The federal surplus property program is administered by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS), and governed by regulations of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act authorizes the donation of federal surplus property. A nominal service charge is assessed to recipients for each item of property received.

Federal surplus property items are ones that have been used to their life expectancy or property that must be replaced for safety or economic reasons. Also included are items that are obsolete or in excess of the government's needs.

Types of Items Available

You can reduce your program costs by using federal surplus property. A wide variety of items are available through the Federal Surplus Property Program at low prices. Items include: automobiles, trucks, large equipment, office machines, typewriters, files, desks, tables, photographic equipment, compressors, pumps, machine tools, power equipment, motors, generators, clothing, recreational equipment, furniture, hardware, maintenance and construction equipment, laboratory and science equipment. Many other items are also available through the Federal Surplus Property Program.

Methods of Acquiring Property

There are two ways to acquire federal surplus property. The first way is by acceptance of a mail or telephone offering and subsequent direct pick up at the federal installation. Vehicles, heavy equipment, and special items may be requested in writing. Such requests are recorded, and if the item is available, an offering is made to the requesting person or organization. Upon acceptance by the recipient, instructions and authority to pick up the item are issued in writing.

The second way to acquire property is by pick up at the federal surplus property warehouse. A large selection of items are available at the warehouse located at 1924 S. 10 1/2 Street, Springfield, Illinois. The warehouse is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Persons needing particular items should call (217) 785-6903 Springfield.

Organizations That Are Eligible for the Surplus Property Program

Programs for the Homeless

Non-profit tax exempt organizations which provide food, shelter, or support services to homeless people may also be eligible to receive surplus properly through donation. Such organizations may include soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters, and half-way houses.

Non-Profit and Public Programs for the Elderly

State or local government agencies and non-profit organizations or institutions which receive funds appropriated for programs for older individuals under the Older Americans Act of 1965, under Title IV or Title XX of the Social Security Act or under the Economic Opportunity Act may be eligible to receive donations of surplus property for programs for the elderly. Types of organizations include: adult day care, senior transport services, nutrition services, legal services, and multi-purpose senior centers.

Public Agencies

Eligibility may be granted to any tax supported government or public agency established by or pursuant to state law. Public agencies generally include: departments and divisions of state government and other instrumentalities; political subdivisions of states, including cities, counties, and other local government units and economic development districts.

Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt Health or Educational Organizations

Surplus personal property may be donated to nonprofit educational and public health activities exempt from taxation under section 501 of the Federal Internal Revenue Code. The property must be used to aid education or public health, either directly or through research. Types of organizations eligible include, but are not limited to, medical institutions, hospitals, health centers, clinics, drug abuse treatment centers, schools, colleges and universities, schools for the mentally and physically challenged, child care centers, educational radio and television stations, museums, and libraries.

Terms and Conditions of Receipt and Use of Property

  • Property must be acquired for program purposes. Property may not be acquired for personal use or for use outside the State.
  • Property must be placed into use within 12 months of receipt and used for a period of five months thereafter (18 months for passenger vehicles and property with a value in excess of $5,000). Property not utilized in accordance with this requirement must be reported back to CMS for transfer or other disposition.
  • During the restricted 12 or 18 month use period, the donee may not sell, trade, lease, lend, bail, encumber, or otherwise dispose of such property without the prior written approval of GSA or CMS.
  • Cannibalization of an item or secondary use of an item for purposes other than its original intended use may be approved at the time of donation or subsequently upon submission of an acceptable written request and justification.
  • The fraudulent acquisition, use, or subsequent unauthorized disposal of property by any person shall be subject to criminal prosecution and penalty. Periodic on-site visits are conducted to ensure program compliance.

LESO-1033 Program

Now law enforcement agencies can cut their program costs even more by participating in the Department of Defense 1033 Program. To obtain property, the law enforcement group must show that the property will assist their officers in the execution of their primary duties. For further information contact the CMS-Federal Warehouse and reference the LESO Program.

Public Auctions

Public auctions are also held periodically at the CMS Federal Warehouses in Springfield and Chicago. These auctions are open to the general public with the exception of CMS employees and family members living in the same household. Auctions are advertised in the official state newspaper or can be determined by calling CMS in Springfield at (217) 785-6903.

Terms of payment at auctions are cash, cashiers check, money orders, or travelers checks in increments of $100 or less. Personal or business checks may also be accepted if accompanied by a bank letter which guarantees payment.