Equipment Purchases - Guiding Principles
This page describes the guiding principles for equipment purchases in the School of Informatics
Released: August 2020
These Guiding Principles are intended to provide clarity on the funding of equipment and are supplementary to the School’s computing equipment allocation principles (as per current practise which is being documented separately) which outline the standard computing equipment that is provided and referenced within this document.
References to equipment refers to items such as desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, software, printers, scanners, servers, cloud services, robotics and associated items, AV equipment and items similar in nature.
It does not refer to stationery items and generally does not include furniture on which items are stored unless the equipment requires specific storage facilities or furniture.
These principles cover equipment funded from restricted (grant or other external) funds or unrestricted funds (ie. non-grant; such as School, Institute or operational budgets).
1. Equipment purchases must comply with University policies and Government legislation, which includes:
- Procurement rules
- Sustainable IT policies, eg those regarding personal computing devices and printers
- Asset management rules
The School’s Computing Team can advise on these requirements.
2. The School provides standard computing equipment to all staff and PGR students from its unrestricted computing budget. However, it is recognised that some academic and research staff require specialist equipment to support their research and teaching needs.
3. Specialist equipment required to support academic and research staff research and teaching needs can be funded from the following budgets, assuming available budget:
- Institute budgets (including any personal allowances made from Institute budgets)
- Research grants and donations (where permitted within the grant)
- Academic staff Start Up Funds (which cannot be used to purchase equipment beyond what was agreed as part of the Start Up agreement – for example: start-up funds allocated for purchasing equipment cannot be used for travel and vice-versa).
- Consultancy income.
4. The Computing Team must be consulted and involved in all equipment purchases to ensure:
Adherence to procurement rules:
As a general principle equipment should be purchased from approved University suppliers (ie. on SciQuest system), however the Computing Team will identify the appropriate procurement route, working in partnership with University Procurement.
Adherence to asset management rules to support:
- Lifecycle management (tracking location and/or allocation for audit purposes and arranging final disposal).
- Registration on University insurance schedule and University capital assets schedule
Adherence to the University’s Sustainable IT policy, as the policy requires Schools to monitor this policy, which the Head of School has delegated to the Head of Computing.
Capacity for warranties, physical hosting, ongoing maintenance and running costs, taking into consideration matters such as:
- Space in the School’s server rooms is a scarce resource. Any equipment which is expected to be located in these rooms must have the required space allocated in advance prior to purchase.
- As a general principle, high energy use items such as servers and high end GPU workstations should be avoided in office spaces, particularly within shared offices; consideration given to the physical space in which the equipment will be installed or placed; and the ongoing maintenance and running costs.
- The costs for physical hosting (including installation) and ongoing maintenance and running costs for specialist equipment will normally be covered by the budget from which the purchase is funded and must be budgeted for when assessing a purchase.
- Equipment should be warranted for the duration of a project, or funds should be left in reserve to fund necessary repairs.
- The School will generally not cover repair costs for equipment purchased from consultancy income.
5. Specialist equipment required to support professional services staff operational needs is rare and professional services staff are provided with standard computing equipment. Any specialist equipment requests for professional services staff (regardless of funding source) must be discussed with the Head of Computing before purchase.
6. All equipment requests must be submitted to the IT support via computing support ticket, to be reviewed by the budget holder.
7. Equipment that is replaced, or no longer in use for School business, must be returned to the School for re-allocation or disposal.
8. Any equipment purchased (regardless of funding source) belongs to the School. It is common practise that equipment used for specific projects is passed on to another project or users, however Computing must be advised of this to ensure appropriate asset management recording.