December 2018

Published monthly, the Fiscal Administrators' News is where you can find the latest information regarding the Office of Procurement Services.

Table of Contents

Budget and Resource Analysis

E&G Expense Update

The budget office has loaded additional E&G expense budget to account for the increased fringe. FY 2019 fringe was calculated with an assumed rate of 39.2%, but the final rate was 39.4%. You should expect to find the additional funds posted in the same location as the original fringe increase.


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Business Services

USPS Rate Increases in 2019

The USPS filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for price changes to take effect January 27, 2019. In addition to price changes, the proposed notice includes structure changes, postage statement updates, and technical specification updates. On November 13, 2018, the PRC approved the requested rate adjustments.

Examples of the rate adjustments include:

ItemOld RateNew Rate
Forever Stamp 50 cents 55 cents
Metered Letter 47 cents 50 cents
Additional Ounce 21 cents 15 cents

A brief overview of USPS rate changes and effective dates is available at the following link: http://apps.bsv.vcu.edu/MailServices/uspspriceoverview.pdf

More information relative to USPS pricing modifications may be located at the following link: https://www.prc.gov/press-releases/prc-approves-rate-changes-market-dominant-and-competitive-products/4536

Please contact Donnette Haynes with VCU Mail Services at 828-3868 or by email to haynesds@vcu.edu with any questions.


Mail Service Holiday Hours

New Year and Winter Shutdown: The university will be closed from Friday, December 21, 2018 until Tuesday, January 1, 2019. To assist our customers, VCU Mail Services will operate under special hours at all facilities. Mail Services will strive to keep the mail flowing during the winter closing.

VCU Mail Services will observe (close) for the university scheduled holidays on December 24, 25, 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. On December 26, 27, and 28, 2018, our facilities will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the MCV Campus and from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the Monroe Park Campus. All incoming mail will be sorted and posted to the mail boxes daily. All outgoing mail received before the facilities close will be processed the same day.

Departments currently receiving pickup and delivery services must contact VCU Mail Services in writing or by email to request service during the winter closing. Otherwise, mail deliveries will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2019.


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Grants & Contracts Accounting

New Subaccount Form: OSP and G&C Accounting Handoff Subcommittee Update

Members of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and Grants & Contracts (G&C) Handoff Subcommittee have created a form to assist with the creation of internal subaccounts and the issuance of subaccount budgets. It is anticipated that this form will be available in December/January time-frame.


Closeout

We have a large number of FFRs due between November and December. FFRs due in December will be completed prior to Winter Break. Thus, there will be an increase in communications from G&C to departments over the upcoming weeks. We request the department’s assistance with timely reviewing and returning closeout documents. In addition, we request the department’s assistance with ensuring that all subawardees’ invoices (if applicable) have been received and that the final invoice is marked “final”. We appreciate your assistance and support.


Current Effort Reporting Deadlines

  • The certification period for the Second Semi-Annual Term (12/10/2017 through 06/09/2018) was released on 10/08/18, with a certification deadline of 12/07/18.
  • The certification period for the First Quarter Term (06/10/18 through 09/09/18) was released on 10/15/18, with a certification deadline of 12/14/18.

Past Effort Reporting Deadlines

Outstanding certifications for the following periods are overdue:

  • The certification period for the Fourth Quarter Term (03/10/18 through 06/09/18) was extended to 09/21/18.
  • The certification period for the Summer Semester Term (05/10/18 through 08/09/18) was released on 09/24/18, with a certification deadline of 11/25/18.

Please encourage your certifiers with outstanding statements to certify as soon as possible, and please process any certified statements you may have in your queue. Our office continues to follow up on these as well.

If you have any questions or need assistance with Effort, please feel free to contact Effort Reporting at effortreport@vcu.edu.


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Procurement Services

Welcome To Our New Colleague, Brittny Davis

Please join us in welcoming Brittny Davis, who joins the team at Procurement Services as a Contract Analyst. Brittny succeeds Stephen Hedley, who transitioned out of the role in September. Brittny will work closely with Wini Campbell, the Contacts Team Manager, to review contracts and agreements and ensure they are compliant with university requirements. We are thrilled to welcome her to the office.


Supplier Diversity Exchange Updates

Procurement Services is thrilled to share that the first ever Supplier Diversity Exchange, which was held on December 4th at the Seigel Center, was a huge success according to many in attendance. This event aimed to connect SWaM vendors to VCU departments with high spend in commodities that can be sourced from the local market. The event included a talk by Dr. Aashir Nasim who spoke about supplier diversity at VCU. Vendors reported that the opportunity was a valuable and welcomed chance to network with university contacts. We look forward to reporting concrete metrics as information becomes available.

Procurement would like to extend its sincere thanks to Dr. Aashir Nasim, all of our supporting staff, and to the department representatives who attended the exchange. Thank you for making this event a success!


Winter Closing P-card Updates

December cycle allocations must be completed by 4:30 PM on December 17th to be included in the Banner upload. Please review the updated Winter Closing 2018 Spreadsheet, to ensure cardholders and approvers meet all P-card deadlines.

For questions regarding these deadlines, please contact corpcard@vcu.edu.


P-card Security During Winter Closing

Corpcard strongly encourages all cardholders to secure their cards on campus if they will not be purchasing for the University or Hospital during the Winter Closing. This will ensure cardholders do not use their card by mistake or misplace it while they are out of the office. text


Events Held At Breweries

Events held at breweries such as Hardywood, Stone Brewery, Triple Crossing, etc. cannot be paid for via P-card. These establishments have a Merchant Category Code (MCC) for “Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages), Bars, Taverns, Cocktail lounges, Nightclubs.” This MCC is included in the fraud restriction table placed on all P-cards and that Corpcard must not lift. These purchases can only be made via Purchase Order.

For questions regarding this policy, please contact corpcard@vcu.edu.


Reminder From Our University leadership:

As the holiday season approaches, many departments and units are planning holiday celebrations. This communication serves as a reminder to remain responsible stewards of University resources. Institutional funds (all ledgers) should not be used to pay for these activities. However, informal social events such as pot luck meals and desserts are certainly encouraged as appropriate ways for colleagues to share the holiday spirit. The use of other non-institutional funds for these activities should be considered with prudence.


Holiday Processing Times

During this holiday season the Office of Procurement Services appreciates your patience and understanding as we strive to keep pace with the increased number of payable and travel transactions and purchase/contract reviews which typically occur prior to the winter closing. Should a high-priority transaction arise that must be completed ahead of those already submitted, please let us know by emailing us at procurement_services@vcu.edu.

We wish you a happy holiday season!


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