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Open Comment Blog

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  • Open Comment Period: March 7 - March 18, 2022

Comments Mar 21, 2022 8:25 am

Procedure section #1.  The table for max overhead assessment and comments on overhead rate refer to only charging the OSA rate.  Rate calculation policy notes that the F&A rate appropriate to the activity should be applied.  Since TTAs can be accounted for within a 3E fund type, if I have a mixed customer base that includes grant funds, it's quite possible that the grant funds being charged my internal rate may have the 58.6% Research rate assessed.  If I am external customer paying the OSA rate, I am now receiving preferential pricing compared to the grant funds. 

Procedure section #8.  Is clarification necessary that the overhead assessment expense and revenue process in an admin allowance CFOP is necessary in the TTA/FUA process, but does not apply on non TTA external charges? 

Reply to at 8:25 am Mar 11, 2022 9:29 am

Consistency and communication between the Contracts+ and GAR systems would be helpful. Currently, customers/clients need to be established in both systems by using similar information. It could streamline the process to add a "vendor" to GAR automatically when they are submitted to the Contracts+ side. If it is a Receivable Only "vendor," it indicates that they will need to pay an invoice at some point in the future meaning they should also be added to GAR.

Additionally, the language and history of receiving payments on TTAs is quite different when the payments are coming through GAR. We have a number of clients who have been sponsoring work with us over the course of multiple years and paying invoices through SPA. The timeline and late fee assessment through GAR is a huge shift, and is causing friction with our long-term, established clients. These late fees are not addressed in the TTA contract language, and the four-week grace period before late fees are assessed is different than the contracting language. 

We are a "customer focused" entity on campus, and we want to be responsive to our clients' needs - they are a new and substantial stream of revenue for our Department, but assessing late fees after 28 days does not allow for any leniency or compromise for customers with extenuating circumstances (i.e. closing a round of funding or internal payment timeline requirements). This restrictive policy is causing customer-relation friction and eroding previously-established rapport.  

Reply to at 9:29 am Mar 11, 2022 9:17 am

I feel that the work flow for getting a contract sumitted to the Contracts+ system and it going to the contract Sponsor needs to be more communicative and transparent. Currently, when I submit a contract request, I have to anticipate whether or not my client would like changes made to the template document. Since I work with technical points of contact, I do not always have the legal team's opinion/input on the contract. There have been two routes that these contracts have taken:

  • The complete contract package gets sent to the Sponsor with me as the Departmental point of contact copied. This allows the Sponsor to review the contract prior to it being submitted for signatures
  • If "Template No Changes" is selected as the type of contract, it gets routed directly to the client for signature

I feel that the first option is working better for ensuring we have all of the sponsor's feedback and correct point of contact, and I would hope that the first option becomes standard practice moving forward. 

For communication through the contracting process, it would be helpful if the person who submitted the request gets more automatically-generated notifications about where in the process the contract sits. If it gets "stuck" with a signature, I could easily reach out to the person it is stuck with, or communicate better with my clients if I knew the signatures acquired/process more automatically. It takes quite a bit of digging in the Contracts+ system to find this information.

Reply to at 9:17 am Mar 11, 2022 8:16 am

There is an issue with GAR and contracts.  The contracts say 

  • COST-REIMBURSEMENT. No more frequently than monthly, UNIVERSITY will invoice COMPANY based upon the budget set forth in Exhibit B. Within 30 days from receipt of invoice, COMPANY will pay UNIVERSITY the full amount then due.

Our GAR system is not in compliance with the contract the University of Illinois is getting into.  GAR is assessing late fees on day 28 or in Feb at 26 days.  In the month of February GAR had the statements ready Feb 2nd, they mailed them Feb 10th we received ours in our UIUC office Feb 15th and they were due Feb 28th or you got a late fee.  In this case there were only 13 days to pay.  We have customers overseas and in other states and they would have had even less time to pay and in this example our customers do not get 30 days from receipt of invoice to pay.    It is March 11th and we have not received the March billing statements.  I believe the due date will be March 28th and if that is the case right now they only have 17 days and then will get a late fee.  Even if GAR sends out emails on the 2nd day of the month the customer still will not get 30 days to pay because the due date is the 28th of the month.  

The TTA contract does not mention late fees.  Also, there were no late fees when SPA managed these contracts. 

Reply to at 8:16 am Mar 8, 2022 12:17 pm

We have to set a customer up in Banner twice with this new process which is time consuming and duplicate work for the department and customer.  We have to have the customer fill out the GAR form to get them set up in GAR (or the department has to fill this information out).  Then we have to send the customer the second party vendor form that is almost identical to the GAR form so they can be put in Banner as a vendor so we can upload a contract.  It would be best if we only had to have the customer fill out one form so they can be added to GAR and the vendor side in Banner at the same time.  

Reply to at 12:17 pm