FHWA is now requiring Caltrans to obtain a “Agreement End Date” each time we authorize local agency funds to a project. The Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) stipulating this requirement is as follows:
Period of Performance (2 CFR 200.309) – This is a significant change to the Federal-aid highway program because it will impose a period when project costs can be incurred, which includes a project agreement start date and end date. Current Federal-aid regulations stipulate that costs can only be incurred after the authorization date of a project unless otherwise authorizaed under 23 CFR 1.9(b). The new provision will require an end date to be included in the agreement after which no additional costs may be incurred are not eligible for reimbursement.
The data field to the record the project end date is not currently available in FMIS 4 but will be programmed in FMIS 5. Until FMIS 5 includes the project end date field, States should enter this information in the State Remarks field when a new project agreement is executed or an existing agreement is modified. The period of performance must be based on the States’ estimated project schedule, including required processes to ensure all Federal requirements have been satisfied. Divisions must ensure the estimated period of performance is in line with the States’ established policies, procedures, and project schedules. The agreement end date may be modified as necessary, based on documented revisions to project schedules or other circumstances.
The Agreement End Date, called the “Performance End Date” by FHWA until recently, represents the end date for which funds being obligated, may be invoiced against the specified project.
Due to the passage of Map-21, this delayed requirement has finally trickled down through the different layers of federal agencies to now be implemented by FHWA. Because the implementation was not expected for at least a while longer, for compliance we have been given interim guidance from our Division of Local Assistance in Sacramento (HQ). This interim guidance is to be followed until the details on the final guidance can be agreed to and finalized between FHWA and Caltrans.
All Request for Authorizations (RFA), including cost adjustments within the phase of work, will be determined as follows:
PE authorizations will be ten years from the date of the initial PE authorization date.
RW, CON and Award Adjustment authorizations will use the following formula:
“Agreement End Date” = Contract Acceptance by City Council + 180 days to submit the Final Invoice Package + 24 months for processing Final Voucher (HQ)
FHWA does recognize this is an estimate and you may change this date as outlined in the above CFR (e.g. documented change in project schedule or “other” circumstance).
In calculating the Agreement End Date for RW, CON and Award package submittals, the District will use the “Estimated Construction Completion” date. This date usually will be obtained from either Exhibit 3-E Request for Authorization Data Sheet or Exhibit 15-L Local Agency Contract Award Checklist, depending on the submittal. The “Contract Acceptance by City Council” date will be estimated to be 6 months from the “Estimated Construction Completion” date.
If a local agency wishes to instead, specify an estimated “Contract Acceptance by City Council” date, they may provide one in their submittal request by adding it to the comments section of their Exhibit 3-O Finance Letter. If this option is selected, please make sure the date makes sense in relation to the other estimated project milestone dates (i.e. Contract Acceptance by City Council date does not happen before the Estimated Construction Completion date).
Tentative Final Guidance
For now, HQs long term plan is to revise the Exhibit 3-O Finance Letter form to include an “Agreement End Date” field. Once this field is in place on the Finance Letter, local agencies will be required to calculate the “Agreement End Date” and enter it in this new field to avoid having their RFA rejected by the District.
Policy Subject to Change
Please note, because the exact long term implementation of this requirement is still being negotiated between HQ and FHWA, the exact method of calculation and method of implementation of this policy may change in the future.