Fees, Billing, & Funding

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General Questions on Fees

August 1st, 2020 is the transition date determining whether an RWA applies the "old" versus "new" fee structure. For nonseverable services, the fee structure applied is based on the RWA Acceptance Date (which will always equal the digital signature date of the GSA signer of the original/initial RWA). For severable services, the fee structure applied is based on the start date of the period of performance (which may be different than any digital signature dates). See below for a more detailed breakdown.

For nonseverable services:

  • If the acceptance date is before August 1st, 2020, the current fee structure will apply.
  • If the acceptance date is August 1st, 2020 or later, the new fee structure will apply.

For severable services:

  • If the start date of the period of performance is before August 1st, 2020, the current fee structure will apply.
  • If the start date of the period of performance is August 1st, 2020 or later, the new fee structure will apply.

A contingency is meant to cover the unknown risks associated with a project. Each project has a unique set of circumstances that may require a higher or lower contingency than other related projects. The more risk (or unknowns) a project has, the higher the contingency will need to be. Regardless, the RWA needs to have a clear and succinct scope of work.

"New" Fee Structure (applies to RWAs with an Acceptance/Start date on or after August 1, 2020)

GSA is required to recoup the costs of the RWA Program. The "old" fee structure - developed in 1995 - was not recouping those costs so the new fee structure was developed to do so.

Changing the fee structure is just one component of the Fee Reform Effort. Other components leading to RWA Program efficiencies are the mandatory use of eRETA by all customers, GSA's Express Menu of Services, as well as more consistent direct charging for costs not covered by GSA fees. Additionally, GSA is encouraging customer agencies to use their Micro-Purchase authority to procure projects/services below the Micro-Purchase threshold. See the Facilities Management page for more information.

A stepped fee means that the fee rate decreases as the project costs increase. A stepped model gets its name for how it appears when graphed. The rate changes at specific dollar amounts and applies to a dollar range before dropping again at another specific dollar amount. The resulting outcome appears like a staircase or steps when graphed. You can find the actual table showing the different fee rates at different dollar ranges at www.gsa.gov/rwa on the Policy & Guidance page.

No, it applies to nonrecurring RWAs. Recurring RWAs (e.g. overtime utilities in GSA-owned space) are charged a flat $500 fee.

At a minimum, there is a $500 fee on all RWAs. All recurring RWAs are charged a flat $500 fee, while nonrecurring RWAs follow the stepped fee structure, which starts at $500 and increases as direct costs increase.

It depends if the overtime utility is a recurring or nonrecurring RWA. If it is a recurring RWA, the flat $500 fee applies. If it is a nonrecurring RWA, the stepped fee structure applies.

The fee structure is tied to the original RWA acceptance date, so if the RWA is accepted before August 1st and amended after August 1st, all fees will still be associated with the old fee structure.

The fee rate is tied to the Total Authorized Amount on the RWA. An amendment to add funds increases the Total Authorized Amount which could put the the RWA in a new fee range, thus decreasing the fee rate tied to the RWA. This does not necessarily mean the customer would pay less for the RWA, but rather that they would be paying a lower fee rate on the RWA.

Customers have the option to use Micro-Purchase Authority assuming they are delegated such authority. You can visit the Facilities Management page for more information.

No, F-type RWAs follow the stepped fee structure, so the fee applied is based on the estimated total project costs associated with the RWA. There is not a separate fee assessed on top of each task ordered against the RWA.

Customer communications and resources on Fee Reform can be found at www.gsa.gov/rwa on the "Policy & Guidance" page.

"Old" Fee Structure (applies to RWAs with an Acceptance/Start date prior to August 1, 2020)

4% versus Sliding Scale (Overhead Fee)

No. The 4% Fee is for regional project management oversight, contracting, entry, and tracking whereas the Sliding Scale Fee is a Central Office overhead fee that covers the program office, finance activities, RETA and eRETA.

The fees are separated as a result of the fee structure determined in years past.

The Sliding Scale Fee is applied on top of the 4% Fee and all other costs (including personal property). Both fee structures are generated monthly before the billing process runs. The fees are only generated if there are eligible direct expenses that have posted in that same month. In other words, both fees are charged gradually throughout project delivery.

4% Fee

The Sliding Scale Fee is added on top of all RWA costs to cover the costs of managing the Reimbursable Services Program. This includes the costs of tracking personal property information in RETA and eRETA and therefore is captured in program overhead.

No, only the Sliding Scale Fee has a maximum of $30,000. The 4% Fee has no maximum and no minimum.

The 4% Fee is charged on ALL construction-related costs on nonrecurring RWAs. The 4% PM Fee only applies to eligible project expenses including such things as design, construction, and construction management and does NOT apply to other non-construction related project expenses such as personal property, moving costs and severable services.

The 4% Fee is based on expenses incurred. As expenses are incurred and entered into the PBS financial system, the fee is automatically applied and bills the customer accordingly.

PBS uses the Summary Cost Estimate Sheet to figure out what the Fees are for the project. As the project is delivered, the function code referenced on the direct expenses instruct Pegasys whether fees need to be calculated on top of that expense and billed or not.

No, it does not apply to any overtime utilities.

Those limits are inclusive of fees. For example, if an F-type will have total estimated direct costs of $249,000 before calculating fees, the intended tasks on this F-type plus fees would exceed the allowed $250,000 limit.

The 4% Fee does not cover personal property items, which includes move services (SCE Line 16). If installation or assembly is included in the furniture purchase, then no 4% Fee is applied, however, if installation or assembly is not covered in the purchase, the 4% Fee is applied because they would fall under construction-related costs.

Yes, because moving costs are included in the construction cost. Moving is charged a fee based on the way it is procured, in this case with the construction contract.

Sliding Scale (Overhead) Fee

There are two types of overhead fees: the Sliding Scale Fee is for nonrecurring RWAs and the $100 Flat Overhead Fee is for Recurring RWAs. They both cover National Program Costs (Policy, Procedures, Coordination, Systems, Training, etc.).

Yes, the Sliding Scale Fee is automatically charged as the RWA incurs expenses.

Yes, the Sliding Scale Fee has a maximum threshold of $30,000.

Direct Charges

Direct costs must be included in the SCE and authorized amount of the RWA.

Not for typical projects, as this is captured as part of the 4% fee (for RWAs under the "old" fee structure) or the stepped fee (for RWAs under the "new" fee structure). However, PBS offers workplace design services where a PBS interior designer works directly with the customer, something considered beyond normal scope development, and would have direct costs associated, as detailed in the cost estimate prior to RWA acceptance.

No, PBS does not charge for developing a reasonable number of scope scenarios for a customer, as this is considered a part of doing business.

Billing & Receiving Reports

PBS bills customers for both recurring and nonrecurring RWAs on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Bills are no longer sent to customers, but can be accessed on approximately the 25th of each month on the Vendor & Customer Self Service (VCSS) website: https://vcss.ocfo.gsa.gov/

A customer obligation to PBS only means the funds are reserved by PBS for the project. For PBS to be reimbursed for the project services being delivered, PBS must bill the customer to receive payment thereby liquidating the customer's obligation. PBS bills are generated by expenses incurred.

The customer bills show the fees that PBS charges.

GSA transitioned billing systems in FY2013 and also reconfigured the RWA billing statement format to include additional information RWA customers had been requesting. For information regarding the FY2013 billing system transition (known as the Billing and Accounts Receivable (BAAR) project) and for a copy of the revised RWA billing format, please visit the BAAR website at: https://corporateapps.gsa.gov/applications/financial-apps/

Copies of RWA billing statements can be found at vcss.gsa.gov. Instructions for VCSS are available at www.gsa.gov/rwa.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a list of five FAQs regarding IPAC transactions along with several real-life situations and the GAO decision on each of those instances. This 2008 FAQ publication can be found on the GAO Appropriations Law Forum website by scrolling down to the "2008 Appropriations Law Forum" section and downloading the "Interagency Transactions" PDF.

Similar to bills for nonrecurring RWAs, the customer is notified that their bill is due and available in VCSS.

PBS bills the customer against the RWA, and it is up to the customer to ensure the correct fund year is cited when issuing payments to PBS.

Recurring RWAs are billed monthly regardless of the amount. For nonrecurring RWAs where we bill monthly based on actual spending, GSA only bills when there are $1000 of cumulative expenses or when the RWA is completed.

No, those items impact financial closeout, but should not delay substantial completion.

Yes, but GSA discourages IPAC customers from using purchase cards because it costs the government unnecessary purchase card fees. Additionally, purchase card information is no longer requested on the RWA Form, and the customer is required to log into pay.gov to use their purchase cards to pay for services received from PBS via an RWA.

On each bill, there is a point of contact from GSA Finance, who should be able to assist with answering financial related questions, including billing. If the questions are specific to the project, the RETA point of contact or the Project Manager may be a better source of information.

Vendor and Customer Self-Service.

The process of how a customer pays is unchanged; VCSS is simply a different venue for them to retrieve a copy of their bill. Billview will remain the system of record of all bills prior to July 2013.

There are always two "bills" for IPAC customers; the Treasury IPAC transmission is a one page document with some basic data elements, including the amount of the bill, and has GSA POC information (for RWA bills) for questions or where to go to get more details. VCSS is the location of the more detailed bill - the dollar amount is the same as the IPAC version, just with additional details of the bill they were first notified of via the IPAC system.

G-Invoicing is the government's long-term sustainable solution for Buy/Sell transactions and will manage the receipt and acceptance of General Terms and Conditions (GT&C) Agreements, Orders, and Performance. It also will initiate fund settlement. Any changes that result from G-invoicing will flow from Treasury to GSA's Financial Management System, Pegasys, and will be validated in RETA/eRETA. In FY 2023, when Treasury requires G-invoicing to be used, customer eRETA users will still continue to use eRETA to submit all WR/RWA information just as they would have before the requirement. GSA will configure Pegasys and RETA/eRETA to handle all requirements that come with G-invoicing.

Project Funding

GSA cannot verify the correct funding year is being used unless other information on the RWA indicates that the funding year is incorrect. Note that RETA/eRETA will give validation errors if there are mismatches between the fund year/type/etc.

When GSA finds that the fiscal year used in the accounting string is different from the Agency Fund Year.

GSA should verify the no-year fund type against all other financial data on the RWA to ensure that all information is consistent with no-year funding. GSA should verify with the customer agency if doubt remains.

Last Reviewed: 2022-08-24