Grants and Funding

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Frequently Asked Questions
Payment (PMS Subaccount)
Last Revised: July 15, 2014


    I. General

      A. Background

    1. Why is NIH changing to PMS subaccounts?
    2. What is a competitive segment?
    3. How do I know the fiscal year (FY) of the funds used to fund my award?
    4. Will the Notice of Award (NoA) indicate the type of PMS subaccount?
    5. What is a type 4 award?
    6. Will NIH continue to issue type 5 awards as type 4 awards after the transition?

      B. Payment Management System

    1. Who do I contact if I have questions on completing PMS forms or drawing down funds from PMS?
    2. Where do I find more information on PMS registration and training?

    II. Domestic Grantees

      A. General

    1. When is NIH transitioning domestic awards from PMS pooled accounts to PMS subaccounts?
    2. How will the transition to subaccounts effect my competitive segment?
    3. Is the P subaccount established in PMS with the issuance of the Type 4 Notice of Award?
    4. Will both PMS G accounts and PMS P accounts be active at the same time?
    5. Will the PMS G account and the PMS P subaccount for a specific award have the same document number?
    6. If an award in the PMS G account receives a no-cost-extension in FY 2014 or FY 2015, will the funds remain in a G account or be transitioned to a P subaccount?

      B. Carryover

    1. Is NIH changing the carryover authority for domestic awards?
    2. Will carry over funds be added to the P subaccount once the Subaccount Transitional FFR is accepted?
    3. Should the expenditures reported on the Subaccount Transitional FFR match the disbursements reflected in the PMS quarterly cash transaction report? What happens if they do not match when the Subaccount Transitional FFR is submitted?

      C. Federal Financial Report Cash Transaction and Expenditure Data

    1. Will domestic grantees still need to complete quarterly Federal Financial Report (SF 424) Cash Transaction data?
    2. How do I report unliquidated obligations on the FFR for a domestic FY15 award?
    3. My award was not issued under SNAP. Are there any changes to my FFR expenditure data reporting?
    4. My award was issued under SNAP. Are there any changes to my FFR expenditure data reporting?
    5. My award was issued under SNAP. How do I prepare my FFR expenditure data?

      D. Payment Management System

    1. I have questions about processing a batch drawdown of funds from PMS. Where should I direct my questions?

    III. Foreign Grantees

      A. General

    1. When will NIH transition from fixed quarterly payments to PMS subaccounts?
    2. Does this affect payment for foreign fellows?
    3. How will the transition to subaccounts effect my competitive segment?

      B. Carryover

    1. Is NIH changing the carryover authority for foreign awards?
    2. Will foreign institutions need to return unobligated balances on continuing awards to NIH via check every year?

      C. Payment Management System

    1. What if I drawdown funds, but cannot obligate them within three business days because I need to complete additional requirements from my country or my institution in order to be able to spend the funds?

      D. Federal Financial Report Expenditure Data

    1. My award was not issued under SNAP. Are there any changes to my FFR expenditure data reporting?
    2. My award was issued under SNAP. How do I prepare my FFR expenditure data?

      E. Exchange Rate

    1. What exchange rate should I use?

    IV. Fellows Training at Federal and Foreign Institutions

      A. General

    1. Why is NIH changing the payment method for Fellows training at Federal and foreign institutions?
    2. When will NIH transition payment for Fellows training at Federal and foreign institutions to PMS subaccounts?
    3. Does this affect payment for fellows training at foreign sponsoring institutions (foreign fellows)?
    4. How does this affect payment for fellows training at Federal sponsoring institutions (Federal fellows)?

      B. Payment Management System

    1. Who do I contact if I have questions on completing PMS forms for the Fellow?

    V. Federal Grantees

      A. General

    1. Why is NIH changing the payment method for fellows training at Federal institutions?
    2. When will NIH transition Federal awards from check payments to PMS subaccounts?
    3. How will the transition to subaccounts effect my competitive segment?

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    I. General

      A. Background

    1. Why is NIH changing to PMS subaccounts?

      NIH is transitioning to Payment Management System (PMS) subaccounts in response to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directive to Agencies intended to enhance financial data integrity and financial closeout for all awards. 

    2. What is a competitive segment?

      The initial project period recommended for support (usually up to 5 years) or each extension of a project period resulting from a renewal award.  See applicable sections below for more information on impact of the transition to subaccounts on the competive segement for your award type. 

    3. How do I know the fiscal year (FY) of the funds used to fund my award?

      The Fiscal Year is a data field on the award located in SECTION I – AWARD DATA, in the Fiscal Information section as well as in the chart immediately below.  See the following example:

    4. Will the Notice of Award (NoA) indicate the type of PMS subaccount?

      In November 2013, NIH will place a "PMS Account Type" indicator on the award under the Fiscal Inforamtion header in Section I.  See diagram in previous question for example.   The indicator apprears just above the "Fiscal Year."

    5. What is a type 4 award?

      A type 4 award is a funded extension, for example Merit Extensions (4R37...) or Phase II Fasttrack SBIRs (4R44...).

      For the subaccount transition, NIH is using type 4s as a technical solution to separately track obligations and payments for awards that are transitioning to PMS subaccounts during FY13, FY14, FY15 and FY16. The document number for the type 4 will increase by one letter (e.g., once the type 4 is issued, a document number of RCA123456A would become RCA123456B). The change in type and the change in document number do not affect the due date or submission process of the progress report. See applicable sections below for more information on the transition to subaccounts for on your award type. 

    6. Will NIH continue to issue type 5 awards as type 4 awards after the transition?

      No, NIH will return to the standard use of the type 4s and 5s in future fiscal years.


      B. Payment Management System

    1. Who do I contact if I have questions on completing PMS forms or drawing down funds from PMS?

      Should you require assistance in completing the PMS forms, please call PMS on (877) 614-5533 or e-mail PMS at PMSSupport@psc.gov.   Questions may also be directed to the ONE-DHHS Help Desk at http://www.dpm.psc.gov/help/help.aspx?explorer.event=true.

    2. Where do I find more information on PMS registration and training?

      Click here for an overview of the PMS system.  To register for PMS Grant Recipient Training, send an email to PMS_Training@psc.hhs.gov.  See instructions on information that must be included in the email. 


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    II. Domestic Grantees

      A. General

    1. When is NIH transitioning domestic awards from PMS pooled accounts to PMS subaccounts?

      NIH will continue transitioning payment for all domestic awards with new document numbers from PMS pooled accounts (G accounts) to PMS subaccounts (P subaccounts) between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2016. The payment for all new (competing) NIH domestic awards made with FY14 and FY15 funds will use PMS P subaccounts.

      The transition of payment for non-competing continuation award will now be delayed one year and will thus begin October 1, 2015. See NOT-OD-14-103, NOT-OD-14-093, and NOT-OD-13-120 for more information. 

    2. How will the transition to subaccounts effect my competitive segment?

      For continuing domestic awards issued in FY16 (awards issued after October 1, 2015) the competitive segment will become two mini “competitive segments”:

      • the first segment begins at the budget period start date of the current competitive segment and ends at budget period end date of the FY15 award and
      • the second segment begins with the budget period start date of the FY16 award and ends with the project period end date on that award. 
      • See example Change from Pooled Accounts to Subaccounts For Domestic Awards FY16 (PDF - 94 KB)

    3. Is the P subaccount established in PMS with the issuance of the Type 4 Notice of Award?

      Yes.

    4. Will both PMS G accounts and PMS P accounts be active at the same time?

      NIH anticipates transitioning all new and continuing domestic awards made to the PMS P subaccount by the end of FY16, i.e., September 30, 2016.

      All new (competing) domestic awards made in FY14 and FY15 will use PMS subaccounts (P subaccounts).

      For non-competing continuing awards that have not yet transitioned to subaccounts, grants issued prior to October 1, 2015, will use the G account until the FY16 award is issued. Once the FY16 awards is issued, those FY16 awards will use the P subaccount and the grantee will submit an FFR for the FY15 award.

      Some examples of awards that will remain in the pooled accounts, multi-year funded awards made prior to October 1, 2013 (e.g., DP3, C06) and awards in a no-cost extension made prior to October 1, 2015. 

    5. Will the PMS G account and the PMS P subaccount for a specific award have the same document number?

      No.  The document number will increase by one letter once the Notice of Award is issued that transitions the project award to a PMS P subaccount.  For example, a document number of RCA123456A would become RCA123456B.  See I.A.5 above.

    6. If an award in the PMS G account receives a no-cost-extension in FY 2014 or FY 2015, will the funds remain in a G account or be transitioned to a P subaccount?

      The funds will remain in the G account.


      B. Carryover

    1. Is NIH changing the carryover authority for domestic awards?

      NIH is not changing the carryover authority for domestic awards. NIH is transitioning from pooled accounting to subaccounting beginning FY14 through- FY16, which necessitates that domestic grantees report unobligated balances from previous FYs so those funds can be reobligated to the new subaccount in PMS for the award. The balance reported on the Subaccount Transitional FFR will be re-obligated in PMS regardless of the carryover authority for the award. If the award was issued with automatic carryover authority, the grantee may drawdown the carryover funds and obligate as they would now, once this Subaccount Transitional FFR has been processed.* If the award was not issued with automatic carryover authority, the grantee may not drawdown or obligate the funds unless a prior approval request has been approved and a revised NoA reflecting the approved carryover amount has been issued.

      See example Carryover on Domestic Awards from FY15 to FY16 (PDF - 133 KB)

      *In accordance with existing policy, the GMO will review unobligated balances in excess of 25 percent of the total authorized amount for the budget period and may request additional information from the grantee as part of the review. If the GMO determines that some or all of the unobligated funds are not necessary to complete the project, the GMO may restrict the grantee’s authority to automatically carry over unobligated balances in the future, use the balance to reduce or offset NIH funding for a subsequent budget period, or use a combination of these actions. The GMO’s decision about the disposition of the reported unobligated balance will be reflected in the terms and conditions of the NoA.

    2. Will carry over funds be added to the P subaccount once the Subaccount Transitional FFR is accepted?

      Yes. Carry over funds are added to the P subaccount upon NIH’s acceptance of the Subaccount Transitional FRR.

    3. Should the expenditures reported on the Subaccount Transitional FFR match the disbursements reflected in the PMS quarterly cash transaction report? What happens if they do not match when the Subaccount Transitional FFR is submitted?

      These numbers—i.e., expenditures reported and PMS disbursements requested—do not need to match for NIH to accept the Subaccount Transitional FFR and add carry over funds to the P subaccount.  However, the grantee is responsible for reconciling these amounts as soon as possible if a discrepancy exists.  In this sense, NIH is reviewing the Subaccount Transitional FFR as an interim financial report rather than a final FFR for grant closeout.


      C. Federal Financial Report Cash Transaction and Expenditure Data

    1. Will domestic grantees still need to complete quarterly Federal Financial Report (SF 424) Cash Transaction data?

      Yes, domestic awards are in PMS P subaccounts, which require the completion of quarterly Federal Financial Report (SF 424) Cash Transaction data.

    2. When completing the expenditure Subaccount Transitional FFR for the FY15 award, how do I reflect the unobligated amount from the previous segment to carryover to the new segment?

      Whether there is carryover authority or not, in the new project period, the grantee must populate this amount in the field entitled “Unexpended Balance From Prior Project Period” at the top of the FFR (see screen shot below).    Failure to file FFRs in a timely manner may affect future funding.

    3. How do I report unliquidated obligations on the FFR for a domestic FY15 award?

      FY15 will be the last year for which NIH issues funds in pooled accounts for non-competing domestic awards; therefore, the FFR for the FY15 year will be the Subaccount Transitional FFR for the "administratively shortened" competitive segment. If there are unliquidated obligations at the end of the "administratively shortened" competitive segment, this should be reported on the Subaccount Transitional FFR expenditure data report. See question Domestic C.2 for unobligated balances reported on this FFR.

    4. My award was not issued under SNAP. Are there any changes to my FFR expenditure data reporting?

      Awards not issued under SNAP are still required to submit FFR expenditure data annually. See NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 8.4.1.5.2 Financial Expenditure Reports. However, the cumulative amount should only reflect the total for the competitive segment (see Domestic A.2).

      For all awards issued with new document numbers (i.e., for award types 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9), the cumulative balance on the expenditure FFR will begin with the initial award issued under that document number.

      For continuing non-SNAP awards converted from a type 5 to a type 4 in FY16 the cumulative totals will be based on the, "administratively shortened" competitive segments:

      1) the first covering the period from the start of the competitive segment until the start of the Type 4.

      2) the second covering the funding period from the start of the Type 4 award through the end of the competitive segment.

      For all awards, if there was an unobligated balance from the previous award, it must be entered in the field entitled “Unexpended Balance From Prior Project Period” at the top of the FFR.

    5. My award was issued under SNAP. Are there any changes to my FFR expenditure data reporting?

      Yes, but only to accommodate the transition to subaccounts for FY16. For continuing awards under SNAP to domestic institutions that had not yet transitioned to subaccounts, grantees will need to submit a Subaccount Transitional FFR covering awards from FY15 and earlier (i.e., awards issued prior to October 1, 2015).

      After FY16, when all awards have transitioned to subaccounts, the FFR reporting requirements will return to the standard process, which is generally as follows: for domestic awards under SNAP, an FFR is required only at the end of a competitive segment rather than annually. The FFR must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the competitive segment and must report on the cumulative support awarded for the entire segment (NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 8.4.1.2.3 Modified Financial Reporting Requirements). Unobligated balances for awards issued in FY16 and beyond will be reflected in the PMS subaccount.

    6. My award was issued under SNAP. How do I prepare my FFR expenditure data?

      See NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 8.4.1.2.3 Modified Financial Reporting Requirements.

      If the award is a new award to the institution (Type 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9) issued in FY14 or later, only one FFR will be submitted for the award at the end of the competitive segment.

      For SNAP awards to a domestic institution issued as a non-competing continuation award in FY16 for awards that have not yet transitioned to subaccounts, the grantee will submit two FFRs:

      1) the first, a Subaccount Transitional FFR, covering the period from the start of the competitive segment until the start of the Type 4

      2) the second covering the funding period from the start of the Type 4 award through the end of the competitive segment. If there was an unobligated balance from the previous award, it must be entered in the field entitled “Unexpended Balance From Prior Project Period” at the top of the FFR.


      D. Payment Management System

    1. I have questions about processing a batch drawdown of funds from PMS. Where should I direct my questions?

      For more information on the PMS Payment File Upload Feature see http://www.dpm.psc.gov/grant_recipient/bulkpaymentfile/bulkpaymentfile.aspx?explorer.event=true .  

      For additional assistance with using the new bulk payment file feature in PMS, please contact the ONE-DHHS Help Desk at 1-877-614-5533 or PMSSupport@psc.gov.


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    III. Foreign Grantees

      A. General

    1. When will NIH transition from fixed quarterly payments to PMS subaccounts?

      NIH will transition payment for all new and continuing foreign awards from fixed quarterly payments to PMS subaccounts (B subaccounts) between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013.  See NOT-OD-12-139 for more information.

    2. Does this affect payment for foreign fellows?

      Foreign fellows will continue to be paid by check or EFT during FY13.  See section Fellows Training at Federal and Foreign Institutions A.3 below for informatin on the transition of these payments during FY14.

      However, the policy announced in NOT-OD-12-139 does affect payment of the institutional allowance for foreign fellowships.  Payments made to the foreign institution for institutional allowance will be made through PMS subaccount being with FY13 awards.

    3. How will the transition to subaccounts effect my competitive segment?

      For continuing foreign awards issued in FY13 (awards issued after October 1, 2012) the competitive segment will become two competitive segments:

      • the first begins at the budget period start date of the current competitive segment and ends at budget period end date of the FY12 award and
      • second begins with the budget period start date of the FY13 award through the and ends with the project period end date of the current competitive segment. 

      See example Changes to Continuing Foreign Awards in FY13 (PDF - 69 KB)


      B. Carryover

    1. Is NIH changing the carryover authority for foreign awards?

      NIH is not changing the carryover authority for foreign awards.  NIH is changing the internal accounting systems used for payment of foreign awards, which necessitates that foreign grantees return unobligated balances from previous FYs so those funds can be tracked in the new accounting system of record.  The balance returned to NIH will be re-obligated in PMS regardless of the carryover authority for the award.  If the award was issued with automatic carryover authority, the grantee may drawdown the carryover funds and obligate as they would now.*  If the award was not issued with automatic carryover authority, the grantee may not drawdown or obligate the funds unless a revised NoA reflecting the approved carryover amount has been issued.

      See example Carryover on foreign Awards  FY13 (PDF - 133 KB)

      *In accordance with existing policy, the GMO will review unobligated balances in excess of 25 percent of the total authorized amount for the budget period and may request additional information from the grantee as part of the review.  If the GMO determines that some or all of the unobligated funds are not necessary to complete the project, the GMO may restrict the grantee’s authority to automatically carry over unobligated balances in the future, use the balance to reduce or offset NIH funding for a subsequent budget period, or use a combination of these actions. The GMO’s decision about the disposition of the reported unobligated balance will be reflected in the terms and conditions of the NoA.

    2. Will foreign institutions need to return unobligated balances on continuing awards to NIH via check every year?

      No, foreign grantees will need to return the unobligated balances on continuing award from FY12 and earlier (i.e. awards issued prior to October 1, 2012) to accommodate the transition to the new payment system in FY13 only.  Unobligated balances for awards issued in FY13 and beyond will be reflected in the PMS. 


      C. Payment Management System

    1. What if I drawdown funds, but cannot obligate them within three business days because I need to complete additional requirements from my country or my institution in order to be able to spend the funds?

      This requirement is intended to minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds from the Federal government and disbursement by a grantee. Therefore, although the grant may be financed by advance payments, the intent is that grantees draw funds on an as-needed basis—specifically, no more than 3 days before the funds are needed.  All Federal funds deposited by PMS in a grantee’s bank account as an unrestricted advance payment should be fully disbursed (checks written, signed, and issued to the payees) by the close of business the next workday after receipt of the funds.  If there are constraints on the expenditure of funds, (e.g. your government requires authorization to expend funds from other countries), the funds should be fully disbursed by the close of business the day following availability of funds.


      D. Federal Financial Report Expenditure Data

    1. When completing the FFR for the FY13 award, how do I reflect the unobligated amount from the previous segment for the new segment?

      Whether there is carryover authority or not, in the new project period, the grantee must populate this amount in the field entitled “Unexpended Balance From Prior Project Period” at the top of the FFR (see screen shot below).    Failure to return unobligated balances in a timely manner may affect future funding.

    2. My award was not issued under SNAP. Are there any changes to my FFR expenditure data reporting?

      My award was not issued under SNAP.  Are there any changes to my FFR expenditure data reporting?

      Foreign awards not issued under SNAP are still required to submit FFR expenditure data annually.  See NIH Grants Policy Statement, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_2012.pdf, Section 8.4.1.5.2 Financial Expenditure Reports.  However, the cumulative amount should only reflect the total for the competitive segment (see Foreign A.3).   For FFRs for an FY13 award (Types 1, 2, 4, 7, 9), the cumulative balance on the FFR will begin with the FY13 award.  If there was an unobligated balance from the previous award, it must be entered in the field entitled “Unexpended Balance From Prior Project Period” at the top of the FFR.

    3. My award was issued under SNAP. How do I prepare my FFR expenditure data?

      See NIH Grants Policy Statement, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_2012.pdf, Section 8.4.1.2.3 Modified Financial Reporting Requirements.  Awards issued under SNAP to foreign institutions after October 1, 2012, foreign grantees are not required to report expenditure data annually via the FFR.  For these awards, FFR expenditure data is required only at the end of a competitive segment (see Foreign A.3).   If the award was issued as a non-competing continuation award in FY13 (Type 4), the grantee will submit one FFR covering the funding period from the start of the Type 4 award through the end of the competitive segment.  If there was an unobligated balance from the previous award, it must be entered in the field entitled “Unexpended Balance From Prior Project Period” at the top of the FFR.  If the FY13 award is a new award (Type 1, 2, 9), only one FFR will be submitted for the award at the end of the competitive segment.


      E. Exchange Rate

    1. What exchange rate should I use?

      For initial awards issued after October 1, 2012 (Fiscal Year 2013) when preparing the FFR expenditure data grantees must use the currency rate in effect at the time the funds are drawn down from PMS. 


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    IV. Fellows Training at Federal and Foreign Institutions

      A. General

    1. Why is NIH changing the payment method for Fellows training at Federal and foreign institutions?

      In addition to the HHS directive mentioned in the first background question, the transition to PMS subaccount will provide Fellows training at Federal and foreign Institutions grantees with the ability to request funds electronically.

    2. When will NIH transition payment for Fellows training at Federal and foreign institutions to PMS subaccounts?

      NIH will transition payment for all new and continuing awards for Fellows training at Federal and foreign institutions
      to PMS subaccounts (B subaccounts) between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.  See NOT-OD-13-111 for more information.

    3. Does this affect payment for fellows training at foreign sponsoring institutions (foreign fellows)?

      Yes, but only for the stipend award and any travel reimbursement paid directly to the individual fellow in FY2014 and beyond.  Fellows training at foreign sponsoring institutions will now be paid stipend and any travel reimbursement through the Payment Management System.  However, the payment of the institutional allowance for foreign fellowships transitioned to PMS subaccounts in FY13 (see NOT-OD-12-139 for more information.) 

    4. How does this affect payment for fellows training at Federal sponsoring institutions (Federal fellows)?

      Beginning with the FY2014 award, all payment for Federal fellows will be through PMS.  NIH ICs will continue to administer the Institutional Allowance; however, all disbursements will be made through PMS.


      B. Payment Management System

    1. Who do I contact if I have questions on completing PMS forms for the Fellow?

      Should you require assistance in completing the PMS forms for individuals, please call PMS on (877) 614-5533 or e-mail PMS at PMSSupport@psc.gov.   Questions may also be directed to the ONE-DHHS Help Desk at http://www.dpm.psc.gov/help/help.aspx?explorer.event=true.


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    V. Federal Grantees

      A. General

    1. Why is NIH changing the payment method for fellows training at Federal institutions?

      In addition to the HHS directive mentioned in the first background question, the transition to PMS subaccount will provide Federal grantees with the ability to request funds electronically.

    2. When will NIH transition Federal awards from check payments to PMS subaccounts?

      NIH will transition payment for all new and continuing Federal awards to PMS subaccounts (B subaccounts) between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.  See NOT-OD-13-111 for more information.

    3. How will the transition to subaccounts effect my competitive segment?

      For continuing Federal awards issued in FY14 (awards issued after October 1, 2013) the competitive segment will become two mini “competitive segments”:

      • the first segment begins at the budget period start date of the current competitive segment and ends at budget period end date of the FY13 award and
      • the second segment begins with the budget period start date of the FY14 award and ends with the project period end date on that award.
      • See example Change to Subaccounts For Federal Awards FY14, which is also applicable to Federal awards (PDF - 94 KB)

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