U.S. Geological Survey Manual
No. OFM 92-001
Date: March 12,1992
Subject: Remote Data Entry of Field Payments
Reference: The Remote Data Entry (RDE) manual supersedes the contents of this Instructional Memorandum. The Financial Operating Procedures Chapter 16 links to the RDE manual covering the procedures. Policy portions are not currently up-to-date and will change with implementation of FBMS. Should address policy at that time.
This Instructional Memorandum presents policies and procedures to be used by divisions when processing field payments. These procedures will help Federal Financial System (FFS) users with field payment authority and enhance efficiency and accuracy when entering field payments into FFS.
Field payment pilot tests were initiated at various division offices in July 1991. The pilot tests demonstrated that field payments can reduce the number of late payment penalties, increase the number of discounts taken, and improve responsiveness to vendor questions. Because the pilot tests have been so successful, field payment authority is now available to all division offices.
The following general policies apply to field payments:
1. Types of Payments - Field payments may only be used for non-obligated purchases such as Blanket Purchase Agreement invoices, gage reader payments, utility bills, gasoline credit cards, subscriptions, etc. Field payments may not be used for travel payments, payments against prior year appropriations, or for obligated purchases.
2. Payment Limits - Field payments are limited to $1,000 per invoice. Invoices that exceed $1,000 must be certified and sent to the Office of Financial Management (OFM) for processing.
3. Separation of Duties - To comply with internal control standards, at least two people must be responsible for ordering goods and services, certifying receipt of goods and services, and processing field payments. Offices requesting field payment authority should be prepared to demonstrate compliance with this standard. OFM will review compliance with internal control standards as part of its regular site visit process.
4. Source Documents - Invoices and other source documents that support field payments must be retained at paying offices and be available for audit for 6 years and 3 months. This retention is in accordance with the Handbook for Managing U.S. Geological Survey Records, Item 703-O1a and GRS 6, Item 1a. All field payments must be supported by valid source documents such as vendor invoices. Invoices must be annotated with accounting information prior to entry into FFS as field payments. When processed, invoices must be stamped "PAID" to prevent duplicate payments.
5. Document Numbers - Each field payment must be assigned a nine-digit FFS document number by the paying office. No dashes, letters, or spaces are permitted. An example is provided below:
Position X XXXX XXXX
First Position - One digit fiscal year code
Second Position - Four digit organization code
Third Position - Four digit sequential number
The fiscal year code is the last digit of the fiscal year to which the document pertains. For example, the code for fiscal year 1989 is 9.
The organization code is the first four digits of the account number or other unique number approved by OFM.
The four digit sequential number should be assigned by Divisions, e.g., 0001, 0002, etc. If more than 9,999 requisitions are needed, please contact OFM for instructions.
6. Commitments - Commitments are not required for field payments. If documents are committed prior to payment, they must be liquidated by field payments.
7. Discounts - If discount terms are offered on the invoice, they should be entered in the field payment document regardless of whether the terms are advantageous or can be met. FFS will determine if the discount can be taken. Users should not manually calculate and deduct discounts from payments.
8. Prompt Pay - Many of the invoices processed as field payment transactions are subject to the Prompt Payment Act. Utility bills, however, will be scheduled for payment the night they are processed. This special processing applies to all invoices charged to object classes 234A, 234B, 234E, or 236A.
9. User ID's - To obtain FFS User ID's for processing field payments, users should contact their respective administrative staff offices. OFM will not assign User ID's for payment processing by telephone.
10. Vendor Codes - All field payments must be made to valid FFS vendor codes contained in the Vendor Table (VEND). Vendors who are not in the Vendor Table must be added by OFM. To have a vendor added to the Vendor Table: (a) call OFM at FTS 959-7697 or (703) 648-7697; (b) provide the vendor name as shown on the invoice, and the "remit to" address; (c) OFM will provide a vendor code. Send a copy of the paid invoice to OFM using the Vendor Invoice Transmittal form (Attachment 1).
11. Procedures - Detailed data entry procedures for processing field payments are contained in Section 6 of the FFS consolidated user's manual. In addition, users can obtain individual help by contacting the FFS Hotline on FTS 959-7600 or (703) 648-7600.
Cancellation - This IM is cancelled upon the issuance of Survey Manual Chapter.
VENDOR INVOICE TRANSMITTAL
To: Document Tracking Section, Office of Financial Management
ATTN: Shelley Kappauf
From: Remote Payment Processing Site
Subject: Vendor Codes
Vendor codes for the attached invoices have been added to Federal Financial System (FFS) by Office of Financial Management (OFM) staff based on a telephone request from this office.
Do not pay the attached invoices.
Number of Invoices Attached:
Call OFM at (703) 648-7697 to request that vendor codes be added to FFS while you wait. Identify yourself as a remote payment processor.
Attach a copy of the invoice to this form and send or fax to OFM.
Mail To: Office of Financial Management
270 National Center
Reston, VA 22092
or Fax To: FTS (703) 264-4112
Multiple invoices may be attached to each transmittal.
Each invoice copy should be clearly marked as paid.
If you have any questions, call the FFS Hotline at (703) 648-7600.