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Public Buildings Service. Reimbursable Work Authorizations Background. Reimbursable Services Division Office of Facilities Management & Services Programs General Services Administration May 2010. About Us. Ashlee Carlson and Steve Sacco Reimbursable Services Division

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Public Buildings Service

Reimbursable Work AuthorizationsBackground

Reimbursable Services Division Office of Facilities Management & Services Programs General Services AdministrationMay 2010

about us
About Us
  • Ashlee Carlson and Steve Sacco
  • Reimbursable Services Division
    • Established January 2009
    • Program and Finance functions separated
  • Areas of Focus
    • Policy Management
    • Customer Analysis & Outreach
    • Data Management & Process Improvement

Managing RWA Business

  • $4.4 Billion business annually
    • $2.9 Billion in UFCO (FY09 year end)
    • Approx $1.5 Billion across 12,000 new RWAs accepted annually
  • $856 Million in Recovery Act (ARRA) RWAs Anticipated
    • Approx $428 Million accepted to date (5/2/2010)
    • Approx $428 Million additional anticipated
managing reimbursable services
Managing Reimbursable Services
  • How can we work smarter, not harder?
  • How can we proactively manage our Customer’s business needs?
  • What can we do to standardize customer reporting?
  • How can we provide easy access to information for our customers?
what are customers telling us
What Are Customers Telling Us?
  • Top RWA Customer Issues:
    • RWA policy inconsistently applied
    • RWA billing is not detailed enough
    • RWA communication
      • RWA receipt vs. acceptance
      • Funding balances
      • Project status
      • RWA close-out

Improvements to Reimbursable Services Program Management

  • Implemented a National, Standard Workflow Tool: the RWA Entry and Tracking Application (RETA)
  • Enhanced the Process: Consistency and Communication (letters)
  • Improved the Bill – easier to read, more details
    • Additional improvements coming soon…
  • Fee Consistency – Automated 4% Fee in July 2009 to avoid inconsistent, lump sum fee charges

Improvements to Reimbursable Services Program Management con’t

  • Accountability: Developed Performance Measures to change behavior
  • Training: Ongoing efforts to educate employees and customers (Level I/II/III)
  • Audit findings: taking corrective actions to fix all outstanding audit problems
  • Continuing to implement changes based upon customer feedback
when do customers use rwas
When Do Customers Use RWAs?
  • Alterations to existing space
  • Above Tenant Improvement costs
  • Above standard services (e.g. overtime utilities)

What is an RWA?

  • RWA Definition
  • Agreement between GSA and customer whereby PBS agrees to provide materials and services and the customer agency agrees to reimburse GSA
  • Provides written documentation of a formal agreement (GSA Form 2957)
  • Identifies specific needs of customer agency and establishes financial arrangements
types of rwas
Types of RWAs
  • Recurring:
    • When above-standard service costs cannot be readily identified and separated from standard operating costs
      • Example: Overtime utilities where service is not separately metered and/or billed from “9 to 5” utilities
      • One fiscal year limit
  • Non-recurring:
    • When above-standard service costs can be specifically identified and separated
      • Example: Overtime utilities where service is separately metered and/or billed
      • Example: Alterations
      • Example: Consulting or Estimating
types of rwas11
Types of RWAs
  • R-type
    • Example: overtime utilities
    • Recurring
    • Charged over the duration of the service
    • Closed at end of fiscal year
  • C-type
    • Example: utilities for private retail tenants space on first floor of Federal building
    • Recurring
    • Non-Federal Customer
    • Must be prepaid
types of rwas12
Types of RWAs
  • A-type
    • Example: construction and/or design services
    • Non-recurring, one time need
    • Non-prospectus repair and alteration when associated with federally owned property only
    • Funding of project shared by both customer (RWA) and GSA
  • N-type
    • Example: space changes in owned or leased Space
    • Non-recurring, one time need
    • Non-prospectus repair and alteration
types of rwas13
Types of RWAs
  • B-type
    • Example: tenant funded work associated with a prospectus project
    • Non-recurring, one time need
    • RWA is associated with any prospectus project (leased or owned), regardless of RWA amount
  • F-type
    • Example: changing key locks
    • Non-recurring, good for maximum of one fiscal year
    • Small, miscellaneous items
    • Purchase limits apply:
      • Up to $250,000 for year (per RWA), up to $25,000 per project
types of rwas14
Types of RWAs
  • E-type
    • Example: move associated with declared natural disaster
    • Non-recurring
    • FEMA mission assignments
  • D-type
    • Example: high school prom in a federal building
    • Non-recurring
    • Non-Federal customer
    • Must be prepaid
gsa policies guidelines
GSA Policies & Guidelines
  • GSA RWA Form 2957
    • Need signatures from both the Customer and GSA
    • RWA File Requirements:
      • All Signed RWA forms (including amendments)
      • Copies of the cost estimate
      • All correspondence between the GSA & customer
    • Authorized amount on the RWA form must match the cost estimate
    • RETA allows users to generate, retain, and share an electronic copy of these documents
gsa rwa form 2957 page 2 gsa only page 3 terms conditions pages 4 5 instructions
GSA RWA Form 2957Page 2:GSA OnlyPage 3:Terms & ConditionsPages 4&5:Instructions
year end internal controls

GSA Policies & Guidelines

Year-End Internal Controls
  • Non-recurring RWA request deadline (receipt date) is established by GSA annually. In FY2009,
    • DoD – June 15th
    • All Others – Sept 1st
  • RWAs submitted after the deadline (receipt date) may not be accepted if the request cannot be sufficiently reviewed and estimated prior to the end of the fiscal year

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Period Of Contract Performance

(Liquidation Period)






Example: Single-Year Appropriation

One-year or Annual appropriation:An appropriation that is available for obligation only during a specific fiscal year. This is the most common type of appropriation. It is also known as a “fiscal year” or “annual” appropriation. (RETA FAQs #37)*

Customer appropriations are to be executed within the life of the appropriation (in this instance 1 year) for obligation & five years for expensing, at which time the appropriation is cancelled. (RWA National Policy Document Sec 3.2.2)

As of 9/30/2010 Appropriation is cancelled by congress

GSA Accepts RWA 1/15/2005

Period Of Funding Appropriation Availability

Year 6



Appropriation Year

As of 9/30/2005 period of funding appropriation expires for new obligations

rwa phases
RWA Phases

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5







and Close-out

phase 1 requirements


Phase 1: Requirements
  • Customer Submits Request
    • Customer contacts GSA with a bona fide need
    • Work together to develop requirements
    • Establish a fully defined scope of work
gsa acknowledges receipt of rwa


GSA Acknowledges Receipt of RWA

Phase 1: Requirements

  • GSA Project Manager assigned
  • GSA processes RWA in pending status
    • Assigns RWA number
    • Sends “Receipt” Customer Letter
description of requested work


Description of Requested Work

Phase 1: Requirements

  • Summary level scope of work, including:
  • Type of Work:
    • Detail work to be performed
    • Location(s) of work (e.g. building, floor, room)
    • Should not be open-ended or vague
  • Amount or Magnitude of Work:
    • Square footage
    • The number of hours of service
  • This information goes in Block 7

Cost Estimate

Phase 2: Cost Estimate

  • Develop Cost Estimate
  • Created by GSA. However, if provided by customer, GSA must validate.
  • Includes all direct costs
    • Examples: Design, construction management, contingencies, travel, moving, furniture, etc.
  • Includes all indirect costs (if applicable)
    • 4% project management fee
    • sliding scale overhead fee or flat overhead fee of $100

Cost Estimate

Phase 2: Cost Estimate

  • Fees: Project Management (4%)
    • Covers Regional oversight of delivering RWA projects
      • Example: Budget Analyst time entering RWAs into RETA
      • Example: GSA PM coordinating efforts with contractors
      • Example: Contracting Officer awarding/administering contracts
    • Fee does notapply to:
      • Example: Personal property costs such as Furniture, Equipment, and Supplies
      • Example: Moving Costs
      • Example: Overtime Utilities

Cost Estimate

Phase 2: Cost Estimate

  • Fees: GSA’s Sliding Scale
    • Recovers the nationwide indirect cost of managing and operating the PBS Reimbursable Services Program
      • Example: Reimbursable Services Division
      • Example: Financial Operations Division
      • Example: Office of Finance
      • Example: Managing and maintaining RWA Systems
    • Overhead Fee is based on actual expenses
    • The scale is capped at $30,000 per RWA

Cost Estimate

Phase 2: Cost Estimate

  • Fees: Recurring RWAs
    • Incur a flat overhead fee of $100 per RWA
    • Minimal administrative costs associated with managing recurring RWAs
common estimate components

Cost Estimate

Phase 2: Cost Estimate

Common Estimate Components

Construction Costs & Contingencies

+ Architecture/Engineering (A/E) Costs

+ Construction Management (CM) Costs

+ 4% Project Management (PM) Fee

+ Personal Property Costs

+ RWA Overhead Fee (sliding scale)

= Authorized Amount of RWA



Phase 3: Acceptance

  • Needed for Acceptance of RWA
    • Scope of Work is fully defined
    • Cost Estimate sufficiently supports the scope of work
    • Bona Fide Need is established by customer
    • Agency Fund Certifying Official is knowledgeable about funding authority
acceptance of rwa


Acceptance of RWA

Phase 3: Acceptance

  • Customer Funds Certifying Official must sign RWA Form confirming:
    • Funds are legally available
    • All unique funding and procurement requirements of the Requesting Agency have been disclosed
  • GSA Funds Certifier officially accepts RWA by signing RWA
  • Pending RWA is submitted and accepted into RETA
  • GSA sends “Acceptance” Letter to customer
rwa amendments


Phase 3: Acceptance

RWA Amendments
  • Amendments are accepted from customers, however…
  • Changes in scope must meet 3 requirements:
    • Funds are legally available for new purpose
    • Bona Fide Need exists
    • The appropriation has not lapsed for obligational authority
  • Agencies amend RWAs to increase or decrease RWA amount
recovery act arra rwas


Phase 3: Acceptance

Recovery Act (ARRA) RWAs
  • “Recovery Act” box (Block 13C) should be checked
  • Customers should follow ARRA RWA Checklist
  • Naming convention: prefixed as N40 (Block 2)
    • GSA assigns RWA number
    • RETA has built-in internal control for ARRA funds
  • Mixed Fund Projects (i.e. ARRA funds & Traditional funds):
    • Must complete two separate RWAs
rwa management


Phase 4:Execution

RWA Management
  • Acquisition Plan established
  • Scheduled milestones established (if necessary)
  • Regular and periodic review of RWA inventory
    • Example: RWAs with no financial activity in last 90 days
    • Example: RWAs with expiring customer funding


Phase 4:Execution

  • RWA Billing
  • What triggers a Bill?
    • Inspection or Receiving Report identifies delivery of service (partial or full)
      • 4% Project Management Fee automatically applied on top of “eligible” expenses
      • Overhead automatically applied to all expenses
  • Billing Term is identified on GSA Form 2957
    • Block 9B
    • Monthly (M), Quarterly (Q), or Advance (A)
rwa payment


Phase 4:Execution

RWA Payment
  • Customers can make payment via:
    • Treasury’s IPAC System (most federal customers)
    • Interfund (internal GSA customers only)
    • Check (non-federal customers and non-IPAC customers)
    • Credit Card (non-federal customers; federal customers in limited cases - not preferred)
rwa substantial completion

Completion/ Closeout

Phase 5: Completion & Closeout

RWA Substantial Completion
  • Physical work is complete
    • “Punch list” items may exist, however work has been substantially complete
    • GSA sends “Completion” Letter to customer
phase 5 completion closeout

Completion/ Closeout

Phase 5: Completion & Closeout
  • RWA Financial Closeout
    • All costs have been billed and all invoices have been paid
      • GSA sends “Closeout” Letter to customer
      • Agency may de-obligate remaining funds
      • Residual/Excess funds cannot be used for a different RWA or a new scope of work
rwa cancellations

Completion/ Closeout

Phase 5: Completion & Closeout

RWA Cancellations
  • Customer Agency may cancel an RWA anytime before charges are incurred by PBS against an RWA
    • Customer must submit an Amendment to cancel the RWA
  • If GSA has incurred costs, GSA will bill the Customer
    • Any remaining funds may be de-obligated by the customer upon receipt of the “Closeout” Letter
rwa customer letter templates
RWA Customer Letter Templates

**RWA Project Follow-Up Letter to be used only if needed

improvements and successes
Improvements and Successes
  • FY2008:
    • Standardized Cost Estimate Template
    • Improved Customer Bill
  • FY2009:
    • Electronic Documentation Tool and RETA Email Functionality
    • Automated Customer Letters
    • 4% Fee Automation
program initiatives going forward
Program Initiatives Going Forward
  • Education and Outreach:
    • Updated and enhanced RWA Level I Training (available August 2010)
      • Available at
    • Specific Competency RWA Level II and III Training
      • Region by Region Classroom training (April-August 2010)
  • Policy:
    • Updating National Policy Document (anticipated June 2010)
program initiatives going forward45
Program Initiatives Going Forward
  • Process Streamlining and Systems:
    • External RETA Access for Customer Agencies
      • Read-only Documentation Tool access (anticipated August 2010)
      • Electronic RWA Request Submission capabilities (anticipated FY2011/2012)
    • Consolidating additional RWA tools into RETA

Customer Tools

  • RWA Customer Portal:
  • RWA Search
    • To be replaced with external RETA access
  • Billview Website
pbs regional rwa network
PBS Regional RWA Network

Available at



Denise Funkhouser

Customer Analysis/Outreach

Ashlee Carlson

Process/Data Management

Steven Sacco

Policy Management

Lester Boggs