A publication of the Division of Finance & Administration

December 2020

Announcements & Updates

Uniform Guidance Update: Micro and Small Purchases using Federal Funds (Effective January 1, 2021 for UVM)

Uniform Guidance (UG) is the set of federal regulations (see 2 CFR 200) that drives research administration and allowable costs. Procurement-specific guidance focused on increased competition and transparency is found in sections 200.317 - 200.326.

On November 12, 2020, the UG revised the Micro-Purchase threshold limits from $10,000 up to $50,000 with specific requirements for audit purposes. This is great news and UVM has made the decision to increase its Micro-Purchase threshold to $25,000, which is in line with UVM’s existing policy and procedures.

What this mean for departments

  • Micro-Purchases: Thresholds will be revised from $10,000 to $25,000. As long as the pricing is considered reasonable, purchases will not require competitive bids (multiple quotes). Micro-Purchases must be distributed equitability among qualified suppliers (to the extent practicable).
  • Small Purchases over $25,000: Will be required to follow UVM’s procurement policy, by obtaining three quotes from multiple sources prior to the purchase. If multiple quotes are not obtained, the charge will not be allowed on a federally funded sponsored project; unless a single sole source justification is allowed/approved on a federally funded sponsored project. 
  • Purchases over $100,000: Will also be required to follow UVM’s policy, by processing a Request for Formal Proposal via Purchasing Services office.

These new thresholds will go into effect on January 1, 2021. Contact Purchasing Services.

New Photography/Videography/Web Design Services Agreement

There is a new Photography/Videography/Web Design Services Agreement template (Word) now available. This specialized services agreement must be used for photography, videography, and web design services, regardless of dollar amount (including when there is no dollar value to the services). Please review the updated services agreement instructions (PDF), which now includes procedures for using both of our services agreement templates.

New Contract Extension with Fisher Scientific through October, 31, 2023

UVM has extended its Primary Supplier Contract RFP #34-05-15 with Fisher Scientific for Laboratory/Scientific Supplies and Equipment, until October 31, 2023. As a Primary Supplier Contractor, Fisher Scientific will continue to be your direct resource for all your scientific needs. There are many great benefits that will continue to provide cost savings to departments across campus:

  • Deep discounts by category and manufacturer
  • Additional 1% discount off contract pricing for items promptly paid on purchase order
  • 2% electronic order entry discount
  • Free shipping for catalog items
  • Next day delivery on orders placed by 2:00 p.m. stocked in Mass warehouse
  • Dedicated sales representatives on campus for assistance- Contact karen.oppenheimer@thermo.com
  • Additional product promotions and new lab start-ups
  • Hotlist discounts for top 250 items

Contact Purchasing Services

New Charter Coach Bus Contract with Lamoille Valley Transportation

UVM has contracted with Lamoille Valley Transportation for coach style charter bus services through June 30, 2025. For more information on how to request a quote, make a reservation, or answer any questions, please contact Joel Prive, P: 802-888-2103 ext 101, or see Purchasing and Payment Methods (PDF).

IBB Data & Reports

The platform that allowed for net id authentication to access incentive-based budgeting (IBB) data and other related documents was decommissioned on November 30. Therefore, we have transitioned this material to a new, secure SharePoint site. To access it, please go to the Reports and Data subheading on the IBB webpage, or on the SharePoint site. In addition, the IBB 3.0 manual and all prior versions are located on both locations. Contact Cindy Lee if you have trouble with access. 

BFAN Listserv Decommissioned

In the continuous effort to streamline our communications to campus, we have revisited the utility of the BFAN and CATSKILL listservs. Messages sent to both lists pertain to business and financial topics, and over time, list membership has overlapped significantly resulting in duplication of effort and information being disseminated. Therefore, we have consolidated the 2 lists into one CATSKILL listserv and decommissioned the BFAN listserv. No action is required. Contact Cindy Lee.

Winter Break/Calendar Year-End Reminders

Campus Mail

Campus mail service will discontinue after December 11 with the exception of deliveries to Residential Life, Given, Physical Plant, Custodial Services, and the Davis Center. All other offices can pick up mail by appointment in the Williston facility from December 14–January 18. Call 802-399-2509 to arrange pickup (223 Avenue D, Suite 20, Williston, VT 05495).

Staples Deliveries Now through January 4, 2021

If you are placing orders with Staples prior to December 17, 2020, please BE SURE your office will be accessible to receive the package. Many buildings and offices may be locked as folks move to working remotely. Any packages not deliverable will be returned to Staples. Also NO Staples orders will be processed or any deliveries will occur from December 19, 2020 until after January 4, 2021 – as UVM is closed for the Holiday Break.

Petty Cash

In preparation for the upcoming extended Winter Break, please submit any petty cash transactions, including replenishments by cash or check, to the respective offices by Thursday, December 17.

  • Petty Cash replenishments in check form can be directed to the Disbursement Center using the check request procedures on the Accounts Payable website with a Check Request Form attached.
  • Petty Cash Replenishments in cash form and Petty Cash Closeouts go to Financial Reporting and Accounting Services using the procedures on the Petty Cash website.

Due to the recent surge of the virus, please plan how to meet the deadline in the event another shut down occurs. If you have questions or will have difficulty meeting this deadline, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the General Accounting group.

PurCards

Even as departments move to remote working now that students have departed from campus for the break, PurCard due dates remain in place. We appreciate your efforts.

COVID Purchases

For individuals using their PurCard to make purchases for COVID items, please add a brief explanation to your documentation on how and why this is COVID-related. The Disbursement Center is gathering expense information as required by the state and federal governments. This will save a lot of time to help us understand your need. Allowable expenses are those that are over and above ordinary expenses that must be incurred to respond to the pandemic. 

Gift Card Purchases

This has been an extraordinary year. As such, we are coming to the time when we may be inclined to express our gratitude to our faculty, staff and students with a token of appreciation. While it is important to express appreciation for the hard work that has gone on during these unprecedented time, it is equally important to comply with UVM policy and state and federal regulations. 

  • A gift made to an employee should never be in lieu of wages.
    • Gift cards should not be used to additionally compensate a UVM employee who is already doing work related to their job.
    • All gift cards to UVM faculty, staff, and temporary employees are considered compensation, are subject to taxes, and must be reported to Payroll Services prior to December 11, 2020 to ensure it is included in 2020 wages. Please include the employee name, netID, and amount of the gift card.
  • Gifts of cash or cash equivalents to students are not allowed (gift cards are not acceptable); cash or cash equivalent gifts made to students may impact the student’s financial aid package.
    • A gift made to a student should never be in lieu of wages.
    • Any gift to a student must comply with the Payments to Student policy.

Given the University’s budgetary constraints, any spending of this type (regardless of the method or funding source) will need Vice President or Provost prior approval.

Payment Acknowledgement Forms (PAF)

PAFs are due to the Disbursement Center after the funds are distributed and the form has been completed. The Disbursement Center has a very short window to manage the forms and prepare the IRS 1099 Misc form, given the additional holiday break days that the University has generously given to all faculty and staff. These forms are manually entered into PeopleSoft. 

  • Please get all forms dated prior to December 1 to the Disbursement Center prior to the holiday break of December 18.
  • PAFs dated between December 1 and December 31 are due to the Disbursement Center by January 8.
  • The Disbursement Center must produce the IRS 1099 Misc forms and mail them by January 31.

If the Disbursement Center receives prior year PAFs after January 8, and there is an IRS audit finding and penalty, your department will be held financially responsible.

Payroll

  • A reminder to sign up to receive your W2 electronically. This mode is both green and provides employees with the safest, quickest way to receive year-end tax information.
  • Payrolls will be run on time and not early this year and checks will be mailed to the home addresses on file in PeopleSoft, so please ensure your address is up to date.

Other Reminders

New Speaker Engagement Letter for Virtual Events

Please use the Virtual Speaker Engagement Letter template (Word) for all remote speakers using a virtual platform, regardless of dollar amount (including if no honorarium will be paid). Approval for the event’s virtual format is required from Purchasing’s IT/ADA Contract Analyst prior to sending the new Letter to the speaker. A pdf copy of this approval email must be attached to all requisitions and/or check requests for virtual speakers. Please review the updated requirements for this Letter (PDF).

Finance Policy & Procedure Updates

Recently revised/approved

Anticipated for winter revisions/campus comment period

  • Payments to Students (approval)
  • Undergraduate Student Employment/FWS

Read more Finance Matters

Join CATSKILL listserv

Next BFAN meeting: February/March 2021 (date TBD)