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ASAP Customer Board (ACB)
Meeting Minutes
November 17, 2005


Financial Management Service:
Elizabeth Oldenburg; Director, Intergovernmental Programs Division Christine Ricci, Margie Springer, Ashton Dunbar; ASAP.gov Customer Liaison Carol Cole; ASAP.gov Operations, Regional Operations

ASAP.gov Customer Board (ACB):
Jennifer Criss, Anita Easterday, Rick Noll; Federal Program Agency Representatives Steve Allison, Jerry Scribner; State Representatives Linda Holiman, Non-Profit Organization Representative Lisa Thompson, University Representative

Absent ACB Members:
Arthur LeBlanc; ACB Chair and Federal Program Agency Representative Maria Vargas-Capriles; University Representative Dee Ann Haworth; ACB Vice Chair and Indian Tribal Organization Representative

Approval of July Meeting Minutes:
The Meeting Minutes from the July 12, 2005, conference call were approved and will be posted to the FMS ASAP website (www.fms.treas.gov/asap).

Preparing for Release 2.0
Deputy CFO Letter
FPA Board representatives from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) raised serious concerns relating to the certification responsibilities of the Certifying Officer (CO) contained in the letter dated September 22, 2005.

As an example, NSF currently authorizes increases and decreases to accounts and does not want to be liable for wrong banking information.

Page 2 of the Deputy CFO Letter notes: 'a certifying officer submitting a payment voucher to Treasury is responsible for, among other things, the "information stated in the certificate, voucher, and supporting records" and for ensuring the payment is proper under the appropriation or funding source.'

Since the CO responsibilities are cited in the United States Code, FMS recommended NIST and NSF have their lawyers contact FMS's lawyer.

FMS noted that COs would be notified via e-mail whenever a Recipient Organization (RO) changes their banking information. There is currently a three-day delay for FedWire and seven-day delay for ACH payments. The waiting period was instituted for ACH so that ASAP.gov can send a Prenote to the financial institution to verify the bank account. A financial institution has six days to respond to a prenote. For Fedwire, the new banking relationship becomes available for use in three business days. The three day waiting period can be extended if requested by COs to provide them an opportunity to review and verify the banking information change.

Letter dated October 13, 2005, Important ASAP.gov Information for all Recipient Organizations/Conference Call Meeting Notes dated October 26, 2005
A Board member noted the ACB received minimal notice before the October 13, 2005, letter was posted. If the ACB had a chance to review the proposed letter, members would have had the opportunity to clarify issues that were raised during the October 26, 2005, conference call. FMS responded that we would appreciate the Board's comments and clarifications for future correspondence where appropriate and timely.

Clarification was requested concerning the statement from Page 2 of the October 13, 2005, letter: "Recipients will no longer be associated with Payment Requestor Organizations." For Release 2.0, a payment requestor role will be associated with a single recipient organization or multiple recipient organizations.

Enrollment Suspension
October 1, 2005, was the official date FMS's Regional Financial Centers (RFCs) stopped accepting new enrollments. The RFCs have, however, accepted enrollments through this week. FMS will be processing enrollments received and will focus on ensuring the proper transition of existing ASAP.gov accounts to the Release 2.0 operating environment. Information on organizations with incomplete information will be sent back to the FPAs. New enrollments will begin in ASAP.gov February 2006.

Legacy ASAP Sunset
Legacy access to ASAP was cut off as of November 1, 2005.

DUNS and TIN Requirement
The requirement to provide FMS with TIN information has been in place since 1999. DUNS has been required since October 2003. Without this information, recipient organizations will not be converted to Release 2.0.

Active Officials Required
Contact information (including e-mail) for active officials within a Recipient Organization must be complete and up to date before an RO is converted to ASAP.gov.

Individual Email Addresses Required for Officials and all other users
Due to high level security concerns, ASAP.gov will not accept group office emails.

Financial Officials to be Provisioned First
Financial Officials will have from December 2005 through January 2006, to tie banking data to specific FPA(s) from which they receive funds. If an RO receives funding from multiple FPAs, at least one bank account must be associated with each FPA or the RO will not be able to draw funds from that FPA in February 2006.

Q: How will the provisioning process work?
A: The FO will receive an ID from the Richmond Federal Reserve (FRB) via email and a password via the U.S. Postal Service. Upon logging onto the system, current FPA and Bank Account information will be pre-populated. The FO will select a bank account from a list and 'tie' that bank account to one or more FPAs from which the RO receives funding. This will be a one time data entry process.

Q: When can banking data be added or modified?
A: Banking data can be added or modified after February 2006. If an emergency bank account change is needed, the FO should work with their servicing RFC between now and February.

Q: What is the password policy for ASAP.gov?
A: The timeframe to change your password has increased from 45 days to 90 days. After 6 months of non-use, the user will be sent an email. After the ninth month of non-use, the password will be suspended and the user will have to call the FRB to have their password reset. After 1 year of non-use, the user will have to re-enroll.

Q: What is the timeframe for a user to expect an ID and password?
A: User IDs are generated by the ASAP.gov system the same day the user requests one. Since the passwords are sent via the U.S. Postal Service, there will be a delay of a few days. The user is instructed to contact us if the password is not received within a given timeframe.

Q: For those officials who are new to using the ASAP.gov system, can a reminder be sent before the password is suspended?
A: FMS will look into providing users an e-mail reminder concerning use and access.

Q: FMS is still not requiring its users to use the Central Contracting Registry (CCR)?
A: While an OMB regulation required grantees to obtain a DUNS number, it did not require grantees to register to the CCR. Hence, very few ASAP organizations have registered their banking information in the CCR. Until the OMB regulation is revised to require grantees to register, we cannot obtain banking data from the CCR.

Internet Enrollment for Recipient Organizations
As mentioned earlier, for organizations currently enrolled in ASAP.gov, Financial Officials will have from December 2005, through early February 2006, to tie banking data to specific FPAs. The RO will not have access to ASAP.gov unless this task is completed.

For new enrollments after February 2006, the Enrollment Initiator (EI) at the FPA starts the enrollment process. The EI will begin the process by inputting the DUNS and TIN information, recipient name, along with identifying the RO Point of Contact (POC). A user ID and password will then be sent to the POC to continue the enrollment of the RO officials.

By January 3, 2006, FMS will be able to tell the ACB which ROs are missing officials and therefore will not be converted once Release 2.0 is launched.

FMS will be providing information to the FPAs concerning the new roles within ASAP.gov and the combination of roles that can and cannot be combined.

ASAP.gov Release 2.0 User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Review
Organizations Participating
FMS, the FRB, and ACB representatives are participating in UAT.

UAT Timeframes
UAT began October 17, 2005, and has been extended until November 23, 2005.

UAT Process
Following a script and general instructions, testers submit Test Problem Reports (TPRs) if an unexpected error is encountered or a specific task cannot be completed. TPRs are assigned priorities (1 - 4) and are submitted to the FRB for correction. Users are then notified to retest their findings once the code is corrected.

Release 2.0 Training
Dedicated Training Environment
We will have a dedicated training environment available by January 2006. The training application allows current users the ability to access accounts in a practice environment without any impact to their production data.

New Tutorial
A new more robust tutorial will be provided as part of Release 2.0. It has a new "Try Me" function. The new tutorial is also more user friendly by providing a 'Pause' or 'Rewind' button, displays which screen the user is on (e.g., Screen 7 of 9), and also has a 'mute' button. The tutorial will be accessed from the Help pull down menu from the ASAP.gov Home Page.

Training Offered by RFCs
FMS will post a registration page on its website (www.fms.treas.gov/asap) in January 2006 so that users can register for training. Users will be notified when and where training will be scheduled.

Digital Signature Update
When the new release of ASAP.gov is launched February 2006, COs can still use their ID and password to certify authorizations. The requirement for COs to digitally sign authorizations will not take place until after Release 2.0 and possibly with Release 3.0. No action is needed for COs currently provisioned for the Secure Payment System (SPS). Provisioning COs will be done on an FPA-by-FPA basis. Additional action is needed for COs who only certify authorizations in ASAP. Additional information will be provided about the process to be in-person proofed.

FY 2005 ASAP Statistics
Updated ASAP.gov statistics for Fiscal Year 2005 were provided:

Total # ACH Credits: 99,823
Total $ ACH Credits: $41,015,757,567
Total # Fedwire: 66,152
Total $ Fedwire: $379,389,887,579
Total $ Disbursed: $420,405,645,146

Other
A Board member noted that Legacy information is still posted on the FMS ASAP website. FMS is aware of the situation and will be looking to update the website.

It was noted by a Board member that the 'Help' feature for ASAP.gov is not that helpful. FMS requested specific information on the problems encountered and will be looking to update 'Help'.

Next Meeting
The next State Comptroller's meeting is scheduled to take place in Alexandria, Virginia, in March 2006. Plans were finalized to schedule the next State User Group Meeting on Monday, March 20, 2006, as well as schedule the next ACB meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2006, in Alexandria, VA.

Based on a comment from a Board member, FMS will be posting information concerning a General User Group Meeting to take place in either the Midwest or West Coast during the summer of 2006.