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Temporary Shutdown of GAPS 1/11-22/2002.

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Publication Date: December 2001

Author: General Manager: SFA School Channel

Posted on December 19, 2001

TO: All Destination Points

FROM: Pell Grant Processing

RE: Temporary Shutdown of GAPS 1/11-22/2002

As you are aware from recent announcements posted to the GAPS E-Payments web site ( by the Department of Education's (ED) Office of the Chief Financial Officer and to IFAP that ED will be converting its Financial Management System during January to a new platform. This conversion process will mean that the EDCAPS Grant Administration and Payment System will be unavailable for all activities beginning Friday afternoon January 11, 2002 until Tuesday morning, January 22, 2002. During this period, RFMS will continue to process but will not be able to transmit the results of processing accepted disbursement records to GAPS. It is the transmission of these records that would normally result in the increased authorization to draw funds in GAPS.

We understand that for many schools this downtime comes at a critical point in the academic calendar for preparing and making Pell Grant disbursements to students. An Electronic Announcement published on IFAP December 14th provided guidance to assist in minimizing the impact of the conversion and shutdown period for institutions.

With this message we are encouraging schools to consider the flexibility available under RFMS processing to ensure that your school's authorization level is adequate to support the drawdown of needed funds before the GAPS shutdown: RFMS accepts a disbursement record 30 days before the disbursement date for schools receiving funds under the Advance Payment method. If you were planning to send disbursement records to RFMS during the shutdown period, you may want to send these records earlier than planned (but no later than January 4th) to allow time for RFMS to process the records, for GAPS to reflect increased authorization amounts and your fiscal officer time to draw the funds before the shutdown begins January 11.

In addition, you may want to consider disbursing awards to students as early as the Cash Management regulations permit, that is, up to 10 days prior to the first day of classes for a payment period.

Finally, if you will be unable to send disbursement records so that you will have a sufficient authorization level in GAPS in order to draw Pell Grant funds prior to the January 11-21 shutdown period, send an e-mail to no later than January 4th. In this e-mail indicate the additional amount you reasonably expect to disburse during the shutdown period. We will review your request for reasonableness and increase your authorization level in GAPS. As soon as GAPS is again available, accepted disbursement records should support the additional funding that was made available during this time. Please note that this authorization increase will be available only to schools receiving funds under the Advance Payment Method.

If you have any questions, please call the Pell Grant Hotline at 1-800-474-7268.


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