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  1. 1. id_1580-2008-1 Page 1 of 8 FOREST SERVICE MANUAL NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS (WO) WASHINGTON, DC FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS Interim Directive No.: 1580-2008-1 Effective Date: July 18, 2008 Duration: This interim directive expires on January 18, 2010. Approved: HANK KASHDAN Date Approved: 07/17/2008 Deputy Chief, OPS Posting Instructions: Interim directives are numbered consecutively by title and calendar year. Post by document at the end of the chapter. Retain this transmittal as the first page(s) of this document. The last interim directive was 1580-2007-1 to FSM 1580. New Document id_1580-2008-1 8 Pages Superseded Document(s) id_1580-2007-1, 03/22/2007 5 Pages (Interim Directive Number and Effective Date) Digest: This interim directive (ID) revises direction previously issued in id_1580-2007-1. This ID issues direction on the implementation of the OMB Circulars A-123 Management Accountability and Control, Department Regulation 1110-002, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) business rules, and FSH 6509.11k, chapter 50 on monitoring and administrative processes by the designated Forest Service Program Manager.
  2. 2. WO INTERIM DIRECTIVE id_1580-2008-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/18/2008 Page 2 of 8 DURATION: This interim directive expires on 01/18/2010. FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS Digest--Continued: 1580.3 - Adds direction and guidance on closeout and de-obligation procedures to be administered on all Forest Service agreements with two exceptions: (1) Collection Agreements, which use the Albuquerque Service Center-Reimbursable and Collection Agreement (ASC- RACA) process; and (2) grants, cooperative agreements, and other agreements when the Forest Service uses Health & Human Service’s (HHS) payment process (that is, for Northern Area). These exceptions exist due to the unique characteristics of the RACA and HHS payment processes, and require their own, tailored closeout and deobligation procedures.
  3. 3. WO INTERIM DIRECTIVE id_1580-2008-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/18/2008 Page 3 of 8 DURATION: This interim directive expires on 01/18/2010. FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS Table of Contents 1580.3 - Policy.............................................................................................................................4 1580.5 - Definitions.....................................................................................................................7
  4. 4. WO INTERIM DIRECTIVE id_1580-2008-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/18/2008 Page 4 of 8 DURATION: This interim directive expires on 01/18/2010. FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS 1580.3 - Policy 13. Program Managers shall ensure final financial and project progress reports are obtained prior to initiating closeout procedures for grants, cooperative agreements, and other agreements (that is, Interagency, Participating, Challenge Cost-Share, Joint Venture, Cost-Reimbursable agreements) that establish financial obligations, whenever possible. If this is not possible, see 15c, below. The Program Manager is responsible for accepting and approving the final closeout documentation. All documentation must be substantive in nature (see 16 and 17, below), and maintained in the official agreement file. Original, paper copies are preferred although final reports that are voluminous, such as those from a research environment, may be maintained via electronic means. Final reporting documentation must clearly indicate the report’s “Final” status, as required by either Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars for Federal Financial Assistance or by Forest Service directives, as set forth below, for other obligating instruments. Financial and project progress reporting requirements for grants and agreements under Federal Financial Assistance are determined by OMB Circulars and by the specific terms and conditions found in either the grant or cooperative agreement. Financial and project progress reporting requirements for other Forest Service agreements are based on OMB business rules. The following information must be included on reports provided by cooperators under these agreements: a. Financial Report: (1) Cooperator’s name. (2) Federal Agreement Number. (3) Employer Identification Number (EIN). (4) Funding period (that is, duration/dates of agreement). (5) Financial reporting period (for example monthly, quarterly, and so forth). (6) History of the financial transaction payments (which, at a minimum, includes: the previously reported period, the current reporting period, and a cumulative total). (7) History on Cooperator’s contributing share (which, at a minimum, includes: the previously reported period, the current reporting period, and a cumulative total). (8) Amount of Unliquidated Obligation, if any.
  5. 5. WO INTERIM DIRECTIVE id_1580-2008-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/18/2008 Page 5 of 8 DURATION: This interim directive expires on 01/18/2010. FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS b. Project Progress Report Description: (1) Cooperator’s Name. (2) Federal Agreement number. (3) Reporting period. (4) Written, narrative summary of project progress. 14. Managing Unliquidated Obligations. Program Managers shall validate unliquidated obligations (ULO) as directed in FSH 6509.11k, chapter 50. The designated Forest Service Program Manager shall monitor the agreement financial activities to ensure the accuracy of the ULO. In order to reconcile an ULO, the Program Manager shall follow procedures set out in FSH 6509.11k, section 56.04f. For interagency agreements, Program Managers shall validate unliquidated obligations (ULO) as directed in FSH 6509.11k, chapter 50, however, additional activities are required. The designated Forest Service Program Manager shall monitor the agreement financial activities to ensure the accuracy of the ULO. In order to reconcile an ULO, the Program Manager, working closely with the unit budget officer or Deputy Area Budget Coordinator (DABC), shall verify the project’s status by: a. Making good-faith attempts to obtain substantive documentation from the federal partner as described in paragraph 17a, however, if the Program Manager is unable to obtain substantive documentation, and: b. Requesting assistance from the Grants and Agreements Specialist to reconcile the interagency agreement’s billings and receipt of payment information to determine if a valid ULO exists. Upon request by the Program Manager, the Grants and Agreements Specialist shall assist with reconciling the interagency agreement, as follows: (1) If a valid ULO exists, then the valid ULO must be reported to the unit’s budget officer or DABC. (2) If an invalid ULO exists, then the Program Manager shall obtain the supporting substantive documentation from the federal partner, except in the case described in FSH 6509.11k, section 56.03, paragraph 6 which excludes obligations with no activity for the previous 12 months and a ULO of $250 or less unless there is a documented bona-fide need to support the obligation/undelivered order. No documentation will be required to process de-obligations for the above listed exclusions. Once obtained, the Program Manager shall complete form FS-6500-235, De-Obligation and/or Closeout Request Form, attach the supporting substantive documentation, and provide to the Grants and Agreements Specialist for further action.
  6. 6. WO INTERIM DIRECTIVE id_1580-2008-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/18/2008 Page 6 of 8 DURATION: This interim directive expires on 01/18/2010. FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS 15. Roles and responsibilities for closeout and deobligation: a. The Program Manager shall complete and sign FS-6500-235, De-Obligation and/or Closeout Request Form, and attach the supporting substantive documentation. Next, the program manages shall provide the FS-6500-235 form and substantial documentation to their Grants and Agreements Specialist (G&A). The substantive documentation provided must support the Cooperator’s informed knowledge of Forest Service’s action to de-obligate the ULO, if any, and/or closeout the agreement for any grant or agreement. The supporting substantive documentation must be generated by at least the Cooperator, but may be from both the Forest Service and Cooperator. b. The G&A Specialist shall determine the acceptability of the supporting substantive documentation provided by the Program Manager. Also, the G&A Specialist shall provide Albuquerque Service Center, G&A Payments Branch, a copy of the supporting substantive documentation to finalize the closeout and/or de-obligation for any grant or agreement. This documentation should be scanned and attached to the grant or agreement IWeb record when practicable. On FS-6500-235, no bilateral signatures are required for Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) or when substantial documentation is available to support closeout and/or de-obligation. The G&A specialist shall sign the FS-6500-235 after reviewing and ensuring all required documentation is attached and the FS-6500-235 is completed properly. c. The Signatory Official and Cooperator Representative shall sign FS-6500-235, whenever substantial documentation is not provided with the form. By signing the form, versus signing a simple closeout modification, both parties release the Forest Service from responsibility should the agreement be subsequently deobligated and/or closed when later proffered facts surface showing the agreements should not have been deobligated and/or closed. The signatures signify that all applicable administrative actions and all required work as described in the instrument have been completed, minus the request for deobligation and/or closeout activity(ies). Also, all invoices, including the final invoice, have been provided to the Forest Service, and, if applicable, the Forest Service has either paid the Cooperator for all monies owed, or the Forest Service has collected all over payments made to the Cooperator. d. If deobligated improperly or prematurely, the G&A Specialist and Program Manager shall work with ASC Budget Execution to restore the funding. 16. Examples of acceptable, substantive, closeout documentation include: a. Correspondence letter that documents final invoice submission and/or final payments has been made; b. The receipt of an invoice, financial and/or project progress report marked final;
  7. 7. WO INTERIM DIRECTIVE id_1580-2008-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/18/2008 Page 7 of 8 DURATION: This interim directive expires on 01/18/2010. FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS c. In the case of MOUs, a copy of the expired agreement, or a written notification of the MOU’s expiration can be provided; otherwise, a verbal notification to the G&A Specialist is sufficient; or d. For interagency agreements only, substantive documentation must include a signed statement or email from the Cooperator’s responsible fiscal representative that shows the aggregate amount invoiced, through the applicable federal billing system, the amount of the total Forest Service obligation (including all modifications), the outstanding ULO amount, the Miscellaneous Obligation Number (MO#), if available, and a statement that the final invoice has been sent to the Forest Service (if applicable) and final payment has been received through the applicable federal billing system. 17. Examples of acceptable, substantive, de-obligation documentation include: a. Correspondence letter that documents final invoice submission and/or final payments has been made; b. The receipt of an invoice and or final financial report marked final; c. Billing history from Cooperator to confirm remaining obligation and payments made agrees with data shown in I-Web; or d. For interagency agreements only, substantive documentation must include a signed statement or email from the Cooperator’s responsible fiscal representative that shows the aggregate amount invoiced, through the applicable federal billing system, the amount of the total Forest Service obligation (including modifications), the outstanding ULO amount, the MO#, if available, and a statement that the final invoice has been sent to the Forest Service and payment has been received through the applicable federal billing system. 1580.5 - Definitions Closeout. The process by which a federal awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions have been completed by the Cooperator and Federal awarding agency. The closeout administrative action is documented with supporting substantive documentation indicating the completion and/or receipt of goods and services, receipt of invoices, and payments made against the grant or agreements obligation. Cooperator’s Informed Knowledge. Letter to the Cooperator, signed by the Program Manager, citing the specific amount of a remaining ULO on an agreement that will be deobligated by the Forest Service within 30 days from the date of the letter absent a response to the contrary from the Cooperator.
  8. 8. WO INTERIM DIRECTIVE id_1580-2008-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/18/2008 Page 8 of 8 DURATION: This interim directive expires on 01/18/2010. FSM 1500 – EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHAPTER 1580 – GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER AGREEMENTS De-obligation. The portion of the Federal awarding agency’s obligated funds, not expended by the Cooperator in the pursuit of the grant/agreement’s objectives, which have been administratively recovered by the Federal awarding agency. The amount of de-obligation is determined by deducting the Cooperator’s cumulative expenditures from the Federal awarding agency’s financial obligation (for example, the Cooperator has performed all work and invoiced a final request for $8,000 against a single Forest Service job code, while the total Forest Service obligation for that job code on the agreement was $9,000. The total amount to be de-obligated from that job code is $1,000). Employer Identification Number (EIN). Uniquely identifies every tax-paying entity in the United States. EINs are assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to organizations with paid employees. An organization may have one or several EINs, and an EIN may cover one or several locations. The EINs has 9 digits. Financial Reporting. An assessment process designed to provide reasonable assurance of the appropriate use of Federal awarding agency obligations by the Cooperator, which compares Cooperator expenditures against work performed. Monitoring. An ongoing, periodic assessment of current and cumulative project activities by a Program Manager on grants, cooperative agreements, and other agreements. Monitoring includes the following: a. Evaluating the degree of project progress over time as related to milestones established within the instrument (for example by site visits or desk monitoring); b. Reviewing and ensuring financial compliance with the terms of the instrument and federal law, which in part includes: accruals, invoicing, payments, and de-obligation; and c. Comparing agency project progress and financial management reviews with project data reported by the Cooperator. Unliquidated Obligation (ULO). The amount of a financial obligation not yet expended.

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