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NPR 9290.1A
Effective Date: April 11, 2011
Expiration Date: September 11, 2023
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Special Accounts (Revalidated on February 22, 2018)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

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Chapter 1. Special Accounts

1.1 Overview

1.1 Appropriations made available to NASA by Congress are referred to as General Fund Expenditure accounts. This chapter includes descriptions of the other (non-appropriated) types of funds, their normal uses, and the associated accounting requirements. This NPR includes terminology customary to the use of funds as provided in NPR 9470.1.

1.1.1 All account titles listed below are as provided in the FAST book. The Agency, Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) may use discretion to limit the use of Special Fund Accounts. For additional guidance regarding the status of Special Fund Accounts, consult the Agency, OCFO Financial Management Division.

1.2 Roles and Responsibilities

1.2.1 The Agency, OCFO shall monitor the receipt and expenditure of special accounts to ensure compliance with the policy presented.

1.2.2 The NASA Center Chief Financial Officer (CFO) offices shall manage and apply proper accounting methods to each special fund class.

1.2.3 The NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) shall establish special fund accounts and properly classify funds in accordance with the policy presented.

1.3 Agency Requirements

1.3.1 General Funds. These include General Fund Receipt Accounts which are established to account for receipts that have not been earmarked by law for a specific purpose and General Fund Expenditure Accounts which are the amounts appropriated to NASA for the general support of the government.

1.3.2 General Fund Receipt Accounts. For internal control purposes, the receipts credited to these accounts are not available for obligation and expenditure. All collections are credited to the appropriate General Fund Receipt Account unless there is specific statutory authority for reimbursement to an appropriation account or fund, as in special or Trust Fund Receipt Accounts. Funds remaining in general fund receipt accounts are usually returned to the general fund of the Treasury at fiscal year-end (see table c. below). The following are NASA's General Fund Receipt Symbols:

a. Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures. Moneys received from fines, penalties, and forfeitures, other than those arising out of contracting or similar business transactions.

Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures, Immigration, and Labor Laws
Forfeitures of Unclaimed Money and Property
Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures not Otherwise Classified

b. Interest. Interest received on loans, investments, advances, and other equities.

General Fund Proprietary Interest not Otherwise Classified

c. Miscellaneous Recoveries and Refunds. All other recoveries and refunds include such items as refunds on empty containers; refunds of state and local taxes; refund of terminal leave compensation (if not credited to the applicable appropriation); recoveries of court cost; payments received by employees whose pay is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate or Clerk of the House for services as a juror or witness; other compensation received by NASA employees from private sources; recoveries from contractors for additional work necessary to meet contract conditions; recovery of payments based on fraudulent claims; collection of depreciation; collection of closed appropriation receipts; Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) receipts; and airline penalties for changing reservations of NASA employees.

Recoveries from Federal Agencies Resulting from Reductions in the Civilian Salaries of Military Retirees, Federal Funds
Collections of Receivables from Canceled Accounts
General Fund Proprietary Receipts, not Otherwise Classified, All Other
Undistributed Intergovernmental Payments

1.3.3 Clearing Accounts. These accounts are established to temporarily account for transactions that belong to the government until the transaction is matched to a specific receipt expenditure account. Unidentified disbursements or collections not meeting this condition should be recorded in the deposit fund accounts discussed below.

1.3.4 Collections recorded in clearing accounts are not available for obligation or expenditure while in the account. NASA Center CFO offices shall make every effort to minimize balances in the Clearing Account by expeditiously analyzing, classifying, and transferring all funds recorded in this account to the proper account within 30 business days of the initial transaction.

1.3.5 In previous guidance, Treasury discontinued the use of the Budget Clearing (F3875) and Undistributed Intragovernmental Payments (F3885) suspense accounts. However, in accordance with Bulletin No. 2017-10, Treasury permits NASA to use these accounts "with discretion." F3875, temporarily credits unclassified transactions from the public when there is a reasonable presumption that the amounts belong to NASA. F3885, is used to temporarily credit unclassified transactions between Federal agencies, including Intragovernmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) transactions.

Proceeds of Sales, Personal Property
Budget Clearing Account (suspense)
Unavailable Check Cancellations and Overpayments (suspense)
Undistributed Intergovernmental Payments

1.3.6 Deposit Fund Accounts. NASA establishes deposit fund accounts to record funds that do not belong to NASA, and are thus, considered liabilities to the Agency. These accounts are not included in the budget totals and are not available for obligations or debt payments. NASA Center CFO offices shall review their deposit fund accounts at least quarterly, and make all proper corrections. Liabilities may be recorded in a Deposit Fund Account when any one of the following conditions is met: Amounts, charged to a budget account, that are withheld but pending payment for goods and services received (For example, payroll deductions for savings bonds or state income taxes). Amounts awaiting distribution based on a legal determination or investigation. This includes amounts being disputed with outside parties where ownership is in doubt and there is no basis for estimating ultimate distribution. Deposits received from outside sources for which NASA is acting solely as a banker, fiscal agent, or custodian. NASA Deposit Fund Accounts consist of the following:

Employees' Payroll Allotment Account United States Savings Bonds
Withheld State and Local Taxes
Other Federal Payroll Withholding, Allotments
Advances Without Orders from non-Federal Sources
Small Escrow Amounts

1.3.7 Revolving Fund Accounts. NASA operates a Working Capital Fund (WCF) which has a revolving fund financial management structure. A separate corpus (i.e., initial seed or start-up funding) was not appropriated for the WCF. All income is derived from operations. Although spending authority from offsetting collections is derived from reimbursable authority rather than direct appropriations, the distribution process and system of funds control are the same as that identified for regular appropriations. Guidance for the use and management of the NASA WCF is provided in NPR 9095.1.
Working Capital Fund, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (51 U.S.C. § 30102)

1.3.8 Trust Fund Accounts. Trust Funds are special accounts in the Treasury that receive earmarked taxes or other kinds of revenue collections, such as user fees, and from which payments are made for special purposes as established by law. Trust funds are subject to the fund control provisions described in NPR 9470.1. There are three types of trust fund accounts: Trust Fund Receipt accounts, Trust Fund Expenditure accounts, and Trust Revolving Fund Accounts. Trust Fund Receipt Accounts. These accounts are credited with receipts generated by the terms of a trust agreement or statute. At the point of collection, these receipts are available for transfer to a Trust Fund Expenditure account or are not available for transfer depending upon the terms of the trust agreement or statutory authority. Trust Fund Expenditure Accounts. These accounts are established to record amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by transfer from a trust fund receipt account. These amounts may be obligated and expended to accomplish specific program purposes within the limits imposed by the trust agreement or statute. Trust Revolving Fund Accounts. These are single accounts authorized to be credited with receipts and incur obligations and expenditures in support of on-going business-type operations in accordance with the trust agreement or statute. Trust Revolving Fund receipts are available for obligation and expenditure without further action by Congress. NASA uses the following types of trust fund accounts:

Endeavor Teacher Fellowship Trust Fund (51 U.S.C. § 40902)
National Space Grant Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Program (51 U.S.C. § 40303)
Science, Space, and Technology Education Trust Fund, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (51 U.S.C. § 40901)
Gifts and Donations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (51 U.S.C. § 20113(d)

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