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Issues Resolution Committee (IRC) Meeting Minutes

September 20, 2012

GENERAL ITEMS:

This meeting was held at the Metropolitan Square Building, Rooms 6N201/6N202, 655 15th Street, NW., Washington DC.

Kathy Winchester (FMS) opened the meeting and reviewed the agenda. Introductions were made.

HANDOUT:

  • Custodial Collections in Treasury Account Symbols Other Than a Treasury General Fund Receipt Account

AGENDA ITEMS:

Governmentwide Treasury Account Symbol Adjusted Trial Balance System (GTAS) Testing

Nikcola Yorkshire (FMS) and Shannon Reading (FMS) presented a live GTAS demonstration. The presentation included a demonstration in the testing region, not the actual production region that agencies will see in the future. Starting in fiscal 2013, agencies will use the “mandatory testing” periods to submit their files into GTAS. These GTAS testing periods are:

  • Quarter 1 – October/November 2012;

  • Quarter 2 – March/April 2013;

    AND

  • Quarter 3 – May/June 2013.

Each agency must have one preparer and one certifier to log into GTAS. All Treasury Account Symbols (TAS) must successfully pass all validations. Currently, FMS is calling agencies to get their test data commitment for fiscal 2013.

The presenters then walked through GTAS, illustrating the functions available in the Super Master Account File (SMAF) module, Bulk File module, and Intragovernmental Reporting module. Agencies can download the SMAF file. It was reiterated that the Intragovernmental Reporting module will replace the current Intragovernmental Reporting and Analysis System reporting. The Fiduciary Data Table will give agencies the confirmation data reported from the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Financing Bank, and the Department of Labor. It was noted that, in the Intragovernmental Reporting module, trading partner intragovernmental differences will not be displayed until the trading partner data has been uploaded and certified. Teresa Tancre (OMB) stated that for GTAS reporting, agencies must be sure to keep all categories consistent with the Apportionment Schedules (SF 132). In GTAS, there also are tutorial videos and reference links to the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, OMB, and USSGL Web sites.

Financial Management Service (FMS) and BPD Consolidation

John Hill (Acting Assistant Commissioner, Governmentwide Accounting, FMS) discussed the upcoming consolidation of FMS and BPD into a new Treasury bureau, the Fiscal Service. He acknowledged the importance of the USSGL Board, recognizing that the Board prescribes timely and proper implementation of accounting policy and therefore lays a solid foundation for accounting in the entire Federal Government. He also recognized that the USSGL Board has established accounting data standards that have significantly improved data quality and transparency for the past 20 years. Over the next 1-1/2 to 2 years, all of the Governmentwide operations currently performed in FMS’s Governmentwide Accounting (GWA) area will be moving to Parkersburg, West Virginia (WV). From a historical perspective, Treasury is continuing its trend of moving away from paper and toward an electronic environment in the most efficient way possible. The two primary reasons for this move are:

  • Savings—$95 to $100 million in savings;

    AND

  • Consolidation—Moving all accounting operations within the Fiscal Service to one location.

Accounting operations relating to financial management (currently in FMS), accounting operations relating to debt (currently in BPD), as well as accounting shared services (currently in BPD), will be consolidated under one leadership. It was added, however, that while all operational areas will be relocating to Parkersburg, WV, there will be a small unit that will remain in Washington, DC. This group will provide and/or oversee policy analysis and development, agency coordination, audit functions, and general outreach and training. How that may or may not relate to the USSGL Board and its current accounting roles and functions has not yet been defined, but is open for discussion. Treasury will, however, continue to speak to the public with one voice.

Mr. Hill welcomed all thoughts and comments. The general consensus received was that there is an overwhelming sense of concern about the loss of USSGL knowledge that may inevitably occur as current GWA employees leave FMS to secure other jobs in the surrounding areas. Agencies rely on the depth of knowledge that the current staff holds in resolving very complex accounting and reporting issues. Losing that knowledge is detrimental to Treasury as well as the rest of the Governmentwide community. Concern was expressed that the dynamics of the relationships developed over the years will be compromised.

Agencies are seriously concerned about what impact this may have on their own financial reporting, financial statements, and audit issues. Many agencies rely on the years of expertise, readiness, and ability of the GWA divisions (USSGL Advisory Division, Financial Reports Division, Budget Reports Division, and Cash Accounting Division) to meet as needed to discuss impending issues that must be resolved in a timely manner. There also is concern about how the work and communication will function, and how conferences will be conducted if these divisions are moved to Parkersburg, WV.

Another aspect of concern is how the future structure of the IRC meetings and USSGL Board meetings would take place. Face to face meetings, and by-product discussions that result after the formal meetings, have proven to be the most effective and productive way of conducting business, and the IRC meetings provide the Federal Government with the ability to make decisions together.

In conclusion, Mr. Hill suggested working together to design what is required to keep the USSGL Board and IRC going, realizing that constraints are already in place. He suggested that agencies document and communicate what is necessary to support these essential and unique functions performed by FMS. DOD offered to give insight on its experiences related to consolidations and relocations.

Changes to USSGL TFM Supplement S2 12-03

Melinda Pope (FMS) reviewed a few changes that are being made to the fiscal 2012 published crosswalks in TFM USSGL Supplement S2 12-03. These changes will be published as a TFM bulletin within the next few weeks. The changes include:

  • Statement of Net Cost, line 1, remove duplicate USSGL account 6338;

  • Reclassified Balance Sheet, line 6.10, add Federal/NonFederal attribute domain value “N” to USSGL account 2410;

    AND

  • Program and Financing (P&F) Schedule, lines 1950 and 1954, remove USSGL account 4350.

Custodial Collections Not Deposited to General Fund Receipt Accounts (GFRAs)

Christine Chang (FMS) led a discussion on custodial collections received by agencies that are not deposited to GFRAs. The current accounting guidance is based on custodial collections that are deposited to a GFRA (nonbudgetary) and then immediately transferred to the Treasury General Fund. However, in this situation, where custodial collections are deposited to non-GFRAs (typically budgetary impact), the custodial entity may not have the authority to disburse the payments to the recipients until certain conditions are met. This results in some reporting challenges. The USSGL Advisory Division has worked with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and OMB to develop proposed guidance, which includes new budgetary guidance and thoughts on a few proprietary reporting issues.

In the past, FCC prepared its Statement of Custodial Activity (SCA) from its deposit fund TAS because the deposit fund represented the initial point of collection. Since that was deemed incorrect, FCC is now in the process of recognizing the fund balance collected in the deposit fund, and the revenues and subsequent transfers-in of fund balance in FCC's no-year General Fund TAS, and then preparing the SCA from the no-year TAS. However, this intragovernmental activity presents a trading partner issue. The no-year TAS further distributes amounts to an FCC annual-year TAS to offset the administrative cost of running the program. If there are any excess amounts left in the no-year TAS, the amounts are transferred to a GFRA. Although intra-agency transfer activity by definition should be eliminated, this is a case where the activity should not be eliminated because FASAB reporting requirements dictate the need for the amounts to be included on the agency’s financial statements. Therefore, a mechanism is needed that continues to capture intra-agency information without eliminating it. Furthermore, when the collection is transferred into the no-year TAS, USSGL accounts 5990/2980 serve as temporary holding accounts until transfer amounts are determined by OMB and FCC. As a result, at the time of the custodial collection, USSGL accounts 5990/2980 must be considered “non-reciprocating.” In order to resolve this “non-reciprocating” activity in GTAS reporting, the IRC suggested that a new domain value be added to the Fed/NonFed attribute. The new domain value would be “Z,” and would be defined as “F” activity without a trading partner.

Christine then reviewed the proposed transactions in the handout. The following points were discussed:

  • It was suggested that Year 1 transactions be added to the handout.

  • It was decided that it is not appropriate for a deposit fund to record USSGL account 2320, “Other Deferred Revenue,” since the revenue, when earned, will not be recorded in the deposit fund. Instead, the appropriate USSGL account for a deposit fund is 2400, “Liability for Nonfiduciary Deposit Funds and Undeposited Collections.”

  • It was questioned why FCC’s deposit fund is considered nonfiduciary in nature. The answer is FCC only deposits auction winning bidders’ amounts in the deposit fund. In contrast, the Department of the Interior has a similar situation in which it deposits auction bidding amounts in deposit funds, consisting of all bidders’ money, regardless of winner or loser. Eileen Parlow (SEC) thought that DOI’s deposit fund met the fiduciary definition since the bidders have the legal recourse if the money is not returned. Kelly West (DOI) explained that the reason DOI determined that its deposit fund did not meet the fiduciary definition is because its deposit fund holds proceeds from the sale of Federal assets. It was agreed to table this discussion for a future meeting.

CLOSING REMARKS:

Kathy closed the IRC meeting and thanked everyone for their attendance and participation.

ATTENDEES:

Katherine Winchester, FMS
John Hill, FMS
Melinda Pope, FMS
Karen Metler, FMS
Michele Crisman, FMS
Christine Chang, FMS
Ava Lun, FMS
Edwin Walker, FMS
Jonnathan Diaz Olivo, FMS
Melanie White, FMS
Sherry Pontell, FMS
Tia Harley, FMS
Nikcola Yorkshire, FMS
Shannon Redding, FMS
Rita Cronley, FMS
Teresa Tancre, OMB
Eileen Parlow, SEC
Marilyn Evans, Treasury
Carol Gower, State
Janice Alexander, NSF
David Surti, DHS
Karen Hunter, SSA
Mark Graham, SSA
Tim Siekierka, FCC
Vickie Massey, FCC
Godwin Okoro, FCC
Sheela Kailasanath, FCC
Vanessa Lamb, FCC
Jerry Shea, VA
Hesham Aziz, USDA
Steven Corbin, DOJ
David Hesch, NRC
Rob Purdy, OMB
Michael Pham, LOC
Christine Pham, DOC
Jennifer Christensen, DOC
Gerhard Friske, VA
Alana Dubois, HHS
Becky Shoustal, SBA
Sushil Patel, NASA
Michael Ward, GSA
Parker Hill, DOI
Debbie Mattingly, Education
David Dana, Education
Dan Smith, PTO
Fui-Chin Vicky Liu, Treasury
Teresa Lampkin, DOT
Drena McDaniel, DOT
Gerald Davenport, DOD
Cindy Scharf, LOC
Kelly West, DOI
Carol Campbell, DOD

 


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