RWA Process

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General RWA Process Questions

Specific project questions should always be directed to the GSA Project Manager, who can always be found by searching for the WR/RWA in eRETA. An additional resource for other RWA questions are the regional RWA Managers, whose contact information can be found at www.gsa.gov/rwa.

Fiscal Year-End Information

PBS makes every effort to send the fiscal year-end letters to customer agencies in the second quarter of each year, and posts them online at www.gsa.gov/rwa. These letters are directly emailed to all customer agencies.

In the Policy and Guidance section on the external RWA website: www.gsa.gov/rwa.

These are hard deadlines to assist the regions in planning according to their resources and workload. DoD is typically in July and all other customer agencies and the Judiciary are typically the end of August / early September.

Yes, these are specific dates customer agencies need to be aware of. The risk for the customer is if PBS does not receive RWAs by the fiscal year-end letter date, PBS will reject the RWAs and request they be provided in the following fiscal year with currently available funds should the bona fide need still exist.

Yes. The fiscal year-end letters only speak from a time perspective as to consideration and do not make any acceptance guarantees.

It means the RWA has a clearly defined scope of work (must be for a current bona fide need) and appropriate funding based upon a PBS created or vetted cost estimate generated from the scope of work. GSA will not accept unsolicited RWAs even if they are submitted prior to the deadline.

Yes, GSA will still consider these for acceptance. When a customer submits an RWA via eRETA, GSA must enter the remaining GSA-specific data before routing the RWA to the Customer Approving Official for signature. As such it is possible that a customer submits an RWA to GSA before the deadline, but they are unable to sign it until after the deadline. Again, GSA will still consider these for acceptance.

If you are sending the Work Request but have not worked with GSA to develop requirements, then it is likely not fully executable (see FAQ above for clarification on what "fully executable" means). As such it would not be considered for acceptance this fiscal year. Customers may still save and even submit RWA Work Requests to GSA via eRETA towards the end of the fiscal year. Once the next FY begins, they will just have to make sure that the funding information ("Billing Info" and "Accounting Details") tabs in eRETA reflect funding available in the current FY. Since eRETA quality checks information and data, it won't allow customers to cite funds that are not currently available.

Yes. Amendments to existing RWAs, as well as RWAs for severable services (overtime utilities, janitorial services, etc.) may still be submitted to GSA in September. Also, emergency requests that involve an immediate threat to health, life safety or property may be submitted to GSA in September, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Fields in eRETA

No, all Federal customers must use eRETA to send all RWA information to GSA. Non-Federal customers (private entities and state and local governments) cannot access eRETA so they will still submit page 1 of the RWA Form 2957 as they have done in the past. Visit www.gsa.gov/rwa for more information.

eRETA prevents customers from entering any information in GSA-fields. All customer required fields are marked by a red asterisk in eRETA, and the system quality checks information so it will not let customers send RWAs and RWA WRs to GSA if required fields are not completed.

Since this is a customer code, the customer is responsible for providing the correct value. Customers should confirm with their internal Finance office if uncertain. Valid Treasury Symbols are available to the public at Treasury's "Shared Accounting Module" (SAM) site. This site replaces the former Treasury FASTBook, as SAM is updated daily while the FASTBook may only be updated annually. Information about the SAM site can be found at https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/sam/. A list of valid Treasury Symbols can be found at https://fiscal.treasury.gov/reference-guidance/fast-book/. Also RETA/eRETA quality checks information, including Treasury Symbols, and customers may use the lookup icon (magnifying glass) to easily search for their Treasury symbols in eRETA.

No, all RWA information must be initiated by the customer in eRETA for all Federal customers. If customers have questions regarding what should be entered in certain fields, there is nothing wrong with GSA employees assisting them with what to enter. However the customer must be entering and sending the RWA information in eRETA.

When initially submitting an RWA Work Request, the Description of Requirements can be very vague because the customer may not know exactly what they need. However as we develop requirements with the customer and they are ready to fund and send to GSA for potential acceptance into an RWA, the Description of Requirements must include, at a minimum, the location, the type of work, and the description of work. The scope of work is necessary to set expectations and support a cost estimate, so requesting more detail (i.e. square footage of any existing carpet to be demoed, square footage/style/and type of new carpet to be installed, type of paint, etc) will allow PBS to accurately determine the level of work necessary.

Normally it is the requesting agency's budget officer, but it can be any position within the requesting customer organization that is qualified and certified by the requesting organization to commit and obligate funds on behalf of the organization.

The customer signature is certifying the availability of the funds for the purpose(s) requested in the RWA. Once PBS signs the RWA to accept those funds, they are shown as an obligation on the accounting records of the requesting agency.

No, all Federal customers must use eRETA's digital signature functionality. Non-Federal customers cannot access eRETA and will submit the RWA Form and sign manually as they have done in the past.

Scope of Work

The scope of work is used to create the cost estimate, so a project scope should be developed before PBS can estimate its cost. GSA must approve and link a Summary Cost Estimate (SCE) to the customer's Work Request before they can submit to GSA for potential acceptance into an RWA.

Yes, and customers may not submit their Work Requests for potential acceptance into an RWA without an estimate (SCE or OUE) linked.

Every project will have a scope of work that gives detail as to what the project involves and drives the cost estimate. The Description of Requirements can function as the scope of work for less complex projects, but there must be sufficient detail for an accurate cost estimate to be created from the information provided.

Yes.

Yes, but only for the travel portion and not for developing the scope of work.

Currently, no.

No. If the customer needs to deviate from the RWA scope after the fiscal year in which the RWA was accepted has expired, then PBS must ask for a new RWA.

Customers may only amend for new scope in the same fiscal year as when the original RWA was accepted. Otherwise a new RWA is required.

If there is a change needed to the scope or requirements accepted as part of the original RWA, the customer should work with the PBS project manager to define the change in requirements to determine next steps. The project manager will provide either a revised or new SCE to reflect the changes or additions, and the customer must submit either a new RWA or an amended RWA in eRETA, depending upon whether or not the changes were within the scope of the original RWA or not and whether the customer agency's funds from the original RWA remain available or have expired.

It is advised that scope changes be related to original program/scope, especially if obligations to a contractor have occurred. If the scope changes are completely outside of the original scope, then PBS should close the project, return the funds to the customer, and ask for a new RWA. This is a matter of keeping our RWA projects clear and free from confusion.

Yes, because the RWA would have to be amended or a new one provided and would require a new signature certifying the bona fide need and funding availability.

Acceptance

This depends on the variables surrounding the project; regional resource availability, project complexity, customer requirements status, etc. GSA regions follow an intake process that aims to manage the intake timeline to within 15 business days of receipt of a fully executable RWA. GSA encourages customers to engage in open and continuous communication with RWA Managers to ensure timely responses. The RWA Managers Map can be found on gsa.gov/rwa.

Yes, schedules are required and procurement activities and milestones must be shown if the procurement is anticipated more than 90 days beyond the acceptance of the RWA.

A schedule is only required for acceptance if the award date by PBS is anticipated beyond 90 calendar days from RWA acceptance. If a schedule is not provided then PBS will begin execution of the RWA within a reasonable time, further defined by PBS as 90 calendar days.

No. DIDs and CDs will allow for increasingly accurate cost estimates. If estimates increase as a design matures, PBS must ask for an amendment to the previous RWA. If no RWA was collected during a lease project because no known lump sums existed and the DIDs and CDs lead to lump sums, then PBS will ask for the RWA at that point.

Yes. PBS encourages this approach, but must ensure that each phase is a fully deliverable project as detailed in the individual scopes of work.

No, there should be a description of the service the customer needs. It is only assumed the services to be provided are of a miscellaneous nature when an F Type RWA is used.

This is not a practice PBS supports. A customer agency is required to pay for the services they request and use. If PBS receives an RWA with this verbiage, or any vague or ambiguous language, PBS will return the RWA to the customer requesting the language be removed and the RWA resubmitted.

Substantial Completion & Cancellation

RWA substantial completion means the RWA is substantially complete and the customer agency may take beneficial occupancy of the space. There may still be punch list items remaining, but the customer can use the space for its intended purpose.

Completion means the RWA project is substantially and physically complete. Essentially, the customer can take beneficial occupancy and Rent can begin.

When an RWA is substantially complete, the PBS office responsible for the RWA will initiate prompt action to submit the project completion dates to the customer agency and in RETA. Since C, F, and R Type RWAs require a completion date upon initial acceptance, they are not required to be certified complete a second time when the completion date occurs.

RWA substantial completion happens when the last item in the RWA scope of work is complete. If the construction is complete, but the furniture has not come in, then the RWA is not yet substantially complete. In other words, if the furniture is necessary for beneficial occupancy of the space, then the RWA is not yet complete. If furniture was procured independently by the agency, then substantial completion is achieved at the completion of all scope within the RWA.

In a large project, this occurrence is possible but not very probable. Closing out the financial side of a project usually takes some time after project completion even if no punch list items exist, however it is up to the financial community to determine financial closeout and to send the Closeout Letter.

No. RWA substantial completion must be identified in RETA when the space is substantially complete. This is an important milestone that must be accurately captured, as it often signifies when Rent may begin.

Completion is based on the scope of work for each RWA, not the entire "Project." Enter the completion date on each RWA based on when each RWA is substantially complete.

Yes. Customers can cancel RWAs after they have been accepted. For nonrecurring RWAs that have had some financial activity, PBS will bill the customer for all spending incurred to date. For recurring RWAs, any previous billing for services not rendered are credited back to the customer agency.

No, customers would submit an N-input code (Cancel/Early Completion) amendment in eRETA and would need to provide a justification as to why they wish to cancel the RWA. However they are not required to sign the RWA when cancelling.

The customer should submit an N-input code (Cancel/Early Completion) amendment in eRETA. If costs have been incurred on any nonrecurring RWA, PBS should follow the substantial completion process instead of this cancellation process. If costs have not been incurred, upon receipt of a cancellation request from the customer, PBS should take steps to cancel the RWA in RETA.

Financial Closeout

  • Completion means the RWA project is physically and substantially complete and the customer can take beneficial occupancy.
  • Closeout means that the project is financially ready for closure, meaning all funds have been obligated, expensed, billed and collected. This signifies the termination date in RETA can be set.
  • The termination date triggers the Closeout Letter, alerting the customer that he/she can de-obligate any remaining balance.
Last Reviewed: 2022-08-24