The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) have been created to address some of the common questions that our office receives.  Please click on the following questions to view the answers: 

There are two answers to this question.

First, many times, the PI is getting permission from the agency technical representative.  We need to see if the technical representative has the authority to give that permission.  Many agencies require changes be authorized by the administrative/grant representative.  We have had agencies reject charges even though the technical representative gave permission.  We are requesting the IBR in order to protect the PI, the department, and UNM from agency rejections of charges as the IBR is the mechanism used to review and, if necessary, request agency permission.  This is especially important on Contracts because our ability to revise budgets is more restrictive.

Second, even with the appropriate permission, an IBR is needed to update Banner so that the new budget is shown.  This helps speed up approvals involving the new budget.  Whenever a request for approval is received, Banner is checked to see if there is budget for that item/category.  If there is not, then the approval is held up as the fiscal monitor must review the award and the agency terms and conditions to see if the charge is allowable.  We also have the IBR in our files for audit purposes explaining the change from the original budget.

No.  We need the ABS to match the agency accepted budget.  Any changes should be done on an Internal Budget Revision (IBR) form.  This allows us to enter the original budget immediately which needs to be in Banner before you can begin spending.  It also allows our department to verify if agency approval is required on your changes.  Finally, the separate IBR gives us needed documentation for future audits.  You can send the IBR directly to your fiscal monitor when you submit the ABS.

Basically, if it involves a submission to the agency, contact OSP.  If it involves the monitoring or spending on the award, contact CGA.

OSP is the official representative of UNM to agencies on restricted awards.  Therefore, OSP works with faculty and staff to submit proposals and requests for amendments on existing awards including supplemental funding, continuations, PI changes, and transfers.  OSP handles any negotiations and verifies compliance checks (IACUC, IRB, Export Control, Conflict of Interest) are met.  OSP also works with CGA when the agencies need to be contacted for award clarification and budget revisions as well as gives advice regarding Federal, State and Local Government agency rules, regulations and procedures.

CGA is responsible for monitoring the award striving to efficiently maintain compliance with University policies and procedures, with federal regulations, and with the terms and conditions established by our sponsoring agencies.  CGA sets up awards into Banner, verifies Banner budgets match the awarded budget as well as handles reviewing budget revisions to see if agency permission is required.  CGA also provides guidance to departments regarding terms and conditions as well as reviews and approves allowable transactions.  Invoicing along with interim non-technical reports are done by CGA.  When the award has ended, CGA prepares final non-technical reports, obtains subaward closeout documentation, reviews the award for compliance, and then closes the award in Banner.

The Workflow is based on the budget period end date, not the project period end date.  Many agencies when giving multi-year awards only give us the funds for one year at a time.  If the award documentation states the funding is for a specific period – the budget period – we cannot spend after the budget period end date until an amendment is received extending the award another year and, generally, giving us additional funds. 

Go into Workflow and choose the “Extend” radio button.  Place in the comments that you are expecting the next year’s funding and then “Complete”.  The Fiscal Monitor will review to verify the next year’s funding/extension has not been received and will then forward the Workflow to OSP so that OSP can determine if they need to contact the agency to get the next year’s increment.

If you believe the budget period end date is incorrect, please contact your fiscal monitor so that a review of the award documentation can be made.

It is very important that a student is paid correctly.  Doing so allows us to stay in compliance with agency terms and conditions, IRS regulations, and Federal and State regulations.  If salary should be paid and a stipend is given instead, we are now out of compliance with the IRS.  If stipends should be paid and salary is instead, we could be overcharging agencies as fringe was included along with F&A on the salary.

Is the primary benefit of the student’s work the University’s restricted award? Would the University have to hire an employee or contractor to do the work if the student was not working on the project? Is the student selected because of knowledge and/or experience?  If so, this generally means that the work is considered services performed and deemed taxable compensation meaning the student should be considered a student employee and paid through payroll.

Is the primary benefit of the student’s work for the student, such as to complete a dissertation or further the student’s training and/or education? Will the tasks performed contribute to the development of the student’s skills needed in their studies? Will the student be determining the activities to be performed or are the activities required for a degree or impacts the student’s grades?  Is the activity an incidental benefit to the University?  If so, this generally means that the work is not considered services performed and payment should be made to the student via a stipend.

Agency terms and conditions must also be followed.  If the award stated a student would be hired to work on the award, then salary should be paid to the student as an employee and not with a stipend.  If the award makes it clear that students should be paid by stipends, then the students should not be hired and paid salary. 

Please check with your fiscal monitor if you have additional questions on this topic.

If the check is a reimbursement for a charge that is on the restricted award, for example, if a traveler is returning the personal portion of travel charges, then the check should be deposited into the restricted index under account code 07ZZ-Reimbursement Holding.  After posting, a JV then needs to be done debiting account code 07ZZ and crediting the account code where the original charge was posted.

If the check is income on the award, such as registration fees for a conference or purchase of items made because of the award, then it should be deposited into the program income index, account code 04A0.  If you do not have a program income index, please let your fiscal monitor know immediately so that a program income index can be set up.  All program income, income earned that is directly generated by a restricted award or as a result of the award, needs to have a separate index number for documentation and audit purposes.

If the check is in payment for an award’s invoice, it should immediately be sent to the Contract & Grant Accounting office.  Payments for restricted awards have special handling instructions and should not be deposited against the award’s index.

If the check is sent by an agency for a new award, it should immediately be sent along with any documentation included with the check to the Office of Sponsored Projects.

Allowability is dependent on the agency and the award terms and conditions.  For most Federal awards and Federal flow-through awards, permission must be received from the agency if the key personnel effort (generally PIs, Co-PIs, and potentially others) is reduced by more than 25% from the proposed effort.  UNM can only measure effort through payroll salary, therefore effort is determined by the salary charged.

If the PI does not want to seek permission from the agency and it is allowable by the agency terms and conditions, cost share can be set up for the award and key personnel salary can be charged to the cost share.  This will allow us to prove that at least 75% of the proposed key personnel salary was charged while allowing the PI to utilize the award budget elsewhere.  A spending plan with hard signatures can be submitted to the fiscal monitor for the PI salary and fringe.  Please verify with your fiscal monitor first if this would be allowable on the award.

It depends.  Extra compensation cannot be for work that is intended to be part of a regular workload or of a recurring or long-term nature.  Most faculty are expected to do research as part of their regular duties.  Therefore, for most faculty, the answer would be no even though the PI did not plan on doing this award.  If the PI has a position with the UNM that does not expect research to be part of their workload, if extra compensation is allowed based on their position, and if there is agency approval for extra compensation, then the answer would be yes.  Extra Compensation always needs approval from the agency, either in the proposed budget or after the fact through a budget revision request.