chapter covers the procedures for preparing and submitting an
E-invoice to the FDIC. The FDIC uses a third party E-billing
service provider to provide E-billing capability. Outside Counsel
submits E-invoices to the Automated Invoice Management System (AIMS)
provided by the third party E-billing service provider.
An E-invoice package consists of the following:
An E-invoice file for uploading to the AIMS;
All original receipts and other supporting
documentation (which must be maintained in Outside Counsel’s files
for audit purposes).
Chapter 6 (Case Plan and Budget), you must have an approved
Budget from the FDIC before you can be paid. An approved Budget
gives you the “all clear” to submit an E-invoice for payment of your
month Outside Counsel should prepare an E-invoice to be uploaded to
AIMS for each matter assigned to the firm unless the amount (fees
and expenses) to be billed is less than $500. If the amount (fees
and expenses) is less than $500, Outside Counsel should prepare
E-invoices on a quarterly basis, unless doing so would cause undue
hardship to the firm.
Counsel should prepare E-invoices for fees and expenses within 30
days of the last day in your billing period, except as noted above.
conclusion or termination of the matter, Outside Counsel should
prepare the final E-invoice for fees and expenses within 90 days of
the matter’s conclusion or termination. Refer to
Chapter 8 and
Outside Counsel may not bill the FDIC more than once per
month. Outside Counsel also may not bill for overlapping
service periods (e.g. May 1 through May 31 and then May 15
through June 15).
Failure to submit E-invoices in a timely manner as set forth
above may significantly delay the FDIC’s processing and
payment of the E-invoice.
ABSENT EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, THE FDIC WILL NOT PAY
E-INVOICES SUBMITTED OVER ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE THAT SERVICES
FDIC assigns each matter a different matter number. The matter
number must be entered on each E-invoice that is uploaded to the
AIMS. The screen below is the first of two screens used by Outside
Counsel to capture fee and expense data.
screen, as seen below, captures detailed fee and expense charges for
Block Billing of Services
Time billed for
each fee or expense should be identified separately. Do not combine
different types of activities in one entry on the E-invoice. “Block
billing” of fees is not acceptable, even if the same individual
performed the activities, except for multiple, related activities
for which only a small amount of time (no more than 30 minutes) is
Description of Fees
of the service provided should be brief and informative.
"Legal research on statute of limitations issues."
"Telephone calls to J. James and M. Smith re: motion to dismiss."
increments of greater than 0.1 billing hour (6 minutes) is
Use the following format for expenses:
(unit cost multiplied by unit amount).
(date, phone number, and amount); telephone long distance charge
(line charge) is the only acceptable charge.
telephone charges (date, phone number, and amount).
delivery (date, amount and name to whom delivery was sent).
research, including the Legal Research Bank, (date, amount and name of person performing research).
postage (i.e., bulk or certified mail) (date and amount).
Claims for travel-related expenses must be made using the
Law Firm Travel Voucher - Word (see also the
sample travel voucher).
7.3 E-invoice Submission and Validation
Specific instructions on how to upload the E-invoice to AIMS will be
provided to Outside Counsel by the FDIC’s E-billing service
the E-invoice is uploaded to AIMS a validation process will occur.
If the E-invoice does not meet the following validation rules it
will be rejected and returned to Outside Counsel for corrections.
Once corrections are made the E-invoice should be resubmitted, under
the same invoice number, to the E-billing service provider.
Invoice line items math must be correct
Invoice line items must equal total invoice amount
Only one matter may be billed per invoice
Vendor must submit invoice with valid matter number
Vendor must submit invoice with valid vendor number (Note: DC will
auto-populate the vendor number)
Vendor must be associated to matter it is billing against
Invoice Number cannot be greater than 20 characters
Invoice Number can only contain alpha numeric characters
If the E-invoice
does not meet the following validation rules the E-invoice file will
be accepted by the FDIC with warnings that certain rules require
further FDIC review.
item date cannot be older than 62 days from the Invoice Date
Line item date should fall between Invoice Start and End Date
Billing Start date should be the first day of the month
Billing End date should be the last day of the month
Invoice date cannot be more than 90 days from the invoice received
Timekeepers are required for all fee line items
Timekeeper IDs must be valid
Timekeeper rates must be valid
Line Item Validations
The following task and expense codes should be flagged
task and expense codes are not allowed
Charges) cannot exceed $.08
words in the line item description will be flagged for Fees
overtime, file review, revision, invoice preparation
words in the line item description will be flagged for Expenses
Lexis, Nexis, electronic research
items may only contain fee rates billed in .10 increments
7.4 Billable Fees and Expenses
You may bill the FDIC reasonable charges for fees and expenses in
accordance with the following guidelines.
You may bill the FDIC reasonable fees at approved LSA rates or other
billing arrangements approved by FDIC in writing for:
Legal work on matters as approved; and
Travel time (when no substantive FDIC work is performed) at 50% of
approved LSA rate.
The FDIC requires law firms to reduce the hourly rate
charged by 50% while an attorney is traveling unless legal
work is being performed for the FDIC. The FDIC does not pay
for First Class airfares or luxury hotel accommodations. The
FDIC will pay only for air travel at coach rates, and
accommodations at the lower of the government or corporate
discount rates. Travel-related expenses must be incurred in a
prudent manner and in accordance with the guidelines set forth
in the E-billing Deskbook.
Outside Counsel is required to keep on file all original
receipts and other supporting documentation for any and all
Compensation cannot be based upon a contingent fee arrangement
unless specifically approved in writing. Absent express Legal
Division permission, experts and other professional service
providers may only be compensated for fees and expenses in
accordance with the requirements of this E-billing Deskbook. The Legal
Division considers your oversight of experts and other professional
service providers an important duty under your legal referral.
Outside Counsel is required to keep on file all subcontractor
invoices and original receipts for expenses submitted by
subcontractors in the event the FDIC performs an audit of the
matter. Note: if it is necessary for outside counsel to retain local counsel or other outside counsel, that local counsel or other outside counsel law firm will be referred to as the subcontractor within the approved budget and case plan, and will not need to submit a separate case plan or budget form to the FDIC for approval. See section 5.4 for additional information on outside counsel retaining the services of another law firm.
You may bill the FDIC reasonable charges for the following expenses.
Requirements for submitting copies of receipts are indicated below.
These requirements do not alter your duty to maintain original
receipts and other supporting documentation for all expenses for
Itemized in-house copy charges (no more than $.08
Itemized fax charges (telephone long distance
charge (line charge) is the only acceptable charge).
Itemized long distance telephone charges.
Itemized overnight delivery. Itemization should
include name of person to whom the delivery was sent and the name
and type of delivery service used.
Itemized electronic research. Itemization should
include person’s name who is performing the research and the name
of the service provider. In addition, the FDIC Research Bank
should be consulted before any legal research is performed and it
should be itemized in the description for that entry on the E-invoice
that you have done so. Prior approval by the Oversight Attorney is
required for electronic research.
Out-of-pocket expenses relating to providing
training to FDIC.
Itemized extraordinary postage (i.e., bulk or
Expert witnesses and other professional service
Other Subcontractors, if approved. The name of
the subcontractor, the name of the person that performed the work,
a description of the work performed, the date, and the charge must
be noted in the description for that entry on the E-invoice.
Filing Fees. Please note that Outside Counsel
should not bill for federal court fees when filing on behalf of
the FDIC. A description of the filing fees including the court,
and type of fee must be noted in the description for that entry on
Other case-specific (non-overhead) expenses. A
description of the expenses must be noted in the description for
that entry on the E-invoice. Approval should be documented in the
case file for audit purposes.
Allowable travel expenses (refer to Section
7.7 for submission and receipt requirements).
State and local taxes on FDIC allowable expenses will be
7.5 Non-Billable Fees and Expenses
You may not bill the FDIC for the following fees
Services of billable individuals who have not
been included on the FDIC approved rate schedule attached to your
Excessive number of attorneys performing services
in a matter.
E-invoice preparation, review, or for corrections
to the E-invoice required by the FDIC Oversight Attorney or
Secretarial or clerical overtime that has not
been approved by your Oversight Attorney.
Hourly fees for time spent photocopying, sending
Excessive intra-office conferences between
attorneys or paralegals for the purpose of providing instruction
Excessive time spent in “file review.”
Excessive time spent in “review and revision” of
documents that you prepare.
Educational or development costs for you to
become generally familiar with statutory and case law affecting
Charging attorney time for tasks that should be
performed efficiently and effectively at less expense by a
paralegal or secretary, or charging paralegal time for tasks that
should be performed by clerical workers.
Hours charged at a more senior attorney rate when
a matter should be handled by a less senior attorney.
Routine budget preparation.
Charging attorney time for preparing and
presenting training to the FDIC.
Charges related to word processing.
Charges other than “actual time” charges for
electronic research (e.g., Westlaw or Lexis). The FDIC Research
Bank should be consulted before any legal research is performed.
In-house photocopying charges at more than $0.08
Clerical time for photocopying, sending
facsimiles, filing etc.
Excessive/unnecessary overnight mail charges.
Meals, unless you are on approved travel.
Daily commuting expenses.
Sales tax (except for lodging) or surcharges
imposed by utilities or phone services.
Tax on services.
Any costs relating to filing fees in United
States District Courts or Courts of Appeal which the FDIC is not
required to pay (pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1819(b)(4)).
Cell phone roaming charges.
A service that is customarily included in the
normal overhead or administrative expense of running a law firm
(e.g., rent, electricity, local telephone charges, HVAC, bill
7.6 Over Budget E-Invoices
the full payment of the E-invoice causes the legal matter to exceed
the grand total of the approved Budget, the FDIC will notify you.
The E-invoice cannot be paid until an Amended Budget is submitted
and approved. The Financial Specialist will notify the Oversight
Attorney that an amended budget is needed. The Oversight Attorney
will work with Outside Counsel to submit an amended budget. Refer
Chapter 6 for further information.
7.7 Travel Reimbursement Guidelines
The following guidelines are provided to assist in compliance with
requirements to limit expense reimbursement to those costs that do
not exceed FDIC travel reimbursement regulations. The E-invoice
file that Outside Counsel submits to FDIC for payment will not
include receipts and supporting documentation. However, for audit
purposes, Outside Counsel must prepare an FDIC travel voucher for
all travel relating to FDIC matters and the hard copy travel voucher
along with original receipts and other supporting documentation must
be maintained by the firm. (See below for more information on
preparing FDIC travel vouchers). The E-invoice description must
also contain detailed information about travel expenses as outlined
Eligibility for Reimbursement
To be entitled to travel reimbursement, you must be on a temporary
assignment that is at least 50 miles in distance from either your
office or residence. If a temporary assignment concludes during the
workday and is located within 100 miles of your office or residence,
you are expected to return to your residence, rather than remain at
the temporary location overnight.
You must ensure that all travel on behalf of the FDIC is necessary
and approved by the Oversight Attorney.
Air travel should be in coach class only, unless you bear the cost
of the difference between coach and business or first class. Travel
should be planned as far in advance as possible to take advantage of
discounted fares, especially if reasonable certainty exists that the
event will take place. If a restricted fare is booked and you
require a change, a reasonable exchange fee may be claimed. Special
approval is required for international air travel. Original
receipts must be maintained in Outside Counsel’s files for audit
purposes. The E-invoice description must include the traveler’s
name, ticket number, class of travel, date of travel, and price
No car larger than a mid-size should be rented, unless there are
three or more passengers or a larger vehicle is necessary to
transport equipment, files, etc.. Deviations from standard policy
should be documented and maintained along with original receipts in
Outside Counsel’s files. The E-invoice description must include the
traveler’s name, name of the rental car company, the rental
company’s invoice number, the dates of rental, type of car, the
number of passengers, miles driven, gas usage, and any other
relevant information about the rental.. The FDIC will not reimburse
you for Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) or Personal Effects
Coverage (PEC). The cost of Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage
is allowed if you do not have insurance coverage for collision
should make use of government rates whenever possible. Any hotel
expenses considered excessive or unreasonable will not be
reimbursed. Original receipts must be maintained in Outside
Counsel’s files for audit purposes. The E-invoice description must
include the date, hotel name, type of room, type of rate charged.
On overnight travel status you may only be reimbursed on a per diem
basis. The current FDIC prorated per diem rates allowable are
listed below. The current FDIC per diem rates allowable are
listed in Section 16.0 of the
Contractor Travel Reimbursement Guidelines. Specific per diem
rates for different localities may be found on the
General Services Administration (GSA) web site. Where the
information contained on the GSA web site and FDIC Guidelines
differs, the GSA web site controls. When you are on per diem,
incidental expenses such as laundry and cleaning are considered to
be covered by the per diem.
Diem for Overnight Travel
If travel extends into more than one calendar day, prorated per diem
for partial days is required. One-fourth of the per diem allowance
is payable for each quarter-day or fraction thereof:
If you leave your
Prorated Per Diem Rates
Midnight to 5:59AM
6:00 AM to 11:59 AM
Noon to 5:59 PM
6:00 PM to 11:59 PM
If you leave your
Midnight to 5:59AM
6:00 AM to 11:59 AM
Noon to 5:59 PM
6:00 PM to 11:59 PM
depart from and/or return directly to your residence, per diem is
allowed from the time of departure from your residence until the
time of return to your residence. If departure is from and/or return
is to your office, per diem is allowed
from the time of departure from your official station until the time
of return to your official station. Outside Counsel must provide
start and return times with their supporting travel documentation to
and from the time of departure from your
official station until the time of return to your official station.
Outside Counsel must provide start and return times with their
supporting travel documentation to demonstrate the number of
quarters of the per diem allowance they are entitled to receive.
Miscellaneous Meal Expense
If you are in non-overnight travel status and are away from your
residence for at least 11 consecutive hours excluding mealtime, you
may be reimbursed on an actual expense incurred basis with the meal
cost limited to a $10.00 charge (receipt required) or $6.00 without
Long Distance Personal Calls
While on an overnight travel assignment, you may claim the actual
amount incurred, not to exceed $3 per day, for personal long
distance calls. This is in addition to per diem, if applicable.
Itemize your calls on the
Law Firm Travel Voucher. The E-invoice description should
include the date, phone number, and charges.
of Privately-Owned Vehicle
be reimbursed for use of your privately-owned vehicle while on
FDIC-related business. The maximum reimbursement rate will be the
rate stipulated by the IRS.
choose to use your vehicle in lieu of air travel, the maximum
reimbursement will be the lesser of the cost of air travel or
mileage reimbursement and the additional per diem, if any.
Appropriate documentation should be maintained in Outside Counsel’s
files to show the actual cost of coach air travel compared to
FDIC does not insure privately-owned vehicles for liability.
The use of taxicabs is permitted while you are on official travel
for FDIC. Reimbursement for taxicab fares (plus the customary 15%
tip) is allowed. The E-invoice description must include the
traveler’s name, the name of the taxi service, the to and from
location, the date, and the charge. Original taxicab receipts must
be maintained in Outside Counsel’s files for audit purposes. Taxi
hire is appropriate when:
Public transportation, airport limousine service,
and/or hotel courtesy transportation is not available or when time
or other factors make it impractical to use available public
Traveling between transportation terminals and
your residence, hotel or office while on official travel status;
Traveling from your residence to your office to
depart on assignment requiring at least one night’s lodging, and
from your office to your residence on the day you return from that
fares for trips used to obtain meals will not be reimbursed.
Non-Reimbursable Travel Expenses
Examples of expenses that will not be reimbursed include the
Alcoholic beverages, entertainment;
Laundry, dry cleaning and pressing (covered by
per diem reimbursement);
Gratuities and tips paid to service staff inside
the lodging facility (covered by per diem reimbursement).
Cost of travel for spouses, other family members,
and friends is not allowable under any circumstances.
Travelers will not be reimbursed for excess costs caused by:
An indirect route as a matter of personal
Premature departure for personal reasons from a
temporary location; or
Extending a stay for personal reasons.
Firm Travel Voucher Completion
After completion of travel, a Law Firm Travel Voucher must be
prepared and maintained along with original receipts in Outside
Counsel’s files for audit purposes. Indicate the purpose of travel
on the first line. Dates and times of each departure from residence
or office, arrival at the place of temporary assignment, and arrival
at the office or residence must be shown on the
Law Firm Travel Voucher - Word (see also the
sample Travel Voucher).
Except for per diem expenses, you must maintain valid original
receipts with the Law Firm Travel Voucher for all travel
expenditures regardless of cost. If a receipt is not normally
provided for the expense (bus or subway token, etc.) the
certification signed by the traveler on the Law Firm Travel Voucher
will justify the expense.
Receipts attached to the Law Firm Travel Voucher should be originals
indicating the name of the payee, date paid, amount, and the service
rendered. This includes the original Passenger Receipt Coupon of the
airline ticket. If an electronic ticket is used, the boarding passes
for each flight must be attached to the Law Firm Travel Voucher.
The penalty for knowingly submitting falsified travel
charges on an E-invoice can be three times the amount of the
claim plus a civil money penalty of $10,000 under the False
Claims Act. 31 U.S.C. 3729. Also, false statements may be
criminally prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. 1001. The penalty can
be up to 5 years in jail. A corporation that violates 18
U.S.C. 1001 can be fined up to $500,000. 18 U.S.C. 3571.
7.8 FDIC E-invoice Review
E-invoice files should be submitted in a timely manner (refer to
Section 7.2) and as directed in your referral letter or by your
Oversight Attorney. Upon receipt, the FDIC Financial Specialist
reviews the E-invoice and forwards it to the Oversight Attorney for
review and approval. The Oversight Attorney performs a substantive
review of your E-invoice and approves it for payment.
NOTE: FDIC E-invoice processing time is a minimum of
thirty (30) days after receipt of an accepted E-invoice file.
Payment is generally not made in less than thirty (30) days.
The FDIC is required by statute to make payments by
electronic funds transfer (“wire transfer”)unless the
Secretary of Treasury decides otherwise..
7.9 Reconsideration of Disallowances
You must submit all requests for reconsideration of disallowances by
preparing a new E-invoice file for the amount to be reconsidered.
The new E-invoice file must have the original invoice number
followed by the letter “R” along with justification for
reconsideration. The new E-invoice file should be submitted to the
E-billing service provider within 90 days from receipt of notice of
disallowance. The request must include matter number, E-invoice
number, and the amount disputed, along with justification for
reconsideration (e.g., copies of missing documentation, narrative
NOTE: The submission of erroneous bills or requests for
reimbursement of inappropriate charges may result in sanctions.
Under no circumstances may Outside Counsel attempt a set-off or
recoupment, obtain a charging or retaining lien, or withhold
files in the event of a dispute over payment for services
7.10 Audit and Records Retention
Outside Counsel must permit the FDIC, the FDIC Office of Inspector
General, the FDIC Legal Division's Risk Management Group, and the
Government Accountability Office, or their representatives, to conduct
audits or reviews of your FDIC billings, including previously paid
Invoice Packages and/or E-invoices, receipts, and supporting
purposes of subsequent audits, Outside Counsel must retain the
Copies of all E-invoice file submissions (refer
Original receipts and underlying support
documentation not submitted with the E-invoice file;
Subcontractor invoices; and
Original or electronic time sheets and time and
expense adjustment records. Example of adjustment records
includes documentation explaining differences between time sheet
hours and invoices hours for billable individuals.
Guidelines for Electronic Billing
for record retention requirements. The FDIC reserves the right to
obtain additional information upon review of any E-invoice or
underlying support documentation, including subcontractor invoices
and electronic time sheets.
7.11 Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to questions often raised by Outside
Counsel when submitting E-invoices.
have expert witnesses hired by my firm call you when they have
questions about their payment?
No. Any expert or other entity hired or retained by your firm is a
subcontractor and should address all payment questions to you. Their
invoices are included as expenses in your E-invoice to the FDIC. The
FDIC will not pay them directly. Outside Counsel must maintain
subcontractor invoices, receipts, and proof of payment in Outside
Counsel’s files for audit purposes.
should I submit an E-invoice?
On a monthly basis, if the total equals $500.00 or more. If your
total is less than $500.00, submit your E-invoice quarterly, unless
this causes undue hardship.
bill for clerical or secretarial overtime?
No, unless such overtime is requested by the Legal Division or
occasioned by an emergency situation created by the FDIC. In any
case, the Oversight Attorney assigned to your matter must approve
clerical or secretarial overtime.
I may bill the FDIC for extraordinary postage (e.g. bulk or
certified mail). May I also charge for ordinary postage?
common mistakes should I avoid when submitting my E-invoice?
Make sure you use a different invoice number for each E-invoice you
submit unless an E-invoice is rejected and you are asked to make
mandatory validation rule changes. If that happens the corrected
E-invoice file should be submitted with the original invoice number.
forget Outside Counsel must maintain all original receipts and other
supporting documentation in Outside Counsel’s files for audit
Make sure your “billing from” and “billing through” dates do not
overlap. For example, if an E-invoice covers the period from January
2 to January 16, a subsequent E-invoice should not cover the period
from January 10 to January 29.
to itemize attorney and non-attorney fees separately.
firm charges $0.10 per page for in-house photocopying. May I bill
the FDIC for this amount?
No, the maximum charge is $0.08 per page.
information do I need to include regarding fax and phone charges?
You need to include the date, phone number and charge for each call
in the E-invoice description. The bill from the carrier must be
retained in Outside Counsel’s files for three years after final
payment for audit purposes.
happens if the E-invoice is rejected by the E-billing service
Outside Counsel will be notified that the E-invoice cannot be
processed because certain mandatory validation rules were not met.
Outside Counsel must ensure the E-invoice meets all mandatory
validation rules and the E-invoice should be resubmitted to the
E-billing service provider.
NOTE: Where the provisions of the Guidelines and Legal Division
policies are contrary, the Legal Division policies and the
E-billing Deskbook control.