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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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SMG 2310.5

FDA STAFF MANUAL GUIDES, VOLUME III - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

BUDGET

POLICIES FOR IMPREST FUND MANAGEMENT

Effective Date: 05/29/2003

[PDF Version]

  1. Purpose
  2. References
  3. Policy
  4. Responsibility
  5. Procedures
  6. Effective Date
 

Attachment A - Memo Nominating New Imprest Fund Cashier
Attachment B - Recommended Cashier Operating Procedures
Attachment C - (PDF) Form SF-1164, Claim for Reimbursement
Attachment D - (PDF) Form SF-1165, Interim Receipt - Miscellaneous Purchase
Attachment E - (PDF) Form SF-1165, Interim Receipt - Advance of Funds
Attachment F - (PDF) Form SF-1129, Reimbursement Voucher
Attachment G - (PDF) Form SF-1129, Monthly Accountability Report
Attachment H - Annual Report for Cashiers
Attachment I - Report of Cash Count and Verification
Attachment J - Food & Drug Administration Imprest Fund Audit
Attachment K - Daily Reconciliation Sheet
Attachment L - (PDF) SF-1129, Transfer of Funds
Attachment M - (PDF) Increase FDA Imprest Fund Payment limitation to $10,000 for Enforcement Related Payments Memorandum

1. PURPOSE 

This Guide outlines policy and procedures to be used by FDA Imprest Fund Cashiers and Alternates.

2. REFERENCES 

A. Manual of Procedures and Instructions for Cashiers Operating under 31 U.S.C. 3321 (formerly Executive Order No. 6166).

B. FDA Staff Manual Guide 2341.1, Local Non-Travel Status Travel Expenses.

C. The Department of the Treasury, Treasury Financial Manual, chapters 4-3000 and 4-4000.

3. POLICY 

A. Safekeeping Facilities for Cash

1. The cashier must be provided safekeeping facilities commensurate with the amount of the imprest fund. Any questions concerning the appropriateness of safekeeping facilities should be directed to the Director, Division of Accounting, Office of Financial Management (OFM).

2. The principal cashier (or alternate in the principal cashier's absence) will have exclusive control of the safe, or other suitable secured facilities in which to place cash and receipts and advance of funds checks. No one else may have access to that safe or secured facility.

3. The principal cashier and alternate will have separate cash boxes with different keys.

4. The Administrative Officer or designee will keep the safe combination and duplicate keys to the cash boxes secure in two separate, signed, sealed, and dated envelopes for use only in an emergency.

5. The safe combination must be changed at least annually, or when changing cashiers, or when an emergency has necessitated access of funds by someone other than the cashier or alternate.

6. Cashiers will not place official funds under their own name in bank accounts or safe deposit boxes.

7. Cashiers may not be certifying officers.

8. OFM will establish appropriate controls to assure that proper accounting and safeguarding are maintained.

8. Any shortages, losses, or thefts caused by mismanagement will result in the fund being impounded, audited, and transferred to the alternate or a new cashier.

B. Designation of New Cashiers

1. The replacement of a cashier should be anticipated to allow sufficient time for designation and training of a new cashier. [NOTE: The advance fund should be transferred to an alternate until a principal cashier has been designated by Treasury.

2. When a cashier leaves his or her position, a memorandum must be submitted to the Director, OFM revoking the outgoing cashier's authority and designating a new cashier (Attachment A). The memorandum must be signed by the Administrative Officer and must state that the nominee has read this Staff Manual Guide and the attachments and has signed each page of the Guide (pages 1-13) and Attachment B (pages 15-17). The original copy of this Guide with the original signature of the cashier on pages 1-13 and 15-17 must accompany the memorandum. A copy of this Guide with the cashier's signature on pages 1-13 and 15-17 must be retained in the nominating office's files.

Upon receipt of the nominating memorandum, the Director, OFM will complete a Form SF-211 to request designation of a new imprest cashier. The SF-211 should indicate the maximum amount of the imprest fund and the cashier's name, title, and duty station. [NOTE: OFM may reduce or increase the amount of the imprest fund as needed. Normally the fund should be no more than the amount needed during a 4-to 6-week period.]

C. Imprest Fund Payments.  Payments from imprest funds will not exceed $500.00 for a single transaction except in an emergency. In an emergency the Executive or Administrative Officer of the office where the cashier is assigned may authorize up to $750.00. Emergency disbursements between $500.00 and $750.00 must be accompanied by a detailed justification signed by the Executive or Administrative Officer. [NOTE: Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) employees, please see Addendum for Special Exceptions.]

1. Travel advances will be receipted on an SF-1012, Travel Voucher. Both the SF-1012 and an SF-1038, Travel Advance Card must be signed by the traveler and the authorizing officer. An approved HHS-1, Travel Order must also be provided. The cashier cannot act as authorizing official for a travel advance or any other advance.

2. Travel vouchers that do not exceed $500 (in Block 17 of the SF-1012) may be paid via the imprest fund.

3. The Department of Health and Human Services has an approved program of emergency employee payments that may be the basis for payments when salary is not received. Separate guidance is issued on this subject. This applies only to NCTR as they are the only Office with an imprest fund.

4. Payments for miscellaneous purchases will require either an SF-1164, Claim for Reimbursement (Attachment C) or HHS-393, Purchase Requisition. The original receipt(s) for the goods or services purchased should be attached to the HHS-393 or SF-1164 and the FDA official who initially approved the HHS-393 or SF-1164 must confirm that the goods or services purchased have been received by signing the HHS-393 or SF- 1164.

Receipts in excess of $15 should be signed by the vendor or his agent as evidence of payment and should be accompanied by an itemized listing of the articles or nature of the services purchased. If the signature of the vendor and/or a list of the articles purchased cannot be obtained, the employee should attach an SF-1165, Interim Receipt (Attachment D) to the original receipt(s). The SF-1165 should indicate the name of the vendor and the articles or services purchased and be signed by the employee.

5. Advances for registration fees must be accompanied by an approved HHS-99, Authorization to Attend Non-Government Sponsored Meetings or HHS-350, Training Nomination and Authorization. The Travel Voucher and Travel Advance must be signed by the traveler and authorizing officer.

D. Securing and Disbursing Cash. Cashiers will receive replenishment by check. Any replenishment check that has not been cashed within 12 months from the date on the check will be canceled by the Financial Management Service and the funds will be returned to the Agency for credit. This action will not affect the entitlement of the payee.

E. Advance of Funds. Funds may be advanced to an alternate cashier on a signed Interim Receipt (Attachment E) which will be retained by the principal cashier. The amount advanced will be sufficient to operate the fund when the principal cashier is unavailable. The principal cashier will reimburse the alternate for the paid vouchers at the close of business each day.

1. If the principal cashier's absence is foreseen for 15 working days or more, the alternate will be advanced an amount necessary to continue the normal business of the imprest fund. Upon return of the principal cashier, the alternate will turn over the cash advance and the paid vouchers to the principal cashier and the cash advance will be reduced to the originally established amount.

2. If the principal cashier's absence is unforeseen and the advance of funds to the alternate cannot be effected as stated in the preceding paragraph, an agency designated committee of three persons, one of whom is the alternate cashier, will accomplish the transfer using the procedures above. Each committee member will sign the Interim Receipt.

F. Transfer of Funds. Before changing principal cashiers, any advances made to the alternate will be returned to the principal cashier. Refer to Section 5.9. for further instructions.

G. Replenishment and Liquidations

1. Cashiers should submit sub-vouchers with the SF-1129, Reimbursement Voucher (Attachment F) for replenishment on a weekly basis. At a minimum, replenishment should be initiated when the fund is 50% depleted. Cashiers should maintain copies of all Reimbursement Vouchers.

2. On the last work day of the month, the cashier will submit an SF-1129, Accountability Report (Attachment G) to the Accounting Branch in OFM. The number and total amount of replenishment accomplished during the month should be included on the report. [NOTE: A principal cashier's designation may be revoked or legal action may be taken under the statutes of the United States if the cashier fails to submit Accountability Reports in a correct and timely manner.]

H. Verification of Funds

1. Cashiers must complete an Annual Report for Cashiers (Attachment H) at the end of each November and submit it to the Accounting Branch via their Executive or Administrative Officer by December 31 each year.

2. Unannounced verifications of each imprest fund will be conducted by authorized personnel. The verifications must be conducted at least quarterly. A Report of Cash Count and Verification (Attachment 1) must be submitted to the Accounting Branch by the end of each quarter.

3. Unannounced audits of each imprest fund must be completed by the Administrative Officer at least once a year. The results of the audit must be submitted to the Accounting Branch on the Food and Drug Administration's Imprest Fund Audit (Attachment J) form by December 31.

I. Supervision

1. Cashiers are subject to administrative supervision by their agency for accountability of funds, exercising control of the paid receipts, and following proper procedures in the functions of their office.

2. Cashiers funds are subject to audit or verification by:

a. Disinterested parties appointed in writing by the Administrative Officer.

b. Administrative Officer.

c. Office of Financial Management.

d. General Accounting Office.

e. DHHS Inspector General.

f. Office of Regulatory Affairs

3. Cashiers will make all records available and provide assistance to persons authorized to examine or audit the imprest fund. Funds may be impounded by the representative authorized to conduct the audit or examination and will be released as soon as all discrepancies are cleared. The cashier will not leave the audit site until the count is completed.

4. RESPONSIBILITY 

A. Imprest Fund Cashier Responsibilities

1. The cashier is personally responsible for the full amount of the imprest fund and for proper performance of duties in accord with this Guide. If there are any shortages the cashier is personally liable and will immediately restore/recover any shortages.

2. The cashier will not intermingle funds advanced with personal or unofficial funds.

3. The cashier will report immediately any shortages, losses, or thefts of funds to his/her Administrative Office and the Division of Accounting, OFM.

4. Each year in December, the cashier and alternates will read this Guide and sign pages 1-13 and 15-17, indicating they have read and understood its contents. The signed Guide must be submitted to OFM by the end of December.

B. Administrative Officer Responsibilities

1. The Administrative Officer will assure that:

a. competent, conscientious employees are recommended to serve as cashiers/alternates.

b. each cashier/alternate has a copy of the Manual of Procedures and Instructions for Cashiers Operating Under 31 U.S.C. 3321 (formerly Executive Order 6166) issued by the Treasury Department.

c. each cashier/alternate has read and understood this Guide, including the Recommended Cashier Operating Procedures (Attachment B).

d. the original, signed copy of this Guide (pages 1-13) and each page of Attachment B (pages 15-17), bearing the principal cashier's or alternate's signature and date on each page, is submitted to FDA Headquarters when initial cashier appointments are requested and again each year in December.

e. an unannounced verification of the cash, receipts, and checks of each fund, authorized in writing by the Administrative Officer, is conducted by two disinterested parties at least once each calendar quarter. The Report of Cash Count and Verification (Attachment 1) should be sent to OFM by the end of each quarter. [NOTE: This must be a surprise cash count which is made at irregular intervals.] The Administrative Officer is not limited to conducting quarterly unannounced audits--they may be conducted at any time.

f. an unannounced annual audit of each fund is conducted by the end of each year and reported to OFM by December 31 on the FDA Imprest Fund Audit (Attachment J) form.

g. the cashier completes the Annual Report for Cashiers (Attachment H) and submits it to OFM via their Administrative Officer by December 31 of each year.

h. any shortages, losses, thefts, or irregularities in the fund are reported to the Division of Accounting, OFM, immediately.

i. any payment from the fund in excess of $500.00 is authorized in writing. With the exception of authorized emergency employee payments, imprest fund payments may not exceed $750.00.

j. all cash payments, as required by internal operating procedures, must be supported by either an original SF-11 64, HHS-393, or other document signed by an official who is empowered to authorize the payment.

k. imprest hours are established and these hours, and the security of the fund, are strictly enforced. Emergency openings outside of the established hours are kept to a minimum.

l. management supports cashiers in insuring that Interim Receipts over five (5) days are settled promptly.

m. management encourages and supports the cashiers in questioning and researching any suspicious claims or receipts.

2. The Administrative Officer will also assure the security of the fund by providing the following:

a. a safe, or other suitable secured facility, exclusively controlled by the cashier (or alternate cashier in the cashier's absence). The safe combination must be changed at least annually, and whenever cashiers/alternates are changed, or when an emergency has necessitated access to the funds by someone other than a cashier or alternate. Immediately upon the return of the cashier whose cash box had been accessed, a complete verification must be done before any other transactions are processed. The verification should be witnessed by the cashier, the individual who accessed the fund, and two disinterested parties. Any questions concerning the appropriateness of safekeeping facilities should be directed to the Director, Division of Accounting, OFM.

b. separate cash boxes with different keys for each cashier/alternate.

c. secure maintenance of two separate, signed, sealed, dated envelopes; one containing the safe combination and the other containing duplicate cash box keys for use only in an emergency.

5. PROCEDURES 

A. Disbursing Cash: All Cashiers and Alternates.

1. Verify that the payee and/or designee is a FDA employee by examining the FDA picture I.D. Before proceeding with payment, verify that the picture is of the person before you and that the I.D. has not expired.

2. If the person is collecting payment on behalf of another employee, they must also present both that employee's picture I.D. and a signed authorization from that employee to collect the funds. The cashier must compare the signature on the authorization to collect cash with the signature on the picture I.D. to (1) be sure they are the same, and (2) be sure the employee's picture I.D. has not expired.

3. Exceptions to the two preceding paragraphs should almost never be made. If an exception is made, it must be approved on a case-by-case basis in writing by:

a. Parklawn: Director, Office of Financial Management, or, Director, Division of Accounting, or Chief, Accounting Services Branch

b. Biologics:

c. FB-8:

d. Twinbrook/Piccard:

e. NCTR: Financial Management Officer, NCTR

4. Assure that all claims for reimbursement are accompanied by either an HHS-393 or SF-1164 and that the original receipt(s) for the goods or services purchased are attached. The FDA official who initially approved the HHS-393 or SF-1164 must confirm that the goods or services purchased have been received by signing the HHS-393 or SF-1164. If the receipt(s) total more than $15, make sure that the vendor or his agent has signed the receipt(s) as evidence of payment and has provided an itemized listing of the articles or nature of the services purchased. If the signature of the vendor and/or a list of the articles purchased was not obtained, the claimant should attach an SF-1165, Interim Receipt (Attachment D) to the original receipt(s). The SF-1165 should indicate the name of the vendor and the articles or services purchased and be signed by the employee.

5. Review all vouchers before payment to make sure that all necessary information and supporting documentation has been provided. Refer to Attachment B for the recommended cashier operating procedures. [NOTE: The voucher, invoice, or other documents provides proof of having paid out cash. The cashier must have the original voucher, invoice, or other documents to submit for replenishment.] Refer any suspicious claims to the Administrative Officer or higher echelon immediately with copies of the claim.

6. Date and mark the amount to be paid in the block marked "cash payment receipt."

7. Ask the claimant, or person authorized by the claimant, to sign as receiving cash. Do not accept any vouchers that have already been signed as receiving cash.

8. Pay each voucher after verifying that the claimant has signed the voucher. Never give the voucher back to the claimant after he/she have received cash. If a claimant needs the voucher back for any reason, he/she must first return the cash.

9. Initial and mark "PAID" both the voucher and all attachments. Assign a sub-voucher number and record in log.

B. Processing Interim Receipt Transactions

1. Cashiers will use an Interim Receipt (Attachment D) to advance cash to an authorized employee for immediately anticipated expenses. Such advances may be made for small purchases governed by procurement and agency regulations, equipment repairs, postage costs, transportation costs, and samples. The cash advance must be authorized in writing by the employee's Branch level, or higher, supervisor on an HHS-393, Purchase Requisition. The HHS-393 must state the amount of the advance and its purpose. The cashier should complete the Interim Receipt and have the person receiving cash sign the Receipt and provide his/her office telephone number. A copy of the approved HHS-393 must be attached to the Interim Receipt.

2. Interim Receipts should be for at least $50.00 (Administrative Officer's determination).

3. Interim Receipts must be cleared within 5 days of the date of the advance except when used to advance funds to the alternate cashier. It is the cashier's responsibility to follow up and settle Interim Receipts. Interim Receipts are settled when the person receiving the advance submits a completed SF-1164 (Attachment C). The SF-1164 should be signed by the claimant and have all necessary supporting documentation attached. If someone other than claimant is conducting the transaction, this should be indicated and authorized on the SF-1164. The claimant or person authorized to conduct the transaction should sign the SF-1164 as receiving cash, and the cashier should then void the Interim Receipt(s) and present it to the claimant as proof that the transaction has been completed.

C. Balancing Cash at the Close of Business.

1. Use an adding machine to add all the day's business transactions. List the amounts on the Daily Reconciliation Sheet (Attachment K) under "Roll Coins" and "Loose Money."

2. List unbatched vouchers (those vouchers not submitted to Treasury and not part of current day's business) under "Prior Business Not Submitted to Treasury."

3. List the amount of Reimbursement Vouchers awaiting payment from Treasury under "Vouchers Outstanding with Treasury."

4. List all Interim Receipts under "Interim Receipts."

5. List the total amount of cash under "Cash on Hand."

6. List the total amount of checks under "Checks on Hand".

7. Add the amounts entered on the first five lines of the Daily Reconciliation Sheet plus the amount entered under "Checks on Hand." Enter this amount under "Grand Total".

8. Attach the adding machine tape to the front of the Daily Reconciliation Sheet.

D. Treasury Checks

1. Verify that the name on the check is correct and that the amount of the check corresponds with the Reimbursement Voucher submitted.

a. If the information is incorrect, contact the voucher auditor or clerk who prepared the schedule. The check should be canceled and the schedule should be resubmitted with the correct data. (Do not cash the check.)

b. If the information is correct, enter the date received, date of check, check number, amount of check and schedule number in the "Paid By" block on the file copy of the Reimbursement Voucher.

2. File a copy of the Reimbursement Voucher in the paid file.

E. Transfer of Funds

1. Count and verify any advances (all funds on hand in whatever form) made to the alternate cashier. The count should be conducted by both the incoming and outgoing cashiers in the presence of two disinterested witnesses who will then verify the count receipt.

2. Prepare the SF-1129 following the example in Attachment L.

3. The outgoing and incoming cashiers and the two disinterested persons must sign the SF-1129.

4. Have the Transfer of Funds initialed by the Administrative Officer.

5. The incoming cashier should submit one signed copy of the SF-1129 to the Accounting Reports and Analysis Section, OFM (HFA-120) and keep one copy for his/her file.

F. Reimbursement Vouchers

1. Assemble all Reimbursement Vouchers in the order of payment starting with the oldest.

2. Prepare the Reimbursement Voucher following the example in Attachment F.

3. Sign the Reimbursement Voucher and have the Administrative Officer initial it.

4. Make a copy of the Reimbursement Voucher for your records. File a copy of the Voucher (without attachments) in the pending file until the reimbursement check is received.

5. Hand carry the original and all receipts to the auditor designated to process Reimbursement Vouchers.

6. When the check is received, follow the instruction in D(1).

G. Accountability Reports

1. Prepare the Accountability Report following the example in Attachment G.

2. Sign the Accountability Report and have it initialed by the Administrative Officer.

3. Submit the signed original Accountability Report to the Accounting Reports and Analysis Section, OFM. Maintain a file copy.

6. EFFECTIVE DATE 

This issuance is effective May 29, 2003.