Case #1: Accurately code and bill for services based on current payer and government standards.

Julie is a departmental administrator, and Joe, a colleague in her department, desperately needs a new laptop.  He submits for Julie’s approval a requisition to charge a new laptop to a federal contract he is working on. The department has just suffered proration of its budgets, and resources are tight, but Julie knows that this equipment was not justified in the project budget and is likely to be used for all sorts of university business, not just work on the contract.  Julie worries that if the laptop is not paid for by the contract, she won’t be able to afford it on any other account.  The requisition is in her approval queue. 

What should Julie do?

    1. Call Grants Accounting and let them know that she believes this is not allocable to the contract, but that she feels like she can’t reject it.  She will be sending it to someone in Grants Accounting to make the decision.
    2. Reassign the Oracle requisition document to the department chair and let him make the call.
    3. Reject the requisition and explain to Joe that contract funds may not be used to buy this equipment.
C.Funding all university activities can be difficult when money is tight.  However, each of us has the responsibility to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies, despite tight budgets.  In Julie's role as departmental administrator, she is expected to know and enforce the rules that govern the federal contracts she manages and to document, bill, and collect in accordance with those rules.  Her approval on the requisition is her attestation that the charge to the contract is appropriate under cost accounting principles.  If she knows that the laptop was not provided for in the contract budget, she must intervene and reject the requisition.  In the spirit of service, she might offer to talk to the department chair to determine whether the equipment may be purchased from a more appropriate account.