Newsletter 2022-2023 Volume 3
In this edition…
Monthly Closing Deadlines
The September 2022 period in the general ledger has closed. The current and future month-end processing deadline schedules are located at Monthly Closing Deadlines.
The Non-Conforming Dashboard was created to enable initiators, non-conformers, approvers, superusers and auditors to track non-conforming justification forms during the approval workflow. This will allow approvers to login to the dashboard and review the forms that are pending their approval and proceed with approval. Moreover, this dashboard will allow users to review non-conforming forms within their units. The dashboard can be found here while the instructions guide is here.
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.
When posting a Quote on GovSpend you must ensure that it is set up to post to the public by selecting “all companies selected within the categories selected” under Notify. Please see the training video to help post your quote on GovSpend. GovSpend RFQ and Quotes module notifies all companies within the GovSpend system (companies who have subscribed to GovSpend) when a quote is published and that have matching product codes to their company profiles, (i.e., a quote published for landscaping, notifies landscaping companies). Additionally, when a quote is published to GovSpend, all vendors can view the RFQ if they’re looking at their quotes within ALL OPEN REQUESTS. Each vendor can see every quote published, so it is posted publicly within GovSpend.
To help ensure two quotes are received you should do a Google search for suppliers that meet your requirements and send the GovQuote URL to those suppliers, along with suppliers you have used in the past. The Quotes team at GovSpend also helps find vendors. They will make three attempts to call and email vendors who offer the products or services. However, they do not share the quote on any public platform outside of GovSpend. They do not share with other third parties like a bid board, or on social sites like LinkedIn. It is recommended that the publisher shares the RFQ to improve the number or quality of responses they need which assist with making the quote more publicly available. If a vendor who is not subscribed to GovSpend is interested in responding to your quote. The GovSpend Quotes support team will assist with setting up the suppliers account with them, and help them provide a response to the quote.
You can schedule a support call with GovSpend at any time to learn more. Schedule a support call through GovSpend’ s support calendar link .
Updates to the Procurement Manual
Procurement Services has updated the Procurement Manual and all of the changes are noted in Section VI. Maintenance and Revision . Here is a brief summary of the changes to the Procurement Manual:
- Based on the interpretation from OGC and ORED, FIU is considered a state entity under the Uniform Guidance, 2CFR, 200 and can follow all BOG and BOT Procurement Regulations for sponsored activities. Purchases with sponsored and non-sponsored funds can utilize all BOG and BOT exemptions and sole sources, including FIU’s Annual Certification List for Sole Source/Exceptional Purchases.
- Clarification was added to explain that the Executive Director of Procurement Services can waive the two-quote requirement for purchases between $10,000 and $74,999 if the GovSpend Quote was posted so all companies are notified within the categories selected and proof is provided by GovSpend’ s audit link that a significant number of suppliers were notified of the quote and only one quote was received in GovSpend. When posting a Quote on GovSpend it should be set up to post to the public by selecting “all companies within the categories selected” under the heading Notify.
- A completed Sole Source form is now required vs just an email for purchases between $10,000 and $74,999 for all funding sources.
The specific sections of the Procurement Manual that have been updated is noted below:
Section I.2.2.3 FIU Procurement Related Policies and Procedures
2350.75 Sponsored Research Purchasing Exemption
All purchases on a sponsored project must be made in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University. However, upon certification that it is necessary for the efficient or expeditious execution of a research project, a purchase on that project for material, supplies, equipment, or services for research purposes may be exempted from the general purchasing requirements. A Sponsored Research Purchase Exemption Request found at: http://research.fiu.edu/documents/forms/award-management/PurchaseExemptionForm.docx or a Sole Source Request found at: https://controller.fiu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/03/SoleSourceRequest.pdf will need to be completed and approved if a competitive solicitation is not conducted and exemptions do not apply. FIU must follow the Uniform Guidance, 2CFR, 200 for sponsored activities. A Sole Source Request form should be used when the commodities/services are unique, and that the vendor is the only one who can provide the commodities/services and adequate number of quotes cannot be obtained. The Sponsored Research Purchase Exemption should be used for the following:
- Noncompetitive purchase specifically approved by sponsor with written approval from sponsor (i.e., email/proposal/budget justification).
- Competition determined inadequate after solicitation of several vendors with documentation of solicitation efforts.
- Emergency Purchase.
- Upon certification that it is necessary for the efficient or expeditious execution of a research project, a purchase on that project for material, supplies, equipment, or services for research purposes may be exempted from the general purchasing requirements.
Goods and/or contractual services available from a single source, may be exempted from issuing a bid or quotation once the University certifies that there is only one source of supply capable of meeting the University’s requirements.
The Annual Certification for Sole Source/Exceptional Purchases lists can be utilized to purchase sole source and/or non-competitive commodities and services that are identified on that list. Please review the categories that have been approved in the Annual Certification for Sole Source/Exceptional Purchases prior to requesting a sole source purchase at https://controller.fiu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2020/10/AnnualCertificationMemo.pdf and the BOG regulations (Exempt Purchases & Exceptional Purchases) listed below. Any purchase from a category on these lists should have a comment on the requisition and justification to utilize the exemption.
Attach a completed Sole Source Request form located at: https://controller.fiu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/03/SoleSourceRequest.pdf and a letter from the supplier certifying the good or service is not available from another source.
The following listed goods and services are not subject to the competitive solicitation requirements per Section 6(d) of BOG Purchasing Regulation 18.001. Please see a complete and updated listing at: https://www.flbog.edu/regulations/active-regulations/ Chapter 18 Purchasing Regulation 18.001.
- Purchases of materials, supplies, equipment, or services for instructional or sponsored research purposes when a director of sponsored research or designee certifies that, in a particular instance, it is necessary for the efficient or expeditious prosecution of a research project in accordance with sponsored research procedures or to attain the instructional objective.
Any purchase that falls into one of the categories above should reference the appropriate exemption on the relevant documentation. If a requisition is required, the exemption must be listed as a comment on the requisition in PantherSoft. If a department is uncertain about whether a purchase falls under one of these exemptions, please contact Procurement Services for assistance.
While competitive solicitation is not required, the exemption pertaining to certain goods and contractual services does not prohibit a department from electing to procure them through the competitive process at their discretion.
FIU is authorized to make exceptional purchases per BOG 18.001 (4) for the following goods and contractual services in which a competitive solicitation is not required, but could be used for the procurement if it’s determined to be in the best interest of FIU:
Purchases with a total cost under $75,000 can be obtained through an informal competitive process by obtaining:
- One quote for micro-purchases under $10,000,
- When purchases are not exempt under any of the above-mentioned exemptions or another procurement method is not utilized, quotes must be obtained utilizing GovSpend Quotes and RFQs with a minimum of two quotes for purchases from $10,000 up to and including $74,999. The Executive Director of Procurement Services can waive the two-quote requirement if proof is provided via GovSpend’ s audit link that identifies that a significant number of suppliers were notified of the quote and only one quote was received in GovSpend. When posting a Quote on GovSpend it should be set up to post to the public by selecting “all companies within the categories selected” under the heading Notify.
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.
We have seen an increase in the frequency of UPS deliveries being charged to the FIU master account. Whenever possible, the P-card should be used when scheduling the pick-up. Please make sure that the P-card is the default payment method.
To make your P-card default please follow the steps below:
If you are unable to use the P-card, it is very important that you include your activity or project number in the reference field. This will ensure that the correct department is charged once we receive the invoice. At a minimum, a contact name or Panther ID should be noted.
Also, when creating the label, make sure that the return address is correct. We have seen an increase in shipments being returned to the wrong department.
If you need to have a username and password assigned – please contact Judith Gonzalez at 800.550.4184 ext. 114-2324 or email@example.com.
Unidentified Wire Transfers and ACH Payments
The Controller’s Office occasionally receives payments that cannot be applied to the appropriate department due to inadequate information. Click here for the list of unidentified wire transfers and ACH payments as of September 2022.
To claim a payment, please contact Cash Management and provide the following information:
- Payment details
- Activity/Speedtype to which the payment should be recorded
- Revenue Account to which the payment should be recorded
Payments that are not identified within 45 days of the wire/ACH date will be returned to sender.
Accounts Payable Reminder: Credits
As a reminder, all credits received (for returned items, price differences, etc.) must be processed in a timely manner. Submit all credits to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 September 30, 2022) loaded into PantherSoft on October 3, 2022, and must be completely processed by the end of the business day, October 14, 2022.
Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholder’s default accounting on file and will not be 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.
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.