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NPR 9630.1
Effective Date: July 10, 2017
Expiration Date: November 10, 2022
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Accounts Payable and Disbursements

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | Chapter10 | Chapter11 | Chapter12 | Chapter13 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |

Chapter 4 Prompt Payment Act

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The NSSC Financial Management Services Division shall process payments according to the regulations set forth by 5 CFR pt. 1315. The Prompt Payment Act (PPA) requires NASA to pay vendors and employee travel reimbursements in a timely manner and invokes an interest penalty for late payments. For NASA, PPA is applicable to payments for vendors and utilities with the following exceptions:

a. Contract Financing Payments. Contract financing payments are authorized disbursements prior to the acceptance of goods and services. Contract Financing Payments are defined in 5 CFR § 1315.2(h).

b. Payments related to emergencies (as defined in the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Public Law 93-288, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq.)); military contingency operations (as defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101 (a)(13)); and the release or threatened release of hazardous substances (as defined in 4 U.S.C. § 9606, Section 106).

4.1.2 Interim payments under a cost-reimbursement service contract are treated as invoice payments and are subject to the requirements of the PPA unless otherwise provided by the rule.

4.2 Prompt Payment Requirements

4.2.1 NASA Responsibilities. Invoices, bills, or any other documents (hereafter referred to as "invoices") authorized for payment by a NASA Center will be reviewed and paid when due in accordance with the requirements stated in 5 CFR pt. 1315. Additionally, NASA is responsible for adhering to the following PPA requirements:

a. Monitoring the causes of late payments and take necessary corrective actions to prevent them in the future.

b. Ensuring a strong system of internal control procedures is in place to identify and prevent late payment interest penalties. The requirements for developing these internal controls can be found in NPR 9010.3. Additionally, the NASA OCFO Quality Assurance Division (QAD) shall ensure the core financial system is capable of providing accurate and reliable payment data.

c. Reviewing systems and payments to ensure they are consistent with the CFO Act requirements.

4.2.2 Required Documentation. NASA's Center OCFO Office and the NSSC Financial Management Services Division shall maintain paper or electronic documentation to support payments of invoices and interest penalties as required in 5 CFR § 1315.9.

4.2.3 Review of Invoice. Each invoice will be reviewed by the Designated NASA Billing Office as soon as practicable after receipt to determine whether the invoice is a proper invoice.

4.2.4 Notification of Improper Invoice. NASA should notify contractors/vendors of improper invoices within seven days of receipt of the invoice.

4.3 Determining Invoice Receipt Date

4.3.1 Receipt of Invoice. For the purposes of determining a payment due date upon which any late payment interest penalty will begin to accrue, an invoice will be deemed to be received on the later of: a. The day the NSSC (or other Designated Billing Office as specified in the contract) either physically receives a paper invoice or receives a legible electronic invoice. However, the payment due date can begin on the following business day if NASA receives the invoice after normal working hours.

b. On the date placed on the invoice by the contractor, when NASA fails to annotate the valid invoice with the date of receipt of the invoice at the time of receipt.

c. On the date of delivery, when the contract specifies that the delivery ticket may serve as an invoice.

d. The seventh day after the date on which the property is actually delivered or performance of the services is actually completed, unless:

(1) NASA has actually accepted the property or services before the seventh day in which case the acceptance date will substitute for the seventh day after the delivery date.

(2) A longer acceptance period is specified in the contract, in which case the date of actual acceptance or the date of which such a longer acceptance period ends will substitute for the seventh day after the delivery date.

4.3.2 Improper Invoices The criteria for determining a proper invoice can be found in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 32.905 or 5 CFR § 1315.9 (b). The NSSC Financial Management Services Division shall return an invoice determined to be improper to the vendor as soon as practicable after receipt, but no later than seven days after receipt as required by 5 CFR § 1315.4(c)(2). When returning an improper invoice, the NSSC Financial Management Services Division shall notify the vendor of all specific reasons why the invoice is not proper and is being returned. This notification will include a request for a corrected invoice, clearly marked as such. NASA does not need a hard copy invoice document to begin the payment process to a vendor. NASA accepts electronic invoices that meet all of the requirements of FAR 32.905 or 5 CFR § 1315.9 (b). NSSC shall maintain adequate safeguards and controls in the data entry process, as well as within the core financial system, to ensure only proper invoices are being paid and to prevent duplicate processing.

4.3.3 Acceptance of Goods and Services. NASA Centers shall accept items and services as promptly as possible. Unless otherwise stated in a contract, commercial items and services should not be subject to extended acceptance periods. Center offices performing acceptance functions shall forward acceptance notifications to the NSSC by the fifth working day after acceptance.

4.4 Determining Payment Due Date

4.4.1 The period available to NASA to make a timely contract payment without incurring an interest penalty is generally 30 days after receipt of a proper invoice or acceptance, whichever is later, unless no invoice is required. However, calculation of the payment due date for each specific invoice varies depending on such factors as the type of contract, the type of goods or services being provided, and the type of invoice. The NSSC shall comply with the specific requirements found in FAR 32,904 when determining payment due dates.

4.4.2 Timely Payment NASA should make payments no more than seven days prior to the payment due date, but as close to the due date as possible, unless the NASA Administrator or designee has determined on a case-by-case basis for specific payments that earlier payment is necessary. The Vendor Payment Processor shall perform a two or three-way match (comparing the invoice with the purchase order and, if applicable, the goods receipt) to confirm the quantity and dollar amount match the invoice and System Application Program (SAP) before approving a payment. The Agency DCFO(F) shall use this authority cautiously weighing the benefits of making the payment early against the good stewardship inherent in effective cash management practices. Written determination to approve early payments will be retained in the payment file.

4.5 Late Payment Interest Penalties

4.5.1 Payment Date. Payment will be considered to be made on the settlement date for an EFT payment or the date of the check for a check payment. Payments falling due on a weekend or Federal holiday may be made on the following business day without incurring late payment interest penalties.

4.5.2 The NSSC Financial Management Services Division shall calculate late payment interest as required by 5 CFR § 1315.10.

4.5.3 NASA employees are entitled to late payment interest in accordance with 41 CFR Parts 301-51, 52, 54, and 71, if their travel claim is not paid within 30 calendar days after the employee submits a proper travel claim to the designated approving office.

4.6 Payment of Interest Penalties

4.6.1 The NSSC Financial Management Services Division shall meet the following requirements in paying interest penalties:

a. Interest may be paid only after acceptance has occurred, or when title passes to the Government in a fast payment contract when title passing to the Government constitutes acceptance for purposes of when interest may be paid.

b. Late payment interest penalties paid without regard to whether the vendor has requested payment of such penalty and will include a notice stating the amount of the interest penalty, the number of days late, and the rate used.

c. The invoice number or other agreed-upon transaction reference number assigned by the vendor should be included in the notice to assist the vendor in reconciling the payment. Inclusion of the contract number in the notice to the vendor is optional.

d. The temporary unavailability of funds does not relieve an activity of the obligation to pay interest penalties or the additional penalties that may be required.

e. NASA will pay any late payment interest penalties (including any additional penalties described below) from the funds available for the administration of the program for which the penalty was incurred. The PPA does not authorize the appropriation of additional amounts to pay penalties.

f. NASA will report interest penalty payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on IRS Form 1099-MISC when payments to any one person, partnership, or trust total $600 or more.

g. Final payments on cost-type contracts are subject to interest penalties; they are not contract financing payments.

h. Interim payments under cost-reimbursement service contracts are treated as invoice payments. Interest penalties will be paid for interim payments under cost-reimbursement service contracts awarded on or after December 15, 2000, that are paid more than 30 days after a proper invoice has been received from the vendor.

i. Payments for partial deliveries are subject to PPA requirements. NASA will pay for partial delivery of supplies or partial performance of services after acceptance, unless specifically prohibited by the contract. Payment is contingent upon submission of a proper invoice.

4.6.2 Grant recipients. See 5 CFR § 1315.15 for information on grant recipients and interest penalties.

4.7 Penalties Not Due

4.7.1 Interest penalties are not required:

a. When payment is delayed because of a dispute between a Federal agency and a vendor over the amount of the payment or other issues concerning compliance with the terms of a contract. Claims concerning disputes, and any interest that may be payable with respect to the period, while the dispute is being settled, will be resolved in accordance with the provisions in 41 U.S.C. §§ 7101-7109 et seq. except for interest payments required under 31 U.S.C. § 3902(h)(2).

b. When payments are made solely for financing purposes or in advance, except for interest payment required under 31 U.S.C. § 3902(h)(2).

c. For a period when amounts are withheld temporarily in accordance with the contract.

d. When an EFT payment is not credited to the vendor's account by the payment due date because of the failure of the Federal Reserve or the vendor's bank to do so.

e. When the interest penalty is less than $1.00.

4.8 Additional Penalties

4.8.1 Vendor Entitlements. A vendor will be entitled to an additional penalty payment when the vendor is owed a late payment interest penalty by NASA of $1.00 or more, if the vendor:

a. Receives a payment issued after the due date and NASA failed to include the late payment interest.

b. Is not paid the interest penalty payment within ten days after the actual payment date.

c. Makes a written request that NASA pay such an additional penalty that is postmarked, received by facsimile, or by electronic mail, by the 40th day after payment was made. If there is no postmark or if it is illegible, the request will be valid if it is received and annotated with the date of receipt by NASA by the 40th day. The written request includes the following:

(1) Specific assertion that late payment interest is due for a specific invoice, and request payment of all overdue late payment interest penalty and such additional penalty as may be required.

(2) A copy of the invoice on which late payment interest was due but not paid, a statement that the principal has been received, and the date of receipt of the principal.

4.8.2 Maximum Penalty. The additional penalty will be equal to one hundred percent of the original late payment interest penalty up to but not exceeding $5,000.

4.8.3 Minimum Penalty. Regardless of the amount of the late payment interest penalty, the additional penalty paid will not be less than $25. No additional penalty is owed, however, if the amount of the interest penalty is less than $1.00.

4.8.4 Penalty Basis. The penalty is based on individual invoices. Where payments are consolidated for disbursing purposes, the penalty determinations will be made separately for each invoice therein.

4.8.5 Utility Payments. The additional penalty does not apply to the payment of utility bills where late payment penalties for these bills are determined through the tariff rate-setting process.

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | Chapter10 | Chapter11 | Chapter12 | Chapter13 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |
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