Overview of Surplus Property Programs

There are many State and Federal Surplus Property Programs. Most programs can donate surplus property outright to your school or nonprofit organization at no cost if you can arrange transportation. Property may also be transferred in other ways. Some property is sold for a fraction of its value by just asking for it. Some is sold by sealed bid, some by internet bid or by auction. Public Schools, School Libraries and School Districts are considered to be Government. Parent Booster groups are often organized as part of the School District and may qualify as an eligible Government or Nonprofit organization. Community Schools, Community Colleges and State Colleges and Universities can also be eligible recipients of surplus property.

  1. Federal Surplus Property

    Executive Order 12999 requires all Federal agencies to give priority to schools. This Order also makes it possible for school representatives to deal directly with warehouse facilities in each agency in addition to working with the General Services Administration (GSA). Some warehouse facilities may not be aware of Executive Order 12999 and one GSA representative advises that you always keep a copy of the order with you when visiting a warehouse for the first time. You also need to have written authorization from your school or organization and a picture ID. Some programs require your school district to submit the names of authorized representatives in writing in advance.

    bulletGSA Warehouses receive property from other Federal agencies. The Federal Supply Service in GSA promotes utilization, donation and sales of property. The GSA also participates in a property transfer program under Executive Order 12999. There are four GSA Warehouses in Texas.

    bulletWhile most federal agencies give inventory to GSA, these agencies also have their own surplus property programs and warehouse facilities and transfer property to other customers besides GSA. You will have to locate each agency's surplus property program individually. Some large ones are:
    bullet NASA Surplus Personal Property Donations and
    bullet NASA Transfers of Excess Research Equipment
    bullet Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service

    Also see DRMS at a Glance and the DRMS FAQ and this list of all DRMO Facilities.

  2. State Surplus Property
    Any of the federal programs may transfer property to any of the State programs which may in turn donate to other State agencies or schools and nonprofit organizations. They also sell and auction property to the public.
    See List of Surplus Property Programs by State
  3. Texas Surplus Property
    In our state, Texas, each agency runs it own separate program and has its own separate warehouses. Texas also has its own General Services Commission (GSC) which receives property from the Federal GSA Surplus Property Program and from some of the hundreds of Texas State agencies. Many agencies maintain an online searchable inventory for each warehouse facility . Each federal and state agency stores its surplus property in their own warehouses. Your State GSC agency screens federal and state warehouses each month for property they want transferred into their warehouses to fulfill the needs of their customers. Therefore, it is very important that you contact your State GSC Office and communicate a list of property that your school or group needs.

    bulletGeneral Services Commission
    Texas has a Surplus Property Program operated by the Texas
    General Services Commission and an online searchable inventory list by category.

    When you locate items in inventory, call 1-800-722-3228 for more information.

    Be sure and request by fax the GSC Form for declaring the names of Authorized Representatives for your school. Their Newsletter can also be sent by fax.

    GSC Newsletter
    Tammye Custer
    w: (512) 475-3705
    f: (512) 463-5018

    GSC Procurement and Marketing
    Felipe Mayo
    w: (512) 463-3224

    Other GSC Contacts in Austin:

    Dan Bremer,
    Program Administrator (512) 463-4739

    John Balterton,
    Eligibility (512) 475-2453

    Pedro Padilla,
    Screening & Logistics (512) 463-8902

    bulletThe Comptroller's Office Surplus Property Program maintains its own online searchable inventory list by category.

    Contact: Martin Hollie
    John Sharp, Texas Comptroller,
    w: (512) 463-4681 f: (512) 480-9508

    On school letterhead, fax a list of your school's needs. Specify type and quantity. Mention you heard about the program from a parent. The Comptroller's Office will notify you as they fill your requests, so keep them informed of all of your needs as they change.

    bulletOther Texas Govt Agencies
    They have to be checked individually to find out if they have their own surplus property distribution system and how it works. For example MHMR has one. There are over 800 such Texas agencies.

    See this list of agency phone directories which can be searched .

Obtaining Surplus Property for Schools and Nonprofit Groups

Your group should consider starting a standing committee of volunteer parents and teachers working under the direction of your school principal to carry out the following tasks:

  1. Collect and maintain a list of your school's needs.
  2. Continually search all of the available inventories.
  3. Regularly follow-up with the agencies who are looking for your needs.
  4. Obtain and transport the property.

What Kind of Property is Available?

Almost any category you can think of is available. Here are just a few examples:

bulletMusic Instruments, Sheet Music, and even Uniforms
bulletAthletic Equipment
bulletAutomotive Tools
bulletShop Tools and Equipment
bulletAudio, Video and Television Equipment
bulletCafeteria and Restaurant Furniture and Equipment
bulletOffice Furniture and Equipment
bulletComputers, Software and Furniture
bulletBuilding Construction Materials
bulletHeavy Equipment
bulletGrandstand Bleacher seating


Last changed: 10/08/2002

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