Does my agency have to use the PAM Standard Payment Request (SPR) file format?
If your agency submits bulk payment files to Treasury, you are required to use the PAM SPR by October 1, 2014. The PAM SPR file format is located at PAM Standard Payment Request format. Please program to the 5.0.0 version.
How long will FMS support the current legacy format?
Legacy formats will not be supported in PAM after October 1, 2014.
Will multiple types of payments be allowed in the Standard Payment Request (SPR)?
The Standard Payment Request allows for more than one schedule in the file, with only one type of payment per schedule (Vendor, Miscellaneous, Benefit, etc.) and only one method of payment per schedule (ACH or Check). Each schedule in the file can have a different type of payment and a different method of payment.
Can we send our bulk payment files to Treasury in the new SPR format without being a CARS reporter?
Yes, we encourage your agency to begin sending your payment requests using the PAM SPR as soon as your agency’s programming and testing are complete.
Can my agency become a CARS reporter on any day of the month?
No. GWA/CARS reporting must begin on the first business day of a month. October 1, 2014 is the LAST opportunity to become a GWA/CARS reporter to meet the mandated implementation date.
My agency has separate areas that issue payments using different ALCs. Can each area transition to the PAM Standard Payment Format separately? Also, can they become CARS reporters separately?
Yes, your agency can determine the timing for transitioning to the PAM SPR for all of your areas that request payments to be issued. The transition to the SPR is not restricted by an entire ALC transitioning at the same time. However, all payments issued using the same ALC must convert to CARS reporting at the same time.
What is the difference between Type A and B payments?
Type A payments are payment requests made through the Secure Payment System (SPS). Detail payment information can be typed into the SPS system or uploaded to SPS using the 440 format. Agencies provideboth detail payment and summary information for certification through SPS for Type A Payments. Type B payments are payment requests made using a bulk file and are submitted using Connect:Direct. Detail payment information is included on the bulk file with the summary information being provided through SPS for certification of the payment requests.
Will Connect:Direct continue to be available for sending bulk payment requests?
Yes. Connect:Direct will continue to be the mechanism for submitting bulk files to Treasury. Be sure to contact your PAM Conversion Lead for details about changes you will need to make for transmitting the PAM SPR.
My agency’s payment software is provided by an outside vendor/contractor. Can they attend the TAS/BETC Readiness Training and TAS/BETC Technical Walkthrough sessions to learn about the changes needed?
Yes, they are encouraged to attend the training sessions along with representatives from your agency. The training schedule is listed on Outreach Events & Training page. Each session description includes a list of recommended participants.
Where can I get a list of my agency’s TAS/BETC’s?
The current and active list of TAS/BETCs can be found on the Shared Accounting Module (SAM) public website GWA Reference Data Treasury Accounts. In addition, your agency will have the opportunity to establish a “Favorite List” in the SPS application that can be used to populate TAS/BETCs when submitting payments and certifications through SPS. Each time you logon to SPS, your Favorite List of TAS/BETCs will be validated to ensure they are current and active. They will also be validated when managing your list andon demand.
My agency needs to use many TAS/BETCs. Is the number of TAS/BETCs I can use limited?
Yes, there are limits at the payment and schedule level. The limit per payment is 100 TAS/BETCs and per schedule is 1000.
Will PAM validate TAS/BETCs in my bulk payment file?
No, PAM will not validate TAS/BETCs. PAM will, however, compare TAS/BETC information received in the bulk file to TAS/BETC information received with the certification. PAM will create a report for GWA/CARS with any differences found between the TAS/BETC information provided with the detail payments in the bulk file and the certification received through SPS. Payments will not be delayed due to TAS/BETC differences found. To correct the TAS/BETC reporting, you will need to re-classify the payments using the CARS application.
What happens if my agency sends a payment with a valid, but incorrect, TAS/BETC?
To correct the TAS/BETC reporting, you will need to re-classify the payments using the CARS application.
I am a CO (certifying officer) in SPS. If I certify a schedule and find that there was a mistake, can I call it back?
No. Once a schedule is certified, the schedule is beyond the point of stopping the payments from being issued.
What is an IAT payment?
An IAT payment is an ACH payment to a domestic recipient bank and a payee that has a foreign address. These payments should be created in a separate schedule with a Standard Entry Class Code of IAT.
We have payee addresses in Puerto Rico and Guam. Would these be IAT payments?
No, these would not be IAT payments because the payee’s address is a US Territory.
We have payee addresses that are FPOs and APOs. Would these be IAT payments?
No, these would not be IAT payments because the payee’s addresses are military and temporary.
February 28, 2014