What is an FEC?
A Faculty Effort Certification (FEC) report is an after-the-fact certification by a faculty member and the University of Washington that salaries charged to sponsored projects represent a reasonable reflection of faculty effort. Faculty are also required to account for cost sharing effort that was included on the proposal budget and any required K award or salary cap cost sharing.
Who is required to complete an FEC?
All faculty who have received salary from a sponsored project (grant, contract or cooperative agreement) and/or have cost sharing on a sponsored project will receive an FEC. The FEC will reflect your total salary from all sources, but an FEC is only generated if you have salary or cost sharing on a sponsored project.
Why are we required to complete an FEC?
The Federal government requires certified documentation for faculty salary expenses charged to sponsored agreements and for cost shared effort related to sponsored agreements.
For faculty in the School of Medicine, FEC reports are generated semi-annually for the periods January/June and July/December. The FECs are sent electronically by the Office of Management Accounting and Analysis to your home academic unit. Each unit will review the FEC and then notify you that your FEC is ready for review. You then review and certify the FEC electronically.
How is the FEC used?
Faculty Effort Certification reports are used in the audit process to ensure compliance with the level of effort agreed to in the award document, to confirm the salary charges were appropriate and/or to determine and document cost shared effort, and the FEC ensures compliance with the requirement to confirm that the distribution of salaries "represents a reasonable estimate of the work performed by the employee during the period."
Compliance - why is it important?
Since an FEC provides the supporting documentation for salaries charged to sponsored projects, if an FEC is not completed, the salaries are considered to be unsupported and therefore unallowable.
In a federal audit, improper or inadequate certification of effort may result in actions being taken toward the University of Washington such as:
- Payback of funds or temporary withholding of payments
- Withholding of future awards – not only to you but to the University of Washington
- Designation of UW as a high risk institution resulting in loss of credibility and possible lack of expanded authorities