Meeting Minutes
ASAP State Users Group Meeting

In conjunction with the
National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC)
Birmingham, AL
March 19, 2007

User Group Meeting Introductions
Carol Cole, Manager, ASAP Operations began meeting with introductions of ASAP staff; Myron Pinkney, ASAP Development; Laura Holland, ASAP Operations; Barry Walton, Federal Reserve Bank-Richmond, Customer Business Application Function (CBAF); and Pat O'Connor, NASC. 

Laura Holland introduced the new ASAP Customer Board State representative Sam Moore Oklahoma State Treasurer's Office and provided an overview of the current system.

Release 2.0 - Recipient Organization Enrollment
Carol Cole and Laura Holland, ASAP Operations

  • The new enrollment flow process was explained and each users role required to enroll was defined and task required.
  • Information regarding adding new users was shared along with how information is updated and timeframes associated with each task.
  • No more paper forms for the enrollment process are needed.
  • Banking data requirements and how to link banking data were discussed.
  • User tips guide will be developed for application users.
  • Informed users how the Customer Board is involved in making changes to the system.

Discussed the need to keep all information current with the implementation of enrollment:

  • Email address and its importance in keeping it current. Advised Recipient Organizations (RO) that if their email address or last name changes, they should contact their servicing Regional Finance Center (RFC).
  • Changes for Point of Contact (POC) can be done through the application. Advised that the Head of Organization (HOO) can define the POC when the RO does not have a current POC. If HOO does exist, then the POC can name a new Head.
  • Voice Response System (VRS), are required to be enrolled by the RFC and not through the ASAP enrollment at this time.
  • The Centralized State Coordinator (CSC) functionality was implemented with Release 2.0. The CSC will require State Treasurer to define the person at their organization that should receive an email when the State organization changes their banking data. The CSC person may not have access to ASAP. In order to identify the CSC person, the state organization will need to contact their servicing RFC with the name, address, email address and telephone number.

Q: What will be sent to the CSC?
A: They will receive an email stating that the state organization named has changed their banking data and provide the name and phone number of the Financial Official (FO) who made the change. The state Treasurer can then call the FO to verify the bank account(s) change.

Q: What are the time periods for bank account changes?
A: If new accounts are being defined or modifications are being made to an existing account for Fedwire it will be held 3 days and for ACH it will be held for 7 days.

Q: Why is it important to always maintain at least one bank account and what does modify do?
A: If you have only one bank account, instead of modifying the account the users should add a new one in order to keep the current account active and once the new account is active delete the old bank account. Otherwise, if the user modified the only bank account they have, the bank account will not be usable until the time period based on delivery method is reached (3 days for Fedwire or 7 days for ACH).

Q: In regard to banking data changes, will the confirmation page include the date when banking data will become active?
A: FMS will look at what it would take to get this included in the confirmation and to make sure that the banking data inquiry will include the date it can be used as well.

Inquiries/Reports for Release 2.0

  • Inquires and Reports that were developed with release 2 relating to enrolling users were discussed.
  • Inquiries are immediate based on the data being requested and will be presented when compiled or can be retrieved when requested.
  • The CSV version of a report or inquiry will allow the user to save the data in whatever type of spreadsheet software that is installed on their system such as excel.

Online Help and Error Messages in the Application

  • Discussed with users how the menu options were changed to display the help option more easily under the Help drop down menu.
  • Walked users through the help functions and how it is easier to access. Encouraged the use of Help for this step and the overall Help functions including the explanations for error messages.

Release 3.0 - November 18, 2006 - Notification of Change and Online Notification

  • The Notification of Change (NOC) is not a new process however, ASAP was not processing these notices until Release 3. NOC are changes sent to ASAP by the RO bank when changes are made to the bank account number, routing number, and account delivery types for ACH accounts.
  • NOC ASAP accepts: incorrect account number, incorrect routing number, RTN, transaction code in different combinations.
  • ASAP will post NOC codes that will be accepted. The ASAP application will reject, with an explanation, any NOC code that the application will not accept
  • NOC sent to ASAP will be applied by the system. The system will look at the banking table and update all accounts with the changes without placing a hold on the banking data. The application will apply the changes to banking data during initialization of the application the morning of the next business day after receiving the NOC.
  • The online notification subject line was modified to include text that described the notification message instead of the machine language that was being displayed.

Q: Why are multiple online notifications with the same information sent?
A: Currently if a user has multiple roles, they will receive a notification for each role. As part of the next redesign of notification, we will look into how to eliminate multiple notifications.

Q: Will an NOC affect the changes that RO make to banking data?
A: An NOC will be generated by a bank when a payment has been sent that requires a change in the bank account information (ABA, or account number, or account type). The application will update the bank account data with the information from the NOC. If the RO makes a change to the banking data that is the same information as the NOC, the application will only make the change if the information in the NOC is different.

Release 4.0 - April 30, 2007 - Internet Enrollment for Federal Agencies (FA) Discussed the new Enrollment process that will be used by FA:

  • RFC starts the FA Enrollment by identifying the FA POC and Certifying Official (CO).
  • The POC is responsible for identifying the individual FA people who need access to the ASAP application.
  • Once the users are defined by the FA POC, the CO will approve or reject users.
  • Each role has 45 days to complete a task.
  • CO can only be defined, modified, or deleted by the FA servicing RFC.

Release 5.0 - November, 2007 - ACH Debits for Returns

  • ACH Debit for Returns will be the first release using the Rapid Application Development (RAD) process. It will not replace the RFC reclassifying returns process.
  • RAD was explained as a discipline used to develop software in a short period of time.
  • This release will also include the proof of concept for data security.

Release 6.0 - April, 2008 - Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Requirements

  • Release 6.0 covers HUD conversion to ASAP and covers the next phase of data security.

Q: Will Release 6.0 be for HUD only?
A: No, it will also include Data Security.

Test Problem Reports (TPR's) and Product Problem Reports (PPR's)

When FMS conducts user acceptance testing (UAT) for a new release, a TPR is created when the testers find problems with the code. When problems are found by users in production, the RFCs are required to create PPRs that are tracked and scheduled by FMS. It is important that users contact their RFC when they uncover production problems with the application. Contacting the RFC instead of CBAF will ensure that FMS is aware of the problem and will track it until it's resolved. However, this does not mean CBAF is not involved in the problem resolution process.

PPRs and TPRs are recorded in four Category problems:
          Priority 1- fixed sooner than later
          Priority 2- work around
          Priority 3- works but not the way it should
          Priority 4- cosmetic changes

New Password Requirements

  • The new password requirement will allow the users to self service their password and will be implemented on March 26th for new users and on May 12th for existing users. The configuration for passwords will not be changed. The change will require new users to answer 10 authentification questions and to create a shared secret ID.
  • If a new existing user has CBAF to reset their password after March 26th, they will be forced to answer 8 of the 10 authentification questions and if they have not created a shared secret ID to create one. If a shared secret ID has been created the user will be requested to provide it to CBAF before the password is reset.

General Remarks/Questions

  • The home page of ASAP allows broadcast messages to be displayed. FMS will use this feature to provide information to users regarding ASAP (i.e. system changes, announcements, etc.). We will link these messages to the FMS website if more details are needed.
  • On the ASAP homepage, links will appear that the user can select that will route them to the first step of that function. The user may also access this function by selecting from the drop down menu.
  • It was mentioned that there are state organization level conferences that FMS may want to look into for future presentation.

Q: What is the difference between ACH and Fedwire delivery methods?
A: The cost is one difference. Banks can charge anywhere from $20 to $50 for a Fedwire transaction and ACH is less that 3 cents. Also, Fedwire is processed immediately and ACH is processed based on the scheduled delivery time periods, next day or up to 32 business days.

Q: Why are you only allowed to retrieve reports in 90 days?
A: They are allowed in 93 day increments because it is a way to limit the amount of data that is retrieved at a time. This is done to prevent users from tying up the application requesting large reports. Instead, they will request them in quarterly time periods - the application has all the data from the implementation of ASAP.

Q: If an account is suspended, can a report or inquiry be retrieved?
A: Yes, reports/inquires can be retrieved however, payment requests cannot be made. If allowed by the FPA, the users may be able to make book entry adjustments on suspended accounts.

Q: Will Interior be using ASAP only?
A: Initially, about two years ago, Interior decided that all Bureaus would use ASAP. However, at the end of last year Geological Survey started converting to ASAP but made a decision to move back to PMS. At this time, we were told that the remaining Bureaus will move to ASAP.

Q: When 'the calendar icon' is selected, "page not found" is displayed.
A: Users need to let us know through their RFC when this problem occurs. Then we can determine if there is a problem with the application. An explanation of what is being done along with a screen shot should be sent to your RFC to pass on to CBAF for research.

   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014