Scheduling Payments

Establishing Relationship with Agencies

Requirements For Scheduling Payments Disbursed By The Bureau Of The Fiscal Service

This chapter prescribes requirements for disbursing transactions, as well as scheduling and classifying domestic and international payments that the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) disburses, as authorized by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury).

Scope and Applicability

This chapter includes procedures and forms needed to:

Inform Fiscal Service of the Head of Federal Entity,

Delegate designation authority to designating officials, and

Designate individuals to the positions of Certifying Officers (COs) for the Secure Payment System (SPS) and the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP); SPS Data Entry Operators (DEO); and designated agents.

This chapter only applies to those federal entities for which Fiscal Service provides disbursing functions.

Authority

31 U.S.C. § 321, 31 U.S.C. § 3321, 31 U.S.C. § 3335, 31 CFR Part 206, Executive Order 11935. For additional guidance, please refer to the GAO Redbook, Volume II, 9-11 and 9-14.

Treasury Disbursing Officers

General Form Instructions for Delegations and Designations

All forms are available electronically. (See Appendices 1 through 5 for the forms and instructions.)

Federal entities use FS Form 2958DO to establish the Head of Federal Entity authority and to delegate designation authority. They use FS Form 210 series forms to designate individuals to perform specific disbursing-related functions.

At the time of designation, the federal entity should advise the designees of their responsibilities as noted in applicable Treasury directives and outlined in the Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training resource.

Designees, who process payment requests for federal entities through Fiscal Service, are required by Fiscal Service to complete the Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training as part of each issuance of new or renewed credentials.

Fiscal Service uses FS Form 2958DO and FS Form 210 series forms as a source to validate signatures used by COs when certifying payments. Federal entities have the option to either manually or digitally sign forms FS Form 2958DO, FS Form 210CO, and FS Form 210DEO. They may also opt to do both on these forms. If a federal entity submits a manually signed form, it must continue to manually sign the forms in the future. The same applies to digitally signed forms. However, if the federal entity chooses to both manually and digitally sign forms FS Form 2958DO, FS Form 210CO,or FS Form 210DEO, they may submit future forms with either type of signature. Note, however, that federal entities must manually sign the FS Form 210DA, when it is used to pick up or receive checks directly from a Treasury Payment Center.

In the event that a digital signature cannot be provided, these forms may be used for manual validation of certifying signatures on payment schedules, if the form has both types of signatures on it. Consequently, it is critically important that the submitting federal entity accurately and completely fill in all applicable delegation and designation forms. Federal entities must complete forms in the following manner:

  • The individual to whom authority is being delegated or who is being designated must digitally or manually sign the delegation or designation forms. Use black, nonerasable ink when manually signing.
  • If digitally signing, the individual to whom authority is being delegated or who is being designed, may follow-up with ink signatures if they intend to manually sign other communications to Fiscal Service.
  • All signatures must be the official signature of the authorized individual. Do not use nicknames.
  • Manual signatures must be constrained to the blocks provided with no extraneous markings. Fiscal Service rejects forms with facsimile signatures or any evidence of erasures, corrections, or alterations.
  • The delegator or designator block in Section IV must be signed by the Head of Federal Entity or other official who has been lawfully delegated delegation or designation authority for the function being delegated or designated.
  • The delegator or designator signature may be either digital or manual. If manually signing use black nonerasable ink and sign wholly within the signature block provided with no extraneous markings.

After completing the form, the federal entity must:

  • Retain a copy. This may be a PDF version of the signed form, and
  • Forward the original ink signed form to Fiscal Service (see the top left-hand corner of the form, for the mailing address to use). If the form is digitally signed, it must be emailed to Fiscal Service (see Contacts for the email address).

Note: For Head of Federal Entity delegations, federal entities must submit FS Form 2958DO with a signed transmittal letter, bearing the official federal entity seal, indicating that the individual is the Head of the Federal Entity.

On receipt, Fiscal Service verifies the delegation or designation. If the form is accepted, Fiscal Service will process and complete the form, and will send an email with profile details and a copy of the completed form to the DO, the designee and the POC indicated on the form.

The federal entity’s receipt of the completed form from Fiscal Service signifies Fiscal Service’s acceptance. After receiving the form, the delegator or designator should verify the information from Fiscal Service against the retained photocopy to ensure that no alterations occurred.

Rejections

Fiscal Service returns to the submitting federal entity those FS Form 2958DOs that fail Fiscal Service verification with an explanation for the rejection.

For FS Form 210 series forms that are rejected, Fiscal Service returns a copy to the designating official, using the method of response indicated in Section V of the form, with a rejection indication and a rejection report explaining the reason for rejection.

Expiration and Revocation

Head of Federal Entity delegations and designations, and Designated Agents are valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier. CO and DEO designations are valid for 1 year unless revoked earlier. Approximately sixty (60) business days before expiration, Fiscal Service will notify the designating official of the delegations or designations expiring by emailing the designating official a "Letter of Notification of Pre-Expiration with pending expirations".

Delegations and designations not renewed by their expiration date become void as of that date, and no further delegations, designations, or certifications, as applicable, will be accepted from the individual. Fiscal Service notifies federal entities of expired delegations and designations via a Letter of Notification of Expiration emailed to the delegating or designating official at the address provided in Section V of the original delegation or designation form. Once a delegation or designation expires, the federal entity must submit a new delegation or designation form to Fiscal Service to reinstate the authority for that individual.

When an individual for whom a delegation or designation is on file with Fiscal Service departs or otherwise becomes ineligible to act (including through reassignment, retirement, departure, death, etc.), a responsible delegating or designating official should forward to Fiscal Service the appropriate FS Form 2958DO or FS Form 210 series form revoking the delegation or designation of the departing or ineligible Designee. Revocations are effective on the day that Fiscal Service processes the revocation form.

When using FS Form 2958DO or FS Form 210 series form to document a revocation, the submitting federal entity must complete Sections I, II, IV, and V of the form. Revocation forms do not require sample signatures of the individual whose authority is being revoked (Section III), but they must be signed in Section IV by the Head of Federal Entity or other official who has been lawfully delegated designation authority for the function being revoked.

Renewals of Delegations and Designations

Each FS Form 210 series form renewal for a federal entity that processes payments through Fiscal Service must include the designee affirmation of a re-certification of the Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training within 30 days prior to the submission of the form. A certificate of completion is only available upon successfully passing the exam at the end of the training. No historical training information is maintained within the Certifying Officer Training site; therefore, the certificate of completion must be maintained by the designee and be provided upon request to Fiscal Service. Saving the certificate of completion in PDF format is the best practice suggested by Fiscal Service.

Alternatively, federal entities may renew designations of individuals (CO, SPS DEO, Designated Agent) within 60 days prior to expiration and for which there are no changes in the details of the designation, by having an active, authorized designating official with authority to designate complete and digitally sign the For Renewal Only portion of the Letter of Notification of Pre-Expiration, and emailing it to Fiscal Service.

As part of each renewal, each designee who processes payments through Fiscal Service must complete the Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training and must pass the exam at the end of the training. A certificate of completion is only available upon successfully passing the exam at the end of the training. No historical training information is maintained within the Certifying Officer Training site; therefore, the certificate of completion must be maintained by the designee and be provided upon request to Fiscal Service. Saving the certificate of completion in PDF format is the best practice suggested by Fiscal Service.

Federal entities also may renew designations within 60 days prior to expiration, and for which there are no changes in the details of the designation, by submitting a federal entity-initiated Letter of Renewal, signed or digitally signed by an active, authorized designating official. Federal entity-initiated Letters of Renewal must:

Be on the federal entity’s letterhead,

Provide the name, type of designation, authorized ALCs, federal entity/bureau/division identification for the individual, and requested renewal date,

Be signed by a designating official with a valid FS Form 2958DO on file with Fiscal Service providing designation authority for the type of designation being renewed, and

Confirm each designee(s) completion of Fiscal Service certifying officer training re-certification.

Federal entities may use a federal entity-initiated Letter of Renewal to renew multiple designations at the same time. Fiscal Service will only renew designations/delegations that are within their 60-day renewal period prior to their expiration. Delegations of designation authority may also be renewed using the Letter of Notification of Pre-expiration.

Federal entities must renew designations for which the details have changed, or for which the designee’s signature has altered significantly since the last designation, by submitting a new original FS Form 210 series form for the designee.

Reorganizations

Fiscal Service verifies FS Form 2958DO and FS Form 210 series forms for signature, title, and organization. Therefore, if an organization’s name or if titles within an organization change, the federal entity must redelegate/redesignate authority to all affected positions. This re-delegation/re-designation must be initiated at a level above the areas affected by the organizational or title changes. On such re-delegation/re-designation forms:

Check the Update block (as appropriate), and

Note the word “Reorganization” in the Comments of Section Ib of the form(s).

Non-Treasury Disbursing Officers

Requirements For Non-Treasury Disbursing Officers (NTDOs)

This chapter addresses requirements for NTDOs.

Scope and Applicability

This chapter addresses applications and payment-related processes that reside under the authority of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service), Disbursing and Debt Management, when payments are not processed by Fiscal Service. Non-Treasury Disbursing Offices/Officers (NTDO) must adhere to the letter and intent of the authorities, processes, and rules outlined in TFM Volume I, Part 4A, Chapter 4000, for the creation, issuance, and reporting of transactions.

Authority

31 U.S.C. § 3321(c)3

Reporting Daily Disbursement Forecasts By NTDOs

All NTDOs must report to Fiscal Service on a daily basis, its anticipated aggregate level of planned disbursements for each disbursing method [for example, wire, Automated Clearing House (ACH), or check] for the following five-day period. These reports are due to Treasury each business day by 3 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Each entity that performs its own disbursing should submit one consolidated report each day business day. Fiscal Service has prepared a template to standardize the reporting of this information: Non-Treasury Disbursing Office Reporting.

The Policy and Oversight Division (POD) of Fiscal Service will review NTDO compliance and will report to NTDOs on the status of their compliance. POD will provide assistance to NTDOs not in compliance or those requesting assistance with proper reporting.

Processing Payments Under Government Fiscal Crisis

In the event of a government budget year transition or debt ceiling constraint, Treasury will invoke rules for the processing of payments that flow through the Federal Reserve Banks (FRBs) and thus the debiting of the U.S. Treasury’s General Account (TGA).

Under a government budget year transition or debt ceiling constraint, NTDOs disbursing ACH payments must:

send files to FRB ACH one business day before payment date for "next day" payment scheduling. This means that no government payments will be processed with an effective payment date beyond the next business day.

segregate its originated ACH files into credit only and debit only files.

complete ACH file transmissions by 3:00 p.m. ET to ensure files have been properly positioned at FedACH.

send an informational spreadsheet of its ACH files to NTDOstatus2@fiscal.treasury.gov by 3:30 p.m. ET.

Under a government budget year transition or debt ceiling constraint, Treasury may take the following actions:

Purge a file. If Treasury does not instruct the FRB to release the file at the end of 25 business days, then the file may be purged. If a file is purged, the NTDO must have the ability to resubmit or to create a new payment file.

Disable Fedwire capabilities. Treasury may instruct the Federal Reserve Bank to disable Fedwire capabilities for NTDOs depending on the available balances in the TGA. Treasury will work with NTDOs and the Federal Reserve Bank regarding issuance of Fedwire payments.

Require informational spreadsheets be sent for daily check payments.

Instruct NTDOs who issue Treasury checks to hold all Treasury checks from being released and to start sending informational spreadsheets of their daily Treasury check payments to NTDOstatus2@fiscal.treasury.gov by 3:00 p.m. ET.

Processing Payments at Fiscal Budget Year-End

At the end of a Federal Fiscal year, Non-Treasury Disbursing Offices (NTDOs) must ensure that their payments are processed in time to settle with the Treasury General Account (TGA) before the commencement of the next budget cycle.

NTDOs are prohibited from using Same Day ACH, and therefore must always submit their ACH payments at least one business day in advance of settlement. As a result, NTDOs must submit their ACH payments no later than September 29th in order to ensure that the payments settle at the TGA by September 30th. If September 30th lands on a Saturday or Sunday, NTDOs must submit their payments by the last Thursday before September 29th in order for them to settle on that Friday, the last business day of the month.

NTDOs making foreign payments will need to ensure there is sufficient lead-time for value date processing of U.S. dollar and foreign currency payment vouchers before the last budget date of the year. See ITS.gov for more information on the disbursement of US Dollar and foreign currencies internationally.

In situations where funds remain and contracted goods and services are outstanding, NTDOs must obligate the funds related to the outstanding goods and services in the same budget year as the funds for the contacted goods and services were appropriated, creating an unliquidated obligation (ULO). NTDOs may submit payments adjustments, expenditures, and outlays (but no new obligations) in a new budget year against established ULOs, only if:

  1. The ULO was established in the same year that the appropriation was awarded.
  2. There are sufficient funds in the obligation. Disbursing Officers that disburse against appropriation without sufficient funds will be in violation of Anti Deficiency Act (see TFM Volume 1, Part 4A, Chapter 2000 Section 2025—Anti-Deficiency Act).
  3. The appropriation has not expired. It is important to note, appropriations with outstanding funds automatically expire and are cancelled 5 years after the date of the appropriation. NTDOs submitting payments against cancelled appropriations will be in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act. Regardless of appropriation category, after five years, funds are unavailable for obligations, obligation adjustments, expenditures, and outlays.

Program Offices cannot use appropriated funds in the cancelled period to pay invoices, even if those invoices are approved and legitimate. Although funds within the cancelled period can no longer be utilized by Program Offices, the funds can still be tracked for accounting and financial execution purposes.

The first week of September, Fiscal Service will send reminder emails to all NTDO disbursing officers with active routing and transit numbers, reminding them that they need to process their payments in accordance with the instructions outlined in this TFM chapter.

Processing ACH Payments

Fiscal Service encourages NTDOs to use safe and convenient electronic payment options in place of check disbursement, whenever possible. Federal government ACH payments are initiated by the authorizing federal entities to a government disbursing office. These include the Fiscal Service, who makes payments on behalf of its federal entity customers, and NTDOs, who are federal entities that have the authority to disburse payments on their own.

NTDOs who do not submit their payments through the Fiscal Service are currently prohibited from authorizing Same Day ACH payments. Only federal entities that disburse through the Fiscal Service will be permitted to request Same Day ACH payments. To ensure ACH payment files are processed as next-day ACH, each NTDO should submit payment files with an effective date that is greater than the date of the payment file submission.

Official Authorization List - FS Form 000115 (OAL)

When making ACH payments, NTDOs use Routing and Transit Numbers (RTNs) to transmit debits and credits to the TGA. NTDOs must establish use of RTNs by first submitting an email request to the Director of Fiscal Service's Policy and Oversight Division (POD) (see contacts). After receiving approval and a blank Official Authorization List FS Form 000115 (OAL) from POD, NTDOs must email the completed OAL to: OALForms.PolicyandOversight@Fiscal.treasury.gov, with a copy to the Fiscal Service point of contact listed on the form. The completed form must contain digital signatures from: the NTDO, the NTDO’s supervisor, and all individuals designated as approved users of the RTN.

The OAL will list one or more RTNs established by Fiscal Service for the NTDO's use. The OAL lists individuals that have been designated by the NTDO who are authorized to make changes to specific RTNs, transact day-to-day business and issue related instructions, and execute agreements with the FRB for the listed RTNs. Limitations may be placed on each authorized individual by the NTDO disbursing officer (see Appendix 1).

A new OAL must be prepared by the NTDO whenever any authorized individual needs to be added or removed. Note that a new OAL can either supplement or supersede an existing OAL, which must be indicated on the form by the NTDO. If the new OAL is to supersede the existing OAL, then the new OAL must include all existing authorized RTNs, both those that are on the current OAL and any additional RTNs that were added through subsequent update letters sent to the FRB (see subsection 4030.10a); otherwise, those RTNs added through update letters will no longer have authorized signers.

RTN Changes to OALs

If an RTN needs to be added or removed from an OAL, the disbursing officer must email the POC with that request. For a request to remove an RTN from an OAL, the NTDO must indicate if the RTN should be deactivated from use or placed on another OAL. The POC will then prepare and submit an update letter from the Disbursing and Debt Management Assistant Commissioner to the FRB to request the addition or removal of the RTN(s) from the OAL. Once the FRB has made the requested change in its files, Fiscal Service will send the disbursing officer a copy of the update letter via email for its records.

OAL Renewal Process

Fiscal Service will send an email to all NTDOs with OALs on file every other fiscal year starting in October 2021. This email will request that each disbursing officer verify that their OAL is up to date or require that a new OAL be submitted with any necessary changes. If no changes are necessary, the disbursing officer must respond by email with the standard letter stating such. This standard letter will be attached to the email sent from Fiscal Service.

Submission of Vouchers to DOs Other Than Treasury DOs

Federal entities must submit the original and one copy of the basic vouchers prepared on government standard forms or on forms otherwise specifically authorized: invoices, bills, or statements of account serving as basic vouchers, to the DO for payment processing. The DO records the payment data on both the original and the copy of the voucher. The DO submits the original voucher as accounting support for the payment transaction and retains the voucher copy for the accounting document files.

Use of Invoices in Place of Vouchers

Unless required by the appropriate disbursing office, NTDOs are not required to use the Secure Payment System (SPS) 1166 voucher for disbursements. Vendors’ invoices, bills, or statements of account may be used as vouchers to support the federal entity’s accounts and accountability statements, provided they show all the information required in Title 7 of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies.

Government-wide Accounting

If federal entities are not “Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) Reporters” because they do not report classification at initiation of the payment or through the Payment Information Repository (PIR), then they must send a letter of explanation to the Fiscal Accounting office of Fiscal Service via the email address CashAnalysisSection.FAO@fiscal.treasury.gov and request a waiver in order to report payment disbursements to an appropriation on the:

Classification Transactions and Accountability reports (CTA) or on one of the following:

  • SF 1218: Statement of Accountability (Foreign Service Account),
  • SF 1219: Statement of Accountability,
  • SF 1220: Statement of Transactions According to Appropriations, Funds, and Receipt Accounts, or
  • SF 1221: Statement of Transactions [According to Appropriations, Funds, and Receipt Accounts (Foreign Service Account)].

See TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 3200 for additional information on reporting foreign currency payments.

Federal Entities Using Eight-Digit ALCs

Federal entities using eight-digit ALCs report foreign currency disbursements to an appropriation on its Classification Transactions and Accountability reports (CTA).

Federal Entities Using Four-Digit ALCs

Federal entities using four-digit ALCs do not report foreign currency disbursements on its Classification Transactions and Accountability reports (CTA). Instead, for these disbursements they report a charge on an SF 1221 to the federal entity appropriation indicated on an SF 1166: Voucher and Schedule of Payments. A federal entity receives confirmation of the disbursement of foreign currency payments and the amounts of the U.S. dollar equivalent of those payments. These reports include:

The SF 1221, providing summary charges to federal entity appropriations for the amount of the U.S. dollar equivalent of the payments disbursed, and

The Voucher auditor's Detail Report, providing detailed information (including check number, amount, and issue date) on each payment disbursed.

For additional information on reporting, see TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 5100. All federal entities must use CARS and submit the Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)/Business Event Type Code (BETC) reporting classification of each payment.

All federal entities not using Treasury disbursing office services must submit disbursement related transaction information through PIR to CARS.

All federal entities who have converted to CARS Payment Reporter must submit a valid TAS/BETC combination at the point of initiation. Adjustments can subsequently be made using the CARS Classification Transaction Accountability (CTA) module. Fiscal Service reference data for TAS/BETCs can be found at the Shared Accounting Module (SAM) website.

Payment Information Repository (PIR)

PIR is used to house federal payment data that includes details on all federal payments made by Treasury Disbursing Office (TDO) federal entities, as well as Non-Treasury Disbursing Office (NTDO) federal entities.

NTDO federal entities must report to PIR, payment and returned payment or other debit activities that affect the TGA to include TAS/BETCs, and PIR reports those transactions to CARS. The only exception to this requirement is transactions that are specifically identified by Treasury as not going through PIR. Payment TAS/BETC classifications must be reported daily on the date of the payment through PIR using the Standard Reporting Format (SRF). The PIR will report summarized TAS/BETCs to CARS.

Because Fiscal Service requires all federal payments to be reported through PIR, a federal entity must either disburse its payments through a TDO, or an NTDO must have the capability to report through PIR. If for any reason an NTDO is not able to report its payments through PIR or to convert to its payments to being disbursed through a TDO, it must send a letter of explanation to the Fiscal Accounting office of Fiscal Service and request a waiver via the email address CashAnalysisSection.FAO@fiscal.treasury.gov.

NTDO federal entities that disburse electronic payments through Federal Reserve Banks (FRBs) must access PIR to view all payment related debit vouchers and credit vouchers. See the PIR website for enrollment procedures for accessing PIR. Federal entities that issue Treasury checks will report through PIR daily using the PIR Standard Reporting Format (SRF). PIR files containing check payments will be consumed by both PIR and TCIS. Only those NTDO federal entities with a waiver from Fiscal Service will be allowed to continue to send its monthly check issue files to PIR via the Treasury Check Information System (TCIS) format. The requirements and rules for check issue reporting as outlined in the PIR SRF replace the requirements in TFM Volume I, Part 4, Chapter 6000, section 6025. For information on submitting claims for nonreceipt of checks drawn on the U.S. Treasury, see TFM Volume I, Part 4, Chapter 7000.

Submission of Files

As outlined in the PIR SRF, federal entities must submit files to PIR by 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central Time on the date of payment. The “date of payment” is defined below for various methods of payment.

Check Payments - The date of payment is the issue date of the check (the date inscribed on the check). Files containing check payments will be consumed by both PIR and TCIS. All validation messages for check payment files are communicated via the Transmittal Control and Disbursing Office Maintenance System within TCIS.

ACH (original and return) Payments - The date of payment is the settlement date of the ACH transaction, which is in the acknowledgment received from FedACH.

Wire and International (ITS.gov) Payments - The date of payment is the value date specified in the payment request.

PIR Standard Reporting Format (SRF)

Federal entities use the PIR SRF to submit one or more files, each containing one or more batches. A batch is described below, based on the method of payment.

ACH (original payment and returns), Wire, International (ITS.gov)—All transactions that are accounted for with a single voucher (SF 5515/SF 215) should be included in a batch.

Check—All checks issued with the same DO symbol and sequential contiguous serial numbers should be included in a batch. This represents the current issue file sent by NTDOs to TCIS.

Note: Federal entities that do not submit payments with the TAS/BETC classified on the SRF on the date of payment will have their vouchers default in CARS to the default TAS/BETC defined in SAM for payment transactions. Then, the federal entity must reclassify the voucher in the CARS Classification Transaction Accountability (CTA) module. Federal entities must clear the default account by the third workday after month-end or it negatively impacts the quarterly scorecard that is sent to federal entities’ Chief Financial Officers.

Note: Only the Department of Defense may receive a waiver from the timely reporting of payment transactions when ships or active service units are operating under “brown-out” or “silent-running” conditions, where non-mission-critical transmissions are prohibited.

Delegated Disbursing Authority

In accordance with 31 U.S.C. § 3321(b), this section prescribes procedures and policies by which Fiscal Service delegates to officers and employees of other federal entities the authority to disburse public money. It is consistent with Fiscal Service’s continuing oversight over federal entities that are delegated disbursing authority.

This section does not pertain to federal entities that are granted authority to disburse public money by statute. See 31 U.S.C. § 3321(c).

Standards for Delegating Disbursing Authority

Fiscal Service delegates disbursing authority in limited cases for purposes of “economy and efficiency,” consistent with the requirements of 31 U.S.C. § 3321(b). Thus, Fiscal Service approves an executive federal entity’s request for delegated disbursing authority only if, among other things:

A federal entity requires a particular level of service for disbursing funds that Fiscal Service cannot provide,

The delegation would be more efficient and cost effective to the federal government and the public,

The federal entity’s needs preclude the cash management needs of the Treasury, and

The requesting federal entity submits its request for delegated disbursing authority, in writing, to Treasury’s Chief Disbursing Officer (CDO). The request must be on federal entity letterhead and must be signed by the head of the federal entity or his or her designee. The letter must include adequate documentation of the federal entity’s business need for delegation and must provide assurance to Treasury that the federal entity, if the delegated disbursing authority, will maintain effective internal controls and will comply with pertinent security guidelines.

Delegated Disbursing Authority Document

In limited cases when Fiscal Service, in its sole discretion, determines that a federal entity has met the requirements to be delegated disbursing authority, Fiscal Service executes a written Delegated Disbursing Authority Document. The Delegated Disbursing Authority Document sets forth specific terms, conditions, and limitations of the particular delegation.

Fiscal Service has the authority to amend the specific terms of the Delegated Disbursing Authority Document, as necessary and appropriate. Before Fiscal Service finalizes any amendment, it provides advance notice to the federal entity, in writing, setting forth the specific purpose and reasons for the proposed amendment. Fiscal Service gives the federal entity the opportunity to submit comments on any proposed amendment. However, Fiscal Service retains sole decision-making authority to finalize amendments to the Delegated Disbursing Authority Document.

Authorities of Treasury’s CDO

When Treasury’s CDO delegates disbursing authority to a federal entity in accordance with 31 U.S.C. § 3321(b), the CDO:

Maintains oversight authority over the disbursing function as demonstrated, in part, by the terms of this chapter. Consistent with this authority, the CDO retains the authority to revoke a federal entity’s disbursing authority delegation.

Has the right to require that the federal entity’s operations be inspected and examined to ensure compliance with delegated disbursing authority requirements.

Prescribes and approves procedures for disbursing functions as outlined in this section of the TFM; TFM Volume I, Part 4A, Chapter 2000, Section 2045, for federal entities with authority to disburse imprest funds; and the Federal Entity Self-Certification Guide and Questionnaire.

Requires federal entities to obtain a third-party assessment of the need for the delegated authority.

Requires federal entities with delegated disbursing authority to submit immediately to the CDO any irregularity in their accounts involving such disbursement activity.

Responsibilities and Liabilities of a Federal Entity with Delegated Disbursing Authority

A federal entity that is delegated disbursing authority by the CDO under 31 U.S.C. § 3321(b) assumes significant responsibilities and liabilities, including but not limited to:

Following the disbursing official and cashier guidelines as set forth under 31 U.S.C. § 3322, § 3325, and § 3528.

Full accountability and liability for all disbursements issued under the delegation. The federal entity must not delegate the duties and functions related to the delegation to another party without consultation and prior written approval by the CDO.

Reporting of all disbursements made under the delegation in the federal entity’s payment accounting reports to Fiscal Service, using the appropriate federal entity accounting codes, as authorized by Fiscal Service. The federal entity must submit immediately to the CDO any irregularity in accounts involving disbursement activity. Furthermore, the federal entity must resolve any irregularities or discrepancies associated with such reports.

Periodically obtaining the services of a third party to assess the need for the delegated authority. This federal entity report will be provided to Treasury.

In addition, a federal entity with delegated disbursing authority must practice effective security and internal control measures as prescribed by Fiscal Service (in Treasury Directive No. 71-10), GAO, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Review and Self-Certification Reporting Requirements

Every two years, a federal entity with delegated disbursing authority must conduct a review of its disbursing operations to ensure compliance with:

requirements set out in any applicable Delegation of Disbursing Authority Document executed in accordance with section Delegated Disbursing Authority Document,

pertinent statutory, regulatory, and TFM requirements,

Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act of 1982 (FMFIA), Public Law No. 97-255 (31 U.S.C. § 3512), and

Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 (FFMIA), 31 U.S.C. § 3512, note.

Following such reviews, federal entities must submit a self-certification and questionnaire response to Fiscal Service stating whether or not they comply with these requirements. Fiscal Service advises federal entities of the due date of these responses and provides them with the self-certification language to be included in the response. To the extent that a federal entity cannot certify that it complies with a specific requirement, the self-certification must document the federal entity’s planned corrective action to achieve compliance within an identified time frame.

The self-certification focuses solely on FMFIA, Section 2 reports (internal controls) and Section 4 reports (financial management systems). See 31 U.S.C. § 3512(d)(2) and (d)(2)(B); also see OMB Circular Nos. A-123 and A-127 for further information on Section 2 and Section 4 requirements. Specifically, a federal entity must self-certify that its Section 2 and Section 4 reports provide reasonable assurance that the federal entity is in compliance with FMFIA, Section 2 and Section 4 requirements. To the extent that a federal entity self-certifies “noncompliance” or “qualified assurance” with Section 2 and Section 4 requirements, it must identify all material weaknesses and corrective action plans to achieve compliance within an identified time frame.

Section 803(a), which requires each federal entity to “implement and maintain financial management systems that comply substantially with federal financial management systems requirements.” Specifically, the federal entity must certify that it complies with FFMIA, Section 803(a) requirements, if applicable, and that this determination has been verified by independent audit, as referenced under FFMIA, Section 803(b). See 31 U.S.C. § 3512, note. To the extent that a federal entity self-certifies “noncompliance” with Section 803(a), it must identify “resources, remedies, and intermediate target dates necessary to bring the federal entity’s financial management systems into substantial compliance” with Section 803(a). See FFMIA, Section 803(c)(3) discussing the requirement for a remediation plan to achieve compliance.

The self-certification allows a federal entity to provide information on corrective or remediation plans, if necessary. Fiscal Service provides guidance to federal entities on format and procedures for submitting the federal entity self-certification and questionnaire response in the Federal Entity Self-Certification Guide and Questionnaire.

Risk Assessment

When a federal entity’s self-certification indicates the federal entity is not in compliance with one or more stated requirements, Fiscal Service, in its sole discretion, may determine it is necessary that a risk assessment of the federal entity’s disbursing system be conducted. In making such a determination, Fiscal Service may consider such factors as the status and utility of the corrective and remedial plans identified by the federal entity to achieve compliance. The risk assessment is intended to evaluate, among other things, federal entity-identified deficiencies or material weaknesses in financial management systems, operations, and accounting and reconciliation procedures that may adversely affect the federal entity’s disbursing performance. The federal entity develops, and submits to Fiscal Service, a plan for conducting the risk assessment. The plan must identify the party who will conduct the assessment. Risk assessments are conducted in accordance with Fiscal Service’s risk assessment guide or another guide that meets Treasury’s standards and is approved by Fiscal Service. At Fiscal Service’s discretion, federal entities must provide Fiscal Service with a copy of their FMFIA, Section 2 and Section 4 reports; FFMIA, Section 803(a) reports; and other audit information as part of any risk assessment.

Failure to Submit Required Self-Certification Reports and Information Required by a Risk Assessment

If a federal entity does not comply with the review and self-certification reporting requirements provided under subsection 4050.50a or does not respond to requests for information in connection with a risk assessment as provided under subsection 4050.50b, Treasury’s CDO notifies the federal entity, in writing, of a final date certain for complying with such requirements. The CDO reserves the right to revoke the federal entity’s disbursing authority delegation in accordance with subsection 4050.30, if the federal entity fails to respond adequately to the terms of this written notice by the indicated final date certain.

Termination of Delegated Disbursing Authority

The CDO may terminate a federal entity’s delegation of disbursing authority if Fiscal Service determines, in its sole discretion, that:

The risk assessment conducted under subsection 4050.50b warrants such action,

The federal entity fails to respond adequately to the terms of the written notice from the CDO, referenced in subsection 4050.20,

A third-party review indicates that the federal entity’s need for delegated authority no longer exists, referenced in subsection 4050.40,

The federal entity fails to comply with any of the responsibilities and liabilities of a federal entity with delegated disbursing authority, including but not limited to, those responsibilities and liabilities listed under subsection 4050.40, or

The federal entity fails to comply with the terms of the Delegated Disbursing Authority Document executed under the authority of subsection 4050.20.

In addition, the CDO periodically reviews whether the federal entity continues to meet the standards for delegation of disbursing authority as set forth under 31 U.S.C. § 3321(b) and subsection 4050.10. The CDO may terminate a federal entity’s delegation of disbursing authority when Fiscal Service determines, in its sole discretion, that the federal entity no longer meets such standards.

The CDO notifies the federal entity, in writing, that its delegation of disbursing authority is being terminated. Before any termination action is taken, Fiscal Service and the federal entity work together to resolve all outstanding questions and issues. If this effort is unsuccessful, Fiscal Service consults with the federal entity to determine an appropriate effective date for termination and the resumption of Treasury disbursement services. In determining the effective termination date, Fiscal Service and the federal entity consider the mission of the federal entity and the needs of its payees. If Fiscal Service and the federal entity cannot reach a mutual decision on the effective date for termination, Fiscal Service determines the effective date and notifies the federal entity.

Communications Related to Treasury-Disbursed Payments

Communication Services Offered by Fiscal Service

Subject to the requirements of this section, federal entities that use Fiscal Service disbursing services may ask Fiscal Service to print and/or mail various types of communications to recipients of Treasury-disbursed payments. Types of communications include:

  1. Messaging documents, commonly known as “inserts,” included in the envelopes used to transmit Treasury-disbursed check payments to payees,
  2. Messages printed on the outside of the envelopes used to mail Treasury-disbursed check payments to payees, commonly known as “back-of-the-envelope messages”,
  3. Letters to recipients of Treasury-disbursed electronic and check payments, and
  4. Other similar documents delivered to recipients of Treasury-disbursed payments.

For purposes of this section, inserts, back-of-the envelope messages, letters, and other similar documents delivered by Fiscal Service to recipients of Treasury-disbursed payments are collectively referred to as “communications,” and the services provided by Fiscal Service to deliver the communications are referred to as “communication services.”

Because the delivery of communications by Fiscal Service to payment recipients can raise operational, policy and legal considerations, the Fiscal Service Chief Disbursing Officer retains final approval authority on a federal entity’s request for communication services. See Contacts.

Informal Discussions About Communication Services Offered by Fiscal Service

Before formally requesting communication services, federal entities will informally discuss with Fiscal Service the timing, specifications, purpose, and content of the proposed communications, and whether the federal entity is asking Fiscal Service to print the communications on the federal entity’s behalf. Fiscal Service will work with the federal entity to ensure that:

  1. The timing of the delivery of the proposed communications does not interfere with Fiscal Service’s payment disbursing operations,
  2. The proposed communications meet Fiscal Service’s technical specifications,
  3. The purpose and content of the proposed communications relate to the issuance of the Treasury-disbursed payments, and
  4. The proposed communications comply with applicable legal requirements.

The purpose and content of a communication relate to the issuance of a Treasury-disbursed payment when, for example, the communication includes information explaining why a payment is being issued or a call to action encouraging use of electronic payment methods as an alternative to check payments. Fiscal Service generally will not approve the use of its communication services solely for the purpose of marketing for federal entity products, programs, and purposes.

For inserts and back-of-the-envelope messages, the content of the communications cannot be targeted to individual payment recipients by name, which would require matching of an individual Treasury check to an individual communication. Inserts and back-of-the-envelope messages may be targeted to payee populations by payment type, for example, tax refund, benefit, vendor or miscellaneous.

Formal Federal Entity Requests for Communication Services

If, after informal discussions with Fiscal Service, a federal entity decides to formally submit a request for communications services, the appropriate federal entity official will send a written request to the Fiscal Service Chief Disbursing Officer (see Contacts) with the following information, as applicable:

  1. The type, timing, duration, specifications, and purpose and content of the proposed communications, including any special instructions,
  2. The type(s) and volume of check payments that will include the proposed communications,
  3. The proposed payment recipient population that will receive the communications,
  4. A statement that the request for communication services complies with federal entity and Fiscal Service requirements,
  5. A proof copy of the proposed communications,
  6. A statement that the federal entity will agree to reimburse Fiscal Service for costs, with confirmation of the federal entity’s funding source and funds availability, and
  7. Contact information, including the federal entity official(s) responsible for final approval of decisions related to the communications.

Federal entities should take care not to incur unnecessary printing expenses before receiving formal Fiscal Service approval.

Federal entities should submit a formal request at least three months before the date of the anticipated first mailing of the proposed communication. Upon receipt of the request, Fiscal Service will work with a federal entity to establish a mutually agreeable timeline for review and the delivery of the requested communication services, including time needed to review additional information required by Fiscal Service.

Fiscal Service Costs for Communication Services

As required by the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. § 1535) or other applicable law, Fiscal Service will enter into a reimbursable agreement with a federal entity for expenses associated with printing and mailing approved communications to recipients of Treasury-disbursed payments and other communication services. For additional questions, see Contacts.

Certification

Do Not Pay

Do Not Pay (DNP) is the no-cost robust analytics tool which helps federal agencies detect and prevent improper payments made to vendors, grantees, loan recipients, and beneficiaries. Agencies can check multiple data sources in order to make payment eligibility decisions.  

https://fiscal.treasury.gov/DNP/ : Log In or Enroll in DNP

Video file

How Does Do Not Pay Work?

Agencies use a secure online interface to check various data sources to verify eligibility of a vendor, grantee, loan recipient, or beneficiary to receive federal payments. To get all the details, watch the short video.

Secure Payment System (SPS)

Federal entities that disburse through Fiscal Service must use the SPS system to create payment schedules. This system allows designated federal entity personnel to create, certify, and submit payment schedules to Fiscal Service over a browser/web interface in a secure fashion with a strictly enforced separation of duties.

Federal entities are required to use SPS to create payment schedules. Same-day and small-volume next-day payments must be initiated through SPS or ITS.gov and the Payment Automation Manager (PAM) large-volume or bulk files must be certified through SPS using the system-generated SPS SF 1166: Voucher and Schedule of Payments for Summary Schedule.

Two different user types are required and responsible for a federal entity to submit schedules to SPS. First, a DEO with an active designation on file at Fiscal Service creates a schedule and submits the schedule for certification. Then, a CO with an active designation on file at Fiscal Service examines the schedule and, upon verification, certifies the schedule, which results in the schedule being submitted to Fiscal Service.

For information on the rules governing users, federal entity requirements, and file formats, see SPS.

The use of SPS satisfies the certification requirements contained in 31 U.S.C. 3325 and 3528.

Government-wide Accounting

Federal entities must submit the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)/Business Event Type Code (BETC) reporting classification for each Invoice Line at initiation of the payment. Federal entities that process file-based payments to ITS.gov are required to submit payment data using the ITS.gov standard file format. The ITS.gov standard file format incorporates the TAS/BETC information.

All federal entities using Treasury disbursing office services, except for ASAP and ITS.gov, are required to submit payment data using the PAM standard input format. The PAM standard input format provides TAS/BETC information.

For ASAP, federal entities are required to define a TAS distribution method for each ASAP account. Additionally, federal entities are required to define at least one TAS/BETC and one return TAS/BETC for each ASAP account. ASAP uses the TAS distribution method and TAS/BETCs defined on an account to apply TAS/BETCs for each payment drawn from the given account. Additionally, ASAP applies the return TAS/BETC defined on an account for each returned payment credited to the given account.

Federal entities are required to use a valid TAS/BETC combination and to subsequently reclassify in CARS when appropriate. Shared Accounting Module (SAM) provides Fiscal Service reference data for TAS/BETCs.

Note: Any transaction with an invalid TAS/BETC (such as a TAS/BETC combination that does not match to SAM's TAS/BETC file on the date of the payment request, or is designated as a Cancelled/Suspended TAS within SAM) either will be rejected by PAM, or will be classified to a default TAS/BETC that has been set up by the federal entity in SAM. Federal entities must correctly reclassify all such system-defaulted transactions to a valid TAS/BETC by the third business day following the close of the accounting month. If the federal entity does not clear the SAM default account to a zero-dollar balance timely, it will receive notification from Fiscal Service's Cash Accounting Division that the incomplete reporting requires immediate resolution. Fiscal Service will measure efforts by federal entities to clear SAM default accounts by the third business day of the month based on federal entity performance.

Instructions to Federal Entities for Emergency Certification of Payments When the SPS Is Unavailable

Periodically, a federal entity may need to certify payments “manually” because either SPS is unavailable or SPS is available, but the federal entity cannot access it.

Procedures for emergency certification of payments apply to bulk files and summary certifications only.

The federal entity must request permission from the Executive Director, Treasury Payment Center, or designee, to use the manual certification procedure. After permission is received, the federal entity requester sends the manual certification by fax or as a scanned file via email to the Treasury Payment Center. The federal entity requester must have a current, valid FS Form 210 or FS Form 2958DO on file with Fiscal Service and must be a CO or designating official. The signature must be verifiable against the signature on FS Form 210, under which the federal entity requester was designated.

The Treasury Payment Center provides a one-time use password to the federal entity requester who signed the Fiscal Service 210CO (see the above paragraph). This one-time use password adds a degree of security to the transaction. In addition, the requirement for password use in emergencies also can be used to rebut auditor queries. If the password is issued via email, the Treasury Payment Center sends it from the official Fiscal Service email account (@fiscal.treasury.gov) to the recipient’s official government email account (.gov).

If requested, Fiscal Service provides a blank SF 1166 to the federal entity. The SF 1166 also is available at SPS.

The federal entity submits by fax or email a completed SF 1166 with the one-time password entered in the “Password” block.

Although the Treasury Payment Center normally rejects certifications if the sum of the TAS/BETCs in the certification does not match the certification total dollar amount, it does not reject emergency certifications. Federal entities must still perform due diligence to use a valid TAS/BETC combination for emergency payment certifications, and may reference the Fiscal Service reference data for TAS/BETCs available at SAM. If the TAS/BETC from the emergency certification is not correct, federal entities must reclassify transactions in CARS after the payment is disbursed. It is the responsibility of the federal entity to ensure proper classification in their CARS Account Statement.

Fiscal Service rejects the SF 1166 if:

The CO is not on file, or the signature does not match the form on file.

The dollar and/or item count does not match the payment file.

The password is missing or erroneous.

Any required field (Schedule Number, Control Number, requested date of payment, ALC, at least one valid TAS/BETC) for Fiscal Service processing (Payments, Claims and Enhanced Reconciliation; Treasury Check Information System; CARS, etc.) is missing or invalid.

There are other errors or discrepancies at the DO’s or designee’s discretion.

Before processing files in PAM, Fiscal Service manually certifies the validity of the entries.

Submission of Bulk Files

The PAM, software application is used to disburse payments through Fiscal Service. The PAM standard format is the method for federal entities disbursing payments through Fiscal Service to report TAS/BETC and other transaction information. The PAM standard input and output file specifications may be retrieved at PAM.

Fiscal Service Payments Processed Through Offset

The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA), codified in pertinent part at 31 U.S.C. § 3716, requires federal disbursing officials to withhold all or part of federal payments made to persons who owe delinquent nontax debts in order to satisfy the debts. This process is known as “offset.” Fiscal Service has issued regulations governing offset of federal payments to collect delinquent nontax debt at 31 CFR 285.5. Authority for collecting delinquent tax debts through the continuous levy of certain federal payments can be found at 26 U.S.C. § 6331(h).

Note: Same-day ACH payment requests, are offset through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP), while Fedwire same-day payment requests are not directly offset through the TOP. However, SPS is required to determine if payees of Fedwire same-day payment requests have active delinquent debts in the TOP database. If the tax identification number (TIN) on a Fedwire payment matches a TIN with an active delinquent debt, the creation of a same-day payment is blocked. When a same-day Fedwire payment is blocked and the DEO has not indicated that the payment is not eligible for offset, the federal entity should proceed to recreate the payment using a different payment type (check or ACH), which can be processed through the existing offset process.

Federal Entities Requesting a Check Payment To Be Held, Canceled, or Intercepted

All federal entities requesting a check payment to be held, canceled, or intercepted must submit a Special Handling Request Form by email. To request a copy of this form, contact the Payment and Mail Operations Branch at the Federal Disbursement Services at 816-414-2220.

Note: There is a very limited time between receipt and processing of a federal entity payment request in PAM, therefore electronic payments may not be held, canceled, or intercepted.

Payment Types

Payments Types

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Mechanisms

Federal entities should use the EFT mechanisms prescribed below to comply with the EFT provisions of 31 CFR Part 208.

Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP)

ASAP is the replacement for the letter-of-credit funding technique, which is no longer used by Fiscal Service to fund advances to state and local governments, educational institutions, international institutions, and any other public or private organizations. ASAP is an all-electronic payment and information system through which organizations receiving federal funds can draw from accounts preauthorized by federal entities. ASAP can also be used to make time-sensitive payments to financial agents who are performing financial services for Fiscal Service and other federal entities. ASAP ensures greater efficiency, effectiveness, and equity in the exchange of funds between the federal government and the states, as required by the Cash Management Improvement Act of 1990, as amended. Federal entities establish and maintain accounts in ASAP to control the flow of funds to recipient organizations. Federal entities enter spending authorizations into their ASAP accounts in accordance with their program needs and schedules, and the recipient organizations initiate payment requests through ASAP to meet cash needs to administer these respective programs. ASAP can be used to deliver payments by ACH or Fedwire. For more information, see ASAP.

Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is Treasury’s preferred disbursement mechanism for all classes of federal payments. Direct deposit is an electronic payment alternative that uses the ACH network. Federal entities can use direct deposit to make payments to individuals or businesses. Payment types include federal employees’ salaries, vendor, travel advances and reimbursements, recurring benefits, and other miscellaneous expenses. Payments to businesses often include an addendum record that provides information about the payment. The recipient uses this information to update the accounts receivable system and/or to reconcile outstanding invoices.

Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®

Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® is a prepaid debit card offered to federal benefit recipients who wish to receive their benefits electronically. The debit card offers the convenience and security of using electronic transactions to spend and access money rather than using cash for purchases. Recipients do not need to have a bank account to sign up for the card. The Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® is available only to individual federal benefit recipients. For more information, see Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®.

Fedwire

Fedwire is an electronic transfer system developed and maintained by the Federal Reserve that allows a federal entity to make payments with a same-day settlement. This payment mechanism is intended for high-dollar, low-volume payments that must be paid the same day the payment is requested.

Federal entities in need of same-day settlement should consider Same Day ACH as a lower cost alternative for the government than Fedwire. Same Day ACH provides Treasury-disbursed federal entities with an option for any type of payment where same-day settlement benefits the federal entity and the government as a whole. This includes making timely payments to avoid Prompt Payment interest penalties and to take advantage of discounts offered by vendors for paying early. However, a Same Day ACH payment cannot exceed $1,000,000. Federal entities in need of same-day settlement for payments over $1,000,000 would need to use Fedwire. Refer to subsections 30115.10h through 30115.10j below, for more information on Same Day ACH.

International Treasury Service (ITS.gov)

ITS.gov enables federal entities to issue U.S. dollar and foreign currency payments electronically using the ACH network, Fedwire, and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to nearly 200 foreign countries. Additionally, ITS.gov enables federal entities to issue international U.S. dollar wire transfer payments without a corresponding U.S. financial institution. Federal entities should use ITS.gov to make foreign benefit, payroll, vendor, and miscellaneous payments electronically. For more information, see ITS.gov.

Stored-Value Cards (SVCs)

SVCs are smart cards with an embedded computer chip that contain electronic monetary value. The technology eliminates coin, currency, scrip, vouchers, money orders, and other labor-intensive payment mechanisms associated with closed environment government locations, such as military bases and ships at sea. Federal entities should use SVC to improve cash management in these closed environments. For more information, see SVC and TFM Volume I, Part 4, Chapter 9000.

U.S. Debit Card

The U.S. Debit Card is a Europay, MasterCard, or Visa (EMV) chip/magnetic strip enabled bankcard that can be used by federal entities to make payments to individual recipients. Federal entities can load the card with any amount of value (up to the limits established by the federal entity due to their specific program requirements) before issuing it to a recipient. Once issued to the recipient, the recipient can use the card to access cash at automated teller machines or to make purchases at point-of-sale locations. The card can be used as a disposable payment mechanism that can be discarded after a fixed amount is spent by the recipient. The card also can be used as a reloadable payment mechanism if the federal entity wishes to make multiple payments to the recipient on the card. Federal entities can use the U.S. Debit Card to replace third-party drafts and cash for any payment except benefit payments, and/or where instant issuance is necessary, such as payments for disaster relief. For more information, see U.S. Debit Card.

Same Day ACH

On January 03, 2022, Fiscal Service published a final rule amending 31 CFR part 210, "Federal Government Participation in the Automated Clearing House", which adopted the 2021 Nacha Operating Rules & Guidelines, including Supplement 2021-1. The 2021 Nacha Rules updated the rules governing Same Day ACH transactions and several other areas. The amended part 210 became effective February 02, 2022.

Same Day ACH allows Treasury-disbursed federal entities to make ACH payments through the Fiscal Service that settle on the same day that they are originated. Treasury-disbursed federal entities have the discretion to decide if a payment should be made by Same Day ACH, subject to the requirements in this chapter. A Same Day ACH fee of $.052 per payment will be paid for by the Fiscal Service.

Same Day ACH provides Treasury-disbursed federal entities with a more cost-effective method for any type of payment where same-day settlement benefits the federal entity and the government as a whole. This includes making timely payments to avoid Prompt Payment interest penalties and to take advantage of discounts offered by vendors for paying early.

Federal entities in need of same-day settlement should consider Same Day ACH as a lower cost alternative for the government than Fedwire. However, not all payments can be disbursed by Same Day ACH. In accordance with the ACH rules, a Same Day ACH payment cannot exceed $1,000,000. Federal entities in need of same-day settlement for payments over $1,000,000 must continue to use Fedwire.

Same Day ACH should not be used to accelerate benefit payments, salary payments, or similar recurring payments that are currently scheduled on a specific date. Fiscal Service will periodically review federal entities' Same Day ACH payment activity to ensure that federal entities are using this payment option appropriately. The total dollar value of Same Day ACH requests made by a specific ALC and TAS combination cannot exceed $50 million on a single payment date. If the total dollar amount of Same Day ACH payment requests from the combination of a specific ALC and TAS exceeds $50 million on a single payment date, all of the payments will be delayed and will settle the following business day. All Same Day ACH payments will be run through the Treasury Offset Program to determine if the payment recipient is subject to offset to pay a delinquent debt to a government federal entity.

Same Day ACH Requests through SPS

Same Day ACH payments must be requested manually through SPS and certified by the federal entity's certifying officer. All Same Day ACH payment requests through SPS must be made by 4:00 p.m. ET in order to meet the Federal Reserve’s Same Day window of 4:45 p.m. ET. Same Day ACH requests that miss this processing window will be posted and settled on the next business day. Each Same Day ACH payment requested through SPS cannot exceed $1,000,000. The total dollar value of Same Day ACH requests made through SPS by combination of a specific ALC and TAS cannot exceed $50 million on a single payment date. If a federal entity certifies Same Day ACH payment requests through SPS from the combination of a specific ALC and TAS that exceed $50 million on a single payment date, all of the payments will settle the following business day.

Same Day ACH Requests through ASAP

All Same Day ACH payment requests in the ASAP.gov application must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. ET to meet the Federal Reserve's Same Day window of 4:45 p.m. ET. Any Same Day ACH requests that miss this processing window will be posted and settled on the next business day.

The ASAP.gov application has controls in place to assist the federal entity in monitoring Same Day ACH payment requests. The federal entity’s certifying officer can choose whether or not their recipient organizations are allowed to request Same Day ACH payments and they can also require that a Same Day ACH payment is reviewed by the federal entity before the payment is submitted.

If allowed by the federal entity's certifying officer, recipient organizations will be able to request Same Day ACH payments valued at $1,000,000 or less per payment. However, recipient organizations cannot request more than $50 million in Same Day ACH, by the combination of ALC and TAS per payment date. Same Day ACH payment requests made by recipient organizations from a specific ALC and TAS combination that exceed $50 million on a single payment date will settle the following business day.

FedNow Instant Payments

FedNow is a new payment mechanism taking its place alongside cash, check, the automated clearing house (ACH), and wire transfer. The FedNow instant payment service is a method of exchanging money and remittance data in near real-time with immediate confirmation to sending and receiving parties. Fiscal Service will be offering the FedNow payment service to Federal Agencies for collections and disbursements. Most payment types are eligible for FedNow (i.e., Vendor, Miscellaneous, Travel, Salary, etc.). The FedNow business day ends at 7:00 pm ET. The next business day opens at 7:01 pm ET. The credit transfer limit is set to $500,000, but individual sending participants may choose to lower their own sending limit. Fiscal Service's payment processing window for FedNow is 7:00 am – 5:50 pm ET, Monday – Friday, excluding designated holidays.

Payment Types

Payments Processed Through Offset (TOP)

Fiscal Service Payments Processed Through Offset

The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA), codified in pertinent part at 31 U.S.C. § 3716, requires federal disbursing officials to withhold all or part of federal payments made to persons who owe delinquent nontax debts in order to satisfy the debts. This process is known as “offset.” Fiscal Service has issued regulations governing offset of federal payments to collect delinquent nontax debt at 31 CFR 285.5. Authority for collecting delinquent tax debts through the continuous levy of certain federal payments can be found at 26 U.S.C. § 6331(h).

Note: Same-day ACH payment requests, are offset through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP), while Fedwire same-day payment requests are not directly offset through the TOP. However, SPS is required to determine if payees of Fedwire same-day payment requests have active delinquent debts in the TOP database. If the tax identification number (TIN) on a Fedwire payment matches a TIN with an active delinquent debt, the creation of a same-day payment is blocked. When a same-day Fedwire payment is blocked and the DEO has not indicated that the payment is not eligible for offset, the federal entity should proceed to recreate the payment using a different payment type (check or ACH), which can be processed through the existing offset process.

Treasury Check

Federal Entities Requesting a Check Payment To Be Held, Canceled, or Intercepted

All federal entities requesting a check payment to be held, canceled, or intercepted must submit a Special Handling Request Form by email. To request a copy of this form, contact the Payment and Mail Operations Branch at the Federal Disbursement Services at 816-414-2220.

Note: There is a very limited time between receipt and processing of a federal entity payment request in PAM, therefore electronic payments may not be held, canceled, or intercepted.

Funds Outside of Treasury

Authority to Hold Funds Outside of Treasury

Authority To Disburse Imprest Funds

As a preliminary matter, before a federal entity contemplates establishing an imprest fund, the federal entity should first discuss that option with Fiscal Service to determine if an alternative approach might be more suitable, given the numerous different payment options Fiscal Service makes available to federal entities at no charge.

A federal entity may proceed with plans to establish an imprest fund only if the federal entity can demonstrate that it has the legal authority to:

  • Hold funds outside of Treasury, and
  • Make the anticipated payments using cash.

A federal entity must have legal authority to hold funds outside of Treasury because an imprest fund is a fixed cash or petty cash fund in the form of currency or coin that has been advanced to a cashier as “Funds Held Outside of Treasury.” Imprest funds are an exception to the general rule that federal entities receiving public money from any source are statutorily required to deposit these funds into the U.S. Treasury. See 31 U.S.C. § 3302. This exception arises in only three circumstances.

First, in rare cases, a federal entity may have statutory authority to hold money without depositing it to the U.S. Treasury.” (See TFM Volume I, Part 5, Chapter 4100, Section 4120.)

Second, a federal entity may have implied authority to hold funds outside of Treasury if it has explicit statutory disbursing authority (that is, if the federal entity would be permitted to make electronic payments through the Federal Reserve Bank and issue Treasury checks itself).

Third, a federal entity may obtain a delegation of disbursing authority from Treasury’s CDO, if, for reasons of economy and efficiency, the CDO determines such a delegation would be appropriate. In the case of delegated disbursing authority, the extent of any authority to hold funds outside of Treasury is set forth in the delegation document. In addition to the authority to hold funds outside of Treasury, a federal entity must have legal authority to make the anticipated payments using cash. In general, all federal payments are required to be made by EFT [31 U.S.C. § 3332(f)]. There are only certain circumstances in which payment by another means is legally authorized. The categories of payments encompassed by those circumstances are set forth in 31 CFR § 208.4. Only if the anticipated payments fall into one of the listed categories is the federal entity legally authorized to make them using cash. Also, if a federal entity deposits funds into a financial institution, that financial institution must be designated by Treasury to be a financial agent of the U.S. Treasury. Collateral is required if balances are greater than Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance.

Note: Federal entities that have been granted the authority to disburse imprest funds must classify imprest fund transactions using established and appropriate TAS/BETCs. SAM provides Fiscal Service reference data for TAS/BETCs. If a default TAS/BETC is used to fund the impress account, the federal entity must reclassify each payment at the time of obligation using the TAS/BETC in the CARS CTA module. The SAM default account must be cleared to a zero-dollar balance by the third business day following the close of the accounting month. If the federal entity does not clear the SAM default account timely, it will receive contact from Fiscal Service’s Cash Accounting Division regarding the incomplete reporting for immediate resolution. Fiscal Service will measure efforts by federal entities to clear SAM default accounts by the third business day of the month based on federal entity performance.

Managing Foreign Financial Institution Relationships

Cashing Checks and Other Instruments in Foreign Countries for Accommodation Purposes

Foreign Exchange Transactions

Accountable Officers or duly authorized agents are empowered, for official purposes, subject to the provisions of TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 3200, to conduct the following types of exchange transactions:

Purchase foreign currency with U.S. dollars as required for disbursing purposes.

Disburse payments in foreign currencies to U.S. Government creditors.

Exchange foreign currency checks, drafts, bills of exchange, or other instruments payable in foreign currency, representing official funds for which the Accountable Officer is accountable, for U.S. currency, U.S. dollar checks, drafts, bills of exchange, or other instruments payable in U.S. dollars.

Unless authorized by Treasury, no Accountable Officer may purchase foreign currency that, together with the balance on hand at the time of purchase, would exceed the limitation set forth in subsection 30145.20.

Persons for Whom Accommodation Transactions Are Authorized

When the officer in charge at a post determines that satisfactory local banking facilities are not available to conduct accommodation transactions, Accountable Officers or authorized agents are empowered, subject to the restrictions contained in these procedures, to use official funds available for the following.

To pay out foreign currency for checks, drafts, bills of exchange, and other instruments payable in U.S. dollars, and to cash (for the same currency in which drawn) foreign currency checks drawn by Accountable Officers of the United States on official checking accounts for the accommodation of the following:

  1. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  2. Civilian employees of the U.S. Government who are U.S. citizens.
  3. Contractors and their personnel engaged in U.S. Government projects in foreign countries; any such contractors must be U.S. firms or citizens, and any such personnel must be U.S. citizens.
  4. Personnel of authorized non-government federal entities operating with entities of the United States who are U.S. citizens.
  5. Dependents of individuals listed in 1 through 4 holding valid power of attorney.
  6. Dependents of civilian employees of the U.S. Government, members of the Armed Forces of the United States, and employees of U.S. contractors and subcontractors under contract with U.S. Government federal entities, upon proper identification, at safe haven posts when ordered by competent authority in the event of emergency evacuation. Such accommodation exchange transactions for all dependents of any one civilian employee, U.S. contractors or subcontractors, or members of the Armed Forces, may be for amounts allowable under the Department of State Standardized Regulations and the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (for U.S. Armed Forces).
  7. Foreign nationals employed as civilian employees or under contract to the U.S. Government, or contractors or subcontractors that are U.S. firms engaged in U.S. Government projects in foreign countries, provided the checks presented by the third-country nationals are U.S. Treasury dollar checks or U.S. dollar checks issued by the contractors to third-country nationals presenting the check to be cashed.
  8. U.S. organizations or organizations sponsored by the U.S. Government where such exchanges: (a) do not violate local government currency law; (b) promote the interest of the U.S. Government abroad; (c) do not adversely impact or impair the operations of the Embassy; and (d) are approved by the Department of State. An example of item 8 would be to provide accommodation exchange to U.S. schools to assist them in purchasing books and other supplies not available in the country.
  9. Citizens of the United States to cash, for foreign currency, checks drawn on the U.S. Treasury, when such checks are presented by the person to whose order they are drawn, with proper identification.

In those countries where the use of U.S. dollars in the local economy is prohibited, Accountable Officers or authorized agents may cash dollar checks, drafts, bills of exchange, and other instruments of U.S. employees for U.S. dollars only in such amounts as may be required to make cash purchases at U.S. Government authorized facilities such as commissaries, snack bars, theaters, etc., or for the purpose of travel outside of the assigned post.

Purchase of Foreign Currency from Individuals

The Accountable Officer or authorized agent may purchase foreign currency or instruments payable in foreign currency from individuals under the following conditions and limitations.

Notwithstanding the provisions of TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 3200, Accountable Officers or authorized agents are empowered to purchase foreign currencies from U.S. Government employees before departure after termination of their foreign assignment, or if the employee receives home leave and return orders and has been authorized to sell and convert those items that need replacement before his/her return, provided that controls have been established to prevent conversion with more than one Accountable Officer or authorized agent.

If the amount of foreign currency presented does not exceed the sum of the employee’s salary and allowances for two biweekly pay periods, it may be purchased without requiring documentation of any kind from the departing employee.

If the amount of foreign currency presented exceeds the amount authorized to be purchased, as stated above, the employee presenting such currency should be required to submit a written application containing a statement describing the source of such currency and affirming that none of the currency presented was acquired in violation of local federal entity administrative regulations, or exchange control laws of the country concerned. The local officer in charge of the federal entity to which the employee is attached should approve the application.

The above provisions are subject to the further limitations in subsection 30145.20.

Accountable Officers or authorized agents are empowered to repurchase foreign currencies (that is, perform a reverse accommodation exchange) from any person authorized to purchase foreign currencies through the accommodation exchange, provided the person is leaving the country and the amounts are subject to the limitations in subsection 30145.20.

Precautions to Avoid Losses

Accountable officers or authorized agents must exercise extreme caution to avoid losses to the U.S. Government. If the person presenting a check to be cashed is not personally known by the accountable officer or authorized agent, that person must present identification credentials (for example, a passport). Checks and other instruments (drawn on U.S. banks) to be cashed should be made payable to the post; for example, U.S. Embassy, Paris, France; U.S. Consulate General, Monterrey, Mexico.

Record and Disposition

The Accountable Officer or authorized agent should enter all instruments in a record showing the following:

Essential descriptive information such as date and number of the instrument,

Name of the drawer,

Name and location of the drawee,

Amount, and

Name of the payee.

In addition, the record should show:

Date of the transaction,

Permanent address of the person presenting the instrument to be cashed,

Name and address of the person’s employer,

Any additional appropriate references, and

Identification presented (for example, passport number, driver’s license, etc.).

All U.S. dollar instruments payable in the United States should be deposited promptly for credit to the U.S. Treasury’s General Account (TGA).

Acquisition of Foreign Exchange

Summary

Federal entities are encouraged to use ITS.gov, or issue foreign currency payments electronically and to issue international U.S. dollar wire transfer payments. For more information on ITS.gov, see subsection 30115.10e or contact Disbursing and Debt Management in Fiscal Service (see Contacts).

Exchange of U.S. Dollars for Foreign Currencies

Federal entities (other than those specifically responsible for dealing with the value of the dollar in foreign exchange such as Treasury and the Federal Reserve) should avoid holding foreign currency balances in excess of immediate working requirements. When exchanging U.S. dollars for foreign currencies, federal entities must observe the following guidelines that apply to exchanges:

  • Must conduct all exchange of dollars for foreign currencies for “spot” delivery (normally the purchase of foreign currencies for delivery in 2 business days). They may not use forward contracts or purchase at negotiated rates directly from foreign governments or private contractors (for example, individuals or foreign exchange houses) unless authorized by Treasury.
  • Should exchange U.S. dollars for foreign currencies at the time the foreign currency is needed for immediate funding requirements. Accountable Officers should ensure that payment is made for foreign currency purchases on the value date.
  • Must avoid any appearance of currency speculation in the exchange markets.
  • Are responsible for any change in program costs resulting from the foreign currency denomination of international financial arrangements.

U.S. Government federal entities should attempt to reduce exchange risks for the United States in international programs by taking steps to ensure that a larger portion of the program expenditures is in the United States, or financial arrangements are in U.S. dollars or dollar equivalents.

Operating Account Balance Limitations

All Accountable Officers must ensure the amount of foreign exchange purchased with U.S. dollars (together with the balance on hand) is commensurate with immediate disbursing requirements, not to exceed a 5 to 7 business day supply, in order to:

Minimize local currency operating bank balances,

Minimize losses due to rate devaluations, and

Avoid premature drawdowns on the TGA.

This results in interest savings to the U.S. Government and has a favorable impact on the U.S. balance of payments. Federal entities should keep balances in the local currency operating accounts on the bank’s books as close to a zero-bank balance as possible without incurring overdrafts to the account. The Accountable Officer should adopt funding techniques or procedures to reduce the average account balance to the point where the additional administrative costs, lost volume discounts, and possible overdraft charges generated by further balance reductions would exceed any projected interest savings. Federal entities should review the 5 to 7 business day needs for operating cash on a quarterly basis.

In certain situations, the administrative costs, local banking regulations, or possible volume discounts may override any interest savings or balance of payment considerations and may require procedures that are different than recommended above. In these situations, the Accountable Officer should purchase foreign exchange in an amount that, together with the projected or actual bank balance on hand on the value date, would not exceed the estimated drawdowns against the operating account for the ensuing 5 to 7 business days.

Departments and federal entities may not exceed a 5 to 7 business day supply of funds in the operating account without a specific waiver of this requirement from Treasury. Federal entities should conduct independent annual reviews of the balances to ensure only 5-to-7-day balances are maintained. The results of the review must be shared with Treasury upon request.

Acquisition of Foreign Exchange

Treasury purchases all foreign currency and provides the funds for Treasury approved local depository accounts through ITS.gov.

The Accountable Officer or authorized agent is empowered to purchase foreign exchange through accommodation exchange from individuals only in the manner and under the circumstances described in this chapter, from the Treasury, and from sources authorized by the government of the country concerned. The Accountable Officer or authorizing agent should retain documentation stating the particulars of the foreign exchange purchase from any source, including the rate at which the exchange was performed.

Rate of Exchange for Purchase from Non-Government Sources

Federal entities must use best efforts to acquire foreign exchange, when purchased from sources other than the U.S. Government, at the best rate available according to the laws of the country in which the exchange is to be expended.

Fixed Legal Rates

The best legal rate to the U.S. Government, depending upon the circumstances in each country, may be any officially established buying rate for dollars, including diplomatic rates or special rates established by agreement with the authorities of the country. When rates so fixed prevail, federal entities should purchase foreign exchange at the best applicable rates to the particular transaction. They may affect purchases at fixed legal rates without the formality of obtaining bids, but the purchases should be evidenced by a statement over the signature of the seller setting forth the pertinent data relative to the purchase. This data includes the date, amount of purchase, and exchange rate. The Accountable Officer or authorized agent should retain the statement as a supporting document with the monthly accountability statements.

Nonfixed Legal Rates

When rates legally applicable to the particular transaction are not fixed, or when such rates are fixed but the use of other rates also is legal for the particular transactions, federal entities should purchase foreign exchange at the best obtainable rates. When foreign exchange can be purchased at nonfixed legal rates, federal entities should solicit bids from not less than three sources, if available. The Accountable Officer or authorized agent should accept the bid quoting the most beneficial legal exchange rate, if it is more favorable than any legally fixed rate. The Accountable officer or authorized agent should retain documentation stating the most beneficial bid, accepted and certified, with the monthly accountability statements.

Rate of Exchange for Expenditures and Accommodation Exchanges

Federal entities should compute exchange transactions for accommodation purposes or for official expenditures to avoid losses, due to fluctuations in exchange rates, as much as possible. Ordinarily, unless otherwise authorized by Treasury, federal entities should use the prevailing rate of exchange to convert foreign currency expenditures to U.S. dollars for accounting purposes.

Collections and Interest on Deposits

Collections

Collections from foreign vendors or entities may be processed through ITS.gov, which transfers funds via Fedwire to the Credit Gateway. The Credit Gateway posts Fedwires to federal entity accounts and sends SF 215 deposit vouchers to the Collection Information Repository (CIR) for federal entity deposit reporting. Federal entities need to contact the Fiscal Service ITS.gov staff by calling 816-414-2100 to receive specific collection account instructions that are based on the currency sent for the collection.

Unfunding

Unfunding is the authorized borrowing by an Accountable Officer of restricted foreign currency from specific federal entity program accounts for the purpose of meeting current U.S. Government obligations and replacing the foreign currency when needed for the purposes for which this foreign currency was originally set aside. (Public Law 89-677, 31 U.S.C. § 5303.)

The unfunding process provides that, when federal entities receive foreign currencies that are not immediately needed for federal entity program expenditures, the Accountable Officers or authorized agents must unfund all affected program accounts before purchasing foreign currency commercially. To unfund all affected accounts, the Accountable Officer must reclassify funds using the CARS Classification Transactions and Accountability (CTA) module. Through this process, the Accountable Officers:

Credit federal entity program X7000 accounts,

Unfund the accounts through Treasury’s account 20X7900 “Advances of Unfunded Foreign Currencies”,

Use the funds for any U.S. Government expenditure, and

Reimburse the program account when the foreign currency is required for the particular program intended.

If necessary, to reimburse the borrowed foreign currency, the Accountable Officers may purchase the foreign currency commercially with U.S. dollars. It is important to note that these foreign currencies credited to specific federal entity program accounts are initially acquired without the expenditure of U.S. dollars. They may be host-government contributions, loan repayments, etc. The purpose of unfunding is twofold. It makes use of foreign currency not currently needed by the federal entity program accounts and delays the expenditure of U.S. dollars to purchase foreign currency.

Additional information and guidelines regarding unfunding are contained in TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 3200.

Disposition of Excess Balances

Federal entities should try to transfer foreign currencies more than the immediate disbursing requirements to other Accountable Officers (such as military or state) for use in a particular locality. Federal entities may contact the U.S. Embassies in these countries concerning foreign currency acquisition. Accountable Officers having temporary excess balances should initiate action to affect transfers with other accountable Officers using like currencies. Federal entities should use the ITS.gov collection module and indicate the TAS/BETC when depositing funds to the TGA. They must use the CARS CTA module to reclassify funds deposited to the TGA through ITS.gov. Federal entities need to contact the Fiscal Service ITS.gov staff by calling 816-414-2100 to receive specific collections account instructions that are based on the currency being sent in as collections.

Interest on Deposits

Whenever possible, the Accountable Officer should obtain interest on the local currency checking account. However, the accounting officer should not maintain excessive balances to receive interest. Accountable Officers must follow the procedures below:

If the collection of foreign currency causes a depositary account (for example, local currency checking account) to exceed a 5 to 7 business day supply and all attempts to sell currencies to other Accountable Officers have been exhausted, the Accountable Officer must sell the foreign currency for U.S. dollars and must deposit funds into the TGA using ITS.gov.

The Accountable officer must monitor the interest-bearing accounts to ensure that interest is being credited on a timely basis and per agreements reached between the Accountable Officer and the banks. The Accountable Officer must credit the U.S. dollar equivalent of all interest earned on U.S. Government funds to Treasury’s miscellaneous receipt account 3220.

Disbursements

The rules governing domestic disbursements also are applicable to foreign exchange disbursements, including prompt payment provisions and CARS reporting.

Gains and Deficiencies

Accounting for Gains and Deficiencies

Federal entities must compute gains or deficiencies monthly by applying gains to offset deficiencies to determine the amount of net gain or net deficiency. Federal entities maintain account 20_6763, “Gains and Deficiencies on Exchange Transactions,” to record gains and deficiencies of Accountable Officers and to determine the amount of net gain or net deficiency for each accounting month.

Federal entities must report gains and deficiencies by recording these transactions as reclassifications in the CARS CTA module.

Bad Check Transactions

When a bad check is provided to a federal entity and results in the return of the instrument to the payor, the federal entity must report the amount of the instrument promptly as a deficiency to the disbursing officer. The Accountable Officer or authorized agent should immediately try to recover the equivalent amount of U.S. Government funds paid out on the instrument. If the Accountable Officer is successful, he/she should arrange to remit the amount recovered to the disbursing officer to offset the deficiency previously reported. If all efforts to recover the funds have been exhausted and are not successful, federal entities may charge the deficiency to account 20_6763. The charge to the deficiency account must be recorded as a “reclass” in the CARS CTA module.

Mutilated Foreign Currency

Accountable Officers and authorized agents should take every possible precaution to prevent acceptance of mutilated foreign currency as a collection, payment, or an exchange transaction. If an Accountable Officer or authorized agent is holding mutilated foreign currency, he/she should make every effort to replace it through local banks or the host country’s central bank.

Counterfeit Currency

Accountable Officers and authorized agents should take every possible precaution to prevent acceptance of counterfeit currency as a collection. If the collection is counterfeit, see TFM Volume I, Part 5, Chapter 2000, Section 2045.

Foreign Disbursements

International Treasury Service (ITS.gov)

Foreign Currency Payments

To process a foreign payment through ITS.gov, the requesting federal entity accesses the application and enters manual or file-based payments. Federal entities entering payments into ITS.gov must certify these payments at a summary level in SPS. For additional information regarding enrolling in ITS.gov, see ITS.gov.

Federal entities that are unable to access ITS.gov can request a foreign payment to be processed on their behalf by Fiscal Service. They can request foreign currency and U.S. dollar wires or foreign currency checks by submitting a SPS SF 1166. Before submitting a request for the disbursement to a foreign bank, a federal entity must have an active FS Form 210: Designation for Certifying Officer. The SPS SF 1166 is available at SPS.

Federal entities should contact the Fiscal Service ITS.gov staff for current detailed instructions for processing a manual SF 1166 request for foreign payment. Federal entities can reach this group by calling 816-414-2100. The Fiscal Service staff will confirm whether the currency required is supported and provide the instructions and forms needed to submit a request.

Scheduling SF 1166 for Foreign Currency Payments

A SF 1166 may contain either wire payments, EFT, or check payments, but not together. A separate SF 1166 is required for each type of payment. When completing SF 1166, clearly indicate the stated payment amount and whether the payment is to be made as a “wire payment,” an “EFT payment,” or a “check payment.”

When more than one payment of the same payment type is being issued in the same foreign currency, list as many payees as possible on each SF 1166. If multiple payments are required and are being issued in different currencies, create a different SF 1166 for each currency required. To initiate a foreign currency payment using ITS.gov, use SF 1166 to supply Fiscal Service with the information listed in subsection 30120.10a for wire and EFT payments, and subsection 30120.10b for check payments. Fiscal Service rejects and returns any SF 1166 that does not include all the information listed in these subsections.

ITS.gov Wire and EFT Payments

SF 1166s for ITS.gov wire and EFT payments must include the following information:

Payee name,

Payee address,

Bank account or international bank account number,

SWIFT Bank Identification Code (or other bank identifier information when country or currency appropriate),

Bank name,

Bank address,

Payment currency,

Amount,

Invoice information/details, and

Reason for payment (required for some currencies).

Check Payments

SF 1166s for check payments must include the following information:

Payee name,

Payee address,

Payment currency,

Amount,

Invoice information/details, and

Reason for payment (required for some currencies).

Expressing Payment Amount

Federal entities must ensure that the amount on SF 1166 is the same as the amount billed on the invoice to avoid disbursement of an erroneous amount. Include the decimal and following two digits for all currencies except any currencies expressed only as whole numbers (for example the Japanese yen, Korean won, Central African franc, or Indonesian rupiah). For currencies that have three numbers after the decimal place (for example the Tunisian dinar, Jordanian dinar, etc.), include the three numbers after the decimal place on SF 1166 request.

Payments Requiring Foreign Currency

If the federal entity has contracted, or been billed or invoiced, in a foreign currency, Fiscal Service can process that payment on the federal entity’s behalf. Fiscal Service can support foreign payment processing when any of the following conditions apply:

Only the foreign currency amount is known or listed on the invoice,

The U.S. dollar amount is provided but the invoice specifies payment in a foreign currency, or

The amount payable is for U.S. dollars to a foreign recipient (see the details in subsection 30125.30).

Payments Requiring U.S. Dollars to a Foreign Recipient

Fiscal Service can process U.S. dollar payments electronically to foreign recipients through ITS.gov but not via check. When an invoice or bill requires payment in U.S. dollars, ensure that the request includes all the information needed by the foreign bank.

Be aware, some countries have strict local currency regulations or foreign exchange controls that prohibit exporters from receiving or accepting payment in local currency for purchase of items to be exported. Before scheduling payments, federal entities should ask vendors if they may be paid in their local currency.

Submitting a SF 1166 Request

Federal entities should contact Fiscal Service to request SF 1166 and to review their payment and currency requirements before submitting the request. To request this information, contact the Fiscal Service ITS.gov staff by calling 816-414-2100. The Fiscal Service ITS.gov staff will provide the mailing address when requested. Federal entities can submit SF 1166 for processing via an overnight mail service to allow the federal entity to track the signed payment request document. The original SPS SF 1166 signed by the CO must be mailed; Fiscal Service does not accept copies or duplicates.

Rejecting a SF 1166

Fiscal Service rejects a SF 1166 if:

The signature on SF 1166 does not match the signature of an active CO, and

The scheduling instructions provided in subsection 30125.10 are not followed.

Acquisition of Foreign Exchange

Federal entities are encouraged to use ITS.gov, or issue foreign currency payments electronically and to issue international U.S. dollar wire transfer payments. For more information on ITS.gov, see subsection 30115.10e or contact Payment Management in Fiscal Service (see Contacts).

Exchange of U.S. Dollars for Foreign Currencies

Federal entities (other than those specifically responsible for dealing with the value of the dollar in foreign exchange such as Treasury and the Federal Reserve) should avoid holding foreign currency balances in excess of immediate working requirements. When exchanging U.S. dollars for foreign currencies, federal entities must observe the following guidelines that apply to exchanges:

Must conduct all exchange of dollars for foreign currencies for “spot” delivery (normally the purchase of foreign currencies for delivery in 2 business days). They may not use forward contracts or purchase at negotiated rates directly from foreign governments or private contractors (for example, individuals or foreign exchange houses) unless authorized by Treasury.

Should exchange U.S. dollars for foreign currencies at the time the foreign currency is needed for immediate funding requirements. Accountable Officers should ensure that payment is made for foreign currency purchases on the value date.

Must avoid any appearance of currency speculation in the exchange markets.

Are responsible for any change in program costs resulting from the foreign currency denomination of international financial arrangements.

U.S. Government federal entities should attempt to reduce exchange risks for the United States in international programs by taking steps to ensure that a larger portion of the program expenditures is in the United States, or financial arrangements are in U.S. dollars or dollar equivalents.

Operating Account Balance Limitations

All Accountable Officers must ensure the amount of foreign exchange purchased with U.S. dollars (together with the balance on hand) is commensurate with immediate disbursing requirements, not to exceed a 5 to 7 business day supply, in order to:

Minimize local currency operating bank balances,

Minimize losses due to rate devaluations, and

Avoid premature drawdowns on the TGA.

This results in interest savings to the U.S. Government and has a favorable impact on the U.S. balance of payments. Federal entities should keep balances in the local currency operating accounts on the bank’s books as close to a zero-bank balance as possible without incurring overdrafts to the account. The Accountable Officer should adopt funding techniques or procedures to reduce the average account balance to the point where the additional administrative costs, lost volume discounts, and possible overdraft charges generated by further balance reductions would exceed any projected interest savings. Federal entities should review the 5 to 7 business day needs for operating cash on a quarterly basis.

In certain situations, the administrative costs, local banking regulations, or possible volume discounts may override any interest savings or balance of payment considerations and may require procedures that are different than recommended above. In these situations, the Accountable Officer should purchase foreign exchange in an amount that, together with the projected or actual bank balance on hand on the value date, would not exceed the estimated drawdowns against the operating account for the ensuing 5 to 7 business days.

Departments and federal entities may not exceed a 5 to 7 business day supply of funds in the operating account without a specific waiver of this requirement from Treasury. Federal entities should conduct independent annual reviews of the balances to ensure only 5-to-7-day balances are maintained. The results of the review must be shared with Treasury upon request.

Acquisition of Foreign Exchange

Treasury purchases all foreign currency and provides the funds for Treasury approved local depository accounts through ITS.gov.

The Accountable Officer or authorized agent is empowered to purchase foreign exchange through accommodation exchange from individuals only in the manner and under the circumstances described in this chapter, from the Treasury, and from sources authorized by the government of the country concerned. The Accountable Officer or authorizing agent should retain documentation stating the particulars of the foreign exchange purchase from any source, including the rate at which the exchange was performed.

Rate of Exchange for Purchase from Non-Government Sources

Federal entities must use best efforts to acquire foreign exchange, when purchased from sources other than the U.S. Government, at the best rate available according to the laws of the country in which the exchange is to be expended.

Fixed Legal Rates

The best legal rate to the U.S. Government, depending upon the circumstances in each country, may be any officially established buying rate for dollars, including diplomatic rates or special rates established by agreement with the authorities of the country. When rates so fixed prevail, federal entities should purchase foreign exchange at the best applicable rates to the particular transaction. They may affect purchases at fixed legal rates without the formality of obtaining bids, but the purchases should be evidenced by a statement over the signature of the seller setting forth the pertinent data relative to the purchase. This data includes the date, amount of purchase, and exchange rate. The Accountable Officer or authorized agent should retain the statement as a supporting document with the monthly accountability statements.

Nonfixed Legal Rates

When rates legally applicable to the particular transaction are not fixed, or when such rates are fixed but the use of other rates also is legal for the particular transactions, federal entities should purchase foreign exchange at the best obtainable rates. When foreign exchange can be purchased at nonfixed legal rates, federal entities should solicit bids from not less than three sources, if available. The Accountable Officer or authorized agent should accept the bid quoting the most beneficial legal exchange rate, if it is more favorable than any legally fixed rate. The Accountable officer or authorized agent should retain documentation stating the most beneficial bid, accepted and certified, with the monthly accountability statements.

Rate of Exchange for Expenditures and Accommodation Exchanges

Federal entities should compute exchange transactions for accommodation purposes or for official expenditures to avoid losses, due to fluctuations in exchange rates, as much as possible. Ordinarily, unless otherwise authorized by Treasury, federal entities should use the prevailing rate of exchange to convert foreign currency expenditures to U.S. dollars for accounting purposes.

Contact Information

Contact Details

Direct inquiries concerning this section to:

Department of the Treasury     
Bureau of the Fiscal Service     
Policy and Oversight Division     
Disbursing and Debt Management

3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E     
Landover, MD 20785

202-874-6781

or

Department of the Treasury     
Bureau of the Fiscal Service     
Chief Disbursing Officer

3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E     
Landover, MD 20785

202-874-6790

Department of the Treasury     
Bureau of the Fiscal Service     
Disbursing and Debt Management     
Chief Disbursing Officer

3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E     
Landover, MD 20785

855-868-0151

Direct inquiries concerning Delegations and Designations of Authority to:

Department of the Treasury     
Bureau of Fiscal Service     
Federal Disbursement Services

P.O. Box 12599-0599     
Kansas City, MO 64116

Send SF 1166 to:

Department of the Treasury     
Bureau of Fiscal Service     
Attention: Special Operations/CAS     
Federal Disbursement Services

PO Box 7528-0228     
Kansas City, MO 64116-0228

Direct inquiries related to U.S. Treasury payments, claims, or reclamations to the Payment Management Call Center at 855-868-0151

Direct inquiries concerning Official Authorization List (OAL) Forms to:

Department of the Treasury     
Bureau of the Fiscal Service     
Policy and Oversight Division     
Payment Management

3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E     
Landover, MD 20785

202-874-6781

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This page was last updated on February 27, 2024.