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February 2014

Table of Contents

Procurement Services

Conflict Of Interest And Ethics In Public Contracting

As a public institution, employees are required by the Code of Virginia to comply with the Conflict of Interests Act §2.2-3100 et seq. and the Ethics in Public Contracting §2.2-4367 et seq. Some basic things to remember follow.

Employees cannot:

  • accept money, gifts, transportation, lodging, meals, event tickets, etc. from vendors
  • participate in a procurement if employee is employed by a company involved in the transaction, or if the employee's immediate family holds a position with a company or has a financial interest in the transaction
  • as an employee have a separate contract as a vendor to provide goods/services to the university

This is not a comprehensive list of the Code requirements. These items are being highlighted since these come up with some frequency. It's important to always be aware of the expectations of the public relative to the trust and responsibility associated with your involvement in procurement transaction.

If you have any questions regarding conflict of interest or ethics, please contact Gary Gulliksen at gsgulliksen@vcu.edu or 828-0157.


Receiving Required by FA, by Due Date

Receivers should be entered in Banner as soon as the product is received or the services are rendered. We have begun a weekly automated listing of all invoices/documents that have been entered in Banner for payment but the receivers have not been entered.

In some instances the data is quite old and should be removed from the report (i.e.: duplicate billing, product was paid with a Pcard or was returned to the vendor). If this is the case, please send an email to Jamie Holcomb with your list and reason for removal. In some instances, Banner will not allow the removal and will require help from IT. Please be patient in this process; it will take some time to clean up the lists.

Any concerns can be directed to Jamie Holcomb jaholcomb@vcu.edu, 804-628-2877.


New Travel Management Services RFP

University support was granted for the resulting Travel Management Services contract to be mandatory-use for VCU employees purchasing airline and rail tickets for official business using University funds. Proposals were received on December 17. The Evaluation Committee, comprised of representatives from departments on both campuses, met January 17 to review the submitted proposals. Oral presentations are scheduled for early February.

In this time of transition, Procurement Services continues to recommend working with a travel agency. Procurement Services does not endorse or recommend a specific agency, but recognizes the benefits these agencies can provide to all business travelers and their departments.

If you have any comments or suggestions for the Evaluation Committee to take into consideration during the evaluation process, please send them to Sarah O’Neill at sdoneill@vcu.edu.


P-Card Training and Test

Procurement Services is updating the P-Card training. The new training and annual test for cardholders and reviewers will be ready in February. Be on the lookout for email communication regarding the test from corpcard@vcu.edu.


Procurement Services Classes

Procurement Services offers many different classroom and online training opportunities. A full list and brief description of each class can be found on the Procurement Services website under Training and Support Services. http://procurement.vcu.edu/i-want-to/receive-training/

To register for available classroom classes, go to http://training.vcu.edu/. Choose “Office of Procurement Services” under “Sponsor”. Select the appropriate class and follow the instructions to register. Please note: Registrants are encouraged to keep an eye on their e-mail in the week preceding a class. Low registration numbers will result in a class cancellation.

To access classes available on Blackboard, go to http://blackboard.vcu.edu/ using your VCU eID and password and click on the “Courses” tab in the top row. Search by the class title.


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Controller’s Office

Banner Finance Security Reviews and Annual Mandatory Training - March 2014

In March we will conduct our annual review of Banner Finance user access. In conjunction with this, we will also enroll users in the appropriate mandatory training classes. You will be enrolled in courses based on the level of Banner Finance access that you have. All courses will be in Blackboard. More details on deadlines for completing the security reviews and training courses will be provided soon. If you have any questions, please contact the Banner Finance Help Line at 828-0388.


Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution!

Effective January 12, 2014, the NIH salary cap has been set at $181,500. This is an increase from the previous salary cap of $179,700. Please see notice for full details: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-14-043.html.

In Response to Your Question…

“I have a question about post 60 day transfers. I was always under the impression that in order to be in compliance, I had to request a cost transfer or removal no more than exactly 60 days after the actual date that the charge was made. For example, if I realized an error on January 27, 2014, I could only go back to November 27, 2014 to make any corrections without asking for permission. Last week, you wrote to me the following:

Payroll 23 (11/25/2013-12/9/2013) would be reflected on the December 31, 2013 month-end report, thus not a post 60-day issue until after 3/2/2014.

Is this the case for all cost transfers? For example, if I wanted to go back to correct percentage of effort, at this point in time (January 27, 2014) I could go back to payroll 21 (October 25-November 9) because the payroll would not be reflected until the November 30, 2013 month-end report, which would allow us to make 60-day cost transfers until January 29, 2014 (60 days after November 30, 2013)? Am I thinking this through correctly?”

Answer: Cost transfers to sponsored program indexes may be made only within 60 days from the date of the month end Banner report on which the charge first appears. Any erroneous charges identified after 60 days can only be transferred to a non-sponsored program index. In addition, once an index closes and the final financial report has been submitted to the sponsor, no expenses may be charged to the closed index but must be funded elsewhere.
http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/gc-admin/gcadmin2008/G&CCostTransferProcedures.htm

  • Reminder - All information, especially FACR codes, on New Banner index Create Memos should be reviewed upon receipt by Administrators for accuracy. Any corrections needed must be communicated immediately to the G&C Accountant. Request for retroactive corrections will not be approved by the Controller Office.
  • Reminder - Post Doc and Graduate stipend/scholarship/award payments from sponsored projects cannot have all lines (all pay dates) on the purchase order “received” at the same time. The payments due from the P.O. on sponsored projects must be partially received to ensure that the resulting expenditure that posts in Banner based on the receiving action is not more than the actual stipend payment/s to be issued by VCU Accounts Payable on or near that date.

Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates

When reviewing certifications, especially those certifiers which are highly sponsored funded (90% or greater), we need to be mindful of the certifiers’ activities during each certification period. For instance, did he/she work on new proposals or activities that did not directly benefit the listed grant(s)? OMB Circular A-21 has detailed explanations regarding direct and indirect costs. The Sponsored Project Activity Report located in the Management Category of the Reporting Tools in ECRT is a helpful tool that can assist with the monitoring of Highly Sponsored Funded certifiers. Please let Effort Reporting know if additional information is needed.

  • Your assistance is needed with the upcoming effort reporting deadlines:

    Quarterly certifications (period 09-10-13 to 12-09-13) are due by 03-14-14

    Semester certifications (period 08-10-13 to 12-24-13) are due by 03-21-14

    Semi-Annual certifications (period 06/10/13 to 12/09/13) are due by 04-21-14

    Quarterly certifications (period 06-10-13 to 09-09-13) were due by 12-14-13

    Semester certifications (period 05-10-13 to 08-09-13) were due by 11-14-13

    Semi-Annual certifications (period 12/10/12 to 06/09/13) were due by 10-21-13

  • Remember to conduct proactive reviews, communicate frequently with your faculty to verify the accuracy of their commitments, and to complete the processing of all ECRT cards assigned.

Other Effort Links:

ECRT URL: https://ecrtprod.asauxweb.vcu.edu/ecrt
Effort Reporting's website: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/effort.htm
Helpful Tools: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/ECRThelpfultools.html
FAQs: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/ECRTfaq.html

Grants and Contracts Accounting/Effort Reporting extends our gratitude to you for all that you do to assist our office and to minimize non-compliance risks on sponsored programs at VCU. Please don’t hesitate to contact a G&C/Effort Reporting staff member if at any time you have questions that cannot be answered by content on the Controller/G&C website.


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ePrint Budget Reports

FGRBDSC and FGRODTA reports are now available on e~Print at https://eprint.asauxweb.vcu.edu/cgi-bin/eprint.cgi.

As you review the reports you may have questions concerning the data contained within them. Please briefly outline your questions on a Financial Inquiry and forward directly to the appropriate department via e-mail, fax, or campus mail. Remember that you can check the status of deposits or disbursements through the on-line inquiry screens.

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