PeopleSoft Grants & the Federal Agency Letter of Credit Draw Changes

For decades, most, if not all, US Federal agencies that sponsor research allowed grant recipients to request and receive payments using pooled accounts, commonly known as pooled letter of credit (LOC) draws. This enabled organizations, such as universities and hospitals, fast and efficient access to reimbursement of the expenditures they incurred conducting research across a portfolio of grants. To support this business practice, the PeopleSoft Grants solution has delivered an LOC Draw report to provide the total request amount along with all of the supporting invoice details for reconciliation and audit purposes.

Now, in an attempt to provide greater transparency, eliminate fraud, strengthen accountability for grant-related financial transactions, and simplify grant award closeout, many US Federal sponsors are transitioning from the “pooling” letter of credit draw method to requesting on a “grant-by-grant” basis. The National Science Foundation, the second largest issuer of Federal awards, already transitioned to detailed grant draws in 2013. And, in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directive to HHS-supported Agencies, the largest Federal awards sponsor, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will fully transition to the new HHS subaccount draw method. This will require NIH award recipients to request payments based on actual expenses incurred on an award-by-award basis. NIH is expected to fully transition to this new draw method by the end of Federal fiscal year 2015.  (The NIH had planned to fully transition to this new method by the end of fiscal 2014; however, the impact to institutions was deemed to be significant enough that a reprieve was recently granted.)

In light of these new Federal draw requirements, we have recently released these new features to aid our customers on both PeopleSoft Grants releases 9.1 and 9.2:
1. Federal Award Identification Number on the Proposal and Award Profile
2. Letter of credit fields on contract lines to support award basis draws and comply with Federal close out mandates
3. Process to produce both pro forma and final LOC Draw Reports in BI Publisher report format
4. Subacccount ID field on the LOC Summary and a new BI Publisher version of the LOC Summary report
5. Added Subaccount Field and contract info to be displayed on the LOC summary page
6. Ability to generate by a variety of dimensions pro forma and invoiced draw listings
7. Queries for generation and manipulation of data to upload into sponsor payment request systems and perform payment matching
8. Contracts LOC Close Out query to quickly review final balances prior to initiating final draws and preparing Federal Financial Reports prior to close

The PeopleSoft Development team actively monitors this and other major Federal changes and continues working closely with the Grants Product Advisory Group of the Higher Education User Group to ensure a clear understanding of what our customers need in order to transition to new approaches for doing business with the Federal government.

For more information regarding the enhancements to the PeopleSoft Grants solution, existing customers can login to My Oracle Support and review the Enhancements to Letter of Credit Process (Doc ID 1912692.1) associated with resolution ID 904830. This enhanced LOC functionality is available in both PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1 Bundle #31 and PeopleSoft FSCM 9.2 Update Image 8.

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