NB_440_21_29 - NB 440-21-29 PGM – Temporary Suspension of Application and Contract Management Activities in ProTracts for Fiscal Year 2021
NB 440-21-29 PGM – Temporary Suspension of Application and Contract Management Activities in ProTracts for Fiscal Year 2021
National Bulletin: 440-21-29 Date: August 25, 2021
Subject: PGM – Temporary Suspension of Application and Contract Management Activities in ProTracts for Fiscal Year 2021


 
Purpose.   To announce the fiscal year (FY) 2021 year end schedule for suspension of application and contract management financial activities in ProTracts.   
 
Expiration Date.   December 31, 2021
 
Background.   ProTracts will undergo annual maintenance and new-year setup activities from September 30, 2021, to October 8, 2021. This process permits year end alignment with the Financial Management Modernization Initiative (FMMI).
 
Explanation.   Neither ProTracts nor FMMI will be turned off during this period, but there will be a brief suspension of financial activities to end the fiscal year as detailed below. All transactions to FMMI must be completed by 5 p.m. central time on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

Eligibility

• Participants should resolve all outstanding eligibility issues and submit necessary documents to FSA by Friday, September 17, 2021, to allow adequate time for NRCS to complete the contract obligation before the end of September. FSA updates to the business file occur in real time; FSA subsidiary rollover for FY 2022 will begin September 24, 2021. NRCS should ensure all FY 2021 customer records are complete when the FSA rollover occurs.
• States must monitor the Fund Manager reports for applications and contracts with eligibility issues in order to timely resolve issues that impact FY 2021 obligations.
• States must use existing protocols to escalate any eligibility issues for assistance per Title 440, Conservation Programs Manual, Part 512, Subpart A, Section 512.3E(5) (440-CPM-512-A- 512.3E(5)).
• ProTracts and Fund Manager will continue using FY 2021 eligibility data for obligations through September 30, 2021.

Obligations

• States must monitor the Fund Manager reports for rejected vendor transactions. It is important to reconcile and resolve outstanding obligation issues. States should submit alignment issues to ServiceNow for alignments to be completed between ProTracts and FMMI before the end of the fiscal year.
• On September 30, 2021, at 5 p.m. central time (hereafter referred to as “close of business”) ProTracts will stop processing obligations. This is unchanged from prior years.
• All applications in all programs that are in “approved” status at close of business on September 30, 2021, will be automatically changed to “preapproved” status to prevent any new obligations of funds in FY 2022.
• NRCS must not sign or accept participant signatures on Form NRCS-CPA-1202 or the associated CPA-1202-appendix after close of business September 30, 2021, as this will be considered an unauthorized commitment of FY 2021 program funds.

Accruals

• Contract items that are completed and determined to meet practice standards prior to September 30, 2021, but which are not paid until FY 2022 must be accrued.

Exception: States do not need to accrue Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) activities certified in FY 2021 that are required to be paid in FY 2022.

• States will prepare and submit accrual request packages to FPAC Business Center, Financial Management Division, Financial Operations Branch, Payment Operation Section for practices where the paperwork is complete, but the certification of the completed practices has not been entered into ProTracts by 6 PM eastern time, Wednesday, September 29, 2021. The FPAC Business Center, Budget Division, Data Validation and Budget Technology Branch, Budget Technology Section will record an accrual for those practices certified in ProTracts but not yet approved for payment by Wednesday, September 29, 2021. Practices must be certified in ProTracts by September 29, 2021, to be accrued.

Payments

• Certified practices subject to annual payment limitations that have not been approved or resubmitted in ProTracts by close of business on September 29, 2021, will be attributed to FY 2022 payment limitations when they are approved in FY 2022. Any payment not accepted in FMMI by 11 p.m. eastern time on September 29, 2021, will likely not be processed by FMMI until on or after October 1, 2021. This means there may be a slight delay for participants receiving their payments when NRCS approves the payments at the end of the FY. Advance payments should not be submitted after 11 p.m. eastern time in ProTracts on September 29, 2021, as these will not reflect properly on financial statements if paid after this date.
• States must not approve payments in ProTracts after close of business, September 30, 2021.
• Payments that have been signed by the participant and are certified but not approved in ProTracts by the close of payment approval on September 30, 2021, will be automatically accrued.
• Practice payment certification will remain enabled in ProTracts during the rollover period.

Contract Modifications

Modifications are discouraged after September 27, 2021, unless they are needed to process:

• a payment,
• contract cancellation, or
• contract termination.

This suggested date is to facilitate obtaining participant signatures and NRCS approval before the end of the fiscal year as well as to allow time to resolve any issues that may occur with the modification.

• All CSP modifications not approved in ProTracts by close of business September 27, 2021, will revert to their premodification status to maintain system funding controls unique to CSP.

Note: When completing CSP partial land transfer modifications, it is imperative that NRCS approve both the transferor modification and the transferee application within a short time of each other so that all changes are approved before the end of the FY. Both actions must occur in the same FY.

• CSP modifications needing support assistance must be submitted by September 1, 2021, in order to provide support enough time to triage and resolve the issue.
• States can re-enter CSP modifications rolled back during the fiscal year rollover in ProTracts beginning September 8, 2021.
• Non-CSP contract modifications will not be rolled back.
 
Contact.   Direct questions to Xiomara Tryban, business tools specialist, by email at xiomara.tryban@usda.gov.
 
 

 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs
 
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