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Federal Program Agencies: Correspondence

Federal Agency User Group Meeting Minutes
Washington, DC
July 10, 2012

Introductions and General Remarks:

The Vice-Chair of the ASAP Customer Board (ACB) member was introduced: Anita Easterday, Department of Commerce, National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). FMS, ASAP Program Office: Elizabeth Oldenburg, Director; Carol Cole, Manager, ASAP Operations Team; Faye Allen, ASAP Operations; Cheryl Murray, Project Manager, ASAP Development Team; Myron Pinkney (ISSO), ASAP Development; and Jaketha Robinson (ISSO), ASAP Development.

FMS Philadelphia Financial Center: Debbie Jackson and Diane Jackson.

FMS Philadelphia Financial Center: Debbie Jackson, Diane Jackson, Stephanie Pagan, and Patricia McMaster.

FMS Kansas City Financial Center: Randy Brown

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) CBAF: Nicole Page

ASAP Customer Board (ACB) - Anita Easterday, Vice-Chair spoke about her experience on the ACB. Anita briefly explained her role on the ACB, its purpose, and how it represents the users of the ASAP system. The ACB is for both government agencies and Recipient organizations (RO). User representatives include ROs that are states, local governments, colleges, and universities. The ACB needs the influence of Federal agencies to assist in ASAP related activities like testing for new releases and interface updates. The ACB helps to maximize the system to its fullest potential and emphasized the need for collaboration amongst the Federal agencies to share their experiences using ASAP.

Changes to ASAP Accounting – Carol Cole

Agency SF224 reporting has changed. ASAP Payments are now reported as regular payments instead of negative collections. PACER required ASAP to remove the Negative Draw functionality in Payments. PACER is a payment accounting system and cannot process negative payment transactions.

Payment Schedules have replaced the SF-5515 Debit Vouchers and SF-215 Deposit Tickets. SF-5515s and SF-215s for historical data prior to June 1, 2012, will remain available in ASAP.gov. The following new reports have been created for reporting information on the SF-224 Statement of Transactions:

  • The Schedule Number Summary Report
  • The Schedule Number Payment Transaction Report
  • The Agency Payment Report

The new Schedule Number Reports will only be available in ASAP.gov until the new XML Batch Reports are implemented. The XML Batch Reports will include the new Schedule Number Summary Report and an enhanced Agency Payment Report that will include the Schedule Number information for each payment and return transaction.

Revised accounting instructions are in the folder and were sent to agencies in April and posted on ASAP’s Website at Agency Accounting Guide for ASAP Website.

ASAP Schedule information is available for agencies to view transactions in the TDO Payments Module. Agencies requiring access to the TDO Payments Module should call (877) 440-9476 for assistance.

Batch Interface Changes – Carol Cole

FMS will implement the new ASAP batch files for Accounts, Authorizations, and End of Day Reports using an Extensible Markup Language (XML) format on January 14, 2013.

The new XML format for Batch Interface files will allow an agency to select the End of Day reports they want delivered daily. The Data Retrieval Report will become a standard End of Day report. The Current version of the XML Schema is Version 2.0 and published on the FMS EDA website at http://www.fms.treas.gov/eda/xml/ASAPRv20/asap_AcctSvcsRpt/index.html.

The FRB is currently testing their code against Version 2.0 of the XML schemas. To date, no test findings have warranted a new version of the XML schemas to be published. FMS is closely monitoring the test findings and, if a new version of the XML Schemas becomes necessary, we will delay the implementation to allow agencies time to make the updates.

If no test findings warrant a new release of the XML schema, ASAP will implement with Version 2.0 on January 14, 2013. If an agency is not ready to send and process XML files on January 14, 2013, they will have to use the online functionality in ASAP.gov to create/fund accounts and download reports until they have implemented the XML files.

FMS provided an XML Implementation Guide and Recertification Package to all Batch agencies in June 2012 and will be scheduling a kickoff meeting with the business and technical contacts of each Department/agency. FMS will ask the agencies to identify key points of contact for the XML implementation effort, including a test contact. Prior to official testing, FMS will validate connectivity for each batch agency. If your agency would like to participate in a Pilot for testing purposes, please contact Myron Pinkney at (202) 874.6661.

Agencies with technical questions related to the XML schemas should contact Bill Carnahan of the FRB Richmond CBAF at (804) 697-8380. Bill will arrange a call between your agency and the FRB technical team.

Governmentwide Accounting (GWA) – Myron Pinkney

ASAP is being enhanced to capture and apply Governtmenwide Accounting/Central Accounting and Reporting System (GWA/CARS) Treasury Account Symbol/Business Event Type Code (TAS/BETC) fields to each payment and return transaction.

The new XML schemas will include the TAS/BETC fields for Accounts and End of Day Reports at implementation on January 14, 2013. However, use of the TAS/BETC fields will remain optional for Federal agencies until October 1, 2014.

In ASAP.gov, the TAS/BETC functionality will be implemented in December 2012. TAS Distribution Method functionality was added to the Account Screens. Agencies will be required to determine the Distribution Method to use when accounts are created and modified. The Account Maintainer is responsible for defining the TAS/BETC data when creating or modifying accounts if the Agency’s ALC is a CARS Reporter. Once the distribution method is defined on an account it cannot be removed from the account; the account will have to be closed and a new account established.

At least one TAS/BETC must be defined on every ASAP Account and all accounts must have a Return TAS defined. The following example demonstrates how TAS/BETCs would be applied to a $100 payment using two different TAS distributions: Percentage by Account and Percentage by Detail.

TAS Distribution Methods

  • Percentage by Account allows up to 100 TAS/BETCs to be defined on an account. The percentages assigned to all TAS’ must total 100%. Percentage by Account may be applied to Regular or Control accounts.
  • Account B
    Mulitple TAS/BETCs:
    TAS/BETC 1:  25.50%   =  $25.50
    TAS/BETC 2:  25%       =  $25.00
    TAS/BETC 3:  10 %      =  $39.50
    TAS/BETC 4:  39.50%   =  $10.00
    Total Payment:               $100.00
  • Percentage by Detail allows only one TAS/BETC to be defined per Account Detail for a Control or Global Control account. ASAP allows up to 300 Details per control account
  • Account Detail 1: TAS A/BETC $70.00
    Account Detail 2: TAS B/BETC $30.00
    Total Payment:                   $100.00

By using Control Accounts with Details, an agency can achieve greater accuracy in assigning TAS/BETCs to payments. Control Accounts allow agencies to define up to 300 Account Details (i.e. subaccounts) with one TAS/BETC per Detail. Control Accounts require the Recipient to draw at the Account Detail level, so Account Detail titles must be meaningful to the Recipient. Using Account Details will ensure that TAS/BETC data is accurately reported for the payment.

How to Become a GWA/CARS Reporter in ASAP

An agency should notify the Kansas City RFC when they are ready to become a GWA/CARS Reporter. If the Agency uses an ALC with Regions, TAS/BETCs must be defined on accounts for the Primary ALC and all Regions. For example, the Department of Energy uses multiple Regions under their ALC, and in order to become a GWA/CARS Reporter, all accounts under the primary ALC 89000001, as well as all Regions (i.e., 89000001/01, 89000001/02…) must have TAS/BETCs defined. Additionally, agencies must ensure that when an ALC is ready to become a GWA/CARS Reporter for ASAP, it is ready to become a Reporter for ALL FMS systems used by that ALC.

  • The RFC will ensure that all accounts have TAS/BETCs defined
  • The RFC will notify GWA that the agency is ready to become a CARS Reporter
  • Once GWA confirms that the ALC is ready to become a Reporter, the RFC will change the GWA Reporting Flag in ASAP to YES for the ALC

Once an agency becomes a GWA/CARS Reporter, the agency’s Account Maintainers must select a TAS Distribution Method and define TAS/BETCs when creating and modifying accounts. Account Maintainers must add TAS/BETC data to the ASAP account before the funds can be certified. Certifying Officers will not be allowed to certify funding to an account if TAS/BETC data is not defined.

TAS/BETCs defined on accounts will be applied to payments and reported to CARS with all payment transactions. Additionally, ASAP will provide several new Reports and Inquiries to support TAS/BETC reporting. The new reports/inquiries are:

  • TAS/BETC Inquiry displays the effective and, if applicable, the suspend date of the TAS as well as all available BETCs that can be used with the TAS.

  • TAS/BETC Account Inquiry allows the user to view either a) the TAS/BETCs assigned to a specific account or b) a list of all accounts with a specific TAS/BETC or specific TAS fields.

  • TAS/BETC Account Report allows the user to view a) all accounts that have TAS/BETCs defined; b) all accounts that do not have TAS/BETCs defined; c) all accounts with TAS/BETCs that are no longer valid; or d) all accounts that have either a specific TAS/BETC or have TAS/BETCs that contain specific TAS fields.

  • Agency Payment Report with TAS/BETC provides information for each payment and returned payment with the TAS/BETC breakdown, based on the settlement or classification date.

  • Schedule Number TAS/BETC Summary Report provides summary transaction totals by TAS/BETC for each Schedule Number and Document Type combination for an Agency Location Code.

TAS/BETC data was also added to existing Batch Reports in the new XML schemas.

GWA Implementation Schedule:

December 2012 – GWA/CARS Functionality Available in ASAP.gov
Ability to enter TAS/BETC for Accounts via ASAP.gov
    Create and Modify Accounts
    Define/Modify TAS/BETC for Multiple Accounts
Ability to interface with GWA as a Reporter (voluntary)
    Once a Reporter always a Reporter
January 2013 – GWA/CARS Functionality Available in Batch Files
October 2014 – All Agencies Must be GWA/CARS Reporters

PKI Update – Faye Allen

COs have been experiencing problems over the last several months. Most of the reported issues have been resolved. If you are still having problems, before calling the FMS Help Desk, try clearing your CACHE. Instructions for clearing the CACHE are in the folders and are also available online at www.fms.treas.gov/asap.

Users were also experiencing problems accessing the application due to expiring PKI Certificates. COs should monitor the expiration date on their PKI Certificate, as shown below, to ensure that their PKI Certificate is not about to expire. COs can upgrade their PKI Certificate before it expires on the ITRA Website as long as the expiration date is at least seven months in the future. Once the PKI Certificate expires, the CO should contact their Trusted Registration Agent or their servicing RFC to have the certificate recovered.

PKI exmaple

All COs must update their PKI credentials to use “Secure Hash” Standard Level 2 (SHA2) encryption by the end of the year. Instructions on determining your current SHA credential level (i.e. SHA1 or SHA2) are being developed and will be sent to COs in the near future. If you have been recovered/rekeyed within the last year, your credential has already been updated to SHA2.

FMS Help Desk

We have experienced issues with FMS Help Desk service in recent months. The FMS Help Desk is undergoing a consolidation and the new manager has been informed about our support issues. New procedures are in place for servicing ASAP’s COs. When contacting the FMS Help Desk with a PKI issue, clearly state that you are unable to CERTIFY PAYMENTS in ASAP. The Help Desk will only elevate tickets to a Level 1 if you are the ONLY ASAP Certifying Officer available at your agency to CERTIFY PAYMENTS.

Dormant Account Update – Elizabeth Oldenburg

On a yearly basis, FMS requests that agencies take an action to zero out and close ASAP accounts that have not had any activity for two Fiscal Years (i.e. dormant accounts). Progress has been made and the balance in Dormant Accounts has been reduced from approximately $7.3 billion in January 2009 down to $535 million in November 2011. We appreciate the effort of all agencies who have responded by closing out dormant accounts! The next Dormant Account Report will be issued in early November.

GAO recently completed an audit on undisbursed balances in expired grant accounts. The report is titled “GAO-12-60 Grants Management, Action Needed to Improve Timeliness of Grant Closeouts by Federal Agencies.” The report is available on GAO’s Website.

Do Not Pay – Elizabeth Oldenburg

Do Not Pay is an application run by the Bureau of the Public Debt and the Federal Reserve Banks and was implemented in response to a 2009 Executive Order instructing agencies to prevent, reduce and stop improper payments. FMS provides Do Not Pay with a monthly listing of all active Recipients, including Recipient name, address, Tax ID, and DUNs number. The Recipient’s banking data is not currently provided. In addition to the monthly file, Do Not Pay also provides continuous monitoring throughout the month based on the latest Recipient list. This will catch any active ASAP organization added to the Do Not Pay lists during the month.

Do Not Pay matches the active ASAP Recipients against several Do Not Pay Lists. The “Excluded Parties List” or “EPLS” includes information regarding entities debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, excluded or disqualified under the non-procurement common rule, or otherwise declared ineligible from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and benefits. An example is the list published by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which identifies individuals and organizations that are a threat to national security. Do Not Pay also matches ASAP Recipients against the “Debt Check” database which lists Recipients owing money to the Federal government.

When Do Not Pay matches an ASAP Recipient against the EPLS, FMS sends a letter to each agency that has an open ASAP account with that Recipient. ASAP does not stop payments to matched Recipients! It is the agency’s responsibility to validate that the Recipient is eligible for Federal funds and to remove the funding from the ASAP account if the Recipient is on the Do Not Pay list.

The FMS Debt Management Services area contacts each ASAP Recipient that was a match against the Debt Check database and requests that they pay their debt immediately since they are receiving Federal funds through ASAP.

ASAP Support Changes – Carol Cole

All day to day operational support for ASAP is being transferred to the Kansas City Financial Center (KFC). The schedule for the transition is as follows:

  • Effective July 30, 2012, ASAP operational support, currently provided by the Philadelphia Financial Center (PFC), will be consolidated at KFC.

  • Effective October 1, 2012, ASAP operational support, currently provided by the ASAP Program Office, will be consolidated at KFC. Responsibility for ASAP Development will remain in the ASAP Project Office.

  • Effective January 1, 2013, ASAP operational support for users in Hawaii and the Pacific Territories, currently provided by the San Francisco Financial Center (SFC), will be consolidated at KFC.

The KFC contact information is:

Kansas City Financial Center
4241 NE 34th Street
Kansas City, MO 64117

Hours of Operation: 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. CST
KFC ASAP Email: Kansas City Financial Center
KFC ASAP Phone: (816) 414-2100


   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014