Effort reporting is a requirement of OMB Uniform Guidance, and is applicable to all federal and federal flow-thru (including state funded federal flow-thru) grants. It may also be a condition of some nonfederal cost sharing and matching agreements.
The effort certification process is the Research Foundation's means of:
Failure to certify effort correctly and in a timely manner could
RF employees certify their effort electronically in the eCert System.
It is the preference at Buffalo State that individuals certify their own effort, as the individual is in the best position to determine the amount of effort they have devoted to a particular award(s). However, in cases where the individual is unavailable for signature, the Principal Investigator or other award staff who has firsthand knowledge of the amount of time the individual devoted to a particular award, can sign on their behalf.
Completion of an effort certification is necessary in order for the Research Foundation to comply with the provisions of OMB Uniform Guidance, which requires that institutions receiving federal funds keep an accounting of the distribution of personnel effort allocated to federally sponsored awards. There are three reasons why you would receive an effort report to certify. Either you are a Research Foundation employee being paid directly from a federally funded award, you are a SUNY employee who is paid through an IFR, or you are cost sharing on an RF funded award. For SUNY employees who are cost sharing, the effort certification process provides the needed documentation that the institution has met its cost share obligation.
Award number 000264 is the Other Institutional Activity (OIA) account. This award tracks all of your effort that is NOT related to a sponsored program activity. So for instance, if you are a full time SUNY employee and 10% of your effort is dedicated to a sponsored award, then since the College is paying your salary, that 10% constitutes cost sharing on the part of the institution. In this example your effort report would indicate the 10% to the specific sponsored award number to which you are assigned, and 90% to Other Institutional Activity award 000264.
It is possible that the award number on the effort report may not be familiar to you or that an abbreviated title or short name of the award might appear on the effort report (e.g. CC02, OTSST5). Therefore, the fact that you might not recognize the information on the effort report may not necessarily mean that you did not provide services to the award. Call Dale Bessinger, our cost sharing/effort reporting specialist, at 716-878-5079, and he will be glad to clarify any information that appears on the effort report form.
Federal regulations require that you certify the actual effort provided to the award, not the estimated amount that was determined at the time the proposal was submitted. The Research Foundation uses the information on the certified effort report to bill and account for institutional cost sharing provided by SUNY employees, and to verify that RF employees are allocated to the correct awards. Certifying effort at a higher percent (more than 5%) of what you actually provided to the award can result in over charging the federal government, which if found in an audit, could result in stiff penalties to the RF.
So in instances where you feel that the effort is overstated (or understated for that matter), contact the Grants Management office so that a review can be done and the appropriate corrections made.
CDHS is the Center for Development of Human Services. Most of the awards associated with the Center involve a significant cost share obligation on the part of the institution. The Collaborative Research Initiative (CRI), under the direction of Ms. Gail Daniels (located in Bacon Hall Room 117), is the department on campus that is responsible for insuring that the College's cost share obligation for these projects is met. Therefore, if you have a mini-grant or are reviewing curriculum under the auspices of the CRI, you are in fact providing services to CDHS. Furthermore, funding for all of the awards made to the Center involve federal funding, so if you are paid directly from a RF funded CDHS award, even if you are in an off-campus location, you will be required to certify your effort on the effort certification form.
In instances where you feel that the effort is overstated (or understated for that matter), contact the Grants Management office so that a review can be done and the appropriate corrections made. Your record will then be updated in the accounting system. If you do no contact us, the changes will not be made and your certification will continue to appear as delinquent.
The Sponsored Programs Grants Management Department is responsible for overseeing the effort certification process. If you have questions or concerns related to your effort report specifically, or the effort report process in general, you can contact Dale Bessinger, the Grant Administrator responsible for effort reporting on our campus.
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