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NPR 9090.1B
Effective Date: March 04, 2020
Expiration Date: March 04, 2025
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Partnership Agreements-Financial Requirements and Administration

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | ALL |

Chapter 2. Financial Administrative Requirements

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 This chapter establishes the financial and related administrative requirements of agreements, such as the financial content, business rules, and EPR/ECR requirements, which are conducted to ensure agreements are properly executed, recorded, and reported. Minimum agreement activity content and clauses are established in NPD 1050.1 and its implementing instructions.

2.1.2 A full-cost EPR/ECR is required for agreements unless listed as an exception in section 1.1.4. Further guidance for EPRs/ECRs is contained in section 2.3 Financial Business Rules; templates for EPRs/ECRs are contained in Appendix C.

2.1.3 In addition to the requirements in this NPR for out-grant of real property, refer to NID 9091.1, Real Property Out-Grant Agreements - Financial Requirements, for additional financial requirements and NPD 8800.14 and NPR 8800.15 for policy and procedures related to property management. Service agreements to out-grant of real property, such as demand services, would be completed under this NPR.

2.2 Agreement Financial Documentation

2.2.1 The financial documentation of an agreement includes the information necessary to support the financial aspects of the agreement. The minimum financial documentation includes:

a. Legal authority applicable to the agreement, i.e., the authority that allows NASA to perform the work. Refer to Appendix D for some commonly used authorities and costing or pricing impacts.

b. Partner and name of partner. When citing a Federal agency, the name of the organization and the overall Agency should be provided.

c. Period of performance and, if relevant, interim financial milestones.

d. Partner finance or payment office, phone number, and address, as appropriate.

e. Approved EPR/ECR supporting the agreement, including, as appropriate, descriptions of significant cost elements and rate(s), indirect costs (e.g., Center Management and Operations (CMO) rate, HQs Administration Fee Rate), estimated full cost of the agreement, the estimated price to the partner, pricing adjustments, and the cost, if any, to be borne by NASA. Refer to section 2.3 for EPR requirements.

(1) An appropriate sponsoring direct fund will be identified for agreements. 7

7 A valid source of direct funding will be consistent with the intended purposes of the program funding in accordance with Application of Appropriations, 31 U.S.C. §1301(a). Authorizing an expenditure or obligation without a valid source of funding may constitute a violation of the Antideficiency Act.

(2) When a pricing adjustment is identified or the agreement is nonreimbursable, the program/project office absorbing the related estimated costs (sponsoring organization) shall concur on the EPR/ECR prior to submission for Center CFO final review and approval.

(3) When the performing office is not the same as the sponsoring organization, the sponsoring organization shall provide concurrence on the EPR/ECR prior to submission to the Center CFO for final review and approval.

(4) Other financial-related documentation used to support the EPR/ECR, such as a cost analysis or market survey, is included.

f. Center CFO-approved waiver of advance payment, if applicable.

g. Funding documents (Federal only) or advance payment. 8

8 Advance payment waivers are not required from another Federal agency, unless the authority requires an advance payment.

h. For Federal partners, funding documents will include the prescribed accounting elements for proper recording and financial reporting as determined by the Center OCFO in accordance with the Department of Treasury guidelines for interagency transactions, e.g., Treasury Financial Manual (TFM), Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 4700, Agency Reporting Requirements for the Financial Report of the United States Government, Appendix 6, Intragovernmental Transaction (IGT) Guide.

2.3 Financial Business Rules

2.3.1 This section provides an overview of the business rules applicable to agreements. Section 2.4 Budget and Execution provides additional policy and guidelines on the financial aspects of administering partnership agreements such as budget and execution. Basic agreement business rules are:

a. An agreement will be supported by an approved EPR/ECR unless an exception exists per section 1.1.4. The respective Center OCFO should be contacted during the initial phases of an agreement discussion. 9

b. Each annex will be treated as a separate agreement only for the EPR/ECR purposes of costing, pricing, billing, and/or collection. 10

c. An agreement amendment that changes the estimated full cost or the price to the partner requires an approved EPR/ECR for the amount of the amendment, unless an exception exists per section 1.1.4.

9 Agency OCFO concurrence during the abstract or initial agreement discussion does not equate to Center CFO review or approval of an EPR/ECR.
10 A funding order or incremental funding is not an agreement in itself.

2.3.2 Request for services or performance of work (commitments and obligations) may commence under an agreement when the following conditions have been met:

a. The Center CFO or designee has approved the EPR/ECR.

b. The agreement has been executed, i.e., signed approval by authorized representatives of both NASA and the partner.

c. When a reimbursable agreement, the reimbursable funding has been received by the performing Center, i.e., full or partial advance payment received and recorded for a non-federal partner or funding document provided by a Federal partner. As authorized in NPD 1050.1, exceptions to this rule that allows for direct funds to be used are in section 2.3.7.

d. For nonreimbursable agreements, the authorization of work and availability of resources follows the normal NASA financial processes.

2.3.3 The EPR will contain NASA’s estimated full cost of the agreement, any proposed pricing adjustment, the estimated price charged to the partner, justification for any proposed pricing adjustment, approval by the sponsoring organization with identified direct fund, and final approval by the Center CFO. Proposed pricing adjustments, to include waived and excluded cost, will be identified in the price adjustment column on the EPR. The EPR may be used as the official approval document for a cost waiver request or other pricing adjustment. Refer to Chapter 3 Full Cost of Agreements, Chapter 4 Reimbursable Agreement Pricing, and Appendix C for additional guidance.

a. When the final estimated price to the partner is less than the estimated direct cost to NASA, the EPR will be submitted to the Agency CFO for approval prior to final approval of the agreement.

b. Justifications for waived cost will identify the program/project fund for the waived cost and demonstrate a quantifiable benefit to NASA that may be used by the Signing Official in their consideration for approval.

c. Justification for other pricing adjustments will identify the program/project fund for the absorbed costs, the statutory laws and regulations or allowable market-based pricing methodologies, and other details to support the adjustment (section 4.3). An agreement-level EPR/ECR is required for a multi-Center standalone agreement or annex. The agreement-level EPR/ECR represents NASA’s estimated full cost of the agreement, including the other performing Center’s estimated full cost. The other Centers may submit an approved EPR/ECR to the lead Center; or the other Centers may provide their estimated full cost to be included in the agreement level EPR/ECR for their approval.

a. During the planning stages of the agreement, the proposing organization shall determine whether other Centers might perform some of the work.

b. The proposing organization shall identify the managing (lead) Center OCFO to the performing Centers and identify any proposed pricing adjustments, e.g., reduced or an alternative CMO rate, cost wavier. Generally, the lead Center OCFO is aligned to the Center with overall responsibility for execution of the agreement.

c. The proposing organization should identify, discuss, and obtain concurrence from the performing Centers for proposed pricing adjustments. This pre-negotiation ensures an undue financial burden is not placed on the performing Centers.

d. The performing Center shall prepare and approve an EPR/ECR for their portion of the work and associated pricing adjustment for inclusion in the agreement-level EPR/ECR or provide the information to be included in the overall agreement EPR/ECR for their approval. Pricing adjustments will be approved in accordance with the guidance in section 1.2 Roles and Responsibilities.

e. The lead Center shall prepare and approve an agreement-level EPR/ECR that includes the estimated prices for the other performing Centers as confirmation that the individual EPRs/ECRs total to the estimated amount for the agreement. The approval of the agreement-level EPRs/ECRs from the lead Center CFO does not represent approval for the other Center CFO.

f. Where a proposing organization later identifies another Center as a performing Center, the performing Center should prepare an EPR/ECR to support their work and the lead Center OCFO should initiate the Center-to-Center transfer.

2.3.4 The ECR will contain the estimated full cost of the agreement, justification for the performance of the nonreimbursable work, approval by the sponsoring organization with identified direct fund, and final approval by the Center CFO.

2.3.5 Agreement activity will be executed in accordance with current financial guidance, including:

a. An understanding that cost estimates placed in an agreement are for planning purposes and are not a guarantee of the final price for services (as outlined in the agreement).

b. Services should not be performed beyond the available advance funding amount from the non-federal partner or in excess of the funding amount received from a Federal partner. The Agreement Manager and the project office are responsible for ensuring work is stopped until sufficient funding is made available based upon receipt of additional funding.

(1) If the service costs more than the advance funding amount, the funding document amount, or the amount identified in an advance payment waiver, the partner will be advised by NASA as soon as possible. Additional funding from the partner or an approved revised advance payment waiver will be received to continue work.

(2) If the partner is not able or willing to provide additional funding, work should cease and a determination made on whether to cancel the remaining effort and/or terminate the agreement.

c. For other Federal agreement activity, specific financial business rules may apply. The following are a few examples of specific business rules:

(1) Intragovernmental Transaction. Intragovernmental transaction and reconciliation requirements will be followed in accordance with the Department of Treasury guidelines for inter-agency transactions and NPR 9220.1, Journal Voucher Preparation and Approval and Intragovernmental Transactions.

(2) Economy Act Authority. The Economy Act places a limitation on the funding received by the performing agency (seller). Under 31 U.S.C. § 1535(d), the requesting agency (buyer) is required to deobligate their funds at the end of the period of availability to the extent that the seller (NASA) has not incurred an obligation for a bona fide need within the period of availability. Funds are no longer available to incur new obligations by NASA once the requesting agency’s funds have expired. 11

(3) Other Authority. Where other than the Economy Act is cited as the statutory authority in the agreement, the deobligation requirement typically does not apply. The recording of the obligation is governed by 31 U.S.C. § 1501(a)(1). The obligation of funds to the performing agency (seller) is complete upon execution of the agreement and remains payable in full. 12 However, non-Economy Act transactions are still subject to the requirements of the bona fide needs rule and other restrictions in the authority cited.

11 GAO, Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, 3rd ed., 2016 rev., Ch. 7, § B.1,i.(1) (GAO-06-382SP).
12 GAO, Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, 3rd ed., 2016 rev., Ch. 7, § B.1,i.(1) (GAO-06-382SP). .

(4) Interagency Acquisitions and Prompt Payment Act Interest. Per Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP-OMB) memorandum, “Improving the Management and Use of Interagency Acquisitions,” dated June 2008, the requesting partner is responsible for interest owed under the Prompt Payment Act, except when the delay to the contractor is created by NASA. For delays created by NASA, the Prompt Pay interest will be absorbed by the NASA direct funding source rather than billed to the reimbursable partner.

d. Measures will be taken to mitigate the possibility of an Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 1341-1342, purpose violation, such as by ensuring reimbursable work is consistent with NASA’s mission and the underlying appropriation for the organization performing the activity. When a potential ADA has been identified, the Center OCFO in consultation with the Center OCC will analyze the situation to determine if a deficiency exists. The Agency OCFO will be notified when a potential violation has been detected. Refer to NPR 9050.3, The Antideficiency Act.

e. Center OCFOs should make every effort to have partners submit advances and payments electronically. The available electronic payment methods and guidance are published on the Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service (BFS) Web site. Center OCFOs may contact the NSSC for questions on payment methods, to include Federal Reserve Wire Network (Fedwire), Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), Automated Clearing House (ACH), and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). NPR 9630.1, Accounts Payable and Disbursements, also provides limited information on electronic methods.

2.3.6 Internal controls will be used to monitor the financial execution of reimbursable agreement, such as performing the control activates outlined in the Agency OCFO Continuous Monitoring Program. As outlined in section 1.2, all levels involved in agreements, including management, project managers, technical point of contacts, and financial personnel, share this responsibility.

2.3.7 In the absence of a signed agreement, an advance, or distribution of reimbursable budget authority, direct funding sources should not be used to finance work in connection with a reimbursable project, unless all of the following criteria are met:

a. An EPR, including any pricing adjustments and justification, has been approved by the Center CFO and the responsible organization providing the direct funding.

b. The scope of the work has been determined to be time-sensitive and mission critical. This determination will be approved by the Center CFO in consultation with the Agency OGC or Center OCC, the related NASA Mission Directorate, and the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) when agreements involve interagency or international partners. The determination and combined approvals acknowledge the following:

(1) The scope of the work is consistent with the purpose of direct funding being used.

(2) The direct funds are available and sufficient without impacting other NASA programs.

(3) The recognition that reimbursement received may not be available to replenish the direct funds. The reimbursable authority may not be available if the agreement is not executed in the same fiscal year as the work performed.

2.3.8 Financial Disputes with a Non-Federal Partner. Financial or funding disputes that cannot be resolved by the responsible organization or Center CFO should be discussed with the Center OCC for disposition.

a. If it is determined that NASA has a legal claim to recover additional reimbursement from a partner, debt collection procedures in accordance with NPR 9610.1, Accounts Receivable, Billing, and Collection, will be followed.

b. If it is determined that NASA does not have a legal claim to recover additional reimbursement from a partner or a reimbursable authority is not available for the fiscal year covering the uncollected reimbursement, the unreimbursed expenditure of appropriated funds should be reviewed by the Center CFO in consultation with the Center OCC. The unreimbursed expenditure will be reviewed to determine whether use of such funds meets requirements relating to the purpose and period of availability of the charged appropriation for the work performed to determine if a deficiency situation exists.

2.3.9 Financial Disputes with a Federal Partner. Financial or funding disputes that cannot be resolved by the responsible organization or Center CFO should be resolved through the process outlined in the Department of Treasury guidelines for inter-agency transactions.

2.3.10 When acquisition of property, plant, and equipment (PP&E) or capital improvements to existing NASA PP&E would be an appropriate action as part of the agreement, refer to NPR 9250.1, Property, Plant, and Equipment and Operating Materials and Supplies, for guidance.

2.4 Budget and Execution

2.4.1 Anticipated Reimbursable Authority. Reimbursable budget authority is the authority to enter into reimbursable agreements with other entities and accept funding from them as reimbursement for the cost of services rendered or goods provided. It is an integral part of being able to enter into a reimbursable agreement and is provided by OMB incident to the Agency’s request in the President’s annual budget. Reimbursable agreements bring in funding resources that are in addition to the direct authority granted in the appropriation bills. Acceptance of outside funding without proper budget authority is considered augmentation and is a violation of appropriation law principals. NASA may not perform reimbursable work where budget authority has not been granted and apportioned. Refer to OMB Circular A-11, Preparation, Submission and Execution of the Budget, for requirements related to the budget and execution of reimbursable agreement activity.

a. Agency anticipated reimbursable budget authority is requested and submitted according to the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution (PPBE) cycle outlined in NPR 9420.1, Budget Formulation. The PPBE cycle includes instructions and requirements related to reimbursable agreements, e.g., anticipated budget authority.

b. Center OCFOs will complete and submit the request in accordance with the requirements. Once anticipated reimbursable budget authority has been approved and apportioned, the Agency OCFO shall distribute anticipated reimbursable budget authority to the Centers.

c. Center OCFOs are responsible for monitoring available anticipated reimbursable budget authority and notifying the Agency OCFO when a proposed reimbursable agreement may exceed the existing authority. When anticipated reimbursable budget authority is not available, the Center OCFO shall request the additional anticipated reimbursable budget authority in accordance with Agency guidance.

2.4.2 Agreement Routing and Approvals. Center CFOs shall review Center agreements and approve the related EPRs/ECRs prior to final agreement and execution by the Signing Official. Responsibilities include:

a. Review the EPR/ECR for the estimated cost and/or price to the partners, verify justifications provided for pricing adjustments, and ensure a direct funding source is identified for pricing adjustments or nonreimbursable activity and applicable approvals are received. The Center OCFO shall confirm the direct funding and the concurrence by the performing and/or sponsoring organization prior to approval. Waived costs in which the price charged to the partner is less than the direct cost of the activity will be submitted to the Agency OCFO for final approval. If a cost waiver is disapproved by the Agency OCFO, Center CFOs may resubmit with additional information or revisions.

b. Review and approve requests for waivers of advance payment from a non-Federal partner. Requests for advance payment waivers require identification of a valid program direct funding source. The direct funding source provides assurance for availability of funds in case a reimbursement is not realized from the reimbursable partner. Advance payment waivers will be maintained as part of the supporting documentation for the agreement.

2.4.3 Reimbursable Agreement Execution. The Center OCFOs shall:

a. Ensure financial records and reports are maintained at the agreement level to facilitate financial management.

b. Review cited authority to ensure costs and any surplus proceeds (i.e., amounts in excess of the full cost of providing work) are recorded in accordance with the authority. 13 Retention of surplus proceeds is allowed when permitted by the statutory authority cited in the agreement; otherwise, the amounts will be deposited into Treasury’s Miscellaneous Receipts account.

13 Surplus proceeds are generally associated to a price adjustment increase in an EPR.

c. Ensure each reimbursable agreement is assigned a WBS(s). Each reimbursable agreement will be assigned a project WBS(s) for program/project identification.

d. Record advances received from partners based on notification from the NSSC in accordance with NPR 9610.1.

(1) Advances received for a valid agreement will be credited as Advances from Others to the NASA appropriation used in execution of the work with proper reference to the relevant reimbursable agreement.

(2) Advances received from a partner that cannot be properly associated to an agreement will be returned to the partner.

e. Recognize available budget against the anticipated reimbursable authority when an advance, a funding document, or an approved waiver of advance is received against a reimbursable agreement.

(1) Available budget will be available to incur obligations after the reimbursable agreement is executed (signed) as long as the agreement activity is within the period of performance and the partner’s funds remain available (if the partner is another Federal agency).

(2) Available budget associated with a particular reimbursable agreement is not available for performing work on a different agreement unless a transfer has been approved by the partner and available budget has been recognized against the other agreement.

f. Ensure obligations and costs related to a reimbursable agreement are charged to the proper reimbursable funding and correct WBS(s).

2.4.4 Revenue Recognition. Direct and indirect costs will be recognized as earned revenue as the reimbursable services are performed in accordance with SFFAS 7, Accounting for Revenue and Other Financing Sources and Concepts for Reconciling Budgetary and Financial Accounting. Per SFFAS 7, “earned” or “exchange” revenues are recognized when a Government entity provides goods and services to the public or to another Government entity for a price.

2.4.5 Billing and Collections. The billing and collection cycle is important in the financial execution of a reimbursable agreement to ensure costs incurred by NASA are properly recorded, billed, and reimbursed by the partner, i.e., offset against an advance or payment by the partner. The monthly billing cycle is required regardless of an advance being received.

a. Bills will reflect cost incurred in support of the work associated with the agreement as recorded by the Center and should include a percentage of the indirect cost.

b. The NSSC will process and send monthly bills to reimbursable partners unless the agreement specifies a different cycle (e.g., quarterly) or the Center OCFO requests a different cycle.

(1) For agreements with advances, bills will be recorded against the advance received in accordance with accounting transaction guidance.

(2) For agreements without advances, bills are provided based on cost incurred or as specified in the agreement.

(3) Bills will contain the agreement reference number, period of performance, and other cost or data detail per the agreement.

c. The Center OCFO, in collaboration with the NSSC, may submit a deferred billing request to the Agency OCFO Financial Management Division (FMD) Director when the amount billed is less than the periodic billing cost and additional costs are expected to be incurred for the activity. When a deferred billing has been approved, Center OCFOs will provide for the timely recognition of revenue. Per NPR 9610.1, billing and collection procedures should include periodic comparisons of costs incurred and amounts collected in order to determine cost-effective dollar thresholds at which to process interim reimbursable billings.

(1) A reimbursable billing may not be deferred when:

(a) Costs are considered final and the activity is near completion.

(b) Work has been suspended and no additional costs are expected to be incurred to support the activity.

(2) An amount remaining unbilled would be brought forward in the next billing cycle as a beginning unbilled balance when billings have been deferred.

d. Billings for reimbursable agreements that are negotiated by NASA HQs will be validated by the performing Center OCFO or the designated lead Center OCFO for a multi-Center agreement. 14

14 MSD RPMO should not be assumed to be the lead Center CFO for multi-Center HQs negotiated agreements.

(1) For a single-Center agreement, the performing Center OCFO is generally designated to manage the agreement and shall use their current procedures for cost and billing (as if the agreement were a Center-negotiated agreement).

(2) For a multi-Center agreement, the HQs office that negotiated the agreement is responsible for identifying a lead Center OCFO and providing the participating Centers copies of the agreement and other applicable supplemental data. Although the lead Center OCFO is responsible for monitoring the overall costing and billing status of the agreement, each participating Center OCFO is issued specific reimbursable authority and is responsible for recording cost and overseeing the billing related to their activity.

e. NASA Center project and program staff share responsibility with the Center OCFO for monitoring the performance and billed cost to reimbursable partners and shall account for reimbursable costs that are not billed. Personnel knowledgeable in resource utilization of the project will review cost and billings for accuracy. Corrections or adjustments should be recorded within 30 calendar days of verification. If possible, corrections will be accomplished within the same accounting period as that in which discrepancies were identified. Corrections and adjustments will be associated with the accounting periods in which the corrections were recorded.

2.4.6 Agreement Reporting.

a. The standard financial reporting cycles, to include billings, are completed at the end of the month, although quarterly status reports and billing may be designated. Center OCFOs are responsible for confirming the interim or final financial status reporting to partners is in agreement with and supported by accounting data. The partner is responsible for specifying content and frequency that deviates from the standard reports. However, demands for financial status reports or billings that would require special or system changes will not be accepted. The Center CFO has responsibility to determine whether a special request is acceptable.

b. The Center OCFO will coordinate or assist in coordination for obtaining other external reporting requirements that require validation of financial-related data, e.g., NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, Pub. L. 115–10, title VIII, § 841, Mar. 21, 2017, 131 Stat. 72.

2.4.7 Agreement Reconciliation and Completion. A financial reconciliation will be performed and a bill or refund will be submitted to the partner as specified in the agreement and in accordance with Agency guidance.

a. If NASA’s costs exceed the funding received, a bill of collection will be processed, unless specifically waived by the Center CFO, i.e., the amounts owed are inconsequential and the cost to collect payment will exceed the amount owed.

b. If NASA’s costs are less the funding received, the excess funds will be returned to the partner or deposited to Treasury Miscellaneous Receipts Account.

(1) A refund of an advance payment in excess of $100,000 will be approved by the Center CFO or their designee.

(2) For non-federal partners, a refund will be made through EFT methods in accordance with Treasury regulation 31 CFR pt. 208, unless an authorized waiver is recognized per 31 CFR § 208.4.

(3) For Federal partners, a funding reduction will be processed against the funding document(s). However, if an advance was received, a refund will be issued through the Treasury payment and collection system. To minimize excessive refunds or additional billings, every effort will be made to ensure that costs and cost adjustments are recorded in a timely manner. A claim for reimbursement to recover partner reimbursable costs that have been incurred by NASA and which cannot be offset against a cash advance can be considered reimbursable debt. If reimbursable debts remain outstanding from partners, debt collection efforts are to be pursued. If reimbursable debts to recover costs incurred on behalf of the non-federal partner are determined to be uncollectible, they may not be written off. An alternative source of funding will be identified to cover costs that have been incurred.

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