NB_300_21_2 - 300-21-2 LTP – Interim Guidance Concerning the Easement Internal Controls Process During NEST End of Year Maintenance
300-21-2 LTP – Interim Guidance Concerning the Easement Internal Controls Process During NEST End of Year Maintenance
National Bulletin: 300-21-2 Date:  October 8, 2020
Subject: LTP – Interim Guidance Concerning the Easement Internal Controls Process During NEST End of Year Maintenance


 
Purpose.  To provide guidance on how to complete the easement internal controls process during the end of year National Easement Staging Tool (NEST) maintenance period that began September 28, 2020 and in projected to continue through mid-October 2020.   
 
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021
 
Background.  National Instructions 300-300 and 300-302 require the use of NEST or ProTracts to complete the easement internal controls process. National Bulletin 300-20-51, “Reminders and Final Guidance to States Regarding End of FY 2020 Easement and Water Bank Programs Processes, Timelines, and Cutoff Dates,” states that NEST will be unavailable to users for end-of-fiscal-year maintenance activities from September 27, 2020, through approximately mid-October 2020. ProTracts is currently available for use in processing Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) projects.
 
Explanation.  Effective immediately, requests for national level Internal Controls (IC) reviews must be submitted via the Program Activity Management Solution (PAMS). See Attachment A for instruction on how to submit a request via PAMS. The following guidance must be followed to ensure the continuity of easement internal controls processes for the duration of the NEST outage:

IC Prepayment Reviews: Per NI 300-300, for projects not already submitted to National IC review, continue to complete the required State/EAB reviews and any optional review during the maintenance period, if applicable. Within 10 calendar days from the date NEST reopens, all documents listed on the IC Required Document Upload list must be uploaded and entered into NEST. No additional IC-related NEST data entry will be required by the State/EAB for the request for prepayment review.

If you submitted a request for national level IC review prior to the NEST outage, EPD will enter your request into PAMS. The person who submitted the NEST maintenance request will be identified as the POC on the PAMS record. The POC will receive PAMS generated emails beginning with the first action taken on the record.

After completion of the State/EAB-level IC reviews, all packages must be submitted for national level IC review. To request a national level IC review, a request must be submitted via the Program Activity Management Solution (PAMS). Supporting documentation that was not uploaded to NEST prior to outage must be uploaded to the PAMS request. States cannot proceed to payment or closing prior to receiving confirmation of completion of the national level IC review.

While this process is interim during the NEST outage, there will be new PAMS functionality that will be deployed in the next couple of weeks for ALL IC functionality for the remainder of FY21.
 

Contact.  Questions regarding this bulletin can be directed to the National Internal Controls Team at NRCS.InternalControls@wdc.usda.gov.

 
 

 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs

 
 
 Attachment - PAMS – National IC Service Request Guidance
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