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U.S. Geological Survey Instructional Memorandum

No. OFM 96-06

Date: July 18, 1996

Subject: Accounting for General Services Administration / Freight Shipping Charges

The purpose of this memorandum is to outline new procedures which will allow for tracking and reporting of the new General Services Administration (GSA) surcharges on U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) use of freight carriers under the GSA Standard Tender of Service (STOS) Program. These procedures do not apply to Federal Express shipments, nor to the household goods shipping program. Household good shipments already have a surcharge assessed by the freight carrier and rebated to GSA.

Because of GSA's changes in servicing policy for its transportation management function, effective immediately the USGS must pay GSA a 3% surcharge for its use of those freight carriers which offer discounted rates based on GSA's STOS Program. The surcharge is calculated based on 3% of the invoiced amount billed by the carriers. The following procedures have been developed in order to implement this new requirement.

New Object Class

A new object class, 221C, has been established in the Federal Financial System (FFS) with the title "GSA Shipping Charges." This object class must be referenced on all applicable documents relating to freight carrier rates obtained through the STOS Program. Therefore, preparers of applicable documents such as Government Bills of Lading (GBL's) and Commercial Bills of Lading (CBL's) should now reference object class 221C instead of 221A, Freight - Equipment or 221B, Freight - Other . The amount of the freight charge due the carrier and the 3% surcharge should be listed separately and in total on shipping documents.

Example: 221C: $ 456.93 + $ 13.71 (3%) = $470.64

Recording an Obligation

Offices using the STOS services should record the full amount of object class 221C, as computed in the example above, as an obligation in FFS for documents currently established as undelivered orders. The total obligation amount which includes the freight bill plus the 3% surcharge will be obligated to the freight vendor and automatically liquidated at the time payment is made to the freight vendor. No special action will be required to liquidate these obligations.

Recording the Expenditure of the 3% Surcharge

Prior to month-end close, an automated interface will be run to determine the amount of actual costs expended against object class 221C for that month. The 3% surcharge will be applied to actual expenditures and entries will be generated in the FFS against the same account number referenced on the payment documents. The Office of Financial Management will process the surcharge payment to GSA through the OPAC system.

268 Report (Detail Status of Current Year Transactions)

Example of transactions as they will appear on your 268 Report.

TRA
Day
Vendor Code
Vendor Name
Description
Invoice No.
Doc No.
Ref. Doc. No.
Obj ClassCommit.Unliquidated ObligationsExpend. Total Oblig. Total Encum.
1/13Misc-Pub








Miscell Pub Ven6BLD0234567221C
470.64


2/25CFMOTFRE 2D0109945221C






CF MotorfreightPV 6BLD0234567


456.93



IGM6BLD234567

-470.64


3/30
SV$GSA0000001221C
13.71




GSA 3% Surcharge






1/ OBLIGATION ESTABLISED

2/ PAYMENT TO FREIGHT VENDOR AT WHICH TIME TOTAL OBLIGATION IS LIQUIDATED

3/ EXPENDITURE FOR 3% SURCHARGE


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Last modification: 10-22-98(bt)