U.S. Government Standard General Ledger Issues Resolution Committee (IRC) Meeting Minutes
May 31, 2007
Judy Yuran (FMS) opened the meeting by going over today's agenda and introductions were made.
Rita Cronley (FMS) discussed the status of "F" accounts. The Governmentwide Accounting area of FMS plans to eliminate use of all "F" accounts. By identifying the uses of each "F" account, FMS can offer agencies other alternatives to capture such activity. Some agencies sent comments to FMS expressing their concern with deleting the F3885 Treasury Appropriation Symbol for Federal advances without orders. According to OMB Circular No. A-11, Section 20.11, Federal advances without orders should be reported in the F3885 account, "Undistributed Intragovernmental Payments." Agencies would like to know what FMS is going to do about this particular "F" account, when "F" accounts are eliminated. To address these concerns, FMS is presenting the following options. First, FMS will provide a temporary waiver to those agencies that have this type of activity. Second, FMS is proposing this activity be captured in an expenditure account. Rita reviewed the Federal Advances Without Orders scenario. The scenario proposes recording Federal advances without orders in an expenditure account, rather than in the F3885 account. This will require adding one new budgetary USSGL account that crosswalks to line 3 of the SF 133: Report on Budget Execution and Budgetary Resources.
An IRC member asked about the Federal Advances Without Orders Survey, question 3A, which inquires, "Do you return the Federal advance without orders if an order is not received in 2 months? 2-4 months? 4-6 months? 1 year?" She stated that the F3885 account is a suspense account that is used by the performing agency. However, if the performing agency cannot identify the advance with the corresponding job, the Intra-governmental Payments and Collections (IPAC) System instructions state that the agencies have 90 days to clear the F3885 account. If it cannot be resolved within the specified time, the advance is charged back to the ordering agency. She wanted to know how the IPAC instructions impact survey question 3A. Discussion followed as to how an ordering agency can make an advance without an order. DOD thought its F3885 account was used to maintain a cash flow in the working capital fund. Normally ordering agencies should have obligations recorded on their books when the money is advanced to the performing agency. One of the IRC members suggested that it is possible for an ordering agency to use the F3885 account for continuous routine orders, and the ordering agency may want to leave enough money in the "F" account. Kathy Winchester (FMS) stated that the F3885 account should not allow ordering agencies to extend their budget authority by sending advances that do not provide orders for the performing agencies. Marilyn Evans (FEMA) also asked about what will happen to the F3845 account, "Proceeds of Sales, Personal Property," and the F3875 account, "Budget Clearing Account," if "F" accounts are eliminated. Rita responded that today's meeting is to discuss the F3885 account and that other "F" accounts may be addressed at a later time.
Rita emphasized the importance of completing the survey. The survey is a way to communicate agencies' F3885 account information to FMS and OMB so that appropriate alternatives for recording Federal advances without orders can be found. She will research the balances reported in the F3885 account and will send them to the agencies for review.
The following changes/discussions were made to the Federal Advances Without Orders handout:
Jeff Hoge (FMS) continued his discussion of the Financial Information and Reporting Standardization Project (FIRST) attributes from last week. FIRST will replace the Federal Agencies' Centralized Trial-Balance System (FACTS) I, FACTS II, Intergovernmental Fiduciary Confirmation System, and Intragovernmental Reporting and Analysis System. He stated that agencies need to think about two questions. First, agencies need to think about how much information FMS should collect. At a minimum there should be enough data collected to prepare the Financial Report of the United States Government. Or, FMS could collect more detailed information and could send it back to the agencies with edits, providing detailed feedback. The feedback could be in the format of OMB Circular No. A-136 statements. However, FMS can only provide the standard OMB Circular No. A-136 illustrative formats. The idea would be for agencies to push a button and the system will generate the agencies' quarterly reports. The first step is to get OMB involved so that agencies can have standardized financial statements. With FACTS II, OMB receives the necessary information it needs from the agencies via trial balances. As a result, agencies do not have to prepare manual SF 133s. By collecting detailed financial information from agencies, the same thing could now be produced on the financial reporting side.
The second thing agencies need to think about is how FMS should collect the data so that agencies can prepare their OMB Circular No. A-136 statements. Should the data be collected by attributes, accounts, and/or domain values? Judy added that it may be better to add new accounts based on last week's discussion; however this is still up for discussion. Then, USSGL accounts possibly would be expanded to greater than 4 digits with the implementation of the Common Governmentwide Accounting Classification structure. In the meantime, agencies need to keep that in mind and determine the best option for how to capture the information. Agency input is crucial for achieving this goal. Judy stated that future USSGL IRC meetings will continue to address how FIRST can capture data. The IRC meeting was adjourned while going over the proposed domain value handout.
Judy closed the meeting.
Judy Yuran (FMS)