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     APPENDIX - VII

 

A REFERENCE GUIDE

FOR

NEW YORK STATE INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS

To

State Agency Contract and Grant Requirements

Contract and Grant Opportunities

And

Best Financial Practices

Offered as a Service to

The Statewide Network of Independent Living Centers

 by

The New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC)

The New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL)

The New York State Education Department, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)

February 2006

 


INTRODUCTION

The New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC), the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) and the New York State Education Department Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) intend this document to serve as a source of information to assist IL Centers in knowing and meeting the financial requirements imposed by the state agencies.  It is also intended as a tool in strengthening financial practices to promote growth of the Independent Living Centers overall.

The success of the Independent Living Centers depends on many things.  Certainly among the most important is securing, protecting and effectively using financial resources.  Financial strength and integrity of every Center is like the foundation of a building supporting and enabling the structure.  The corporate financial and accounting misdeeds in recent years have created a much greater public and governmental awareness and concern for the financial integrity of the organizations they do business with.  Those scandals resulted in the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that set tough new accountability requirements for public accountants, corporate boards and corporate executives.  While Sarbanes-Oxley does not technically apply to not-for-profits it is important that we recognize its implications.  The public and governmental concern for greater financial accountability and disclosure will impact not-for-profits.  Government funding agencies and other constituencies such as private accrediting agencies, donors, customers and the media will hold not-for-profits to high standards of financial accountability and openness

Independent Living Centers operate in a complex financial world heavily dependent on government funding in the form of grants and contracts.  Financial strength requires careful planning.  It also requires a thorough knowledge of the rules, an effective set of financial policies and procedures and a strong system of internal controls.   

It is the aim of this document to offer the Centers information that can be used first as a common denominator of State agencies financial requirements and secondly as a reference guide to specific conditions and requirements imposed by state law, regulations and agency policy.  Where law and regulations are discussed they have been summarized to address important points for the Centers.  In all cases reference has been made to where the reader can access the law or regulation in detail.  In addition to base requirements this guide provides information on best practices developed by Centers and others in areas such as internal controls and Board of Directors responsibilities.  References to a variety of information resources via the Internet and contact information within State agencies are also included.

IL Centers are encouraged to use this document as a tool in their continuing efforts to establish and maintain sound financial practices.  Centers are also encourage share their experience and best practices with their colleagues and provide feedback to NYSILC, NYAIL and VESID on the usefulness of this tool.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

REGULATING AUTHORITIES AND INFORMATION RESOURCES…….               6

            Office of the State Comptroller…………………………………………….                6

            Office of the Attorney General……………………………………………..                7

            Office of General Services………………………………………………….               7

            State Education Department and VESID…………………………………...                7

Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH)………….                      8

           

STATE LAW AND REGULATIONS…………………………………………...               8

            STATE FINANCE LAW………………………………………………….               8

                        Article 7 Accounts and Audits

 § 112 Accounting Systems; Approval of Contracts  ……..                   9

                        Article 9 Contracts

§139-j Restrictions on contacts and § 139-k Disclosure

of contacts  …………………………………………………              9

                        Article 11 State Purchasing

§ 161 State Procurement Council…………………………..                9

§ 162 Preferred Sources…..………………………………..               10

§ 163 Purchasing Services and Commodities……………..                   10

            Priority order for purchase of services…………….                  10

            Contract buying thresholds…………………..……                  10

            Contract Reporter………………………………….               10

            Vendor Responsibility ……………………………                  11

                        Article 11A  Interest Payment on Certain Amounts Owed by State                    11

                        Article 11B  Prompt Contracting and Interest Payment for

                                    Not-for-Profit Organizations………………………………..               12

                                    § 179-S Time frames for new contracts……………………..   12

                                    § 179-T Time frames for renewal contracts …………………  12

                                    § 179-U Advance Payments………………………………… 12

                                    § 179-V Interest Payments.…………………………………. 12

                                    § 179-Z Not-for-Profit short-term revolving loans.………….   12

                       

            EDUCATION LAW……………………………………………………….               13

                        Article 21 Vocational Rehabilitation…………..…………………..                   13

                        Article 23-A Service Centers for Independent Living  ……………                   13

            SED REGULATIONS PART 248

 Service Center for Independent Living………………..……………..  13

OPPORTUNITIES: CONTRACTS, GRANTS AND E-PAYMENTS…………   15

Development Disabilities Planning Council……………………………….                    15

            Office of Mental Health……………………………………………………                 15

            Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities…………….                     16

            Health Department………………………………………………….………               16

            NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal………………………                   16

            State Office for the Aging………………………………………………….                 17

            Contract Reporter…………………………………………………………..              17

            NYS Government Information Locator……………………………………                 17

            NYS Citizens Guide……………………………………………………….                17

            Member Items………………………………………………………………              18

            Electronic Payments………………………………………………………..                18

INTERNAL CONTROLS…………………………………………..……………              19

FISCAL POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL………………………..…                21

BOARD OF DIRECTORS RESPONSIBILITY……………………………….                22

            Best Practices……………………………………………………………….              22

            Top Ten Warning Signs…………………………………………………….               23

RECOMMENDED ACCOUNTING AND RECORD KEEPING PRACTICES 25

            Investing in Accounting/Financial Management Resources……….……….                    25

            Records and Records Retention…………………………………………….               25

            Common Record Characteristics and Practices…………………………….                26

            Revenue and Expenditures …………………………………………………               26

            Purchasing/bidding…………………………………………………………                27

            Inventory……………………………………………………………………              28

Travel……………………………………………………………………….              29

Interest Expense…………………………………………………………….              29

            Time and Attendance……………………………………………………….               29

                       

INDIRECT COST ALLOCATION ………………………………………………..           31

CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL REPORT (CFR) ……………………………..  33

SED CONTRACT PROCESS………………………………………………….                 34

            New Programs/Goods/Services in excess of $15000…………………….                    34

            Renewal Contracts………………………………………………………..                 34

            The Annual Budget……………………………………………………….                  34

            Contract Changes and Budget Modifications…………………………….                    35

            Expenditure Reporting and Claiming Reimbursement……………………                      36

            Progress/Program Reports…………………………………………………                37

            Audited Financial Statements and Corrective Action Plans………………                     37

AUDITS………………………………………………………………………….                38

            Annual Financial Audit…………………………………………………..                    38