Sally Rockey recently blogged about an important change in how HHS is making payments to grantee institutions. She wrote, “Traditionally NIH funding goes to grantee organizations in the U.S. into a single ‘pooled’ account, which they access through the HHS Payment Management System (PMS) to draw down cash and pay for research expenses. Last year the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced all operating divisions – including NIH – would move to a system that uses subaccounts, which means grantees draw down funds from award-specific accounts in the PMS. Because the sub-accounting system allows funds to be spent and monitored on a grant-by-grant basis, it allows grantees and NIH to better understand how much money is available for distinct research projects.”
See NIH Guide notice (NOT-OD-14-103) for updated details about the timeline for implementation. The take home message for grantees is:
Grantees’ financial systems must be in order to accept subaccount payments by October 1, 2015. If not, you will risk losing access to draw down your award funding.
NIH states that there will be no additional implementation delays and no exceptions to the new deadline.
Your institution is STRONGLY encouraged to take action now and get workflow processes ready and streamlined for a smooth transition well before October 1, 2015. HHS/NIH will only use subaccounts to award grant funds for fiscal year 2016 and beyond.
You are encouraged to ask your institutional research administrators and officers about the status of preparations to their financial systems and any impact those changes may have on your current multi-year awards and close-out procedures. ASK QUESTIONS NOW TO AVOID PROBLEMS NEXT YEAR.