The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) distributes almost all of its grant payments via the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP), with the exception of grant payments to federal entities (e.g., federal laboratories) and payments made on behalf of the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program agreement participants. Grant payments to federal entities are processed via the Intra-Governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) system.
ATTENTION: FY 2018 TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF ASAP ACCCOUNTS SCHEDULE
NIFA temporarily suspends all open ASAP accounts for the last 4 business days of the month. All NIFA recipients (i.e., Agency Location Codes (ALC) 12402200/00 and 12402200/01) should withdraw the necessary funds prior to the cutoff. ASAP accounts are re-opened on the 1st business day of every month. Per the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) became Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS) Reporters, to eliminate timing differences within the Federal Government. This initiative ensures that all agency transactions are properly recorded and reconciled in all federal financial management systems. NIFA released its FY 2018 Schedule for the Monthly Suspension of ASAP Accounts.
ATTENTION: FY 2018 IPAC BILL PROCESSING SCHEDULE
NIFA also released its FY 2018 Schedule for Processing IPAC Bills associated with federal grantees (i.e., grants to federal entities). This applies to all NIFA recipients with Agency Locator Code (ALC) 12402200. This policy and procedure also was established to ensure that agency financial transactions are properly recorded in USDA’s financial management system and reconciled with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS). Questions or concerns may be addressed to Jeffrey Sweet, Chief, Financial Analysis Branch, or (202) 403-0423.
ATTENTION: NIFA ASAP HELP DESK
Questions regarding a specific grant account, funding authorization, or payment should be directed to the NIFA ASAP Help Desk at ASAPCustomerService@usda.gov with the following information:
- Name of Recipient Organization or Grantee.
- Grant Account Number.
- ASAP Account ID.
- Name of Person to Contact.
- Phone Number of Person to Contact.
- Email Address of Person to Contact.
- Description of the issue or concern including appropriate screen shots.
All emails are responded within 1-2 business days.
ASAP is a completely electronic payment application for Federal agencies to quickly and securely disburse funds to recipient organizations. The U.S. Department of the Treasury provides this service at no cost to Federal agencies and their recipient organizations through ASAP.gov. See how ASAP works. ASAP benefits and features include:
- ASAP allows grant Recipients to draw funds from accounts pre-authorized by Federal agencies.
- Grantees have access to information about their payment requests, account balances and history, and reports.
- Federal agencies can establish controls.
- ASAP is highly secure and 508 compliant.
- ASAP is internet based and user friendly.
- ASAP allows two types of payments: Fedwire and ACH.
- Payment Requests are approved or rejected automatically.
- Funds may be returned electronically to an ASAP Account.
- Online “Help” screens and tutorials which are available under the “Help” tab after logging into ASAP.
- ASAP provides user specific messages via emails, Homepage broadcast messages, and notifications.
All NIFA non-federal grantees need to be enrolled in ASAP to receive grant payments. A grantee, new to NIFA, will receive a NIFA Introduction to ASAP Letter with their Notice of Award (NOA) from the Office of Grants and Financial Management's (OGFM's) Awards Management Division (AMD). These documents are sent via email. The NIFA Payments Team initiates the new NIFA grantee’s enrollment in ASAP; and within two business days of the NOA, the grantee’s authorized representative (AR) or ASAP Point of Contact (POC) are contacted via email by ASAP to start the enrollment process. If the AR or ASAP POC does not receive an email from ASAP, the grantee should contact the NIFA ASAP Help Desk at ASAPCustomerService@usda.gov. This is the NIFA ASAP Help Desk versus Treasury's Help Desk in Kansas City. Since the ASAP enrollment process involves the identification and approval of grantee management officials as well as the validation of banking information; grantees, new to NIFA, should begin the enrollment process as soon as the grantee's AR or POC receives their first email from ASAP. Grantees are strongly encouraged to closely monitor the enrollment process until it is complete. While each grantee management official has 45 days to log into ASAP and complete their assigned tasks; failure at any step by a grantee management official to complete their assigned tasks within 45 days will result in the ASAP enrollment being deleted from ASAP. At this point, the ASAP enrollment will need to be reinitiated by the NIFA Payments Team. See overview of the grantee management officials involved in the ASAP enrollment process.
Other ASAP Enrollment resources for new NIFA Grantees:
- ASAP Enrollment for NIFA Grant Recipients New to ASAP
- ASAP Enrollment for NIFA Grant Recipients Already Enrolled with One or More Federal Agencies
- Top 10 Takeaways for New NIFA Grantees
- Webinar: ASAP Enrollment for New NIFA Grantees
After the ASAP enrollment is completed, NIFA needs to establish the ASAP account IDs for individual grants and certify the funding authorizations for these ASAP account IDs before the new NIFA grantee can make their first payment request in ASAP. This process can take up to 30 calendar days after the ASAP enrollment itself is completed. The overall payment process from receipt of the NOA (from OGFM’s AMD) to the initial payment request has been outlined.
For additional information about returning funds to NIFA, please review ASAP Returning Funds.