VA Office of Financial Policy — Frequently Asked Questions
1. Hello! We are looking for guidance that indicates which type of fee expenditures are appropriate to cost back to the year of service. For example, we had $1.1 million in Inpatient Fee services rendered in FY10 but paid from FY11 funds. We are thinking that those charges should be charged to FY10 since services were rendered in FY10. The problem came about because we 'heard' that certain types of Fee must be paid in the year the bill was received, i.e. Mill Bill, Fee Card, & Unauthorized. Do you have any guidance that states what can and what cannot be charged back to prior year? Our station is currently facing a deficit, and getting fee expenditures in the correct fiscal year will definitely decrease that deficit. Any insight would be highly appreciated!
You inquired about guidance related to proper costing of fee expenditures; specifically you asked for guidance related to Mill Bill, Fee Card, & Unauthorized FEE Care and the appropriate fiscal year to record the payments. FEE ID Card, Unauthorized and Mill Bill Claims are processed in the fiscal year the claim is received and authorized. For example if an invoice is presented in FY11 for unauthorized care provided in the previous fiscal year, the payment will be made in FY11 and would not be chargeable to FY10 or other prior fiscal years. Same rules apply for claims for care provided for Unauthorized, Mill Bill and FEE ID Card programs. Only Preauthorized Care is to be paid from an obligation established at the time the care is authorized. Claims presented in FY11 for care provided in FY10, would be charged to the obligation set up in FY10. The General Accounting Office (GAO) rendered this decision in B-92679, dated June 30, 1967, 46 COMP GEN. 895. This is also provided in MP 4, Part 3, Chapter 3, paragraph 3.13 and following.
2. For an award ceremony the SES needs to determine if refreshments would benefit the proceedings. Per 040501, if the cost exceeds $20 per person or attendance exceeds 100, the Assistant Secretary needs to approve providing refreshments? If under $20 or 100 or less people, the SES can approve expending funds on refreshments? Again assuming all conditions in 040201A are met.
Yes, in accordance with the CFO approved policy - Volume II Chapter 4 Awards, Ceremonies, Food or Refreshments, Gifts or Mementos, dated December 2010. Also, please note - on an annual basis, organization heads are required to report (based on call issued by OFP) a list of all award ceremonies held during the previous calendar year when the cost of food and/or refreshments exceeded the expenditure limit of $20 per person or the 100-person attendance limit.
Here is the link to the Agent Cashier Accountability Policy Vol. VII Ch 3 http://www.va.gov/finance/policy/pubs/volumeVIII.asp. The deferred dates are in the Agent Cashier Accountability Policy, Appendix G, B. Types of Collections. (1) This deferred credit period will ordinarily be 10 working days for paper checks (2 working days for PCC OTC) but will be longer if it appears probable the information regarding failure to collect will not reach the field station within the deferred credit period, such as when drawn on a bank out of the area. (2) The exact deferred credit period will be shown by the following entry: “Credit deferred until (date).”
Taken from the Agent Cashier’s Desk Guide Forms of Remittances Agent cashiers accept remittances in the form of cash, checks, drafts, traveler’s checks, and money orders. Credit cards can be used if the facility has the capability of accepting credit card payments (see the section above). The agent cashier must apply a credit deferred date to any deposit made with a personal check. The credit deferred period is generally ten work days. The agent cashier will make sure that the checks are payable to VA. In the case of personal funds of patients if a guardian of an incompetent beneficiary in residence at a VA facility desires to deposit funds for the beneficiary using a personal check, the personal check can also be made payable to the Director, VA Medical Center. Treasury checks require no credit deferred date.
In response to your inquiry, Volume II, Chapter 4 Awards, Ceremonies, Food or Refreshments, Gifts or Mementos (dated December 2010), Appendix A, Part B. Exceptions to Food or Refreshments Purchases, Section no. 14 discusses General Post Funds.
5. I have an individual that is taking a class at Harvard Kennedy School that begins October 18 (our FY10) and they are requesting payment now; which means paying with FY09 funding. Is this acceptable?
In response to your question as to whether Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 funds can be obligated to pay for training on behalf of an employee that will occur subsequent to FY 2009. Based upon guidance obtained from GAO’s Principals of Appropriations Law, the following points were considered in making our decision:
After careful consideration has been given to the above criteria (i.e., a valid need for training has been determined by requesting office and sufficient funding is available to pay for training) and there is a mandatory registration or prepayment requirement that must be accomplished before September 30, 2009, then current year (FY 2009) appropriated funds may be obligated for the training class to commence in the subsequent fiscal year (FY 2010), October 2009.
Reference: Appropriations Law Principles, Chapter 5, “Availability of Appropriations: Time”