Programs Submission Response: COC Election Reports

ISSUE:
The list of available reports in Handbook 15-AO is not current and needs to be updated.

FACTS:
The table and descriptions are missing for the following reports:

  • Producers not Associated with and LAA
  • COC Election Results for Candidates
  • Current COC Ballots Returned Report

Descriptions should be listed so new employees can learn about reports and know what to expect when reviewing.

Reports need to be added so the COF can site this paragraph in the COC minutes to record that the reports have been reviewed.

SOLUTIONS:
Update Handbook 15-AO with missing reports and descriptions.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
The handbook is being worked on with the issues stated below and some additional issues not stated.

 

Programs Submission Response: Farm Reconstitutions and Transfers

ISSUE:
Difficulty in tracking reconstitution history and county transfers

FACTS:
It can be difficult to trace the history of a farm after multiple recons. MIDAS currently shows the “Combined from” and “Divided from” information in Farm Records. 

SOLUTIONS:
Would it be possible to include the Combined from and Divided from information print on the FSA-156EZ?

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
Thank you for submitting the concerns with tracking reconstitutions and the suggestions for the FSA-156EZ. We recognize that the ability to track reconstitutions has been a pain point with the field staff since the expected reconstitution reports were not able to be implemented immediately in MIDAS CRM. I am hoping that the software update that occurred this last weekend with MIDAS Release 2.19 provides the tools and reconstitution reports the users are needing to assist with tracking the history of a farm or tract through the completed reconstitutions. Please see Web Transmittal No. 536 for additional information on the new reconstitution ID and reports that are now available. A notice will also be posted in the near future with additional information and instructions.

While the new reports in CRM Farm Records will not reference the reconstitutions completed in CRM prior to the software update, all reconstitutions completed from this time forward will be assigned a Reconstitution ID number and reports can be generated to identify the parent and/or child farms and tracts associated with the specific reconstitution. Concerning the FSA-156EZ, this initial release of the reconstitution reports did not include populating the FSA-156EZ with the reconstitution ID. This has been identified as a needed update. We will also look into adding the “combine from” and “divided from” on the form. Adding the reconstitution ID and the additional reconstitution data to the FSA-156EZ will be an enhancement to the existing functionality and will be subject to prioritization and funding.

There currently is not a plan to add a County Transfer report in CRM Farm Records, but there will be a County Transfer report in the new reporting application that is being developed. Hopefully this report will assist counties with tracking the farm transfers as needed.

Programs Submission Response: Subsidiary Reports Enhancements

ISSUE #1:
Subsidiary Business File Reports

FACTS:
There are several reports that need to be developed to assist County Offices in order to know what is within the Business File for a producer, or a specific “group” to target what is needed or may be incomplete. This can aid in preparation for sign up and preparing for payment cycles.

SOLUTIONS:.
Provide County Offices with the following reports:

  • Producers in Business File without “Determined” status
  • Producers in Business File with “Determined” status with “Last Update” listed
  • Active Estates in Business File
  • Non Family Joint Operations

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
A project is currently underway to provide a data warehouse with the ability to create reports from the business file system. When the functionality is provided, users should have the ability to filter information for:

  • Producers with a specific farm operating plan status
  • Estates with an active farm operating plan
  • Joint Operations that do not include all family members.

I do not have a timeline when the report will be available. 

In the meantime:

  • I already provide a report monthly for producers with a farm operating plan that does not have a “Determined” Status
  • I provide a yearly report for Estates older than 2 years with active farm operating plans that have received payments. This year’s report was provided in December 2016 for State and County Offices to review according to notice PL-273
  • I provided a report of joint operations that do not include all family members for county offices in November 2016 according to the training and 5-PL handbook amendment Jim Baxa provided for determining actively engaged in farming and foreign person for joint operations.

ISSUE #2:
County Eligibility Reports in Subsidiary

FACTS:
We can run reports for AGIs filed and not processed, but the report basically stops there. The capability to add information and more sorting field possibilities are needed in order to better track AGIs filed and not processed by the IRS.

SOLUTIONS:.
It would be easier for us to track and monitor producer AGI forms if “date filed by the producer” was added as a field to be printed in the report. This would allow the possibility of being able to sort by date when the report is downloaded in spreadsheet format. This would allow us to better monitor those approaching the 180 day deadline.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
The County Eligibility Report currently available in the Subsidiary system is not designed to include additional fields based on the criteria selected to run the report. The report will display customers that have been updated with a “Filed CCC-941” producer certification and the IRS determination has not been received. The “Date filed by producer” cannot be added to the report. 

A project is currently underway to provide a data warehouse with the ability to create reports from the Subsidiary/Eligibility file system. When the functionality is provided, users should have the ability to filter information for customers that have been updated with a producer certification and an IRS determination has not been received with additional information provided on the report.

I do not have a timeline when the report will be available.

In the meantime, I am providing a report approximately every 6 weeks for all producers with a “Filed CCC-941” and an IRS determination has not been received and am including the “Date filed by producer” on the report.

Programs Submission Response: NFC Annual Leave Status Reports

ISSUE:
NFC Annual Leave Status Report

FACTS:
This report is printed and mailed to County Offices with employees who may be in a use or lose annual leave situation. This information is available to supervisors electronically in WebTA.

SOLUTIONS:
Eliminate the printing and mailing of this report, which would provide a considerable savings in postage dollars. If necessary, supervisors could be notified/reminded by email to check employee leave balances accordingly in WebTA.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
Until Web4.2 was implemented there was not a bi-directional feed between NFC mainframe into WebTA and the official leave balance is the balance on the NFC mainframe so the report would be necessary to ensure WebTA was accurate. Now that there is a bidirectional feed and WebTA will be syncing with the NFC mainframe data I  will have staff look into the possibility of making that change. I do think we need to wait a bit until we are confident that glitches with Web4.2 have all been resolved and timekeepers have had time to complete any leave audits and ensure the leave balances in WebTA4.2 are accurate.  

 

Programs Submission Response: CARS Reports Enhancement

ISSUE:
CARS report “Farms with ARCPLC Contract and Unreported Cropland” only lists farms for which an ARCPLC contract is enrolled, and the farm has an initiated but incomplete/uncertified FSA-578.

FACTS:
The report currently ignores farms for which an ARCPLC contract is enrolled but the FSA-578 is not created (not initiated). If COFs rely on this report to assist producers in identifying farms that aren’t fully reported, a farm that has been missed altogether will not be identified.

SOLUTIONS:
The report “Farms with ARCPLC Contract and Unreported Cropland” should compare enrolled ARCPLC contracts to CARS and return all results for which a crop report is any status other than fully reported/fully certified, including all of the following statuses: *Not Created (no acreage report created for the farm); *Not Certified/Not Reported (no reported field are certified and no cropland is reported and certified); *Partially Certified/Partially Reported (not all reported fields are certified and not all cropland is reported and certified); and *Partially Certified/Fully Reported (not all reported fields are certified and all cropland is reported and certified).

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
As indicated CARS report “Farms with ARCPLC Contract and Unreported Cropland” list farms with an active ARCPLC contract and the farm has a 578 initiated in CARS only.  This report will cover the following statuses:

  • *Not Certified/Not Reported (no reported field are certified and no cropland is reported and certified); and
  • *Partially Certified/Partially Reported (not all reported fields are certified and not all cropland is reported and certified)

The following status is not included because in this case all cropland is reported and certified:

  • *Partially Certified/Fully Reported (not all reported fields are certified and all cropland is reported and certified).

County Office may use CARS report “Farms with No FSA-578 in CARS” to determine the following status:

  • *Not Created (no acreage report created for the farm), including farms with an active ARCPLC contract but not initiated in CARS.

Programs Submission Response: ARC/PLC Payment Reports

ISSUE:
ARC/PLC Non Payment Reduction Report

FACTS:
This report can be very lengthy and consist of several pages due to listing all known errors. Many of these pages are often the result of “Less than 10 acre Bases”, which are not errors that need corrected.  While per 1-ARCPLC, paragraph 235, we do need to know these farms to ensure the SDA flag has been properly loaded if applicable, this is not necessarily a potential fixable error in all cases.

SOLUTIONS:
The report needs the ability to eliminate certain errors, specifically “Farm does not meet minimum requirement of more than 10 total base acres for all crops”. This would greatly reduce the number of resulting pages making the report more manageable and more applicable.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
Thank you for providing a suggestion regarding the Nonpayment Report. The problem with “eliminating” certain nonpayment reasons is that the Nonpayment Report obtains its information from the Direct Attribution process where the reductions occur and there isn’t a way to determine if the nonpayment is something the county office can correct or if it’s always going to be a reduction. The Nonpayment Report is provided to identify where reductions have occurred to the producer’s payment and for the county office to verify that the system was updated correctly at the time of payment, and if not, then they take corrective action to resolve the reason listed on the Nonpayment Report. 

An example of the problem is as follows: Producer A and producer B both don’t meet the 10 base acre provision. Producer A should have had the SDA value updated in the Subsidiary Eligibility system prior to the payment process, but the county office forgot to update the system timely. After the payment process both producers are listed on the Nonpayment Report as not meeting the 10 base acre provision. The county office should be reviewing the SDA and Limited Resource values for both producers to ensure they are updated correctly. If the Nonpayment Report no longer displayed the producers for not meeting the 10 base acre provision then the county office has no way of knowing that the SDA value for producer A should be updated and as a result producer A won’t receive the ARC/PLC payment.

As I stated above, the Nonpayment Report can’t pick and choose what reductions to display because it has no way of knowing what reductions are permanent or what changes could be made in the system to resolve the reduction reason. A suggestion might be for the county office to print the Nonpayment Report and after verifying the reductions listed, then the next time they can compare the verified Nonpayment Report to the new Nonpayment Report to identify any new producers or reductions since the last time the report was accessed.

 

Programs Submission Response: CCMS Software Enhancement

ISSUE:
No current report to list contracts currently in revision status in CCMS.

FACTS:
We have many options for reports in CCMS.  One of the reports still needed is a report on contracts “In Revision” status. We can print reports for contracts that are “Active”, “Expired”, “Terminated”, “Revised”, “Divided”, and “Transferred”, but we do not have a report for the contracts that are in the process of a revision.

SOLUTIONS:
Please add to the available reports in CCMS a report for contracts in revision status.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
Thank you for the suggestion. I agree with your idea and will work to add it to a future enhancement. Until the time we can get a report added  users do have the ability to search by the revision status from the search contract screen. These searches will provide offices with all the contracts that fall under each revision status. I know this is not as nice as a full report but it does provide offices with the ability to identify contracts “In Revision”.

 

Programs Submission Response: COC Election Software

ISSUE:
COC Elections Applications for deceased producers

FACTS:
When the report of producers not associated with an LAA was generated it came to our attention that several of those producers were deceased. When you try to mark deceased in the Producer Election Data file it forces you to put them in an LAA. In the past this wasn’t a requirement.

SOLUTIONS:
There is no need to put them in an LAA if they are deceased. Please remove that requirement from the software if possible.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
COC software is old and has not had any outward facing work done due to budgetary constraints. It was hoped that enhancements would be worked into a MIDAS release in BP but this will not be happening. We have, however, completed some “backdoor” work to the software that was within the budget that we feel was beneficial to the field. With these enhancements hopefully COFs will have less phone calls from disgruntled producers and fewer returned ballots with the software taking out inactive producers and deceased producers. 

New Enhancements to COC Election Software

  1. The Election software will now check the deceased flag in SCIMS and the name will automatically be dropped from the Eligible voter list without employee action.
  2. A new extract option has been added to help with LAA mailings if needed since we no longer have queries from the System 36.
    NEW as of 7/11/16 we have added race, gender and ethnicity to this report.


    From COC Election home page select “County Election Reports”
    coc-1

    Select Eligible Voter Mailing List and the COC and LAA you need the report for
    coc-2

    Select “Extract Addresses to CSV”
    coc-3

    A CSV file will open and a message will appear at the bottom of the screen. Select “Save As” and save it to a place to retrieve the file later
    coc-4

    Open a blank Excel document and select the “Data” tab and then “From Text” and find the file you saved from the previous step
    coc-5

    Select the following outlined boxes to complete the import to Excel
    coc-6

    coc-7

    coc-8

    coc-9

    coc-10

    The report is now in a workable type format in Excel for mail merge, printing labels, etc.

    Note: Remember producer addresses, race, gender, and ethnicity are PII and this report should only be used internally.

 

 

 

Programs Submission Response: NAP Correspondence

ISSUE:
NAP correspondence is sent through automated email systems directly to producers. The following is an example:

“Thank you for signing up for 2016 NAP Coverage with the USDA Farm Service Agency. Attached is your 2016 Summary of Coverage, including applicable service fees, estimated premiums, and estimated remaining balances due. For more information about your NAP coverage, please contact your administrative county office.”

FACTS:
Many producers are highly receptive to this prompt, effective means of communication; however they may read the message and call the COF, and we aren’t up-to-speed on exactly what message they are reading that they say we have just sent to their email account.

COF employees currently don’t have the text of the email message or the same Summary of Coverage report that the producer is seeing in the email readily available through the NAP Application Software.

SOLUTIONS:
It would be helpful and beneficial to program NAP correspondence so that a copy is sent to the respective County Office (at least the CED), so that the County Office is aware of the exact communication at the same time the producer receives it.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
We have worked hard to become more transparent in our mailings and e-mail to producers participating in our NAP program. Since our national mailings come from a centralized location in Kansas City, it has been difficult for offices to identify what letters have been sent to producers. Luckily we now have a way to track the letters and e-mails that are sent to individuals that participate in the NAP program. National training was delivered to State Offices in June about the availability of these enhancements. The National Office will work to provide these options in the 3-NAP handbook in a future amendment. As they are available now, I will walk you through the availability for each enhanced option. Should you have any questions about the delivery of these enhancements, please feel free to contact me.

When you access the main NAP menu an option appears for the Notification Center, as listed below:

nap-1

By Selecting on this Notification Center “Reports” tab, county offices can now access what e-mails and physical letters are sent to the producers in each county. An example:

nap-2
County offices have the option to run a report that will provide all letters sent by physical mail or by e-mail for each producer in their county. They have the options to see the dates that each of these pieces of information have been sent to producers. For example:

nap-3

The great thing about this report is it gives the exact dates that each letter was either physically mailed to the producer or e-mailed, if the producer chooses to receive e-mail. Producers receive both a physical copy and an e-mailed copy if they select to receive e-mail.

Another example but with the same idea is the Continuous Coverage Mailing Report. This report identifies each year, based on the year selected, which producers received a Continuous Coverage mailing and the date that those letters were sent to the producer. For Example:

nap-4

Once County Offices identify which producers received each of these letters, they can identify which letters were sent to the producer and select that producer to see the individual information that was sent out of the producer. That selection is made by doing a “Search by Producer” as listed below: 

nap-5

After that selection of the producer is made in the SCIMS Search, the following options are available for each individual producer. For Example: 

nap-6

By viewing the listed information, County Offices can access exactly what the producer received, in both the e-mail or the physically mailed document.

I hope this helps in your delivery back to the county offices. We will continue to work to provide the offices with all the information that is sent to producers concerning the NAP program.

 

Programs Submission Response: ARC/PLC Prepayment Report

ISSUE:
There is a need for an ARCPLC Prepayment Report for 2015 and future years.

FACTS:
It is understood that ARCPLC does not have a guaranteed payment each year. However, it would be very beneficial to have access to some type of report prior to payment time that shows eligibility flags for a person/entity that would prohibit a payment being made timely. This would also reduce the number of producers who would show up on a nonpayment report.

SOLUTION:
Provide counties with access to a report that shows producer/entity with a share that is missing an eligibility flag prior to payments being announced and issued.

NATIONAL CHAIR RESPONSE:
WDC Specialist stated that requirements have been completed and a report is scheduled to be available for the FY 2016 payment run. Unfortunately, the resources could not be allocated in time for the FY 2015 payment run.