Entering Contract Data in Your EPC Portal
February 12, 2016
~ Do it PRIOR TO starting the Form 471 ~
~ Step-by-Step Instructions/Screenshots Attached ~
Unlike previous years where applicants entered contract and SPIN-related information in each Form 471 funding request, under the EPC building-block approach, this information is all now captured in your EPC Portal’s new Contract Module. When you create a Form 471 Funding Request, the information for the referenced contract is then ported over from EPC. Therefore, you’ll need to complete the Contract Module prior to starting the Form 471.
The benefits of this approach are that you will only have to enter this data once, not with each funding request or each funding year. The information will stay in your EPC portal (perhaps forever). You also may upload a copy of your contract where it also will be stored for years to come — thus eliminating the chance that it will be misplaced by school or library staff.
Several important notes:
- You will NOT enter information in the Contract Module for month-to-month services. In your Form 471 funding requests, you will choose MTM instead of contract and the system will then ask you questions related to your MTM service arrangement.
- Although the system asks if you want to upload a copy of your signed contract into EPC, YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO. This is entirely up to you.
- Each contract can only be a single document. So if you have a contract with 2 separate signed contract documents, you should combine these into a single PDF prior to uploading.
- Strangely, the system doesn’t ask for the contract expiration date — this data element must be entered in each funding request within the Form 471 itself.
- The number of data elements for each contract has increased from previous years, so it’s best to be prepared with the information in-hand when you complete the Contract Module. The most notable additions are a requirement to list the # of bids received, and information related to number of contract extensions. Attached is a spreadsheet listing the required data elements so you can be sure to have these available prior to completing the Contracts Module (it also may be helpful to enter your data in the spreadsheet ahead of time so you have everything in one place when you complete the Contracts Module).
- If you conducted a PEPPM Mini-Bid (in lieu of a Form 470): I will be sending a follow-up message with the data elements that should be entered in the Contract Module for those procurements. Sneak preview: Except for the PEPPM Form 470 #, you will rely entirely on the contract information that your district signed with the vendor.
- There is no way to edit or delete submitted contract information (you can modify draft information before you hit submit). If you messed up, you’ll just have to start over and create a new contract. The old contract will just die on the vine; (for now) it can’t be removed.
- Give your contract a really descriptive nickname! When you create an FRN in the Form 471, the system will ask if the service is a contracted service or a MTM service. If you specify ‘contract’ the system will then make you choose which contract from the Contract Module the FRN is related. Having a descriptive nickname will make it much easier to identify which contract you’re referencing.
Where to Access the Contract Module in EPC:
To access the Contract Module in your EPC profile, follow these steps from your EPC Landing Page (attached are screenshots explaining exact where to go):
> Go to your EPC Landing Page (home screen). Click on the USAC Logo in the top left side of the page to get there.
> Click on you Entity’s Name which is the first entity on the Organization List.
> Next Page: Click on Contracts from the left toolbar.
Please refer to the attached screenshots and instructions as you complete the Contract Module.
Next message? PEPPM-Related Contract Module Answers…
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator