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Letter of Credit (LoC) Workload Survey

By SRAI News posted 12-11-2019 02:26 PM


Letter of Credit (LoC) Workload Survey

Quantifying the workload associated with electronic LoC payment systems

The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) is conducting a new survey focused on research administrator workload.  Led by the FDP’s Open Government: Research Administration Data (OG:RAD) Subcommittee, this survey of federal agency payment systems and associated business processes involves a deep dive into the five largest federal government payment management systems (ACM$, ASAP, G5, GPRS & PMS). A LoC Drawdown Working Group was formed and a survey developed to gather a robust set of detailed data on system usability, business processes and the effort related to executing the process across FDP member institutions.

The survey asks for information about each system on its availability, ease of use and understanding, as well as the time required for the payment-related processes (preparing the data, submitting the request, and receiving and reconciling the payment). It also asks for information about institutionally developed tools to make these processes easier, which could lead to publishable best practices for recipient institutions. Finally, there are questions asking about suggestions for improvement across different federal LoC payment systems which could lead to recommendations for streamlining, efficiencies, or risk reduction for our federal partners. 

The survey was made available to FDP members in August 2019 and may be made more broadly available at a later date. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been actively involved in this activity and co-leads the LoC Drawdown Working Group. FDP plans to share the results of this survey with all FDP members (both federal and institutional), as well as Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and others. The survey results and report will be published on the FDP webpage and we hope to also publish the data and analysis more widely.

FDP is proud of the long-standing collaboration it has enjoyed with federal agencies on key federal government initiatives, regulation changes and opportunities for streamlining and reducing research administrative burden. Whether it has involved Research Terms and Conditions, ARRA reporting requirements, FFATA, DATA Act, or Uniform Guidance, FDP has played a vital role in representing the national research community’s needs.

You may be familiar with a signature activity of the FDP, the Faculty Workload Survey, which brings a data-driven approach to understanding the amount of time and types of administrative and compliance tasks required by faculty who are performing federally-funded research. Yet as research administrators and researchers we instinctively understand that the workload associated with the performance of sponsored programs is not limited to faculty. The LoC Workload survey is a similar data-driven approach to understand a specific post-award management process that will help us see the bigger picture of workload impact on institutions while setting the stage for future analysis.

If your institution is an FDP member and you are interested in participating, please reach out to the Open Government Subcommittee co-chairs.  You can find their email addresses and other information about OG:RAD on the FDP web page here: .

Authored by: Stephanie Endy, Case Western Reserve University, Rick Fenger, University of Washington, Avinash Tembulkar, National Science Foundation; Nate Martinez-Wyman, Duke University; Christopher Bernard, National Science Foundation