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Chapter 3000

REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHEDULING PAYMENTS DISBURSED BY THE BUREAU OF THE FISCAL SERVICE

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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 Agency,
  • 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 agencies for which Fiscal Service provides disbursing functions.

Section 3015—Authority

31 U.S.C. 321, 31 U.S.C. 3321, 31 U.S.C. 3335, 31 CFR Part 206, Executive Order 11935, GAO Redbook, Volume II, 9-11 and 9-14.

Section 3020—Definition of Terms

Accommodation Exchange Transaction—The authorized exchange of equivalent monetary values in different forms to authorized persons, for example, foreign currency in exchange for U.S. dollar check(s).

Accountable Officer—A U.S. Government official or employee who, on behalf of the United States, receives and maintains public funds, certifies vouchers, or maintains or draws checks on accounts of the United States, including those in depositary banks designated by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Agency—Each federal Agency certifying payment schedules to Fiscal Service for payment, and each federal Agency using ASAP.

Agency Location Code (ALC)—A numeric symbol used to identify federal Agency accounting stations and Treasury's Financial Centers. The ALC consists of an eight-digit Agency accounting station code or a four- or three-digit number indicating a specific Treasury Financial Center. To make disbursements, federal agencies must have an ALC that is designated for disbursement and has been activated at a minimum of at least one business day in advance of submission of a payment file.

Bank Balance—The actual balance of U.S. Government funds held in accounts in financial institutions (as opposed to the checkbook balance).

Certifying Officer (CO)—A government employee who approves the disbursement of Agency funds as authorized in a Designation.

Delegation—A document notifying Fiscal Service of the delegation (transfer) of an official’s authority to designate government employees to perform disbursing-related functions. The right to further delegate (redelegate) such authority also may be included in such delegations. Delegations are submitted to Fiscal Service using FS Form 2985DO.

Designated Agent—A government employee of an Agency who receives and delivers Treasury checks drawn on their Agency funds, as authorized in a Designation.

Designated Depositary—A financial institution designated by Treasury to maintain specified U.S. Government accounts in specified foreign countries and in U.S. territories and possessions.

Designating Official—A government employee who has been authorized by a Delegation to sign Designations.

Designation—A document signed by a Designating Official notifying Fiscal Service of the appointment of a government employee who is authorized to perform a specific disbursement-related function. A Designation may not be assigned or transferred. Designations are submitted to Fiscal Service using the FS Form 210 series.

Designee—A government employee who performs a specific disbursement-related function, as authorized in a Designation.

Disbursing Officer (DO)—A disbursing officer is an officer or employee of a federal department or Agency, civilian or military, designated to disburse moneys and render accounts in accordance with laws and regulations governing the disbursement of public funds. 

Effective Date of Delegation/Designation—Date from which Fiscal Service calculates the period until the delegation or designation expires, normally two years. It is the latter of the effective date requested by the Agency on the form or the date Fiscal Service accepts the form. For example, if the Agency requests an effective date of March 5, 2018, and Fiscal Service actually accepts the form on March 9, 2018, the effective date would be March 9, 2018. If the Agency requests an effective date of May 20, 2018, and Fiscal Service accepts the form on May 5, 2018, the actual effective date would be May 20, 2018.

FS 210 Series Forms—A series of Fiscal Service forms used to designate specific individuals to perform specific disbursement-related functions. These forms include:

  • FS Form 210CO: Designation for Certifying Officer.
  • FS Form 210DA: Designation for Agent to Receive and Deliver Check, and
  • FS Form 210DEO: Designation for SPS Data Entry Operator.

Foreign Currency—Any currency other than the U.S. dollar.

Foreign Exchange—The system by which one currency is exchanged for another. This enables international transactions to take place.

Government Employee—For purposes of this chapter, a U.S. citizen or national, appointed into a competitive service federal job, who by reason of his or her employment is responsible for or has custody of government funds.

Head of Agency—When used in relation to delegations of authority, interpreted to mean the head of an executive Agency, as appointed by the President of the United States. Heads of Agencies may include secretaries of departments, administrators of administrations, and commissioners of commissions. At the discretion of Treasury’s Chief Disbursing Officer (CDO), Head of Agency delegations may be accepted from lesser authorities in an Agency, such as bureau heads and Agency and/or bureau Chief Financial Officers (CFOs).

Non-Treasury Disbursing Office (NTDO)—An Agency which is authorized to issue payments itself, rather than through Treasury, Fiscal Service.

Prevailing Rate of Exchange—The most favorable rate legally available to the U.S. Government for the acquisition of foreign exchange for U.S. Government official disbursement and accommodation exchange transactions.

Spot Rate—The price of foreign currencies for delivery in 2 business days.

Standard Form (SF) 1195: Recommendation for Designation and Revocation of Agent To Receive and Deliver Checks and Savings Bonds—Used to designate Designated Agent(s), by position title, to receive and deliver checks.

Unfunding—The authorized borrowing by an Accountable Officer of restricted foreign currency from specific Agency program accounts for the purpose of meeting current U.S. Government obligations, and replacing the foreign currency when needed for the purposes for which it was originally set aside (31 U.S.C. § 5303).

Value Date of Foreign Currency Purchase—The date when the foreign currency proceeds of a commercial purchase are available in the form of cash or are deposited and credited to the Accountable Officer’s operating account at a financial institution designated by Treasury.

Section 3025—Head of Agency Delegation

The Head of Agency uses a self-delegation to provide Fiscal Service with a basis for validating all subsequent delegations and designations from that Agency. The Head of Agency self-delegation is accomplished using FS Form 2958DO: Delegation of Authority. All authority to expend Agency funds, and to certify the disbursement of such funds through a Treasury disbursing office, resides with the Head of Agency of the Agency for which funds are to be disbursed. The Head of Agency may delegate the authority to certify the disbursement of Agency 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 Agency, may self-designate himself or herself as a CO or make any other disbursing function self-designation for the Agency. Head of Agency delegations automatically have all delegation and designation authorities listed on FS Form 2958DO.

Use FS Form 2958DO to submit the Head of Agency delegation. The Agency must submit the Head of Agency FS Form 2958DO with a signed transmittal letter, bearing the official Agency seal, indicating that the individual is the Head of Agency.

Head of Agency delegations are valid for a period of 2 years from the effective date, unless revoked earlier.

When a Head of Agency delegation expires or is revoked, this action has no effect on the delegations and/or designations that were made by the Head of Agency while the delegation was valid. For example, if a properly designated Head of Agency signed a FS Form 210CO designation on April 4, 2018, and subsequently left and ceased to be the Head of Agency on April 6, 2018, the CO designation would remain valid for the normal 2-year effective period, until April 4, 2020.

When an individual for whom a Head of Agency delegation is on file with Fiscal Service departs the Head of Agency assignment, or otherwise becomes ineligible (through reassignment, retirement, death, etc.) to act as the Head of Agency for disbursement purposes, the succeeding Head of Agency should submit an FS Form 2958DO to Fiscal Service revoking the Head of Agency delegation of the departing or ineligible Designee. Alternatively, the departing Head of Agency may submit the revocation. The Agency must complete and submit to Fiscal Service a separate FS Form 2958DO for the new Head of Agency.

For expiration, revocation, and renewal information, see Sections 3070 and 3075, respectively.

Section 3030—Delegations of Designation Authority

Delegations of designation authority are made to individuals designated to exercise designation authority for the Head of Agency. Such delegations must be for specific authorities as noted on FS Form 2958DO. For each authority delegated, the Agency must specify whether the authority may or may not be redelegated. No delegating official, other than the Head of Agency, may self-designate himself or herself as a CO for the Agency.

Section 3035—Non-Head of Agency

A Non-Head of Agency is an individual who has been delegated authority by the Head of Agency to designate Accountable Officers.

Use FS Form 2958DO to delegate authority to a Non-Head of Agency. Completion of FS Form 2958DO for a Non-Head of Agency is identical to completion of FS Form 2958DO for Head of Agency, except that the individual signing FS Form 2958DO as a delegator must have a valid FS Form 2958DO on file with Fiscal Service, which delegates to that individual redelegation authority for the functions now being delegated by the individual. That is, the FS Form 2958DO that delegated authority to the individual submitting additional FS Form 2958DO and FS Form 210 series forms must have authorized the delegation.

Non-Head of Agency 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 Agency delegations is identical to that of Head of Agency delegations.

Section 3040—Designation of Certifying Officers (COs)

COs are government employees who approve the disbursement of Agency funds as authorized in a Designation. 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 Agency. Officials, other than Heads of Agencies who are delegated designation authority for 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 Agency 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, Agency, 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 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 Agency should advise the CO of his or her legal responsibilities to certify schedules according to 31 U.S.C. § 3521 (as amended), this TFM chapter, and the Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training.

Effective November 1, 2018, Federal Certifying Officers, who certify payments for agencies through Treasury, 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 effective date of FS Form 210CO for that CO. 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, Agency, or establishment, and bureau or office shown on FS Form 210CO for that CO.

CO designations are valid for a period of 2 years 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)

A SPS DEO is a government employee who creates and modifies SPS payment requests to Treasury’s Financial Centers, as authorized in a Delegation.

Effective November 1, 2018, SPS DEOs, who process payment requests for agencies through Treasury, 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 for the same ALC.

A DEO designated with SPS authority is issued a PKI credential. SPS has application specific requirements for obtaining PKI credentials.

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 Agency funds, as authorized in a Designation. Treasury prefers that agencies 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 an Agency to pick up or receive checks from a Treasury Financial 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 Agency. 

Effective November 1, 2018, on FS Form 210DA, Designation for Agent to Receive and Deliver Checks, the Designee, who receives checks through Treasury, 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. The certificate of completion must be maintained by the Designee and be provided upon request to Fiscal Service. Before submitting FS Form 210DA, the Agency must arrange for delivery/pickup of checks for the Designated Agent with the Treasury Financial Center that will issue the checks.

The Agency should enter the ALC corresponding to the department, establishment, or Agency, and the bureau or office for which the Designated Agent will receive checks. When an individual is designated to receive checks for another organization, a separate FS Form 210DA is required for that department or bureau.

At the time of designation, the Agency 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 2 years 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 Agency.

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 Agency 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 Agency must arrange for delivery/pickup of checks by the Designated Agent with the Treasury Financial Center that will issue the checks. The submitting Agency 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, Agency, 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 Agency 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,
  • Signs the form, and
  • Returns a photocopy of the signed form to the Designating Official, at the address provided in Section I of the form, with an acceptance label affixed to the back.

The agency’s receipt of the photocopy of the completed form from Fiscal Service signifies Fiscal Service’s acceptance. After receiving the photocopy, the Designating Official should verify the contents of the photocopy of the form returned by Fiscal Service against the retained photocopy to ensure that no alterations occurred. Fiscal Service also sends a photocopy of the accepted SF 1195 to the Treasury Financial 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 Agency should 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 photocopy of the revocation to the Treasury Financial Center at which the checks were picked up. Revocations are effective on the latter of the effective date requested by the Agency on the form or the date that Fiscal Service receives and processes the revocation.

When using SF 1195 to document a revocation, the submitting Agency must complete Section I of the form.

Section 3060—General Form Instructions for Delegations and Designations

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

Agencies use FS Form 2958DO to establish the Head of Agency 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 Agency should advise the Designees of their responsibilities as noted in applicable Treasury directives and outlined in the Fiscal Service Certifying Officer Training resource.

Effective November 1, 2018, Designees, who process payment requests for agencies through Treasury, 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 sources of sample signatures for signature validation. Fiscal Service stores optically scanned electronic images of sample signatures for use by all Treasury Financial Centers. Also, these forms may be used for manual validation of certifying signatures on payment schedules.

Consequently, it is critically important that the submitting Agency accurately and completely fill in all applicable delegation and designation forms. Agencies must complete forms in the following manner:

  • The individual to whom authority is being delegated or who is being designated must manually sign all four signature blocks on the delegation or designation forms in black, nonerasable ink.
  • All delegation and designation forms must bear four original manual signatures.
  • All signatures must be the official signature of the authorized individual. Do not use nicknames.
  • The 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 Agency or other official who has been lawfully delegated delegation or designation authority for the function being delegated or designated.
  • The delegator or designator signature must be in black nonerasable ink and must be wholly within the signature block provided with no extraneous markings.

After completing the form, the Agency must:

  • Retain a copy. This may be a PDF version of the signed form, and
  • Forward the original signed form to Fiscal Service (see Contacts, or the top left-hand corner of the form, for the address to use).

Note: For Head of Agency delegations, agencies must submit FS Form 2958DO with a signed transmittal letter, bearing the official Agency seal, indicating that the individual is the Head of the Agency.

On receipt, Fiscal Service verifies the delegation or designation. If the form is accepted, Fiscal Service:

  • Signs the form,
  • Makes a copy. This may be a PDF version of the signed form,
  • Affixes an acceptance label to the back of the form (except for Head of Agency delegations, which do not have an acceptance label but are signed in Section VI), and
  • Returns the form to the delegator or designator at the address provided in Section V of the form.

The Agency’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 contents of the photocopy returned by Fiscal Service against the retained photocopy to ensure that no alterations occurred.

Section 3065—Rejections

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

For FS Form 210 series forms that are rejected, Fiscal Service returns a copy to the Designating Official, at the address provided in Section V, with a rejection label affixed to the back of the form and a rejection report explaining the reason for rejection.

Section 3070—Expiration and Revocation

Delegations and designations are valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier. Two months before expiration of the delegation or designation, Fiscal Service notifies the delegator or designator of the pending expiration of the delegation or designation by mailing a Letter of Notification of Pre-Expiration to the address listed in Section V of FS Form 2958DO or FS Form 210 series form that documented the delegation or designation.

Delegations and designations not renewed by their expiration date become void as of that date, and no further delegations or designations, certifications, etc., will be accepted from the individual. Fiscal Service notifies agencies of expired delegations and designations via a Letter of Notification of Expiration mailed 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 Agency 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 as of the latter of the effective date requested by the Agency on the form or the date Fiscal Service accepts the revocation form.

When using FS Form 2958DO or FS Form 210 series form to document a revocation, the submitting Agency 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 Agency or other official who has been lawfully delegated designation authority for the function being revoked.

Section 3075—Renewals of Delegations and Designations

Agencies may renew delegations and designations by submitting the appropriate FS Form 2958DO or FS Form 210 series form with the Re-Delegation or Re-Designation block checked. Fiscal Service does not accept photocopies of a previously submitted FS Form 2958DO or FS Form 210 series form with the Re-Delegation or Re-Designation block checked.

Effective November 1, 2018, each FS Form 210 series form renewal for an Agency that processes payments through Treasury, 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. The certificate of completion must be maintained by the Designee and be provided upon request to Fiscal Service.

Alternatively, agencies may renew designations of individuals (CO, SPS DEO, Designated Agent) that are about to expire 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 the For Renewal Only portion of the Letter of Notification of Pre-Expiration, and returning it to Fiscal Service at the address specified in the letter. Effective November 1, 2018, as part of each renewal, each Designee who processes payments through Treasury, 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. The certificate of completion must be maintained by the Designee and be provided upon request to Fiscal Service. 

Agencies also may renew designations that are about to expire, and for which there are no changes in the details of the designation, by submitting an Agency initiated Letter of Renewal, signed by an active, authorized Designating Official. Agency initiated Letters of Renewal must:

  • Be on the Agency’s letterhead,
  • Provide the name, type of designation, authorized ALCs, Agency/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.

Agencies may use an Agency initiated Letter of Renewal to renew multiple designations at the same time. They may not use Letters of Notification of Pre-Expiration and Agency initiated Letters of Renewal to renew delegations of designation authority. Delegations of designation authority may be renewed only on FS Form 2958DO.

Agencies 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.

Section 3080—Reorganizations

Fiscal Service verifies FS Form 2958DO and FS Form 210 series forms for signature, title, and organization. Therefore, if an organization’s name or if titles within an organization change, the Agency 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 Re-Delegation or Re-Designation block (as appropriate), and
  • Note the word “Reorganization” in the Name block in Section II 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 Agency COs with active records in Fiscal Service. For information on ASAP Agency rules, procedures, user requirements, and format, see ASAP.

3085.20—Secure Payment System (SPS)

Federal agencies that disburse through Treasury must use the SPS system to create payment schedules. This system allows designated federal Agency 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 agencies are required to use SPS to create payment schedules. Same-day and small-volume next-day payments 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 Agency 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, Agency requirements, and file formats, see SPS.

The Government Accountability Office has approved SPS for satisfying the signature requirements for certification contained in 31 U.S.C. 3325 and 3528.

Section 3090—Government-wide Accounting

Agencies 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. Agencies 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 agencies using Treasury disbursing office services, with the exception of 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, agencies are required to define a TAS distribution method for each ASAP account. Additionally, agencies 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 form the given account. Additionally, ASAP applies the return TAS/BETC defined on an account for each returned payment credited to the given account. 

Agencies 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) may be rejected by PAM, or will be classified to a default TAS/BETC that has been set up by the Agency in SAM. Federal agencies 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 Agency does not clear the SAM default account to a zero-dollar balance 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 agencies to clear SAM default accounts by the third business day of the month based on federal Agency performance.

Section 3095—Instructions to Federal Agencies for Emergency Certification of Payments When the SPS Is Unavailable

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

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

The federal Agency requests permission from the Director, Treasury Financial Center, or Designee, to use the manual certification procedure. After permission is received, the federal Agency requester sends the manual certification by fax or as a scanned file via email to the Treasury Financial Center. The federal Agency 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 Agency requester was designated.

The Treasury Financial Center provides a one-time use password to the federal Agency 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 Financial 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 Agency. The SF 1166 also is available at SPS.

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

Although the Treasury Financial 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 agencies 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 agencies must reclassify transactions in CARS after the payment is disbursed. It is the responsibility of the federal Agency 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

PAM, a mainframe-based software application, is used to disburse payments through Fiscal Service. PAM standard format is the method for agencies 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 payment is blocked and the DEO has not indicated that the payment is not eligible for offset, the Agency 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 Agencies Requesting a Check Payment To Be Held, Canceled, or Intercepted

All federal agencies 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, call the Bureau of Fiscal Service, Kansas City Financial Center at 816-414-2326. 

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

30115—Payment Types

30115.10—Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Mechanisms

Agencies 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 Treasury 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 agencies. ASAP can also be used to make time-sensitive payments to financial agents who are performing financial services for Fiscal Service and other federal agencies. 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. Federal agencies establish and maintain accounts in ASAP to control the flow of funds to recipient organizations. Federal agencies 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.

30115.10b—Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is Treasury’s preferred disbursement mechanism for all classes of federal payments. Direct deposit is an electronic payment alternative that uses the ACH network. Agencies can 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®.

30115.10d—Fedwire

Fedwire is an electronic transfer system developed and maintained by the Federal Reserve that allows an Agency 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. Because Fedwire is a more costly payment mechanism for both Fiscal Service and the payment recipients, agencies should use Fedwire only for payments of $100,000 or greater and/or for emergency purposes.

30115.10e—International Treasury Service (ITS.gov)

ITS.gov enables federal agencies 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 agencies to issue international U.S. dollar wire transfer payments without a corresponding U.S. financial institution. Agencies 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 government locations, such as military bases and ships at sea. Agencies should use SVC to improve cash management in these closed environments. For more information, see SVC.

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 agencies to make payments to individual recipients. Agencies can load the card with any amount of value (up to the limits established by the Agency 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 Agency wishes to make multiple payments to the recipient on the card. Agencies 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

Section 30120—Same Day ACH

On September 11, 2017, Fiscal Service published a final rule at 31 CFR Part 210, "Federal Government Participation in the Automated Clearing House,” that adopted industry rules governing Same Day ACH transactions. Fiscal Service began originating Same Day ACH credits in December 2017 for ASAP and SPS. Same Day ACH allows Treasury-disbursed agencies to make ACH payments through the Fiscal Service that settle on the same day that they are originated. Treasury-disbursed agencies 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 agencies with a more cost effective alternative to Fedwire for any type of payment where same day settlement benefits the Agency 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, not all payments disbursed by Fedwire can be disbursed by Same Day ACH because a Same Day ACH payment cannot exceed $25,000, in accordance with the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) Operating Rules that the Fiscal Service accepted through its publication of 31 CFR Part 210.

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 agencies’ Same Day ACH payment activity to ensure that agencies are using this payment option appropriately. The total dollar value of Same Day ACH requests made by a specific ALC cannot exceed $50 million on a single payment date. If the total dollar amount of Same Day ACH payment requests from an ALC 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 Agency.

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 noon Eastern Time (ET) in order to meet the Federal Reserve’s Same Day window of 2:30 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 $25,000. The total dollar value of Same Day ACH requests made through SPS by a specific ALC cannot exceed $50 million on a single payment date. If an Agency certifies Same Day ACH payment requests through SPS from an ALC that exceed $50 million on a single payment date, all of the payments will settle the following business day.

Same Day ACH Requests through ASAP

Under ASAP, an Agency’s certifying officer can determine if their respective recipient organizations may request payment by Same Day ACH. ASAP will provide the functionality for Agency users to limit or prevent its recipient organizations from drawing down funds by Same Day ACH. Additionally, Agency ASAP users will have the opportunity to review and reject Same Day ACH payment requests made by recipient organizations. All Same Day ACH payment requests must be made by noon ET in order to meet the Federal Reserve's Same Day window at 2:30 p.m. ET. Any Same Day ACH requests that miss this processing window will be posted and settled on the next business day. Recipient organizations will be able, with Agency approval, to request Same Day ACH payments valued at $25,000 or less per payment. Additionally, recipient organizations cannot request more than $50 million in Same Day ACH, per ALC per payment date. Same Day ACH payment requests made by recipient organizations from ALCs that exceed $50 million on a single payment date will settle the following business day.

Section 30125—Foreign Currency Payments

To process a foreign payment through ITS.gov, the requesting federal Agency accesses the application and enters manual or file-based payments. Federal agencies 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 agencies 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, an Agency must have an active FS Form 210: Designation for Certifying Officer. The SPS SF 1166 is available at SPS.

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

30125.10—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 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 wire, EFT, or check payment, use SF 1166 to supply Fiscal Service with the information listed in subsections 30125.10a and 30125.10b for ITS.gov wire, EFT, and check payments, respectively. Fiscal Service rejects and returns any SF 1166 that does not include all the information listed in these subsections.

30125.10a—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,
  • Amount,
  • Invoice information/details, and
  • Reason for payment (required for some currencies).

30125.10b—Check Payments

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

  • Payee name,
  • Payee address,
  • Payment currency,
  • Amount,
  • Invoice information/details, and
  • Reason for payment (required for some currencies).

30125.10c—Expressing Payment Amount

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.

30125.20—Payments Requiring Foreign Currency

If the Agency has contracted, or been billed or invoiced, in a foreign currency, Fiscal Service can process that payment on the Agency’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).

30125.30—Payments Requiring U.S. Dollars to a Foreign Recipient

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

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

30125.40—Submitting a SF 1166 Request

Agencies 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. Agencies can submit SF 1166 for processing via an overnight mail service to allow the Agency 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.

30125.50—Rejecting a SF 1166

Fiscal Service rejects a SF 1166 if:

  • The signature on SF 1166 does not match the signature of an active CO, and
  • The scheduling instructions provided in subsection 30125.10 are not followed.

Section 30130—Designated Depositaries

Fiscal Service is responsible for designating international depositaries for the U.S. Government. Fiscal Service bases the selection on the requesting Agency’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 agencies 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,
  • Location,
  • Name of the currency,
  • Criteria that was used by the Agency 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.

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 Agency may request a U.S. dollar operating account; if the bank refuses, the Agency 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. An Agency 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 Agency 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 Agency 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 Agency exercise due diligence when recommending a bank for designation as a depositary. The Agency 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 Agency 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 an Agency 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 Agency), the Agency must inform Treasury via the Payment Management Call Center at 816-414-2100.

Section 30135—Foreign Exchange Transactions for Official Purposes

30135.10—Foreign Exchange Transactions

Accountable Officers or duly authorized agents are empowered, for official purposes, subject to the provisions of 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 30140—Cashing Checks and Other Instruments in Foreign Countries for Accommodation Purposes

30140.10—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:

1. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States.

2. Civilian employees of the U.S. Government who are U.S. citizens.

3. Contractors and their personnel engaged in U.S. Government projects in foreign countries; any such contractors must be U.S. firms or citizens, and any such personnel must be U.S. citizens.

4. Personnel of authorized non-government agencies operating with entities of the United States who are U.S. citizens.

5. Dependents of individuals listed in 1 through 4 holding valid power of attorney.

6. Dependents of civilian employees of the U.S. Government, members of the Armed Forces of the United States, and employees of U.S. contractors and subcontractors under contract with U.S. Government agencies, upon proper identification, at safe haven posts when ordered by competent authority in the event of emergency evacuation. Such accommodation exchange transactions for all dependents of any one civilian employee, U.S. contractors or subcontractors, or members of the Armed Forces, may be for amounts allowable under the Department of State Standardized Regulations and the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (for U.S. Armed Forces).

7. Foreign nationals employed as civilian employees or under contract to the U.S. Government, or contractors or subcontractors that are U.S. firms engaged in U.S. Government projects in foreign countries, provided the checks presented by the third-country nationals are U.S. Treasury dollar checks or U.S. dollar checks issued by the contractors to third-country nationals presenting the check to be cashed.

8. U.S. organizations or organizations sponsored by the U.S. Government where such exchanges: (a) do not violate local government currency law; (b) promote the interest of the U.S. Government abroad; (c) do not adversely impact or impair the operations of the Embassy; and (d) are approved by the Department of State.

An example of item 8 would be to provide accommodation exchange to U.S. schools to assist them in purchasing books and other supplies not available in the country.

9. Citizens of the United States to cash, for foreign currency, checks drawn on the U.S. Treasury, when such checks are presented by the person to whose order they are drawn, with proper identification.

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

30140.20—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 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 Agency administrative regulations, or exchange control laws of the country concerned. The local officer in charge of the Agency 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.

30140.30—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.

30140.40—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 30145—Acquisition of Foreign Exchange

Federal agencies 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 see Fiscal Service.

30145.10—Exchange of U.S. Dollars for Foreign Currencies

Agencies (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, agencies must observe the following guidelines that apply to exchanges:

  • Agencies 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.
  • Agencies 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.
  • Agencies must avoid any appearance of currency speculation in the exchange markets.
  • Agencies are responsible for any change in program costs resulting from the foreign currency denomination of international financial arrangements.

U.S. Government agencies 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.

30145.20—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. Agencies 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. Agencies 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 agencies 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. Agencies 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.

30145.30—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.

30145.40—Rate of Exchange for Purchase from Non-Government Sources

Agencies 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.

30145.40a—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, agencies 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.

30145.40b—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, agencies should purchase foreign exchange at the best obtainable rates. When foreign exchange can be purchased at nonfixed legal rates, agencies 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 30150—Rate of Exchange for Expenditures and Accommodation Exchanges

Agencies 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, agencies should use the prevailing rate of exchange to convert foreign currency expenditures to U.S. dollars for accounting purposes.

Section 30155—Collections and Interest on Deposits

30155.10—Collections

Collections from foreign vendors or entities may be processed through ITS.gov, which transfers funds via Fedwire to the Credit Gateway. The Credit Gateway posts Fedwires to Agency accounts and sends SF 215 deposit vouchers to the Collection Information Repository (CIR) for Agency deposit reporting. Agencies 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.

30155.20—Unfunding

Unfunding is the authorized borrowing by an Accountable Officer of restricted foreign currency from specific Agency 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 agencies receive foreign currencies that are not immediately needed for Agency 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 Agency 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 Agency 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 Agency program accounts and delays the expenditure of U.S. dollars to purchase foreign currency.

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

30155.30—Disposition of Excess Balances

Agencies should make an attempt to transfer foreign currencies in excess of immediate disbursing requirements to other Accountable Officers (such as military or state) for use in a particular locality. Agencies 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. Agencies 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. Agencies 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.

30155.40—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.

Section 30160—Disbursements

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

Section 30165—Gains and Deficiencies

30165.10—Accounting for Gains and Deficiencies

Agencies must compute gains or deficiencies on a monthly basis by applying gains to offset deficiencies to determine the amount of net gain or net deficiency. Agencies 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.

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

30165.20—Bad Check Transactions

When a bad check is provided to an Agency and results in the return of the instrument to the payor, the Agency 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, agencies 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.

30165.30—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.

30165.40—Counterfeit Currency

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

Section 30170—Authority To Disburse Imprest Funds

As a preliminary matter, before an Agency contemplates establishing an imprest fund, the Agency 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 agencies at no charge.

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

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

An Agency 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 agencies 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 Agency may have statutory authority to hold money without depositing it to the U.S. Treasury.” (See Volume I, Part 5, Chapter 4100, Section 4120.)
  • Second, an Agency may have implied authority to hold funds outside of Treasury if it has explicit statutory disbursing authority (that is, if the Agency would be permitted to make electronic payments through the Federal Reserve Bank and issue Treasury checks itself).
  • Third, an Agency 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, an Agency 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 Agency legally authorized to make them using cash. Also, if an Agency 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: Agencies 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 Agency 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 Agency 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 agencies to clear SAM default accounts by the third business day of the month based on federal Agency performance.

Section 30175—Enclosures or Inserts With Treasury Checks

30175.10—Enclosures, Inserts, and Check Identification

The invoice numbers or other identifying numbers shown on the payee’s billing form and the identification of the Agency making the payment must be shown on the check at least two lines below the address. The Fiscal Service/DO issues the check directly from the information shown on the schedule (see Contacts).

A maximum of 6 inches of writing space (that is, two 3-inch lines) below the three lines required for the payee’s name and address is available for check identification information. However, this method of check identification should not be adopted until an agreement is reached, in writing, by the Agency and vendors or payees concerning the exact references required on the check. In the absence of such an agreement, check identification information should not be shown on the schedules.

30175.10a—Inserts Enclosed With Treasury Checks

Agencies submitting requests for inserts to be enclosed with Treasury checks must adhere to the instructions in the following subsections concerning insert specifications and shipping addresses for insert delivery. Approval is granted only for program related inserts printed on tabulating cards and paper inserts. Write the message to be conveyed in general terms so that the matching of inserts with specific checks is not required. It is the primary responsibility of the Agency to determine whether inserts are appropriate and program related. The CDO retains final authority on the language and content of all inserts enclosed with Treasury checks. To avoid unnecessary expenses, CDO approval should be obtained before entering printing contracts. Refer any questions or problems concerning inserts to the CDO, Attention: Resource Management Division.

30175.10b—Mailing

If an enclosure is approved, the CDO may require reimbursement for expenses involved in preparing and mailing the enclosure to payment recipients who do not receive checks such as those enrolled in the direct deposit program. The requesting agencies are responsible for payment of postage to the U.S. Postal Service for these mailings. As a less costly alternative to inserts, Fiscal Service offers the ability to print messages on the back of envelopes used to mail Treasury checks.

30175.10c—Enclosure of Program Inserts

Federal agencies that want enclosure of inserts must submit the requests sufficiently in advance of delivery of check issue data to allow for approval action, to stock enclosure supplies, and to make computer program changes when necessary. Normally, submission of requests is 6 weeks before delivery of check issue data, with earlier submission if programming changes are required. Letters of request must provide a sample of the insert, or a facsimile if a sample is not available, and must include the following information:

  • Proposed enclosure numbers and titles,
  • Type and size of enclosure,
  • Date of checks,
  • Class of payment,
  • Treasury Financial Centers involved,
  • Volume at each Treasury Financial Center (volumes should correspond to current payment figures, plus an additional 5 percent overage to cover spoilage),
  • Total volume of enclosures,
  • Delivery date, and
  • Special enclosing instructions.

When an actual sample of the check insert is not provided with the request, any approval is conditional on inserts meeting the specifications as prescribed in this chapter. Insert requests must be submitted to the CDO for approval of both content and specifications.

Contacts

Direct inquiries concerning this chapter to:

Department of the Treasury
Bureau of the Fiscal Service
Payment & Management
Chief Disbursing Officer
3201 Pennsy Drive, Building E
Landover, MD 20785
Telephone: 855-868-0151

Send SF 1166 to:

Kansas City Financial Center (KFC)
Attention: Special Operations/CAS
PO Box 7528-0228
Kansas City, MO 64116-0228

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

Appendices Listing

Appendix
    No.
Form Title
1 FS Form 210CO Designation for Certifying Officer
Instructions for FS Form 210CO
2 FS Form 210DEO Designation for Data Entry Operator
Instructions for FS Form 210DEO
3 FS Form 210DA Designation for Agent To Receive and Deliver Checks
Instructions for FS Form 210DA
4 FS Form 2958DO Delegation of Authority
Instructions for FS Form 2958DO

5 SF 1195 Recommendation for Designation and Revocation of Agent To Receive and Deliver Checks and Savings Bonds
Instructions for SF 1195