Grants and Contract Administration

Effective Date: 07/01/95, Last Update 11/10

Policy Statement 1: Responsibility for Sponsored Programs


Promptness

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), also known as the Pre-Award Office, will receive and accept/execute the award (grant, contract, cooperative agreement) on behalf of ECU. OSP will distribute notification of the award through the RAMSeS on-line proposal/award system. For additional information about the OSP processes see the OSP website at http://www.ecu.edu/osp/ .
The Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) will receive the award notice from OSP and will establish an active fund for the award in the Banner financial system. Establishment of a new fund will be processed as quickly as possible but may take up to 5 working days. Upon fund set up, OGC will notify the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD), the Departmental Administrator (DA), and the Associate Dean for Research (ADR) that the fund has been established and is available for use.

Upon acceptance of the award and the accounting fund activation, the PI is responsible for promptly pursuing the research, training, or service activities called for by the agreement. Human Resources (HR) action forms and other necessary financial transaction documents should be processed, as soon as possible, upon receipt of the award. Throughout the life of the award all necessary financial transactions should be processed on a timely basis.

Occasionally there is a delay in receipt of fully executed award documents. For those projects where there is an anticipated delay in the award process, OGC strongly recommends that the PI request an advance fund set-up through the “Financial Guarantee” process. Establishment of an advance fund will allow the PI to appropriately book expenditures to the award and minimize delay in project start-up.

Advance fund set-up will prevent potential compliance timing issues for effort reporting, cost transfers and other financial transactions, and will minimize the possibility that late transactions will be denied/disallowed by OGC. The Financial Guarantee process is part of the RAMSeS system. Contact OSP for additional information on the Financial Guarantee advance fund set-up process. See Policy Statement 3 for additional information.

Compliance With Award Terms

Principal Investigators/Project Directors have the primary responsibility for conducting the sponsored effort in accordance with award terms and conditions, and within the funds allocated for such effort. The PI should manage financial activities in a manner that ensures compliance with reporting deadlines, avoids deficit spending, and assures timeliness of transaction processing and award closeout. The PI should review expenditure details on a regular basis to verify that only appropriate costs are charged to the project fund. On an on-going basis, the PI should communicate and coordinate with his/her departmental administrator(s) to confirm that all actions are appropriate and timely and also comply with any internal departmental procedures.

All ECU employees engaged in any aspect of managing sponsored project activities have a responsibility for ensuring that all financial transactions are in conformance with sponsor and university policies and procedures.

All costs charged to a sponsored project must be reasonable, necessary, directly related to the activities of the award, incurred within the time period of the award, and allowable under sponsor and ECU guidelines.

Consistency With University Policy

Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs have a corollary responsibility for assuring that all sponsored programs conducted within their jurisdiction are managed consistent with ECU policies and available funds.

Oversight Management

OGC is responsible for the institutional oversight of sponsored projects financial activities. OGC may deny or disallow costs if financial transactions are not in conformance with University, sponsor, or auditor guidelines, policies, or procedures.
See also the Roles and Responsibilities Matrix located on the OGC website http://www.ecu.edu/grants

Financial Information

The Banner financial system provides on-line access to accounting information. A wide variety of reports and on-line tools are available to assist PIs and administrators in management of their expenditures and budget balances. OGC recommends that Internet Native Banner (INB), rather than Self Service Banner (SSB), be used for management of sponsored projects. The INB screens and reports are formatted to more closely match the needs of award management. Some of the SSB screens and reports are formatted to more closely match the needs of state funds and may be confusing for sponsored projects purposes. At a minimum, OGC recommends the regular use of the FRIGITD on-line screen and the FRRGITD e-print report for award reviews.

Contact OGC for additional information about Banner reports that are recommended for sponsored projects management purposes.

Assistance

Contact your OGC representative if you have any questions or problems with the financial management of your award activities.
The OGC staff assignment listing is located on the OGC website http://www.ecu.edu/grants