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FFIS & TCAS Data Sources Offset vs. Direct Charge. The devil is in the details!. We speak a foreign language so -- a little terminology discussion first:. Cost – Associated salary and benefits based on actual hours worked and entered into WebTCAS .

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Ffis tcas data sources offset vs direct charge l.jpg

FFIS & TCAS Data SourcesOffset vs. Direct Charge



We speak a foreign language so a little terminology discussion first l.jpg
We speak a foreign language so -- a little terminology discussion first:

  • Cost – Associated salary and benefits based on actual hours worked and entered intoWebTCAS.

  • Budget – Aplanfor spending money effectively to accomplish well-defined goals.

  • Allocation –budget authority(amount) available to enter into obligations in a given year.

  • Obligation – a bindingorderfor goods or services.

  • Outlay – apaymentfor goods or services received that has cleared the bank (Treasury).

  • Staff Year –Full time equivalent(FTE) of hours paid divided by the number of “paid” days in the fiscal year.

  • Object Class –Categoriesin a classification system that presents obligations by the items or services purchased.


Unified budget l.jpg

Treasury discussion first:

OFF-BUDGET

ON-BUDGET

General Fund

Social Security Trust Fund

Mandatory

Discretionary

TA

TA

Direct

Direct

Reimbursable

Reimbursable

FA

FA

Direct

Direct

Reimbursable

Reimbursable

UNIFIED BUDGET


What are mandatory funds l.jpg
What are Mandatory Funds? discussion first:

  • Fundsavailableto persons who meet certain requirements.

  • Includes all CCC funded programs.

  • Accounts for about 2/3 of all government spending.

  • Amount isincluded in the authorization;

  • Congress doesnot have to act in order for funds to be available.

  • Controlled by “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYGO)

  • Includes: Farm Price Supports.


What are discretionary funds l.jpg
What are Discretionary Funds? discussion first:

  • 13 annual appropriation acts.

  • Congress must act in order for discretionary funds to be available. If not, no obligations may be incurred.

  • Accounts for about 1/3 of all government spending.

  • Includes All NRCS Appropriations.

  • Controlled through Spending Caps.


What is technical assistance ta l.jpg
What is Technical Assistance (TA)? discussion first:

In CIS, TA refers to these object classes:

11 - Personnel Compensation

12 - Personnel Benefits

21 - Travel

22 - Transportation of things

23 - Rent, communication, and utilities

24 - Printing and reproduction

25 - Other Services (including agreements)

26 - Supplies and materials

31 - Equipment

32 - Land and structures (excluding easements)

42 - Insurance claims and indemnities

43 - Interest and dividends

44 - Refunds


What is financial assistance fa l.jpg
What is Financial Assistance (FA)? discussion first:

In CIS, FA refers to these object classes:

2591 - Construction Contracts

2592 - Project Services

2691 - Project Materials

3211-3219 - Easements

33 - Investments and loans

41 - Grants

FA is never “prorated” in CIS to the county or Congressional district.


Direct funds how does nrcs get them l.jpg
Direct Funds – how does NRCS get them? discussion first:

  • Direct funds come from NRCS appropriations:

    • Conservation Operations

    • Watershed Surveys and Planning

    • Watershed & Flood Prevention Operations

    • Resource Conservation & Development

    • Forestry Incentives Program

    • Watershed Rehabilitation Program

  • Some of the direct funds come from transfers from CCC and other Federal Agencies:

    • Farm Security and Rural Investment Program

    • Rural Abandoned Mine Program


Reimbursable funds where does nrcs get them l.jpg
Reimbursable Funds – discussion first:where does NRCS get them?

  • Reimbursable funds are received from sources other than appropriations or transfers from other federal agencies.

  • Sources include:

    • Other USDA Appropriations

    • Other Federal Appropriations

    • State & Local Government

    • Private Entities


What is cost in cis reports l.jpg
What is “cost” in CIS reports? discussion first:

  • Salary and benefit cost data -- WebTCAS/ACRES

    • Includes dollars for actual hours worked(hourly rate times hours worked), by program/activity/modifier as entered in TCAS by an employee for:

      • Basic pay hours worked

      • Credit hours worked

      • Comp time worked

      • Overtime worked

  • Support data -- obligations recorded in the accounting system (FFIS) in “support” object classes plus lump sum leave, awards, and agreements .


What is an obligation in cis reports l.jpg
What is an “obligation” in CIS reports? discussion first:

  • Salary and benefit obligation data -- FFIS

    • Includes dollars obligated for actual hours paid, by fund code, as entered in the WebTCAS master file for:

      • Basic pay hours paid(includes paid leave)

      • Credit hours paid

      • Comp time paid

      • Overtime paid

  • Support data -- obligations recorded in FFIS in “support” object classes plus lump sum leave, awards, and agreements .


What is an outlay in cis reports l.jpg
What is an “outlay” in CIS reports? discussion first:

  • Outlay data comes from FFIS

    • Includes payments to employees for actual hours paid .

    • Includes payments for obligations in “support” object classes plus lump sum leave, awards, and agreements .

    • Includes all payments made in the current fiscal year, regardless of the year of the original obligation.


What do i need with cost data i am not a bean counter l.jpg
What do I need with cost data? I am not a “bean counter”

  • Helps to establish budget and program credibility

  • Assists in the determination of the “full cost” of programs

  • Shows the programs and activities on which NRCS employees spend their time

  • Assists with informed decision-making

  • Identifies needs for improvements

  • Assists in answering basic accountability questions


Why does a state or field office employee care about obligations in ffis l.jpg
Why does a state or field office employee care about obligations in FFIS?

  • Obligations are orders for goods or services

  • State Conservationists must have budget authority(an allocation) before obligations incurred.

  • State Conservationistsmay not exceed the amount allocated in each program.


What are obligations l.jpg
What are obligations? obligations in FFIS?

  • Obligations are controlled by annual appropriations.

  • An agency may not obligate more than has been appropriated, by program.

  • Obligations and staff years are reported to Congress.

  • Associated performance is reported to Congress.


Why would someone in a state or field office care about outlays l.jpg
Why would someone in a state or field office care about outlays?

  • You probably don’t, but USDA, OMB, GAO, CBO, and Treasury really do!

  • Outlays are the measure of government spending.

  • Used to calculate deficits/surpluses:

    • Receipts (Taxes) less Outlays = Deficit/Surplus

    • Cumulative deficits = National Debt


The national debt affects all of us l.jpg
The National Debt affects all of us! outlays?

  • The National Debt as of August 26th:

    • $6,175,806,295,134.55

  • That’s $21,432.17 to every man, woman and child in the United States.

  • Treasury suspended G fund investments in April because they were about to exceed the debt ceiling. They “borrowed” federal employee’s retirement funds for two weeks.

Mr. Taxpayer


What does direct charge mean l.jpg
What does direct charge mean? outlays?

Title 31 of the United States Code (1301(a)) requires that all costs associated with implementing a program to be charged to the benefiting program.

Examples include:

  • Salary

  • Benefits

  • Travel

  • Training

  • Other Indirect Costs


What is so hard about direct charge l.jpg
What is so hard about direct charge? outlays?

  • Much more “management”involvement required.

  • Many employees work on several programs.

  • Many costs benefit multiple programs.

    • General managers and administrative costs

    • Utilities and communications

    • Supplies

    • State Office and Service Center rent

    • Printing

    • Postage, NFC and FFIS costs, etc.


How does nrcs manage the difficulties associated with direct charge l.jpg
How does NRCS manage the difficulties associated with direct charge?

NRCS implemented “offset” policy many years ago. “Offset” allows costs to be “charged as budgeted” based on the following assumptions:

  • Allocations are converted to fundable staff years, by program.

  • Fundable staff years, in each program, are converted to performance goals.

  • Performance goals are incorporated into business plans.

  • Performance plans are monitored to ensure that the proper work is being performed and corrective action is taken (if necessary) to ensure that goals are being met.

  • Adjustments are made to the performance plan whenever an allowance holder receives a large change in their allocation that affects fundable staff years, such as EWP funds made available in March.


Does offset satisfy the requirement to use funds only as intended by congress l.jpg
Does “offset” satisfy the requirement “to use funds only as intended by Congress”

Yes, as long as each allowance holder:

  • Accounts for all dollars available including anticipated reimbursements.

  • Accounts for all employees being paid.

  • Performance is planned by program.

  • The plan is worked as planned or well-documented to explain why not.

  • Adjustments to allocations that affect fundable staff years are incorporated into the performance and business plans at the same time that they are incorporated into operating budgets.


Does everyone agree that offset satisfies these requirements l.jpg
Does everyone agree that “offset” satisfies these requirements?

A GAO audit of NRCS titled “Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen Program and Financial Accountability reported: …”the policy of charging as budgeted and not as worked often misstates a project’s costs by underestimating the costs to one account and overstating the costs to another….”

(GAO/RCED-00-83 dated April 2000)


Slide24 l.jpg

WebTCAS requirements?

Actual

Hours

Worked

Actual

Hours

Paid

  • Program

  • Activity

  • Modifier

  • County

Assigned

Fund

Code

ACRES

FFIS (NFC)

Official External Reporting

(Audited Annually)

Internal Decision Making


Meet mr nrcs l.jpg
Meet Mr. NRCS requirements?

  • In pay period 15, Mr. NRCS worked40 hours on CRP and 40 hours on EQIP

  • He entered this information into WebTCAS by program, activity, and modifier

  • His assigned “fund code” isCTA-General

  • His “fund code” was determined in the cost allocation process and entered into the WebTCAS master record by the timekeeper


What do we see in cis for costs l.jpg
What do we see in CIS for Costs? requirements?

23,125

23,125

Costs associated with 40 hours of Mr. NRCS EQIP included here.

Costs associated with 40 hours of Mr. NRCS CRP included here.


What are mr nrcs costs in cis for pay period 15 l.jpg
What are Mr. NRCS “ requirements?costs” in CIS for pay period 15?

  • 40 hours * Mr. NRCS’ Basic Pay hourly rate will be recorded in the salary “cost” column for CRP

  • 40 hours * Mr. NRCS’ Basic Pay hourly rate will be recorded in the salary “cost” column for EQIP

  • Associated benefits will be recorded in both CRP and EQIP benefit “cost” columns based on rate identifiedat beginning of fiscal year for each retirement type


What do we see in cis for obligations l.jpg
What do we see in CIS for obligations? requirements?

Mr. NRCS dollars and associated hours are included here.


What are mr nrcs obligations in cis for pay period 15 l.jpg
What are Mr. NRCS “ requirements?obligations” in CIS for pay period 15?

  • 80 hours * Mr. NRCS’ Basic Pay hourly rate will be recorded in the salary “obligation” column for CTA-General

  • Actual benefits will be recorded in the CTA-General benefit “obligation” column based on actual charges to the agency for Mr. NRCS:

    • Retirement

    • Life Insurance

    • Health Insurance

    • FICA/Medicare

    • COLA (for overseas employees)


Why are there differences l.jpg
Why are there differences? requirements?

It could be the difference between:

  • Credit hours worked in WebTCAS vs. credit hours paid in FFIS

  • Comp time hours worked in WebTCAS vs. comp time hours paid in FFIS

  • Benefit costs (estimated) in WebTCAS vs. benefit costs (actual) in FFIS

  • Overtime capped at 1.5 times GS-10 step 01 hourly rate for Washington DC locality in WebTCAS vs. cap applied not to exceed 1.5 times the basic hourly rate for a GS-10/1 in FFIS

  • Obligation adjustments not processed through WebTCAS


What causes the most significant differences l.jpg
What causes the most significant differences? requirements?

  • “Direct” charge of hours by program/activity/modifier in WebTCAS interfaced into ACRES

    VS

  • “Offset” charge of hours by fund code assigned to each employee in the cost allocation process interfaced into FFIS


Why are there differences between direct charge of time cost allocation charge of time l.jpg
Why are there differences between direct charge of time & cost allocation charge of time?

Bottom line –

By the end of the fiscal year, direct charge hours should be very close to cost allocation hours except for those funds in which NRCS was not fully reimbursed for actual work performed


Why aren t they closer l.jpg
Why aren’t they closer? cost allocation charge of time?

  • You have to plan your work

    then

  • You have to work your plan

  • This demonstrates adherence to one of the fundamental laws of Title 31 of the United States Code: “Appropriations must be used for the purpose intended by Congress only.”


Where do we go from here l.jpg
Where do we go from here? cost allocation charge of time?

Current policy is to use “offset” (called cost allocation in FFIS) for salary, benefits, and most support costs.


Slide35 l.jpg

Thank you! cost allocation charge of time?


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