it becomes available to the general public, and title would pass to the purchaser.
Nonappropriated fund property does not have to be offered as nonreportable
excess. However, once it is, it cannot be acquired by a non-Federal agency
or individual until it moves into the sale cycle.
The SF-122, Transfer Order - Excess Personal Property, is the form that is used to acquire overseas FEPP. GSA approval is not needed for this type of property. The State official is required to sign the certification. The Forest Service PMO must sign blocks 9a and 14. The DRMO that is responsible for the property should be listed in block 3, rather than GSA. Additionally, the receiving unit's 6-digit activity address code must be added to the order. The State requesting this type of property is responsible for faxing the Forest Service-approved order to the overseas DRMO and for shipping arrangements and charges.
State forestry agencies are eligible to pay fair market value to the
holders of Federal property that is scheduled for replacement (exchange/sale).
This property is technically not excess to the owning agencies. Title
to this property passes to the State forester. GSA may sell Forest Service
Working Capital Fund vehicles at fixed prices (negotiated sales). GSA
can now negotiate up to $25,000.
Exchange/sale is not actually disposal, but rather a means to replace property that is still wanted in the program. This section describes procedures for the trade-in or sale of personal property eligible for replacement under FPMR 101-46. All exchange/sale transactions require the written approval of the Forest Service.
FEPP Desk Guide May 2000