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May 2, 2008


Department of the Interior Acquisition Guidance Release (DIG) 2008-05

SUBJECT: Automated Standard Application for Payments System

REFERENCES: The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-576) and the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-107).

Issue Date: May 2, 2008

1. Purpose:

The purpose of this financial assistance guidance release is to provide staff with enrollment and basic user information for the Department of the Treasury’s Automated Standard Application Payments (ASAP) system.


2. Effective Date:

Effective immediately upon issuance.


3. Background and Explanation:

Public Law 106-107 required the streamlining and simplification of the award payment process used to transfer cash from Federal agencies to recipients. As a result of Federal streamlining initiatives, on June 16, 1998, the Chief Financial Officers’ Council made the unanimous decision to establish a consolidated payment systems policy to eliminate Federal payment systems that are redundant and that increase costs and administrative burdens for recipients. The policy requires each Federal agency that makes payments to recipients to adopt one of two Federal grant payment systems: the ASAP system provided by the Department of the Treasury, or the Payment Management System provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Department has selected the ASAP system as the preferred payment system that will integrate with Financial and Business Management System eGrants Plus due to its cost-effective highly secured automated interface between account management authorizations and reporting functions. ASAP is an all-electronic payment and information system utilized for the request and delivery of award funds. The system was developed jointly by the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. ASAP is an internet based application (https://www.asap.gov) and can be utilized by recipients to draw cash from multiple agencies in one transaction.


4. Responsibilities:

Bureaus are responsible for coordination with the Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service, to ensure that recipients are contacted and enrolled in the ASAP system. Bureaus must inform recipients in their award agreements of the requirement to use ASAP as the payment method. Bureaus are also responsible for inputting authorized spending data into ASAP and reconciling their accounting records with the ASAP information data.
Recipient organizations are responsible for executing awards; maintaining minimum federal cash on hand by requesting funds from the ASAP system only for immediate disbursement; reporting cash disbursements to the system; and, maintaining accounting records. In accordance with OMB Circulars A-102 and A-110, award funds are to be used for immediate disbursement needs. Recipient requests for disbursements may be at any time as long as it is within the program established period of availability of funds.
Bureaus and recipient organizations receiving federal funds must complete a one time registration process in ASAP. There is no fee charged to the Bureau or recipient organization to use the ASAP system.


5. Procedures:

The following provides instructions on how to use the ASAP system.
A. Bureau User Instructions.
Step 1: Establish Bureau Accounts in ASAP. Once all of the recipient organization enrollment tasks are completed, the enrollment application will notify the Bureau that the enrollment has been completed, after which fund accounts can be created. ASAP accounts can be established for recipient organizations via on-line or batch processes. It is important that Bureau users are aware that there is not a minimum dollar threshold before grant or cooperative agreement data is entered into the ASAP system.
Step 2: Authorize and Validate Spending Transactions in ASAP. Bureaus maintain accounts in ASAP to control the flow of funds to recipient organizations. Spending authorizations are entered into ASAP accounts according to specific program needs and schedules. Authorizations can be entered to increase or decrease the available balance of ASAP accounts at the budget or finance officer’s discretion. Both on-line and batch-processed authorizations can be effective as of the current processing day, or they can be effective up to a year in advance, in which case the authorization is warehoused until its effective date. Authorization transactions, once certified, immediately update the system. Bureaus are able to perform ASAP account and authorization functions on-line from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time each business day. Bureaus can initiate batch processes for ASAP account and authorization activity 24 hours a day. ASAP submits summary data and detailed transactions data to the Bureau or Awarding Agency. Bureaus can view relevant data on-line, such as up-to-the-minute account balances, account history, and the status of payment requests affecting their ASAP accounts.
B. Recipient Organization User Instructions.
Step 1: Completion of Enrollment Forms. In order for a recipient organization to enroll in ASAP, the following forms must be completed and submitted to the local servicing Regional Financial Center via the Internet or by paper. All paper enrollment forms are available on the Financial Management Service ASAP Homepage or by request from the local servicing Regional Financial Center.
(a) ASAP Officials Authorization Form is completed for the purpose of designating individuals’ access to ASAP. The Federal Enrollment Initiator starts the enrollment process by identifying the recipient organization to be enrolled, and entering the DUNS, TINS, type of organization, and the point of contact information; unique DUNS, TINS and emails are required; the role of the point of contact is critical to the ASAP.gov enrollment process; the point of contact confirms the information entered by the enrollment initiator and is responsible for identifying the recipient organization’s officials; and, the head of organization/authorized representative approves the officials identified by the point of contact.
(b) ASAP Organization Enrollment Form is completed for the purpose of establishing the recipient organization’s profile in ASAP and to specify the software to be used.
(c) User ID Request Form is completed to identify authorized staff persons who need access to ASAP. Once a recipient organization has completed enrollment forms, then a seven digit identification number will be assigned. The number is necessary to access the system.
(d) ASAP Bank Information Form is completed for the purpose of providing information on the financial institution(s) and account(s) where payments will be directed. If a recipient organization’s banking information changes, the financial official should log onto ASAP.gov, select the enrollment tab, and then make the necessary changes. The financial official is responsible for entering the bank account information for the recipient organization.
Step 2: Payment Request Process.
a) Recipient organizations can use on-line processes to request payments. Recipient organizations are able to initiate same day payment requests and receive the payment within minutes from 8:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time each business day. Recipient organizations are able to initiate payment requests for an Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) payment from 8:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Payment requests are approved or rejected automatically, unless placed on Bureau review or based on the amount of available funds in the ASAP account. The available balance for an ASAP account is displayed when initiating the payment request. Recipient organizations will receive immediate notification of approval or rejection for all on-line payment requests with the exception of those subject to Bureau review. The ASAP system also provides recipient organizations with a book entry feature to make adjustments between accounts without having to initiate a payment request. Recipient organizations are also able to return funds to an ASAP account via the FEDWIRE and ACH payment systems.
(b) ASAP submits the funds and payment data to the payment requestor’s financial institution. Approved requests for next-day or future-day payments are accomplished via the ACH system. Same-day payments are accomplished via the FEDWIRE system.



6. Additional Information:

If you have customer service or operational issues questions, please contact the Financial Management Service, through the ASAP Customer Support team at http://www.fms.treas.gov/. For questions about this guidance, you may contact Anita Hairston of my staff, at 202-208-3433.

 
/ signed Debra E. Sonderman, Director
Office of Acquisition and Property Management