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U.S. Government Standard General Ledger
Issues Resolution Committee (IRC) Meeting Minutes

March 3, 2011

GENERAL ITEMS:

The meeting was held at 9 a.m., at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 441 G Street, NW., Room 7C13 (Staats Room), Washington, DC.

Kathy Winchester (FMS) opened the meeting by reviewing the agenda, then introductions were made.

HANDOUTS:

  • Transaction C132


  • Should Federal Receivables Have Allowance for Doubtful Accounts?


  • Draft Investments in U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) that Require Budgetary Accruals for Premiums and Discounts


  • USSGL Crosswalk – FMS 2108: Yearend Closing Statement – Unexpended Balances, Investments, and Imprest Funds for Fiscal 2012 Reporting


  • Modification to USSGL Accounts and Definitions


  • Draft Federal Financing Bank (FFB) Adjustments


  • IRC Proposal for New USSGL Account 4330 FFB Adjustment for Principal Differences Effective Fiscal 2012

AGENDA ITEMS:

Gwen Marshman (FMS) presented a proposal to revise domain value “Y” to “N” for the Federal/nonFederal attribute for all USSGL allowance receivable accounts. The change is based on the assumption that Federal agencies that have receivables from other Federal agencies should be able to collect the funds and therefore not have to book an allowance for loss. However, Gwen noted that in the event that a Federal agency needs to write off a receivable it can be done under the following guidelines as outlined in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-11:

“Federal agency receivables cannot be written off unless 1) Congress denies a request for funding or 2) the write-off is granted by the CFO Intragovernmental Dispute Resolution Committee or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).” If either of these events occur, the agency should be using a direct write off method (not using the allowance accounts).

Several agency representatives noted that they have allowance accounts on the books for receivables from other Federal agencies. Marilyn Evans (Treasury) noted that Treasury has allowance accounts on the books for payments made from the Treasury Judgement Fund on behalf of other Federal agencies. Treasury has been unable to collect these payments due to various disputes with the agencies.

After much discussion, a decision was made to keep the “Y” domain value for USSGL account 1319, “Allowance for Loss on Accounts Receivable.” This would allow agencies to write off receivables from other Federal agencies. The USSGL Division is waiting for a response from the Department of Labor to determine if USSGL account 1329, “Allowance for Loss on Taxes Receivable,” should be changed from “Y” to “N”.

Sherry Pontell (FMS) discussed a proposal to consolidate three transaction codes, within the USSGL account transaction section, into one entry to eliminate duplication and further streamline the USSGL (TFM). The suggested changes relate to transaction codes (TC) C132, D104, and D108. The three TCs represent the same event but contain different verbiage in the description. D104 and D108 are included in the Adjustments section of the account transactions, focusing on the budgetary downward adjustment side; whereas C132 is included in the Collections and Receivables section, focusing on the proprietary refunds collected side. Additionally, D104 and D108 are distinguished by expired/unexpired activity; whereas C132 combines the expired/unexpired activity in a single transaction.

After some discussion, the IRC members did not indicate a strong preference on whether they wanted the change made to consolidate the transactions. Therefore, it was decided to do further research of the TFM transaction code format to determine the best approach to take.

Note: After the meeting, the following decision was made: TC C132 will be modified to match the current entries in TCs D104 and D108. TCs D104 and D108 will be combined into one transaction that will include all of the USSGL accounts currently included in both transactions. The description and/or comment field of the TC will indicate that it includes both expired and unexpired transactions.

Sherry continued with a discussion of the draft scenario on "Investments in U.S Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of Public Debt (BPD) that Require Budgetary Accruals for Premiums and Discounts." The scenario contains a proposal for the creation of five new USSGL accounts. These new accounts are required to resolve reporting discrepancies that have been identified in the Governmentwide Treasury Account Symbol Adjusted Trial Balance System (GTAS), which is currently in development. The discrepancies occur when the current USSGL account 1611, “Discount on U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt,” is used to report the discount. USSGL account 1611 is currently associated with two different business lines, and the correct business line cannot be identified within GTAS.

All agencies that purchase U. S. Treasury securities from BPD and need to recognize budgetary resources on an accrual basis will be required to use these new proposed accounts. The only distinction between the new USSGL investment accounts and the current USSGL investment accounts is the budgetary accrual requirement.

USSGL account 1344, "Interest Receivable and Interest Accrued – Investments – Budgetary Accrual Requirement for Premium/Discount"

USSGL account 1680, "Investments in U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Budgetary Accrual Requirement for Premium/Discount"

USSGL account 1681, "Discount on U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Budgetary Accrual Requirement for Premium/Discount"

USSGL account 1682, "Premium on U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Budgetary Accrual Requirement for Premium/Discount"

USSGL account 1683, "Amortization of Discount and Premium on U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Budgetary Accrual Requirement for Premium/Discount"

Amy Patterson (BPD) suggested that the USSGL Division create new budgetary accounts rather than creating the new series of USSGL proprietary investment accounts as previously stated. She noted that the creation of the new proprietary accounts will complicate the reconciliation of the investment activity between BPD and the agencies that hold BPD Treasury securities and will not achieve the desired objective. The amount reported in the current USSGL account 1342, "Interest Receivable – Investments," is the full accrual but does not match the amount reported on the FMS 224, which includes the accrued interest purchased on the securities.

Kathy noted that she would like to discuss the above proposal with BPD.

Sherry then noted that the following USSGL account titles will be modified to add the word "Other" to each account. This series of investment accounts will be used for all purchases of Treasury securities that do not recognize budgetary resources on an accrual basis.

USSGL account 1610, "Investments in U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Other"

USSGL account 1611, "Discount on U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Other"

USSGL account 1612, "Premium on U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Other"

USSGL account 1613, "Amortization of Discount and Premium on U.S. Treasury Securities Issued by the Bureau of the Public Debt – Other"

Update: 3/31/2011: In light of all the new information the USSGL Division has been given, along with previous issues on zero coupon bonds pending, the USSGL Division has decided not to implement any new investment accounts for fiscal 2012. More time is needed to evaluate all the options presented and to do a full analysis on the accounting for all investments.

Karen Metler (FMS) continued the meeting by discussing a proposal for a new USSGL budgetary account 4330, “Adjustment for Federal Financing Bank (FFB) Principal Differences.” This account is needed to record the adjustment for the principal differences between the amount FFB receives from its borrowers and the amount FFB owes to the Department of the Treasury. This difference stemmed as a result of the 2004 U.S. debt limit crisis, which required FFB to borrow funds from other sources. The borrowings resulted in timing differences in principal repayments on the amortization schedules between the original loans to agencies and the amounts due to the Department of the Treasury.

Kathy questioned why FFB did not use budgetary accounting for the Treasury Account Symbols that are reported in the Treasury STAR system, as well as why the current account structure was set up as it is with expenditure point accounts. The discussion concluded with a suggestion that the new proposed account be put on hold until further research is done.

Kathy concluded the meeting by asking the agencies representatives to provide any agency information that they would like to share. Kathy began by stating that the tie points workbooks have been removed from the USSGL Web site. They have been replaced with a reference to GTAS edits and validations and a link to the GTAS Web site. The GTAS edits will be periodically updated and will include current USSGL information.

Teresa Tancre (OMB) asked agency representatives to comment on the Draft annual update to OMB Circular No. A-11. The revision will cover the guidance on budget formulation, execution, strategic and performance plans, and capital assets. Comments are requested no later than March 24, 2011.

Eileen Parlow (GAO) announced that the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board would be holding a cost accounting forum that will include 4 continuing professional education (CPE) hours. The USSGL Division will send out a message to the IRC group members with all of the details.

Note: The handouts located on the USSGL Web site provide additional detailed information discussed in the meeting minutes.

ATTENDEES:

Kathy Winchester, FMS
Edwin Walker, FMS
Sherry Pontell, FMS
Karl Foltz, FMS
Jonnathan Dias Olivo, FMS
Stephanie Pickerill, FMS
Gwen Marshman, FMS
Christine Chang, FMS
Karen Metler, FMS
Melanie White, FMS
Marilyn Evans, Treasury
Valarie Smithen-Moore, Treasury
Alana DuBois, HHS
Jenny Smith, HHS
Cynthia Wilbur, OPM
Dan Smith, PTO
Barbara Harbel, DOE
Bethany Williams, DOE
Boris Lyubovitsky, USDA
Shanell Overton, NSF
YuFen Sunahara, NSF
Janice Alexander, NSF
Kim Darling, NOAA
Stuart Turnerm, NOAA
Carol Berg, BPD
Amy Patterson, BPD
Drena McDaniel, DOT
Teresa Lampkin, DOT
Carol Gower, State
Rita Cronley, FMS
Jerry Shea, VA
Micky Chopra, DOD
Mai Ly Chi, GAO
Ayana Bess, GAO
Atisha Banks, DOC
Ping Wu, DOJ
Souleymane Dosso, DOJ
Maurice Gibbs, DOJ
Cindy George, HUD
Karen Hunter, SSA
Michele Murrill, SSA
Stephen DeClue, SSA
Michele Bailey, SSA
Paul Webster, SSA
Junghee Gogue, SSA
Ana Labador, SSA
Barbara Ricks, SSA
Mark Graham, SSA
Letha Holliday, SSA
Eileen Parlow,GAO
Teresa Tancre, OMB

 


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