Establishing a New Borrowings Program Agreement
An agency may borrow from the Secretary of the Treasury and incur new direct loan obligations and new loan guarantee commitments to the extent that the following is provided in advance of an appropriations act:
- New budget authority to cover their costs
- A limitation on the use of funds otherwise available for the cost of a direct loan or loan guarantee program
- Authority is otherwise provided
When an agency exercises its authority, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should be contacted. OMB will help the agency in, among other activities, setting up any necessary financing and receipt accounts with the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. OMB can be contacted by phone at 202-395-3945 or by e-mail at CSC2@omb.eop.gov.
Drafting the Agreement
Once all necessary accounts have been established, the borrowing agency contacts a member of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) Federal Borrowings Branch. The Federal Borrowings Branch is responsible for the accounting and reporting of Treasury's loans receivable and the related interest receivable. The Federal Borrowings Branch also helps the agency set up the required agreement between the borrowing agency and Treasury. These are the steps taken while drafting the agreement:
- Fiscal Service Office of the Chief Counsel conducts a legislative review of the agency's borrowing authority. This review establishes for the Federal Borrowings Branch that appropriate legislation is current, whether the agreement should fall within the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (FCRA) guidelines, and if any exceptions or conditions exist in the legislation that require special attention.
FCRA guideline conditions requiring special attention include:
- If there are no exceptions, a standard Credit Reform Agreement (Word version) is used. The borrowing agency replaces the underlined parts of the standard agreement with the appropriate information.
- If there are exception(s), it is possible the standard Credit Reform Agreement (Word version) may be used with modification.
- If the agreement does not follow FCRA guidelines, a nonstandard, original agreement will be required.
Guidance regarding establishing an agreement that does not follow FCRA guidelines is outlined in the NCR Operating Circular.
Review and Approval Process - Updated!
A review and approval process follows the drafting of the agreement. The agreement is not valid until signed and dated by a certified officer at the agency and the Assistant Commissioner of Fiscal Accounting Operations for the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. Agencies should allow at least two weeks for the Fiscal Service to finish the legislative review and finalize the borrowing agreement.
If an agency records direct loans or loan guarantees at a level more detailed than the cohort level the agency shall supply this information in the Centralized Accounting and Reporting System (CARS) supplemental information that corresponds to the borrowing transaction.
Borrowing and Repayment Transactions
CARS is an internet-based system operated by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. Access to CARS is granted by the Fiscal Service and can be requested online at www.fms.treas.gov/cars/forms.html.
- The borrowing agency may submit a principal advance request through CARS to the Fiscal Service once the agreement has been made final and approved.
The Intra-Governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) system's primary purpose is to provide a standardized interagency fund transfer mechanism. The IPAC system is an internet-based system operated by the Fiscal Service. Information on obtaining access to the IPAC system can be requested and found online at http://fms.treas.gov/ipac/index.html.
- The borrowing agency will submit all interest payments through the Intra-Governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) system.
Additional information pertaining to the process of establishing a new borrowings program agreement can be found at the Federal Borrowings Program FAQ
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