Programs Submission Response: Cost Share Software Enhancements

ISSUE # 1:
Cost Share Software – when terminating an FSA-848, why can’t we use a Search function for that process? A search feature has been built in for all other functions in that software but the Terminate/Reinstate. You have to scroll through all of the 848’s in the system.

FACTS:
When terminating an FSA-848, you have to scroll through all pages of 848’s to find the one you need, by scrolling from 2013 forward. All other functions that have a search feature, you can enter either the source contract, application number, or producer’s name.

SOLUTIONS:
Build a search feature in the Terminate/Reinstate section of Cost Share Software.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
Users currently have the ability to use the search function when terminating an FSA-848.  Users need to be sure they are utilizing the Agreement Search located near the bottom of the left navigation menu under the Agreement Maintenance header and not the Application Search located near the center of the left navigation menu under the Cost Share header. When an agreement is located using the Agreement Search, a terminate or reinstate process link is contained in the Links column of the search results. Whether that link is a terminate link or a reinstate link depends upon the status of the agreement that is selected. 

It would appear that the user(s) who submitted this question may be unfamiliar with the difference between the Application Search and the Agreement Search. If the Application Search is used to access an agreement, no link to the terminate or reinstate process will be displayed. The results of the end user satisfaction survey that was recently conducted contained several similar comments, so it appears there may be widespread misunderstanding of the difference between the two searches. In an attempt to clarify the differences this topic was covered during a conference call with State Conservation Specialists on July 20, 2017. Specialists were provided with a document explaining the differences between the two searches and were asked to cover this topic with users in their states.


ISSUE # 2:
When revising 848’s in CSS, we are unable to remove a component code. So if NRCS originally marked code 6DP ($17.26/ac) on the component code but it should have been 6SOP ($11.98/ac), we are unable to remove that 6DP code which would also de-obligate the funds for 6DP.

FACTS:
Our only option is to add the corrected component code and then zero out the dollar amount to de-obligate the funds for the incorrect component. However, the incorrect information (unnecessary component) will still appear on the 848.

SOLUTIONS:
Add capability to CSS to allow for us to remove a component code from the 848.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
Prior to approval of the FSA-848, components can be deleted from incomplete applications.  Additionally, components can be removed from applications with a status of complete if the application is first un-submitted to return it to an incomplete status. However, as you indicate, the current design of CSS does not permit removal of a component after approval of the FSA-848. Users who completed the end user satisfaction survey also expressed the desire to have the ability to remove a component from an agreement. Due to limited funding and resources for software enhancements it is not expected that the ability to remove a component will be added to the existing CSS. However, this suggestion is appreciated and will be considered as work is undertaken to redesign the cost share process in new software that will be created.

Programs Submission Response: COC Election LAA Detail

ISSUE:
In a Farm Loan team HDQ many producers are added to MIDAS Business Partner that are borrowers only, and not a producer that is eligible to vote in COC elections in this HDQ service Center.

FACTS:
These producers who do not need an LAA assigned will show up on reports with the appearance they need to have an LAA assigned. This takes much time to research.

SOLUTIONS:
On the screen “COC/LAA Election Detail” add an entry in the “Reason for Ineligibility” to the effect of PRODUCER IS FLP ONLY. Once the producer is flagged with this entry, the COF will not have to research again this same producer in another election year.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
This request has been to our developers and I was told a new line can be added to the “reason for Ineligibility” field. This new line not a high priority so I was given a very wide date range of when this might occur. After adding the line and testing, it can happen anywhere from this week to a few months.  I will let the STO POC know once it has been added. It will also be added to the handbook amendment I am working on.

 

Programs Submission Response: Producer Dashboard

ISSUE:
Often a producer will come into the county office during the busiest time of the year (crop reporting) with the intention of taking care of the whole year’s business in one office visit. It is very easy to miss something the producer needs to sign or complete in that office visit. Consequently, the producer will have to make at least one, and sometimes two return visits to the County Office.

FACTS:
With the tools we currently have available, and the deadlines we rush to meet, it is unrealistic to believe a COE can and will catch everything a producer needs to complete for a year during the middle or end of crop reporting.

SOLUTIONS:
To increase efficiency, if farm programs  could offer a dashboard by producer, this would be a very valuable tool. The dashboard could reflect all farms the producer is associated with, all ARC/PLC contracts the producer is associated with, all subsidiary paperwork needed for the FY, the producer’s direct deposit information, CRP contracts on the farms the producer is associated with, as well as any management still due on that CRP contract. And added enhancement could be that items completed show green, and items that need immediate attention would be red.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
We are going to add this recommendation to our list of future enhancements.