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Federal Program Agencies: Correspondence

Federal Agency User Group Meeting Minutes
Washington, DC
June 30, 2011

Introductions and General Remarks:
Federal Program Agency (FPA) ASAP Customer Board (ACB) members were introduced: James Turner, Financial Management Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS); and 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; Cheryl Murray, Project Manager, ASAP Development Team; Myron Pinkney, ASAP Development; Jaketha Robinson, ASAP Development; and Faye Allen, ASAP Operations.

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

FMS Kansas City Financial Center: Julie Nielsen

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank (FRB): Teresa Warren, ASAP CBAF; Martin Thiele, ASAP CBAF; and Barry Walton, ASAP Development.

ASAP Customer Board (ACB) - Anita Easterday, Vice-Chair was asked to speak about the ACB. Anita asked for new members and stated that the Customer Board has not been as active as it had been in past years; however, it will be more active in the future once Governmentwide Accounting (GWA) is implemented.

New Functionality Implemented – Jaketha Robinson

The conversion of Reports and Inquiries from Actuate to WebFOCUS was completed and implemented in November 2010. All report format options are now available on the retrieval screen i.e., .PDF, HTML, and CSV without regenerating a new report/inquiry request.

PKI Secure Hash Standard Level 1 (SHA1) was upgraded to PKI Secure Hash Standard Level 2 (SHA2) and the upgrade became effective December 2010. PKI credentials are now issued with SHA2 encryption, which is required for all digital signature applications. PKI certificates are required for all Certifying Officers.

1031/LOC Enrollment – Myron Pinkney

New functionality was added to allow Federal Agencies (FAs) to enroll 1031/Letter of Credit (LOC) Recipients Organizations online (this process was previously handled manually by the Regional Financial Centers). FAs can also modify existing 1031/LOC Recipients and the restriction on the number of bank accounts has been removed. Recipients can now define and use unlimited bank accounts.

The Federal Agency Point of Contact (POC) will be responsible for initiating and maintaining the enrollment of 1031/LOC Recipients and the Certifying Officer (CO) must certify the banking data to activate a new enrollment. After the initial enrollment, the CO must certify all bank accounts added or deleted by the POC before the changes are effective.

The 1031/LOC will be implemented in July 2011.

Changes to ASAP Accounting – Carol Cole

CA$HLINK II will be retiring and ASAP will begin interfacing with PACER for end of day settlement.

Payment Schedules will replace SF 5515 Debit Vouchers and SF 215 Deposit Tickets.

Agency FMS 224 Reporting will change – ASAP Payments will be reported as regular payments instead of negative collections.

Revised accounting instructions will be provided in July.

Schedule Number Reports will initially be available only in ASAP.gov until the new batch reports are implemented. Agencies currently using a batch interface to receive Debit Voucher/Deposit Ticket files will need to download the Schedule Number Report from ASAP.gov and upload the file to their back end accounting systems until the new batch reports are implemented.

Implementation of accounting changes is scheduled for January 3, 2012. [Update: Implementation has been delayed to June 1, 2012.]

Batch Interface Changes – Myron Pinkney

A notification was sent out on May 2, 2011, to all ASAP Federal Agencies Certifying Officers and Primary/Secondary contacts referencing the Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service’s plan to implement the Governmentwide Accounting reporting requirements for the TAS/BETC.

Additionally, ASAP’s batch file for Accounts, Authorizations, and End of Day Reports are being converted to an Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. The XML Schemas were posted June 30, 2011, and are available for download at http://fms.treas.gov/eda/xml

The ASAP XML schemas can be found under "Business Messages" on the left.

  • To access the Account and Authorization schemas, click "Account Services Transmission Message v 1.0"
  • To access the End of Day Report schemas, click "Account Services Report Message v 1.0"

The new formats include the TAS/BETC fields for Accounts and End of Day Reports and will be implemented in November 2012. The TAS/BETC; however, will remain optional for Federal Agencies until October 1, 2014. [Update: Implementation of the new XML batch files is delayed until January 14, 2013.]

Agencies will have the opportunity to test the new XML schemas between June and September 2012. FMS will work with agencies to develop a testing schedule. [Update: Testing is scheduled for October through the end of November 2012.]

Governmentwide Accounting (GWA) – Jaketha Robinson

In ASAP, the TAS/BETCs must be defined on the ASAP Account and every account 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.

Account A
One TAS/BETC:
Account B
Mulitple TAS/BETCs:
TAS/BETC 1: 100% =  $100
Total Payment:          $100
TAS/BETC 1:  25.50%   = $25.50
TAS/BETC 2:  25%       =  $25.00
TAS/BETC 3:  39.50%   =  $39.50
TAS/BETC 4:  10%       =  $10.00
Total Payment:               $100.00

For regular accounts, agencies must define at least one and no more than 100 TAS/BETCs per account.

For control accounts, agencies can define TAS/BETC at either the account level or the detail level. Only one TAS/BETC is allowed per detail. ASAP allows 300 details per control account.

GWA Implementation Schedule

GWA functionality will be fully available in ASAP by November 30, 2012.

Ability to enter TAS/BETC for Accounts

  • Create and Modify Accounts via ASAP.gov and Batch Accounts

Ability to report TAS/BETC to GWA as a GWA reporter

  • Voluntary November 2012 through September 2014
  • Mandatory October 1, 2014
  • Reporter status is by Agency, including all ALC/regions in ASAP
  • Must coordinate across Agency for other collection/payment applications
  • Once a reporter always a reporter

International Recipients – Faye Allen

ASAP.gov will allow the enrollment of Recipients with an international address. The international address requirements have been coded and will be implemented in November 2011.

International Recipients must use a U. S. Bank Account to receive funding from ASAP and the Recipient must keep the funding in the U.S. If the Recipient plans to use their U.S. bank account as a correspondent account to transfer the funds to a foreign bank account, then the payments are not authorized to go through ASAP.

Important - Agencies are responsible for ensuring that International Recipients do not plan on transferring the funding from their U. S. Bank Account to a foreign bank account – These Recipients must be paid through ITS.gov!

ASAP requires that all Recipients have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and DUNS and a U.S. Bank Account.

Dormant Account Update - Faye Allen

As a result of the Payment Management System Audit in 2009, GAO found that Federal Agencies were leaving unused balances in inactive grant (i.e., dormant) accounts. Due to the findings of the Audit, FMS took the initiative to contact agencies with dormant accounts and asked that they zero out the balance and close the accounts. Therefore, on a yearly basis, FMS requests that agencies take action on accounts that have not had any activity for two Fiscal Years.

Accounts in a “Closed” status with positive balances were not included in the original dormant account reports provided to agencies. Emails were sent to Federal Agency Points of Contact requesting that agencies reopen these accounts, remove the balances, and reclose the accounts.

GAO is beginning an audit on “Undisbursed Balances in Inactive ASAP Accounts.” FMS will provide GAO with a report of all inactive accounts with positive balances during the week of July 4, 2011. Agencies are encouraged to complete their cleanup by next week!

Open Issues – Carol Cole

The Cash Management Report and Agency Comprehensive Account Report are timing out. This issue will be corrected in December 2011.

The Agency Review “Default Action” is not working. Regardless of the default option selected, ASAP holds the payments until approved by the agency. All payments subject to Agency Review must be approved or rejected by the agency.

PKI JAVA Version Issue:

Several users were experiencing problems with ASAP due to newer versions of JAVA. This caused problems for Certifying Officers signing into ASAP to certify transactions. Users were also experiencing problems accessing the application due to expiring PKI Certificates.

Certifying Officers should periodically use the self-service update feature on the ITRA website to keep their PKI Certificate up-to-date.

Certifying Officers should also monitor the expiration date on their PKI Certificate, as shown below, to ensure that their PKI Certificate is not about to expire. Seven months prior to the expiration date, Certifying Officers should contact their Trusted Registration Agent (TRA) or their servicing RFC to have the certificate recovered.

PKI exmaple


   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014