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).
Section 3010—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.
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.
Section 3020—Terms and Definitions
For terms and definitions related to this chapter, please view the TFM Glossary.
Section 3025—Head of Federal Entity Delegation
The Head of Federal Entity uses a self-delegation to provide Fiscal Service with a basis for validating all subsequent delegations and designations from that federal entity. The Head of Federal Entity self-delegation is accomplished using FS Form 2958DO: Delegation of Authority. All authority to expend federal entity funds, and to certify the disbursement of such funds through a Treasury disbursing office, resides with the Head of Federal Entity of the federal entity for which funds are to be disbursed. The Head of Federal Entity may delegate the authority to certify the disbursement of federal entity funds to a duly designated CO. The authority to delegate certification authority also may be delegated to duly assigned individuals. No delegating official, other than the Head of Federal Entity, may self-designate himself or herself as a CO or make any other disbursing function self-designation for the federal entity. Head of Federal Entity delegations automatically have all delegation and designation authorities listed on FS Form 2958DO.
Use FS Form 2958DO to submit the Head of Federal Entity delegation. The federal entity must submit the Head of Federal Entity FS Form 2958DO with a signed transmittal letter, bearing the official federal entity seal, indicating that the individual is the Head of Federal Entity.
Head of Federal Entity delegations are valid for a period of 2 years from the effective date, unless revoked earlier.
When a Head of Federal Entity delegation expires or is revoked, this action has no effect on the delegations and/or designations that were made by the Head of Federal Entity while the delegation was valid. For example, if a properly designated Head of Federal Entity signed an FS Form 210CO designation on April 4, 2020, and subsequently left and ceased to be the Head of Federal Entity on April 6, 2020, the CO designation would remain valid for the normal 1-year effective period, until April 4, 2021.
When an individual for whom a Head of Federal Entity delegation is on file with Fiscal Service departs the Head of Federal Entity assignment, or otherwise becomes ineligible (through reassignment, retirement, death, etc.) to act as the Head of Federal Entity for disbursement purposes, the succeeding Head of Federal Entity should submit an FS Form 2958DO to Fiscal Service revoking the Head of Federal Entity delegation of the departing or ineligible designee. Alternatively, the departing Head of Federal Entity may submit the revocation. The federal entity must complete and submit to Fiscal Service a separate FS Form 2958DO for the new Head of Federal Entity.
For expiration, revocation, and renewal information, see Sections 3070 and 3075, respectively.
Section 3030—Delegations of Designation Authority
Delegations of designation authority are made by the Head of Federal Entity to allow individuals to exercise designation authority for the Head of Federal Entity. Such delegations must be for specific authorities as noted on FS Form 2958DO. For each authority delegated, the Form 2958DO must specify whether that authority may be redelegated. No delegating official, other than the Head of Federal Entity, may self-designate himself or herself as a CO for the federal entity.
Section 3035—Non-Head of Federal Entity
A Non-Head of Federal Entity is an individual who has been delegated authority by the Head of Federal Entity to designate Accountable Officers.
Use FS Form 2958DO to delegate authority to a Non-Head of Federal Entity. Completion of FS Form 2958DO for a Non-Head of Federal Entity is identical to completion of FS Form 2958DO for Head of Federal Entity, except that the individual signing FS Form 2958DO as a delegator must already have a valid FS Form 2958DO on file with Fiscal Service. That is, the FS Form 2958DO delegating authority to the individual submitting additional FS Form 2958DO and FS Form 210 series forms must have previously authorized delegation to that individual.
Non-Head of Federal Entity delegations are valid for a period of 2 years from the effective date, unless revoked earlier. The handling of expiration and revocation of Non-Head of Federal Entity delegations is identical to that of Head of Federal Entity delegations, as described in Section 3025, above.
Section 3040—Designation of Certifying Officers (COs)
COs are government employees who approve the disbursement of federal entity funds as authorized in a Designation. To designate CO, the designating official must have a valid FS Form 2958DO on file with Fiscal Service providing that designating official authority to designate COs for the federal entity. Other than Heads of Federal Entities officials, who are delegated authority to designate COs may not designate themselves as COs. When it is necessary for such an individual to be designated as a CO, a different, currently authorized designated official with a valid FS Form 2958DO on file with Fiscal Service must make the designation.
Note: COs authorized to certify payments to Treasury may not be designated as SPS Data Entry Operators (DEOs) for the same ALC (that is, a DEO and a CO may not be the same individual for the same ALC).
Use FS Form 210CO to designate federal entity COs. Enter at least one ALC in Section I of FS Form 210CO. In all cases, the ALCs listed on the form must correspond to the department, federal entity, and bureau or office for which the delegator or designator shown in Section IV of the forms has authority to delegate or designate.
A CO designated with SPS, ASAP, or International Treasury Services (ITS.gov) authority is issued a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) credential. SPS, ASAP, and ITS.gov have application specific requirements for obtaining PKI credentials. Once the PKI is issued, the CO can use it in all payment applications (SPS, ASAP, and ITS.gov) for which the CO has been designated authority to use. For additional information on SPS see Section 3085. For additional information on ASAP and ITS.gov requirements, see subsections 30115.10a and 30115.10e, respectively.
Note: SPS, ASAP, and ITS, are level 3 “Medium” level of assurance (physical/hand devices).
At the time of designation, the federal entity should advise the CO of his or her legal responsibilities to certify schedules according to 31 U.S.C. § 3321 (as amended), this TFM chapter, and the Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training.
Federal Certifying Officers, who certify payments 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. On FS Form 210CO, the designee must affirm completion of Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training within 30 days prior to submission of the form. A certificate of completion is only available upon successfully passing the exam at the end of the training. The certificate of completion must be maintained by the designee and must be provided upon request to Fiscal Service.
A Disbursing Officer (DO) may not accept payment schedules from a newly designated CO until the FS Form 210CO for that CO has been processed. DOs may accept for payment only those payment schedules that contain the same organizational designation ALC and CO’s manual signature as those shown on the CO’s FS Form 210CO. For payment schedules submitted using SPS, DOs may accept for payment only those payment schedules containing the same organizational designation ALC as those shown on the CO’s FS Form 210CO, as well as the valid electronic signature of the CO. In all cases, the ALC listed on the payment schedules must correspond to the department, federal entity, or establishment, and bureau or office shown on FS Form 210CO for that CO.
CO designations are valid for a period of one year from the effective date, unless revoked earlier.
For expiration, revocation, and renewal information, see Sections 3070 and 3075, respectively.
Section 3045—Designation of Secure Payment System (SPS) Data Entry Operators (DEO)
An SPS DEO is either a government employee or a government contractor who creates and modifies SPS payment requests to Treasury’s Payment Centers, as authorized in a Delegation.
SPS DEOs, 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.
On FS Form 210DEO, Designation for SPS Data Entry Operator, the designee must affirm completion of 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. The certificate of completion must be maintained by the designee and be provided upon request to Fiscal Service.
Note: An individual may not be designated as both a SPS DEO and a CO.
A DEO designated with SPS authority is issued a PKI credential. SPS has application specific requirements for obtaining PKI credentials.
DEO designations are valid for a period of one year from the effective date, unless revoked earlier.
For expiration, revocation, and renewal information, see Sections 3070 and 3075, respectively.
Section 3050—Designation of Designated Agent To Receive and Deliver Checks
Designated Agents are government employees who receive and deliver Treasury checks drawn on federal entity funds, as authorized in a Designation. Treasury prefers that federal entities schedule all payments to be made by direct deposit to recipients’ accounts instead of paper checks. However, under some circumstances, it may be necessary for a federal entity to pick up or receive checks from a Treasury Payment Center, upon DO approval, for direct delivery to the payee/recipient.
Use FS Form 210DA to designate a specifically named Designated Agent to receive and deliver checks for the federal entity. The FS Form 210DA must be signed manually when used to pick up or receive checks from a Treasury Payment Center for direct delivery.
For FS Form 210DA, Designation for Agent to Receive and Deliver Checks, the designee, who receives checks through Fiscal Service, must affirm completion of 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. Before submitting FS Form 210DA, the federal entity must arrange for delivery/pickup of checks for the Designated Agent with the Treasury Payment Center that will issue the checks.
The federal entity should enter the ALC corresponding to the department, establishment, or federal entity, and the bureau or office for which the Designated Agent will receive checks. When an individual is designated to receive checks for more than one organization, a separate FS Form 210DA is required for each department or bureau for which the designated agent is authorized.
At the time of designation, the federal entity should advise the Designated Agents of their legal and ethical responsibilities, as outlined in the CO training for Accountable Officers, module A.
For FS Form 210DA, the Designated Agent designations are valid for a period of 1 year from the effective date, unless revoked earlier. Designations not renewed by their expiration date are void as of that date, and that individual will no longer be allowed to receive checks on behalf of the federal entity.
For expiration, revocation, and renewal information, see Sections 3070 and 3075, respectively.
Section 3055—Designation by Position Title
Note: Use SF 1195 to designate a particular position as a Designated Agent to receive and deliver checks issued by Fiscal Service. SF 1195 is available electronically. See the appendices listing for a link to SF 1195.
It is critically important that the submitting federal entity accurately and completely fill in all applicable sections of SF 1195. All signatures must be in black, nonerasable ink, and must be the official signature of the individual signing. Do not use nicknames. The signatures must be constrained to the blocks provided with no extraneous markings.
Before submitting SF 1195, the federal entity must arrange for delivery/pickup of checks by the Designated Agent with the Treasury Payment Center that will issue the checks. The submitting federal entity must complete Section I, as follows:
- Enter the name and location of the disbursing office that will be releasing checks to the Designated Agent,
- Enter the ALC(s) for which checks will be delivered by the Designated Agent,
- Enter the position title, federal entity, and address of the Designated Agent, and
- Select the Checks block.
An authorized designating official, with an active FS Form 2958DO on file with Fiscal Service, must sign the form as the recommending officer.
The federal entity must:
- Retain a copy, which may be a Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the signed form, and
- Forward the original signed form to Fiscal Service (see the address in Contacts).
Upon receipt, Fiscal Service:
- Verifies the designation,
- Enters the name of the current incumbent of the position,
- Processes the form, specifies acceptance or rejection, and
- Returns a copy of the form to the designating official.
The federal entity’s receipt of the completed form from Fiscal Service signifies Fiscal Service’s acceptance. The designating official should verify the contents of the copy of the form to ensure that no alterations occurred. Fiscal Service also sends a copy of the accepted SF 1195 to the Treasury Payment Center that will issue the checks.
Note: The designating official should provide a copy of the completed SF 1195 to the incumbent of the position designated as a Designated Agent. At the time of designation, the federal entity must ensure that Designated Agents are advised of their legal and ethical responsibilities, as outlined in the CO training for Accountable Officers, module A.
For SF 1195s that are rejected, Fiscal Service returns the original form to the designating official, at the address provided in Section I of the form, with a rejected label affixed to the back of the form and a rejection report explaining the reason for rejection.
The Designated Agent, by position title, designation is valid until revoked. When a Designated Agent, by position title, designation is no longer required, the responsible designating official should send a SF 1195 revoking the designation of the position title designation to Fiscal Service (see Contacts). Fiscal Service processes the revocation and sends a copy of the revocation to the Treasury Payment Center at which the checks were picked up. Revocations are effective on the latter of the effective date requested by the federal entity on the form or the date that Fiscal Service receives and processes the revocation.
When using SF 1195 to document a revocation, the submitting federal entity must complete Section I of the form.
Section 3060—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.
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.
Section 3070—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.
Section 3075—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.
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).
Section 3085—Certification of Payments to Treasury
3085.10—Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP)
All federal funds in ASAP accounts are preauthorized by federal entity COs with active records in Fiscal Service. For information on ASAP federal entity rules, procedures, user requirements, and format, see ASAP.
3085.20—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.
Section 3090—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.
Section 3095—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.
Section 30100—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.
Section 30105—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.
Section 30110—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.
30115.10—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.
30115.10a—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 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.
30115.10c—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 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.
30115.10e—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.
30115.10f—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.
30115.10g—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.
30115.10h—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.
30115.10i—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.
30115.10j—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.
30115.10k—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.
Section 30120—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.
30120.10—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.
30120.10a—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,
- Invoice information/details, and
- Reason for payment (required for some currencies).
SF 1166s for check payments must include the following information:
- Payee name,
- Payee address,
- Payment currency,
- Invoice information/details, and
- Reason for payment (required for some currencies).
30120.10c—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.
30120.20—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).
30120.30—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.
30120.40—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.
30120.50—Rejecting a SF 1166
Fiscal Service rejects an SF 1166 if:
- The signature on the SF 1166 does not match the signature of an active CO, and
- The scheduling instructions provided in subsection 30125.10 are not followed.
Section 30125—Designated Depositaries
Fiscal Service is responsible for designating domestic and international depositaries for the U.S. Government. Fiscal Service bases the selection on the requesting federal entity’s recommendation and submission of supporting documents and each bank’s compliance with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Fiscal Service reserves the right to reject or rescind a depositary designation when it believes it is in the best interest of the Treasury to do so for any reason. All federal entities requiring a local currency operating account, and in rare instances, a U.S. dollar account, must formally ask Fiscal Service to approve and designate a financial institution for that account. To be considered, a financial institution must be in compliance with all applicable OFAC requirements and AML regulations. At Treasury’s discretion, other types of legal findings against a bank will be considered as part of the review process and may be cause for denying a bank’s designation. The approval request should include, at a minimum:
- Justification for the account,
- Name of the currency,
- Criteria that was used by the federal entity to determine the best bank and reasons for recommending its selection,
- Name of the bank to be designated (regardless of possible previous designations),
- Bank address,
- Name and title of the bank official and telephone number(s),
- Percentage of ownership by a U.S. bank,
- Name of the correspondent bank (if any) in the United States, the account number, and a point of contact (name, title, and telephone number), and
- Statement indicating that the bank is in compliance with the provisions of this section or the reasons why it is not compliant.
Requests for U.S. dollar accounts must include supporting documents indicating that a commitment to pledge collateral was requested from the bank recommended for selection. If the bank agrees to pledge collateral with the Federal Reserve Bank, the federal entity may request a U.S. dollar operating account; if the bank refuses, the federal entity may only request a U.S. dollar zero-balance account.
Treasury’s policy in selecting financial institutions that maintain U.S. Government operating accounts is predicated on the most beneficial banking arrangement available to the U.S. Government to transact essential business. This includes consideration of both economic and non-economic factors.
However, Treasury gives preference to U.S. financial institutions unless a local bank’s arrangement is more beneficial to the U.S. Government.
When establishing a new foreign currency operating account or seeking to change an existing account, the Accountable Officer should obtain all relevant information (including but not limited to pricing information) from all U.S.-owned and leading local financial institutions in the area to determine which will offer the most beneficial arrangement. A financial institution may seek to change an existing operating account at any time. A federal entity may seek to change an existing account to any financial institution that:
- Offers an equal or more beneficial banking arrangement than currently received, and
- Reflects a higher level of U.S. ownership than the present depositary.
At least every 3 years, for each account, the Accountable Officer should determine if it may be cost-effective to obtain information from all U.S. owned and leading local financial institutions in the area to obtain a more beneficial agreement. The process of obtaining information from the banks must be equitable with all banks submitting written information on identical questionnaires or requests for information.
In determining the most beneficial banking arrangement, the federal entity should follow three areas of service in descending order of importance:
- Standard operating services minimally required,
- Customary local banking practices, and
- Other special services that may be deemed necessary in a particular country or circumstance.
The required services will be, at a minimum:
- Capability to honor payments to payees in outlying areas,
- Processing EFT or checks (only if EFT is not available), and deposits,
- Submission of a daily or monthly bank statement as needed,
- Capability to receive and process SWIFT messages, and
- Acceptance of the Accountable Officers’ funding procedures.
In addition, the federal entity should consider:
- Customary banking practices (payment of interest on the operating account, overdraft charges, waiver of miscellaneous charges, etc.) peculiar to a particular country.
- Special services a bank is willing to provide in addition to the minimum required and customary local banking services (that is, telex cost, armored car service, etc.) if more than one bank offers equivalent services.
The operating account balances (or the forfeiture of potential interest earnings on the account) are not to be used to subsidize banking services that would otherwise be funded through the appropriation process (for example, cashier services). See subsection 30145.20.
In all requests, it is of paramount importance that the federal entity exercise due diligence when recommending a bank for designation as a depositary. The federal entity must ensure the bank is a valid, financially secure, dependable, and reliable financial institution in compliance with all relevant U.S. laws and regulations to avoid losses and ensure U.S. Government funds are protected. The federal entity should confer with the local U.S. Embassy or consulate for assistance in determining which banks meet these criteria for consideration to maintain an operating account.
When a federal entity learns of a significant event affecting the designated bank (for example, the bank will be closed or taken over by another bank or by the host government, or adverse treatment of the bank by a regulatory federal entity), the federal entity must inform Treasury via the Disbursing and Debt Management Call Center at 816-414-2100.
Section 30130—Foreign Exchange Transactions for Official Purposes
30130.10—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.
Section 30135—Cashing Checks and Other Instruments in Foreign Countries for Accommodation Purposes
30135.10—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:
- Members of the Armed Forces of the United States.
- Civilian employees of the U.S. Government who are U.S. citizens.
- 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.
- Personnel of authorized non-government federal entities operating with entities of the United States who are U.S. citizens.
- Dependents of individuals listed in 1 through 4 holding valid power of attorney.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
30135.20—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.
30135.30—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.
30135.40—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).
Section 30140—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 Disbursing and Debt Management in Fiscal Service (see Contacts).
30140.10—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.
30140.20—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.
30140.30—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.
30140.40—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.
30140.40a—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.
30140.40b—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.
Section 30145—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.
Section 30150—Collections and Interest on Deposits
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 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.
30150.30—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.
30150.40—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.
The rules governing domestic disbursements also are applicable to foreign exchange disbursements, including prompt payment provisions and CARS reporting.
Section 30160—Gains and Deficiencies
30160.10—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.
30160.20—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.
30160.30—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.
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.
Section 30165—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.
Section 30170—Check Inserts and Other Communications Related to Treasury-Disbursed Payments
30170.10—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:
- Messaging documents, commonly known as “inserts,” included in the envelopes used to transmit Treasury-disbursed check payments to payees,
- 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”,
- Letters to recipients of Treasury-disbursed electronic and check payments, and
- 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.
30170.20—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:
- The timing of the delivery of the proposed communications does not interfere with Fiscal Service’s payment disbursing operations,
- The proposed communications meet Fiscal Service’s technical specifications,
- The purpose and content of the proposed communications relate to the issuance of the Treasury-disbursed payments, and
- 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.
30170.30—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:
- The type, timing, duration, specifications, and purpose and content of the proposed communications, including any special instructions,
- The type(s) and volume of check payments that will include the proposed communications,
- The proposed payment recipient population that will receive the communications,
- A statement that the request for communication services complies with federal entity and Fiscal Service requirements,
- A proof copy of the proposed communications,
- 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
- 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.
30170.40—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.
Direct inquiries concerning this chapter to:
Department of the Treasury
Bureau of the Fiscal Service
Disbursing and Debt Management
Chief Disbursing Officer
3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E
Landover, MD 20785
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 Disbursing & Debt Management Call Center at 855-868-0151.
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