January 12, 2024

To: Campus Community
Fr: John Pavia, Equipment & FlexCard Manager, Business & Financial Services (BFS)
Re: Annual Reminder: Theft-Sensitive Items

Keeping track of theft-sensitive items, whether located on campus or in our home offices, continues to be an important responsibility of university employees. University property can be targeted and should be secured and periodically inspected for use and condition. 

Intangibles are also at risk for theft and should be secured. Always lock your device when stepping away from your workstation, even for a short time. Regularly backing up your data to an external hard drive or cloud storage continues to be a best practice.

If any University property cannot be accounted for immediately contact your Business Officer, UCSB Police, and Risk Management to report the loss.

Local Guidelines

Each department should:

  • Identify attractive/sensitive property to track
  • Establish internal controls and procedures for tracking sensitive property
  • Conduct an annual physical inventory

Perform a risk assessment to determine if your department needs to track attractive items. Things to consider during the operational risk assessment:

  • Is the item portable?
  • Does the item have personal value?
  • Have these items gone missing before?
  • How accessible are these items (Open area vs closed office)?
  • Does the item contain sensitive data?

Some common examples of attractive/theft-sensitive items:

  • Cash or Cash Equivalents including gift cards and event tickets
  • Firearms/other weapons
  • Computers (desktops, tablets, laptops) including network servers
  • Printers, scanners, projectors
  • Smartphones/Cellular
  • Televisions, cameras, and other audiovisual equipment

Examples of sensitive inventory templates are available at Equipment Management – Forms.

UC Policy References (Excerpts)

BUS-10 Principles of Accountability with Respect to Financial Transactions

Department Heads and Department Administrators (DAs) Compliance Responsibilities: Ensure cash and cash equivalents are secure.

BUS-49 Policy for Cash and Cash Equivalents Received

Cash and cash equivalents must be locked in a secure receptacle or safe at all times except when signed out by a cashier for working cash.

BFB IS-3 Electronic Information Security

Departments should establish procedures to ensure physical security for portable devices and media housed within their immediate work area and under their control.

BFB-BUS-29 Management and Control of University Equipment

Items purchased for less than $5,000 or that have an expected normal life of one year or less, which are not inventoried as equipment... are subject to local University location inventory control procedures.