Award administration at the University of West Florida involves many activities regarding the management of sponsored funds, compliance with federal regulations, and adherence to UWF policies and procedures.
Acceptance of an Award
An award to the university from a sponsoring agency is a legal document which obligates the university. An award may be simply in the form of a letter issued by an authorized agent of the sponsor or it may consist of a detailed, lengthy contractual document. RAE is the office authorized to accept and execute awards on behalf of UWF. RAE will consult with the PI if the award differs from the submitted proposal, so that the award may be accepted, modified, or rejected. No charges may be incurred against a sponsored project until such time as RAE has received and processed an original award notification from the sponsor and a grant/fund number has been issued by RAE to the PI.
Only certain administrators have been authorized to offer proposals, issue certifications and assurances for a proposal for the university, or accept a contract or award document. This designation is by Presidential Signature Authorization Policy P-04.01-11/09. All documents must be approved for signature by the university's Office of the General Counsel. No other signature is considered to be legally binding upon the university and is subject to withdrawal if received after the fact.
UWF has established an institutional approval process for projects requiring expenditures prior to the receipt of the award document or the final execution of a contract when it is highly probable that such approval is anticipated. In order to request advance authorization, the PI should have confirmation of the sponsor’s intent to fund and a date approved for beginning period of performance. Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 allows federal agencies and funds authorized to approve expenditures up to 90 days prior to the beginning of the period of performance for pre-award start-up costs with the agency’s approval. Under this system, approval must be authorized by the responsible officials (PI, director/chair, dean/vice president, and provost). For this purpose, a Temporary Authorization for Advanced OR Post-Award Account Expenditures request should be submitted to RAE. Submission of this form commits the PI, department, and college/division to reimburse university accounts in the event that the expected sponsor authorization is not forthcoming or advanced expenditures are disallowed. RAE will recommend an action to approve or disapprove such a commitment only after the proper authority at the granting agency has assured us of their intent to provide such funding with an anticipated effective date.
In some cases, an award may be issued by the agency after a series of negotiations which may involve revisions to the scope of the project and/or to the proposed budget. RAE is the authorized agent for conducting and approving such revisions, but no changes to a project or a budget are authorized without the express consent of the PIs. Faculty researchers are reminded that the acceptance of a revised scope of work or budget is a judgment that only they can make; it is not a judgment or condition that may be unilaterally imposed by the granting agency. If the agency requires the submission of a revised work plan or budget, this must be prepared by the PI and submitted to RAE for institutional endorsement and for forwarding to the agency. Upon receipt of an official award by RAE, the PI will receive information pertinent to the award, budget setup, and grant/fund number assignment.
UWF has delegated approval to execute any documents which obligate the university to performance or compliance to the University Office of the General Counsel via RAE. Awards, contracts, purchase orders, or cooperative agreements are first reviewed by RAE Grants Specialists and prepared for review. Negotiations on modifications are coordinated with the PI prior to final acceptance. Documents approved by the OGC for signature are returned to the RAE Grants Specialist and then executed by authorized university signatory officers as acceptance.
Authorized officers who may approve or execute such agreements on behalf of the university are the Provost and/or designees such as the Associate Vice President for Research. Signatures by any other individuals not approved in the University Signature Authorization Policy P-04.01-11/09 are not considered binding upon the institution.
Procedures for Establishing a Grant/Fund
Once an award is accepted, the RAE Grants Specialist will complete entry of required information in Banner Proposal Record, assign a grant/fund number and send the information to establish a grant/fund with budget in Banner Grant to a Grants & Contract Business Manager. Once activated, expenditures are authorized through regular university procedures. A review session with the PI and any support personnel on management of grant activities is scheduled if it is a new PI or if there are special circumstances in the grant award.
Subcontracting & Subrecipient Agreements
This section provides guidance to the university community regarding sub-recipient contracting and monitoring to comply with UGC.
Upon completion of the contracting process, award/contract from UWF to sub-recipient is transferred to the Grants & Contracts Business Manager for functions related to establishing encumbrances, processing invoices, and monitoring required financial reporting.
Throughout Period of Performance
- Please monitor completion of deliverables, receipt of invoices, approval of payments, and technical performance of all sub-recipients.
- Please notify RAE of the need to amend contract documents or to withhold or modify payment of invoices.
- RAE annually reviews applicable Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200.
- At Close Out/Termination.
- RAE assists Pls in requesting any required reports such as invention disclosures and technical reports to incorporate in UWF reports to sponsoring agency.
- RAE assists Pls in compiling final financial-related reports such as financial expenditure reports, inventory/property reports, and supporting documentation.