NIH Shifts FFR Submissions from eRA Commons to PMS

Jerry Ashworth
January 12, 2021 at 15:28:52 ET
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New year, new requirement! Recipients of financial assistance awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should be aware that the agency has now changed its Federal Financial Report (FFR) SF-425 submission requirements.

For NIH awards that require submission of an FFR, recipients are now required to submit the FFR in the Payment Management System (PMS) as of Jan. 1. FFRs submitted prior to this year were required to use the FFR module in the eRA Commons. This change to FFR submission requirements does not impact the submission timeline. Therefore, FFR due dates, as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, 8.4.1.5.2 and 8.6.1, remain unchanged.

NIH is implementing the change to align with Department of Health and Human Services requirements and to allow recipients to report/certify expenditure data once through a single entry point, thereby eliminating the need to report duplicative information across multiple reporting sources.

NIH has advised recipients who had an FFR that was a work-in-progress in the eRA Commons/FFR module as of Jan. 1 to restart the FFR in PMS. To do so, recipient staff responsible for completing and submitting FFRs must register with PMS to obtain log in credentials prior to submitting an FFR. The agency is enabling NIH recipients familiar with eRA Commons to directly access PMS through a Manage FFR button in eRA Commons, which will take them directly to PMS, where they can log in and be taken to the Federal Financial Report — Details screen for the given award in PMS. Once the FFR is completed, the recipient will submit it to NIH in PMS.

Recipients will still be able to see the current status of their submission in the eRA Commons/FFR module, and may also search for and access FFRs directly in PMS in most cases. Recipients unable to locate FFRs in PMS should contact the eRA Service Desk for assistance.

NIH Policy Analyst Adam Graham told attendees at Monday’s virtual meeting of the Federal Demonstration Partnership that the section 11, Indirect Expense, of the FFR form in PPM is limited to reporting 10 F&A rates. This is a notable change from the FFR module in the eRA Commons, which does not have a limit on the number of F&A rates a recipient is allowed to report. If a recipient needs to report more than 10 F&A rates on an FFR, the recipient must enter the additional rate information under item 12, Remarks. He also explained that each FFR is limited to report on a single subaccount, corresponding to the award document number in section I of the notice of award.

Here's to hoping for a smooth transition to PMS.

Join us for our following Thompson Grants events:
Procurement Standards for Grantees | January 28, 2021
Virtual Federal Grants Forum | February 23-25, 2021