By Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter
The Department of Education (ED) in a webinar on Wednesday made clear that the Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting (QBER) for institutions that received money from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) must be submitted by Friday, October 30.
For the first time Wednesday, ED notified institutions of the finalized forms they must complete to satisfy the reporting requirements outlined in the QBER. The QBER would apply to recipients of CARES Act funds under Sections 18004(a)(1), (2), & (3) and section 18004(c). Reports would be posted to institutions’ primary websites, on the same page as they post their 30-day Fund Reports, either as text or as a link to a .pdf of the report.The QBER is distinct from both the 30-day Fund Report and from the proposed annual data collection that ED previously published in the Federal Register.
The first QBER reports due at the end of the month should include cumulative expenditures over the period from when the funds were first awarded through Sept. 30, 2020, according to ED. Subsequent reports would include data only for the quarter being reported, and each quarterly report would need to be separately maintained on the institution’s website.
The following quarterly reports must be posted no later than 10 days after the calendar quarter, meaning January 10, April 10, July 10, and October 10.
Quarterly submission of the QBER would be required until Sept. 30, 2022. However, institutions do not need to continue quarterly reporting once they have exhausted all their funds, ED said. In such a case, institutions would only need to post their final expenditure report.
The final reporting form, along with the schedule for QBER and other reporting submissions, can be found here. On September 23, ED emailed all grantees a copy of the draft QBER. ED has since made changes to the draft form, so institutions should be careful to report using the final form posted on the HEERF reporting page and not the previously emailed draft form.
Additionally, ED is encouraging institutions to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their webpage where they post their quarterly reports. ED said it is asking institutions to both email them and post their reporting requirements publicly on their primary website in an effort to make the entire process accessible and accountable to the public. ED has posted a spreadsheet of institutions’ reporting web pages.
The QBER is one of several reporting requirements and satisfies the quarterly reporting requirement mandated under Section 15011 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which applies to recipients of more than $150,000 of any type of CARES Act funding.
ED previously sought public comment on the new reporting requirement and said it took the feedback into account when deciding to reorganize its instructions for submitting the associated forms.
As for the annual reporting requirements, ED said a portal system where institutions can submit the necessary forms is still under development. The annual report is likely to be due in the early part of 2021, ED added.
Publication Date: 10/15/2020