Notice Number: NOT-HS-14-002
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
This Guide Notice alerts AHRQ grantees that in accordance with new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) payment policies for grant awards, AHRQ will transition payment for grant awards to Payment Management System (PMS) subaccounts. The transition will begin in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of FY 2015.
PMS subaccounts will be established for FY2014 awards that have new document numbers. Implementation for non-competing continuation awards is expected to occur beginning in FY 2015 (10/1/2014). This plan parallels the NIH plan for domestic awards (NOT-OD-13-120); AHRQ does not issue awards to foreign organizations, Federal institutions, Federal Fellows or Foreign Fellows.
Payments for AHRQ awards are currently made via pooled accounts in PMS, a centralized grants payment and cash management system operated by the Division of Payment Management (DPM) HHS.
FY2014 Implementation Plans for Awards with New Document Numbers
Between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, AHRQ will transition payment for all domestic awards with new document numbers (i.e., Types 1, 2, 6, and 7) from PMS pooled accounts (G accounts) to PMS subaccounts (P subaccounts). For these types of awards, PMS will establish subaccounts for each AHRQ award made on or after October 1, 2013. Any resultant Type 5 (non-competing continuation) awards will also be issued in subaccounts in future fiscal years.
Anticipated FY2015 Implementation Plans for All Other Awards
Between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015, AHRQ plans to transition payment for all domestic noncompeting continuation (Type 5) awards that have not yet transitioned from pooled accounts (G accounts) to subaccounts (P subaccounts). Accordingly, PMS will establish subaccounts for each AHRQ award made on or after October 1, 2014.
For grants with a non-competing continuation year of funding in fiscal year FY 2015 (October 1, 2014 September 30, 2015), AHRQ will use a technical process to shift the funding from PMS G accounts to PMS P subaccounts by issuing all FY 2015 non-competing continuation awards that have not yet transitioned to subaccounts as Type 4 awards (funded extension awards). Therefore, all Type 5 awards (non-competing continuation awards) will be issued as Type 4s during FY 2015, for the purpose of the transition. This use of the Type 4 enables AHRQ to separately track obligations and payments for grants that span Federal FYs 2014 and 2015. In addition to changing the record Type and the document number for the FY 2015 award, AHRQ will change the project period end date of the FY 2014 award when the FY 2015 award is issued. The FY 2014 project period end date will be changed to the budget period end date. This effectively breaks the single competitive segment into two shorter segments. The FY 2014 award becomes the final year of the first "competitive segment" and requires final Federal Financial Report (FFR) expenditure data.
Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for grantees. Records for non-competing continuation progress reports (Type 5s), that have not yet transitioned to subaccounts will be converted to Type 4s. The conversion will be processed internally by AHRQ. There will be no change to the due dates, submission, or review of progress reports for FY 2015.
Please see below for procedural changes in carryover of funds for non-competing continuation awards issued in FY 2015.
Change in Process to Carryover Funds and Federal Financial Reports for Non-Competing Continuation Awards during FY 2015 (October 1, 2014 September 30, 2015)
Non-competing continuation progress reports (Type 5s) require a final FFR for the prior year(s) of the competitive segment before any carryover funds will be available for drawdown in the PMS. However, this requirement does not change the carryover authority listed in Section III of the NoA. If the award was issued with automatic carryover authority, AHRQ will automatically authorize the carryover in the PMS P subaccount equal to the amount of unobligated balance reported on the FFR. If the award was issued without carryover authority, AHRQ will automatically transfer the unobligated balance reported on the FFR to the PMS P subaccount; however, the grantee will still be required to submit a prior approval request to use carryover funds as detailed in the HHS Grants Policy Statement. If the request is approved, a revised NoA reflecting the approved carryover amount will be issued. Failure to submit FFR expenditure data in a timely manner may affect future funding.
In accordance with existing policy, the GMO will review unobligated balances in excess of 25 percent of the total authorized amount for the budget period and may request additional information from the grantee. If the GMO determines that some or all of the unobligated funds are not necessary to complete the project, the GMO may restrict the grantee’s authority to automatically carry over unobligated balances in the future, use the balance to reduce or offset AHRQ funding for a subsequent budget period, or use a combination of these actions. The GMO’s decision about the disposition of the reported unobligated balance will be reflected in the terms and conditions of the NoA.
An FFR to report expenditure information is not required for Kirschstein-NRSA individual fellowship awards.
Change in Processing of Funds Requested for Awards in PMS Subaccounts that are 90 Days Beyond the Project Period End Date
When a federal grant expires, recipients can only use remaining grant funds to liquidate expenses incurred during the performance period. Federal grants management policy specifies that within 90 days of the project period end date the grant recipient must submit its final financial report for the grant, unless the awarding agency extends the project period end date or the reporting period due date. See HHS Grants Policy Statement for more information; timely closeout is a grantee responsibility.
In an effort to promote timely financial closeout of awards, PMS will now hold payment requests for funds in subaccounts for awards that are 90 days or more beyond the project period end date. Funds requests for these awards will not be processed unless, and until, the awarding Agency has approved the payment request.
Frequently Asked Questions
AHRQ will post answers to frequently asked questions on the transition to PMS subaccounts in the near future.
Inquires about this change may be directed to:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Grants Management Office
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850