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Acquisition Policy Flash! 13-02

What's Changed?

Electronic Invoicing

Purpose:  To inform the VA Acquisition Workforce of changes to the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR):  832.70, Electronic Invoicing Requirements.

Dated:  December 14, 2012

VAAR Section Impacted:  832.70, Electronic Invoicing Requirements

Effective Date:  December 27, 2012

Effective Date:  Indefinite

Background:  VA published a notice, in the Federal Register at 74 FR 32223, of a class deviation to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 32.905 (48 CFR 32.905) on July 7, 2009, which added an interim electronic invoicing clause in the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR).  The interim clause encouraged contractors to voluntarily submit invoices electronically, which VA determined would improve the accuracy and efficiency of payment processing.

On April 18, 2012, VA published a proposed rule, in the Federal Register at 77 FR 23204, which announced the intent to require contractors to submit payment requests in electronic form in order to enhance customer service, departmental productivity, and adoption of innovative information technology, including the appropriate use of commercial best practices.

We provided a 60-day comment period for interested parties to submit comments to VA on or before June 18, 2012.  We received no comments.

The Final Rule was sent to OMB on November 20, 2012 and published to the Federal Register on November 27, 2012.

Action Required (refer to attached Final Rule):  Effective December 27, 2012, contracting officers shall insert the following clause in all new solicitations and resultant contracts:

852.232-72  Electronic Submission of Payment Requests.

As prescribed in 832.7002-2, insert the following clause:

Electronic Submission of Payment Requests  (NOV 2012)

(a)  Definitions.  As used in this clause-

(1)  Contract financing payment has the meaning given in FAR 32.001.

(2)  Designated agency office has the meaning given in 5 CFR 1315.2(m).

(3)  Electronic form means an automated system transmitting information electronically according to the accepted electronic data transmission methods and formats identified in paragraph (c) of this clause.  Facsimile, e-mail, and scanned documents are not acceptable electronic forms for submission of payment requests.

(4)  Invoice payment has the meaning given in FAR 32.001.

(5)  Payment request means any request for contract financing payment or invoice payment submitted by the contractor under this contract.

(b)  Electronic Payment Requests.  Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this clause, the contractor shall submit payment requests in electronic form.  Purchases paid with a Government-wide commercial purchase card are considered to be an electronic transaction for purposes of this rule, and therefore no additional electronic invoice submission is required.

(c)  Data Transmission.  A contractor must ensure that the data transmission method and format are through one of the following:

(1)  VA’s Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment System.  (See Web site at http://www.fsc.va.gov/einvoice.asp.)

(2)  Any system that conforms to the X12 electronic data interchange (EDI) formats established by the Accredited Standards Center (ASC) and chartered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  The X12 EDI Web site (http://www.x12.org) includes additional information on EDI 810 and 811 formats.

Invoice requirements.  Invoices shall comply with FAR 32.905.

(e)  Exceptions.  If, based on one of the circumstances below, the contracting officer directs that payment requests be made by mail, the contractor shall submit payment requests by mail through the United States Postal Service to the designated agency office.  Submission of payment requests by mail may be required for:

(1)  Awards made to foreign vendors for work performed outside the United States;

(2)  Classified contracts or purchases when electronic submission and processing of payment requests could compromise the safeguarding of classified or privacy information;

(3)  Contracts awarded by contracting officers in the conduct of emergency operations, such as responses to national emergencies;

(4)  Solicitations or contracts in which the designated agency office is a VA entity other than the VA Financial Services Center in Austin, Texas; or

(5)  Solicitations or contracts in which the VA designated agency office does not have electronic invoicing capability as described above.

(End of clause)

Contracting officers may modify, to the extent feasible, existing solicitations to insert the new clause.  Additionally, current contracts may be amended to include the new clause in accordance with FAR 1.108(d)The new clause will appear in eCMS before December 27, 2012 and will replace the clause, VAAR 852.273-76, Electronic Invoice Submission.

Applicability:  This policy applies to all new solicitations and resultant contracts.  Additionally, this policy also applies to existing solicitations and existing contracts where modification or amendment is feasible.  VA Acquisition Workforce personnel will work with the VA Financial Services Center personnel to ensure a smooth transition throughout this process.

Additional Information:  Questions or concerns should be addressed to the Office of Acquisition and Logistics (003A), Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Service (003A2A), at (202) 461-6918, e-mail:  va.procurement.policy@va.gov.