Newsletter 2022-2023 Volume 1
In this edition…
- Monthly Closing Deadlines
- Non-Conforming Purchases
- New myFIUmarket Catalog – Agilent and Life Technology
- President’s Delegation of Power
- Journal Voucher Enhancements
- International Travel Screening and Reporting and Foreign Influence Risk Travel
- Limiting Allowable Hotel Expenses Continues for FY 2023
- Car Rental Reservation Portal
- Travel Training
- After-the-Fact- Travel Authorizations New Requirements
- Reminders and Deadlines
Monthly Closing Deadlines
The July 2022 period in the general ledger has closed. The current and future month-end processing deadline schedules are located at Monthly Closing Deadlines.
There has been a significant increase in Non-Conforming Purchases. FIU entities are not authorized to place orders directly with suppliers for goods or services for which a purchase order is required. Procurement Services is the only authorized purchasing agent for the University. If an FIU entity has an immediate need, Procurement Services may issue a purchase order with a supplier after the proper procurement method has been selected and executed. In the event that goods or services are received prior to a purchase order being issued, a Non-Conforming Purchase Justification Form must be completed.
When an invoice has been received for goods and/or services and a PO has not been issued and payment cannot be made with a PCard or is not an allowable unencumbered payment purchase, then a Non-Conforming Purchase Justification Form must be completed. The Non-Conforming Purchase Justification form is in Image Now and it starts when filling out the Unencumbered form and has workflow approval built into the form. Once the completed form is approved by the appropriate parties, it will be considered a non-conforming purchase and payment will be processed via unencumbered payment.
Unauthorized purchasing actions can be serious violations of FIU policies and state laws that could have detrimental consequences to the University’s resources and reputation. Violators may be directed to pay the supplier with personal funds, and disciplinary action may be taken against the employee. The Non-Conforming Purchase Justification form must be completed in order for payment to be processed. The Non-Conformers immediate supervisor and Expense Manager of the Business Unit must approve all requests, in addition to the Executive Director of Procurement. The Non-Conformer’s Business Unit Head will be required to approve any non-conforming purchase requests that are over $5,000 or if this is a third offense for purchases under $5,000. The approval from The Office of Research and Economic Development is required for any Non-Conforming Purchase Justification form equal to or greater than $10,000 paid from sponsored project funds.
New myFIUmarket Catalog – Agilent and Life Technology
We are happy to inform you that we have enabled Agilent and Life Technologies as new scientific catalogs in myFIUmarket. Life Technologies is a hosted catalog so please use the instructions found here for shopping instructions.
Additionally, Agilent and Life Technologies do not currently have a way for PeopleSoft to identify if an item is a hazardous chemical and therefore those orders cannot be restricted to the designated receiving location to ensure proper hazardous chemical tagging.
For this reason, we want to remind you that all hazardous chemicals must be accounted for (inventoried) in each space at FIU. Environmental Health & Safety uses the EHS Inventory Program to maintain an accurate and complete chemical inventory for all FIU spaces. Tracking of hazardous chemicals at FIU is an internal requirement and is necessary for government reporting. Upon the arrival at FIU designated receiving locations, hazardous chemicals are identified and staged to be barcoded. The chemical information is entered into FIU’s EHS inventory system and a Yellow Barcode affixed to the chemical. If you order a hazardous item, and it does not receive a barcode, it is the Principal Investigator’s and/or Lab Manager’s responsibility to ensure the item is entered into the EH&S inventory. Contact EH&S with any questions or concerns at email@example.com. The link for the inventory system is: https://ehsinventory.fiu.edu/
President’s Delegation of Power
This is a reminder that the Florida International University Board of Trustees (“BOT”) approved a resolution on President’s Powers and Duties (“Resolution ”) on March 4, 2019. The Resolution reflects the BOT’s updated delegations of authority from the BOT to the President. The Resolution applies to the purchase, sale, lease, license, or acquisition of commodities, goods, equipment and other types of personal property, software and contractual services, including private attorney services after March 4, 2019. This include any transactions relating to contracts, renewals, extensions, amendments, awards and POs, plus, change orders. For these types of transaction, the following action will need to be taken:
- Any transaction greater than or equal to $500,000 and less than $1,000,000,
shall be reported on a quarterly basis to the BOT Finance Committee.
- Any transaction greater than or equal to $1,000,000 and less than $3,000,000, shall require the approval of the BOT Finance Committee and thereafter, reported to the Board of Trustees.
- Any transaction greater than or equal to $3,000,000, shall require the prior approval of the Board of Trustees.
Departments are required to take the necessary action to meet these requirements. Departments must:
- Obtain proper approval of all contracts and/or POs prior to receiving goods and services. Please check OGC’s website for appropriate signature authority https://generalcounsel.fiu.edu/signature-authority/.
- Work with Procurement Services and OGC to determine if their transaction requires the Finance Committee and/or BOT approval or reporting.
- Each transaction will be reviewed to determine if it falls within one of the three thresholds in order to take appropriate action. If multiple contracts are awarded for a solicitation, the individual contract amount per supplier will be considered, not the total solicitation award amount.
- Work with Procurement Services and the CFO’s office to prepare the BOT agenda item or report.
- Dates and times for the Finance Committee and BOT meetings can be found at the BOT’s website at https://bot.fiu.edu/meetings /
- Procurement Services will work with the departments to complete the agenda and Funding Certification Form. The department requesting Board’s approval shall initiate the Funding Certification Form and have a VP or Dean sign it. The CFO’s Office will coordinate obtaining the CFO, General Council and the President’s signatures.
- Agenda items and Funding Certification Form must be submitted to the CFO’s Office at least 45 days prior to the BOT meeting, unless the CFO has declared it an emergency. If an emergency is declared, the CFO will obtain appropriate approval. The CFO will present all agenda items and reports.
- Ensure the appropriate representative from the Department attends the Finance Committee and/or BOT meeting. The CFO will be the lead presenter, with Procurement Services and the Department representative available to answer any questions.
- Plan ahead to ensure there is enough time to obtain proper approval. Procurement Services will not process these types of transactions, unless the appropriate approval has been obtained. This includes the award of solicitation, contracts and POs. This requirement does not apply to a straight revenue generating contract, F&A, Sponsored Projects or agreements for banking services. Construction has its own reporting framework and does not fall within these purchasing-related requirements. Please see the BOT Approval Matrix for more information on what action needs to be taken.
- Please see the BOT Approval Matrix for additional information.
Procurement Services will act as the gatekeeper for those types of transactions defined above. Procurement Services will take the following action:
- If the President has signed the original contract, including any renewals prior to March 4, 2019 then the renewals will not have to obtain prior approval as defined above.
- If an extension or amendment is needed and the transaction is greater than or equals to $1,00,000, then the appropriate approval is needed.
- Review contracts and POs to ensure proper action is taken which includes reporting on transaction and obtaining approval as defined in the Resolution.
- The total spend of the individual contract will be considered, including the initial contract term amount, plus all renewals.
- The original PO amount and any change orders during the life of the PO will be considered.
Contracts, POs, renewals, change orders, extensions or awards of solicitations or piggybacks will not be processed until proper action is taken as defined in the Resolution.
Journal Voucher Enhancements
You need to adjust 1 line of a 50-line voucher and are dreading deleting the 49 lines you do not need. If you do not delete the lines that are not being adjusted, it can cause problems with the voucher approval.
We heard your pain and have enhanced the Journal Voucher functionality to allow you to load all or up to three specific line(s) of a related voucher you want to adjust. This went live in PantherSoft Financials on July 1st!
Any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 7-7200.
International Travel Screening and Reporting and Foreign Influence Risk Travel
Screening and Reporting Requirements
Prior to departing abroad, all employee travelers, not their proxy, must complete, as part of the TAR workflow, a short questionnaire pertaining to foreign influence and other travel risks, as well as acknowledge their understanding of FIU foreign travel guidance. Contingent on the traveler’s responses and where the destination is a Foreign Country of Concern (FCC), which includes China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela, a compliance reviewer will promptly communicate any risk mitigation measures, if necessary, to the traveler. Once the compliance reviewer is satisfied that risks have been addressed, the TAR will follow the regular process towards approval by the supervisor. This process was already embedded in the TAR workflow since Summer 2021, and travelers have navigated it successfully.
Upon return from an international trip, all employee travelers must report any payments or honoraria made directly to the traveler or on behalf of the traveler (i.e., to cover some or all expenses) by an entity or person, including for travel, food, or lodging at any time related to the trip. Payments on the traveler’s behalf may include some or all expenses, or other complimentary items provided, that are not promotional items customarily given at conferences, such as pens, plaques, etc. Should one or more international destination(s) be an FCC, additional information will be required. It will be the proxy’s responsibility to obtain this information from the traveler and to enter it together with all other expense records in the ER. The traveler will be asked to certify the accuracy and completeness of the information by signing the ER. This post-trip process will be effective in PantherSoft as of July 1, 2022. Travelers who went abroad between January 1 and July 1, 2022, have already or will receive an email request to report this information via a Qualtrics survey.
Guidance on How to Navigate the New Processes
Detailed information on international travel, foreign influence, and compliance concerns is available on our Guidance for International Travel website.
Limiting Allowable Hotel Expenses Continues for FY 2023
We have received the following guidance from the Office of the General Counsel:
House Bill (HB) 5003 Section 104. In order to implement appropriations in the 2022-2023 General Appropriations Act for state employee travel and notwithstanding s. 112.061, Florida Statutes, costs for lodging associated with a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored in whole or in part by a state agency or the judicial branch may not exceed $175 per day. An employee may expend his or her own funds for any lodging expenses in excess of $175 per day. This section expires on July 1, 2023.
As of August 1, 2022, the cost for lodging for FIU employees associated with a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored in whole or in part by FIU may not exceed $175.00 per day if paid with state funding (E & G). Amounts over $175.00 must be paid with personal funds. Please note that the lodging limitation of $175.00 applies only to lodging for a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored in whole or in part by FIU. It does not apply to lodging for a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored by other entities, including other state agencies.
Departments must ensure this law’s requirements are met when lodging for FIU employees attending FIU-sponsored events.
Car Rental Reservation Portal
Florida International University uses the State of Florida contract with Avis and Budget for renting vehicles. University employees in need of a rental car for official business will need to use the following website to make their reservations: STATE OF FLORIDA RESERVATION PORTAL.
The Office of Controller would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the training (or refresher) that is offered. This training results from a lot of enthusiastic, extremely knowledgeable personnel whose objective is to make sure that the University community is trained and has all the tools and resources at their disposal to ensure compliance with University policies.
FIU Travel training can be found on the FIU Develop website at https://develop.fiu.edu/?query=travel. We encourage you to register for any training and obtain the benefits.
After-the-Fact Travel Authorizations New Requirements
Travel Authorizations are required to be approved prior to incurring expenses on behalf of the University. This approval is granted through the Peoplesoft Financial system process. Failure to follow this requirement results in non-compliance. Effective September 01, 2020, a second-level supervisor approval will be required in addition to an explanation of why non-conforming expenses were incurred prior to obtaining an approved TA.
Please note that continued non-compliance may result in suspension to travel for FIU.
Reminders & Deadlines
Departmental Card Deadline
As a reminder, departmental card billing transactions regularly load the first business day of the month; program participants will have 10 days to process this activity in its entirety. This month’s billing statement (dated July 29, 2022) loaded into PantherSoft on August 1, 2022 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day, August 15, 2022.
Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholder’s default accounting on file and will not eligible for expense transfer. Additionally, cardholders with three unjustified non-approvals in the same fiscal year may have their card limits temporarily suspended until they complete a retraining session.
Pending Travel Reports
Please approve Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances, and Expense reports in a timely manner. Documents that have not been completely finalized and are older than 90 days will be canceled or deleted by the Travel Department. A list of pending documents is located here. For information regarding report status abbreviations and how to close or cancel Travel Authorizations and/or Expense Reports, please click here.