Forms must be submitted in the method and format authorized by the Controller’s Office.
In those counties where the department of social services maintains a fiscal staff and prepares the DSS-1571, a coordinated effort should be made between the county DSS and the finance officer to insure that all costs have been considered in the preparation process. In order to insure this, both the Finance Officer and the DSS Director are required to sign the certification form.
Every county is required to submit a DSS-1571 Report each and every calendar month. There is no reason for which a county should not submit a DSS-1571 report each month.
Balanced (with errors corrected) reports of expenditures are due by the 15th of the month (or the first work day thereafter) following the month during which services and/or expenditures were incurred. The promptness by which all agencies submit the DSS-1571 determines the timeliness by which all agencies receive reimbursement. Therefore, it is important that reports be forwarded on time. Counties may want to maintain a log to document receipt and submission dates to aid auditors in the review of reporting requirements.
DSS-1571 reports that are submitted and balanced with errors corrected after the twentieth of the month cause numerous processing difficulties that can result in delayed payments to the other county departments of social services. Late submittals also result in delays in all reports that are generated from county expenditure data. This creates difficulties with the North Carolina Accounting System. Most County DSS agencies submit their DSS-1571s in a timely manner; however, it takes only one delinquent report to affect the payments and reports of all 100 counties. Due to the serious nature of this problem, a penalty is imposed for late submittals. Any county department of social services whose report is not submitted and balanced (with errors corrected) by the 15th of the month or the first work day thereafter, (following the month during which services were provided and/or expenditures were incurred) will not receive an interim payment check the following month. Reports submitted and balanced by the 15th of the month are not considered late. (Counties reporting after the 15th of the month must notify the County Administration Accounting Unit by telephone.)
1. Agencies are entitled to receive reimbursement to cover the reasonable cost of administering their social services and public assistance programs. The "reasonable cost" includes all necessary expenses involved, i.e., expenses which are in accordance with fiscal policy as established by Federal and State regulation and within limits of funding allocations and approved county agency budget.
2. Allowable administrative expenditures are those properly chargeable under principles for determining costs applicable to grants, provided the expenditure is essential to perform the functions specified in the agency's plan for social services. All agencies are expected to exercise due care in the expenditure of funds.
3. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-87, Revised, establishes uniform principles for determining costs of grants, contracts, and other agreements with States and their legal subdivisions. The circular provides that, in addition to direct costs, federally assisted programs shall bear their fair share of costs recognized under these principles except where restricted or prohibited by law. Such non-direct costs involve, (a) county-wide costs in which central county organizations provide goods and services to other county departments and agencies; and (b) county DSS costs for supervision and support to various programs they administer.
4. Indirect costs are not allowable unless an appropriate indirect cost plan has been prepared and is on file. Agencies must also insure that those items included as indirect costs are not also charged directly to any program(s).
5. Claims (reports) are submitted on the basis that all expenditures reported have been incurred by the last day of the month for which claims are submitted and are recorded on the county's official financial records as an expense.
6. Reports shall be submitted in the format specified in this manual.
7. Whenever an adjustment is to be made affecting a prior year paid claim, or audit adjustment, the county shall first obtain concurrence from the Department’s Controller’s Office. Normally, notifications of the need to adjust a prior claim are due 45 days from the day that the adjustment is found to be necessary. Adjustment requests shall be documented and justified.
8. Funds generated through the operation of any program funded partially or totally with Department funds shall be reported as a reduction to reimbursable expenditures. Funds generated may include, but are not limited to, fees or contractor payments required in performance guarantees.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.