ASAP Customer Advisory Board
June 29, 2006 Conference Call
ACB Participants: DeAnn Haworth, Vice Chair and Indian Tribal Organization Representative; Anita Easterday and Jennifer Chriss, Federal Representatives; Jerry Scribner and Steve Allison, State Representatives; Lisa Thompson, University Representative.
FMS Participants: Elizabeth Oldenburg, Director, ASAP Program Office; Christine Ricci, Team Leader, ASAP Customer Liaison; Carol Cole, Team Leader, ASAP Operations; Margie Springer, ASAP Customer Liaison
The Meeting Minutes from March 21, 2006, were approved to be posted to the FMS ASAP website.
Review of 2.7 Implementation:
Information relating to following problems were discussed:
- Account Balance Inquiry Report does not provide a same day account balance. FMS Reponse: Reports provide a total picture of the previous day or earlier. Inquiries provide real time status.A
- Certifying Officer (CO) emails for increases or decreases to account balances are not meaningful as written; FMS will look into this.A
- UTF EUCA Accounts - FMS must verify with FRB to ensure that all account balances have been adjusted.A
The following items were provided as an update to ACB members:
- Recipient Organization (RO) banking information that was not linked to a Federal Program Agency (FPA) account will generate errors. COs cannot increase or decrease account balances if the RO has no banking data linked to their Agency Location Code (ALC). A solution will be developed allowing COs to reduce balances of ROs with no bank account linked to the CO's agency.
- Batch Certification - COs using ALC/Region Code must certify batch authorizations at the detail level. A fix will be implemented by July 10th.
An ACB member noted that COs are not happy with the responsibility to certify banking data. FMS responded that the RO Financial Official (FO) has to certify and acknowledge a liability statement when banking information is provided. FMS has instituted a 3 day hold for FedWire payments and a 7 day hold for ACH payments. Any modification of banking data initiates a system generated email to the identified CO. A letter signed by our former Deputy Commissioner (now Commissioner) was sent to all Deputy CFOs dated September 27, 2005, detailing FMS's position. A suggestion was made that an FMS attorney attend the next FPA User Group Meeting scheduled for July 13th in Silver Spring, MD, to respond to concerns by FPAs. FMS will coordinate with our Chief Counsel's office to ensure legal representation
An ACB member noted they liked the new look and feel of the June 26th 2.7 implementation.
With the role of the Centralized State Coordinator (CSC) established, states where funding is centralized need to contact their servicing Regional Financial Center (RFC) with the CSC's name, phone number, and email.
FO viewing of Banking Accounts:
A solution is being developed to ensure that FO's can only view banking information for their organization.
New tutorials have been created but will not be put into production until performance testing is completed to ensure that the running of the tutorials will not impact the application. Once implemented, their availability will be announced with a home page broadcast message. Tutorials will be available from the ASAP.gov homepage Help pull-down menu.
Digital Signature Rollout for COs:
FMS plans to have User Acceptance Testing (UAT) begin August 21 and will work with Art LeBlanc (representing the Food and Nutrition Service within USDA) and Anita Easterday (representing NIST with the Department of Commerce) to get their COs provisioned for UAT.
If COs are already provisioned for the Secure Payment System (SPS), a driver will be provided so that they can use the same certificate for ASAP.gov. Users with the Data Entry Operator role in SPS cannot have the CO role in either SPS or ASAP. Users with the CO role in ASAP cannot have the Authorization Entry Clerk, Federal Agency Payment Requestor, or Enrollment Initiator roles.
Release 3.0 Reports and Notification of Change Processing
The anticipated implementation date is November 2006.
Release 3.0 includes the following new or enhanced reports:
- Agency Reconciliation Report - new report allowing agencies to have a snapshot of all transactions.
- Account Settlement Report - change to an existing report to explain why a negative balance may appear.
- The Notifications of Change Inquiry - new inquiry to show changes to banking data processed based on notification from the Recipient Organization's financial institution.
Notifications of Changes (NOCs) are used by financial institutions to inform other financial institutions and payment initiators that banking information has changed, i.e., due to merger. NOCs are currently processed manually by the RFCs and will be automated in Release 3.0. When an NOC is received and processed, an "information only" email notification will be sent to the the FPA CO, RO FO, and RO Payment Requestor. As the financial institituion is the final authority on banking data, NOC updates do not require any action on the part of the CO or FO.
The first step in redesigning online notifications is included in Release 3.0 This enhancement will will replace code language (e.g., SQL94839) in the subject line of the notification with descriptive text. Further enhancement in a later release will allow a user to turn specific Notifications On or Off.
Release 4.0 FPA Internet Enrollment and Batch Enrollment
The anticipated implementation date for the FPA Internet Enrollment is April 2007. The implementation of Batch Enrollment is dependent on the availability of an XML Gateway scheduled to be in place later this year.
Automated Federal Agency enrollment will still require Certifying Officers to file and maintain a valid FMS Form 210 signed by their Delegating Official who must have a current FMS Form 2958 on file.
ACB members acknowledged Christine Ricci's retirement and thanked her for all her help and work with the Board. Margie Springer will be the Point of Contact for any upcoming Board issues.
The next meeting will take place as a conference call on November 9, 2006.