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Section 13: Federal Payment Voucher Processing

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Requests for Reimbursement Review

Subgrantees complete Requests for Reimbursement (RFRs) in eGrants and submit them to their project or program manager. The project/program manager reviews and approves the RFRs in eGrants. A bi-weekly batch process picks up the approved RFRs and sends them to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Finance Division (FIN) Financial Information Management System (FIMS) for processing with the eGrants-FIMS interface. The same interface submits a feedback to eGrants when the RFRs are paid, or a message if there are any problems with the RFRs.

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Voucher Processing

The steps in voucher processing are outlined below.

  1. RFRs are consolidated for voucher processing.
  2. FIN codes the RFR by budget category and enters it into FIMS, the automated voucher processing system.
  3. After the voucher has been accepted and no errors are noted, the data is updated as an expenditure for that charge number.
  4. At the same time, if any charge number has federal participation, a federal accounts receivable record is also updated.
  5. The voucher is then put on tape and sent to the State Comptroller’s Office, where a warrant or direct deposit is issued and returned to TxDOT for distribution.
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Electronic Transfer of Funds

After vouchers have been accepted and a sufficient amount of federal receivables have accrued, FIN submits, by facsimile, an advance request transaction to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) payment center in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, see “Advance” in the Grants Tracking System User Manual published by NHTSA.

About two days later, funds are electronically transferred from Washington to the Texas State Treasury.

The supporting documentation for an advance request transaction is the automated “REC. 1501” report, generated from the “Accounts Receivable” segment in FIMS. The “REC. 1501” is always verified for accuracy before the advance request transaction is submitted.

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Grants Tracking System

The Grants Tracking System (GTS) is a Windows-based database program developed by NHTSA to assist the states in the financial management of federal grants. GTS was designed primarily to automate the financial information process, produce the required federal financial documents at the program area level, and electronically transmit this information to NHTSA’s accounting department.

GTS handles five major types of automated transactions. Each transaction type depends on the order of completion, validity, and accuracy. The five transaction types are:

  • Obligation Limitation
  • Obligation Cost Summary
  • Advance of Funds
  • Advance Reduction
  • Voucher.

Explanations of each of these transaction types follow.

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Obligation Limitation Transaction

The “Obligation Limitation” establishes the amount of federal funds available for expenditure under NHTSA 402, 410 alcohol incentive, or other designated incentive grant funds. The amounts of these funds available for the “Obligation Limitation” are downloaded into GTS.

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Obligation Cost Summary Transaction

The “Obligation Cost Summary” produces financial documents that obligate funds for the federal computerized accounting system. The overall process involves entering obligations for the current year and carry-forward funds into the GTS system. All entered information is verified and posted. After all posting has been processed, GTS automatically sends an electronic approved copy to the NHTSA Regional Office and to the Federal Accounting System.

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Advance of Funds Transaction

The advance request transaction allows the state to request federal funds electronically and prior to submission of a voucher. Prior to requesting federal funds or an advance request, federal funds must be obligated.

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Advance Reduction Transaction

Only states using the advance method of reimbursement with an outstanding advance balance can complete this transaction (Texas uses this method). Advance reduction transactions result when a state issues a check to NHTSA for either:

  • reducing an outstanding advance balance or
  • paying NHTSA an amount owed that resulted from an audit finding.

Paying an amount that resulted from an audit finding can also be accomplished through a “Voucher Reduction” transaction.

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Voucher Transaction

Voucher transactions allow the state to process vouchers. Expenditures of funds must be vouchered at the same level that the funds were obligated - at the program, project, task, or sub-task level.

Voucher reductions can also be entered just like a regular progress voucher, except that the amount entered will be a credit entry only.

NOTE: As of January 1999, the federal voucher is not able to be imported to the Grants Tracking System (GTS). In order for the federal voucher to be entered into the GTS, the TxDOT Finance Division (FIN) has to prepare a spreadsheet from the Financial Information Management System (FIMS) 1503 report. This spreadsheet shows current federal expenditures, state or local expenditures, and the required local benefit expenditures.

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GTS Reports

A variety of GTS reports are available to streamline the states’ fiscal management process and reduce the workload associated with meeting federal reporting requirements. These reports include:

HSPP Transactions Report. This report itemizes all Highway Safety Performance Plan (HSPP) transactions, provides detailed information on federal funds, and assists in determining data entry errors.

HSPP Cost Summary Report. This report reflects detailed information by project, program area, specific funding sources sub-totaled by NHTSA 402 or 410, or other incentive funds. The format of this report replicates the HS-217 and shows the increase or decrease for each program area. This report can be printed in detail, showing each project or task, or summarized by program level amounts only.

HSPP Approved Program Amounts Report. This report details the same information as the “HSPP Cost Summary” report, but does not report the decrease or increase for each program area.

Obligated Program Amounts Report. This report itemizes all detailed information by project, program area, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 402, 410, or other obligations. It also shows the amount of current and carry-forward funds.

Highway Safety Program Cost Summary. This report is strictly for obligation purposes. The report format replicates the HS-217 and shows the increase or decrease for each program area. It can be printed in detail to reflect each project or task, or summarized to show program-level amounts only.

Voucher Transactions Reports. This report details all voucher transactions.

Status of Obligations and Expenditures. This report is for informational purposes only and shows the unobligated and unexpended amounts for each program area.

Status of Current and Carry Forward Funds. This report separates the obligations, expenditures, and unexpended funds by current fiscal year and by carry-forward (from previous years). This report also shows federal share-to-local benefit, and state and local expenditures.

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Audit Exceptions

If an audit exception in a closed-out fiscal year results in the subgrantee returning funds to TxDOT or TxDOT having to provide funds to the subgrantee, then these funds will be applied to the appropriate task and funding source for the current year.

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