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Computing devices are used to acquire, store, analyze, process, and publish data and other information electronically, including accessories (or “peripherals”) for printing, transmitting and receiving, or storing electronic information. 

Awards made on or after December 26, 2014

Computing devices (including accessories) do not require a CAS exception.   They are an allowable direct charge provided the item(s) are essential and allocable.  Also, the item(s) do not need to be solely dedicated, to the performance of a Federal award.  Unit files should document the necessity and allocability of the item to the project.

Awards made prior to December 26, 2014

Computing devices (including accessories) require a CAS exception. In addition to being essential and allocable to the project, one or more of the following must be true:

  • Project activities involve extensive data accumulation, analysis and processing. 
  • The computer is part of a system fabrication.
  • The computer is part of the deliverable. 
  • The computer is needed to connect to/operate scientific equipment. 
  • The focus of the study is the new design of hardware/software/communication methods.
  • A portion of the project is being conducted in a remote location.

If none of these statements are true, then the expenditure is not allowable.

If one or more of these statements are true, then a CAS exception is permitted provided all the following questions are addressed in the unit’s files:

  1. An explanation as to why the computer(s) and any requested scientific software is necessary to complete the technical goals of the project.
  2. Confirmation that the scientific software requested is not readily available for download from ASU’s My Apps.
  3. A discussion as to what is unusual about project scope that makes the academic unit and/or university’s computer labs/resources insufficient.
  4. For remote work locations, an explanation as to how long project staff will be at that location, and how the computer(s) will allow them to accomplish the project goals while there.
  5. Any additional information that would strengthen the budget justification and further explain the unusual need or unlike circumstances for the computer(s).

In the event a unit has any question as to whether an item meets the criteria, contact the AMT Customer Service Liaison for guidance.

Return to CAS standard guidance.