Creating New Contract Records in EPC
March 3, 2017
Attached: Contracts Module Guide 2017
~ Do it PRIOR TO Starting the Form 471 ~
~ Contracts Module Guide Attached ~
~ PEPPM-Related Data Points Coming Next ~
After completing your competitive bidding/bid evaluation process and signing a vendor contract, but prior to starting the Form 471, applicants must create Contract Records in the EPC Contract Module for every new FY 2017 signed contract. Each Contract Record will provide information related to the Form 470 # used to bid the service, # of bids received, Contract Award Date, Vendor Selected, Voluntary Extensions, etc. related to that contract. This Contract Record will then remain in EPC and should be referenced in related FRNs for the duration of that contract. This saves having to re-enter this information year after year for multi-year contracts. Month-to-Month (MTM) Category 1 service arrangements do NOT create a Contract Record in EPC but rather simply answer specific questions in the 471.
In order to quickly move through the Contract Module, it’s best to be prepared with the information in-hand. Attached is a spreadsheet listing the required data elements so you can be sure to have these available prior to completing the Contracts Module The spreadsheet also gives helpful hints as to what to enter for each item.
Several important notes:
- If you created a Contract Record last year that contained voluntary extensions, and you wish to exercise one of those extensions for FY 2017, do not create a new CR. Simply change the Contract Expiration Date in the FRN when you create your Form 471.
- If you notice that any data in your Contract Record from last year is inaccurate (such as the 470 #, SPIN #, etc), it’s best to create a new CR and reference the accurate CR on your FRN (ignoring the old one). There is no way to edit an existing CR after it’s been submitted. Likewise, there’s no way to delete a submitted CR (it will just die on the vine).
- Although the system asks if you want to upload a copy of your signed contract into EPC, you aren’t required to do so. However, I highly recommend that you upload copies of all signed Category 2 contracts as PIA routinely asked for them last year if they weren’t part of your CR.
- 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. Why? Because due to voluntary extensions in some contracts, it’s possible that the CED can change from year to year.
- 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.
- 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.
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 (see the attached Guide for the entire primer):
> 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.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!