Legal Support Services Deskbook
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6.1 Invoice Package
This chapter covers the procedures for completing an Invoice Package and submitting it to the FDIC.
The expert or LSS provider must complete a separate Invoice Package for each assigned matter. The FDIC assigns each matter a different matter number. Therefore, each matter should have its own invoice.
The Invoice Package consists of the following:
- Expert Invoice for Fees and Expenses (EIF&E - PDF) Form or the Legal Support Services (LSS) Provider Invoice for Fees and Expenses (IF&E - PDF) Form;
- Invoices generated from the firm/business accounts receivable system;
- Necessary receipts; and
- Travel vouchers and/or other supporting documentation.
As discussed in Chapter 3, there must be an approved budget from the FDIC before the expert or LSS provider can be paid. An approved budget gives the all clear to submit an Invoice Package for payment of services.
6.2 Invoice Package Submission
Invoice Packages should be submitted on a monthly basis, unless the amount (fees and expenses) to be invoiced is less than $500. If the amount (fees and expenses) is less than $500, the Invoice Package should be submitted on a quarterly basis, unless doing so would cause undue hardship to the firm/business.
Invoice Packages for fees and expenses should be submitted within 30 days of the last day of the billing period, except as noted above.
The Legal Division recognizes that firms/businesses may experience delays in receiving supporting documentation for expenses included in the Invoice Package to the FDIC. Therefore, invoice packages should be submitted for such expenses within 60 days of the last date in the billing period.
|Note: Do not
bill the FDIC more than once per month. Do not bill for
overlapping service periods (e.g. May through May 31 and
then May 15 through June 15).
Failure to submit invoices in a timely manner as set forth above may significantly delay the FDIC's invoice processing and payment..
ABSENT EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, THE FDIC WILL NOT PAY INVOICES SUBMITTED OVER ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE THAT SERVICES ARE RENDERED..
The distribution and mailing instructions are unique to the Legal Division office or section supervising the matter. Experts or LSS providers should refer to the agreement for services. The expert or LSS provider may also contact the Oversight Attorney for instructions.
6.3 Billable Fees and Expenses
The FDIC may be billed reasonable charges for fees and expenses in accordance with the following guidelines.
The FDIC may be billed reasonable fees at approved rates as stated on Schedule A of the agreement for services or other billing arrangements approved by the FDIC in writing for:
- Legal support services on matters as approved; and
- Unless a lesser rate of reimbursement is set forth in the agreement, travel time (when no substantive FDIC work is performed) should be billed at 50% of approved rate on Schedule A of the agreement for services.
|Note: 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 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 Deskbook.|
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 Deskbook.
The FDIC may be billed reasonable charges for the following expenses. Requirements for submitting copies of receipts are indicated below. These requirements do not alter the duty to maintain original receipts and other supporting documentation for all expenses for audit and review purposes.
- Itemized In-house copy charges (no more than $.20 per page; no receipt necessary, but indicate the total number of copies.)
- Itemized international long distance telephone or multi-party conference call charges (receipts necessary).
- Itemized overnight delivery (receipts necessary). Itemization should include name of person to whom the delivery was sent.
- Itemized electronic research (receipts and/or invoices necessary). Itemization should include persons name who is performing the research. In addition, the FDIC Research Bank should be consulted before any legal research is performed and it should be noted on the invoice that you have done so.
Please note: Prior approval by the Oversight Attorney is required for electronic research.
- Itemized extraordinary postage (i.e., bulk or certified mail; receipts necessary).
- Outside photocopying (receipts and/or invoices are necessary).
- Publication notices (receipts and/or invoices are necessary).
- Other case specific (non-overhead) expenses (receipts and/or invoices are necessary). Written approval should be documented in the case file.
- Allowable travel expenses (Refer to Section 6.7 for submission and receipt requirements).
|Note: State and local taxes on FDIC allowable expenses will be reimbursed.|
6.4 Non-Billable Fees and Expenses
The FDIC must not be billed, and will not pay, for the following fees and expenses:
- Services of billable individuals who have not been included on the FDIC-approved rate schedule attached to the agreement for services;
- Excessive number of employees performing services in a matter;
- Invoice preparation, review, or for corrections to the invoice required by the FDIC oversight attorney or legal information technician;
- Secretarial or clerical overtime that has not been approved by the Oversight Attorney;
- Hourly fees for time spent photocopying, sending facsimiles, filing etc.;
- Local travel and long distance travel in excess of the 50% rate;
- Excessive intra-office conferences between employees for the purpose of providing instruction or status;
- Excessive time spent in file review;
- Block-billing of activities by merging different discrete activities within one period of time (refer to Section 6.6);
- Redundant billing for a single task, document, or activity;
- Travel expenses in violation of the GTR, even if travel is authorized;
- Excessive time spent in review and revision of documents that are prepared by the expert or LSS provider; or
- Billing for expert or LSS provider time for tasks that should be performed efficiently and effectively at less expense by a clerical worker or secretary;
- Ordinary postage;
- Expenses charged based on oral contracts with subcontractors, contractors, or other vendors;
- Charges related to word processing;
- In-house photocopying charges at more than $.20 per copy;
- Clerical time for photocopying, sending facsimiles, filing etc.;
- Charges for expense items when a sellers discount was applied and the discounted percentage or amount was not paid by buyer or buyer subsequently recovered discount from seller;
- Excessive/unnecessary overnight mail charges;
- Meals, except as provided for under the travel regulations;
- Daily commuting expenses;
- Sales tax (except for lodging) or surcharges imposed by utilities or phone services;
- Tax on services;
- Local travel expenses unrelated to approved travel;
- 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));
- A service that is customarily included in the normal overhead or administrative expense of running a firm/business (e.g., rent, electricity, all telephone charges within the United States except for multi-party conference call charges, HVAC, storage, bill preparation); or
- Routine budget preparation.
6.5 Over Budget Invoices
If the full payment of the Invoice Package exceeds the total of the approved budget, notice will be sent by the FDIC. The Invoice Package cannot be paid until an amended budget is submitted and approved (refer to Chapter 4).
|Note: The Invoice Package will be returned with a notice that an approved amended budget is required before the Invoice Package can be properly resubmitted for payment.|
6.6 Expert's and
LSS Provider's Invoice Format
Invoice format requirements are discussed below.
Use the following format when totaling the hours and charges for
|Date of Service||Name/Initials of Individual||Service/Activity Description||Approved Hourly Rate||Time Charged||Amount (Rate x Time)|
|8/11/2018||JFB||Prepare for and provide testimony at trial.||$120.00||5 hrs||$600.00|
Use the following format for recapitulation of the total services billed on the statement:
|Service By||Title||Hours||Hourly Rate||Total|
Block Billing of Services
Time billed for each activity should be identified separately. Do not combine different types of activities in one entry on the 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 expended, as in the following example:
|Date of Service||Name/Initials of Individual||Service/Activity Description||Approved Hourly Rate||Time Charged||Amount (Rate x Time)|
|8/18/2018||RJG||Telephone conference with J. Brown regarding filing brief (.2 hrs); Review jury list (.1 hrs.); Telephone conference with J. Brown regarding jury list (.2 hrs).||$120.00||.5 hrs||$60.00|
Description of Fees
The description of service or activity should be brief and informative.
|Research||Research on loan loss values.|
Telephone calls to J. James and M. Smith re: motion to dismiss.
Billing in increments of less than 0.1 billing hour (6 minutes) is unacceptable.
Use the following format for expenses:
- Copy charges (unit cost multiplied by unit amount).
- Overnight delivery (date and amount, name to whom delivery was sent).
- Electronic research (subject, date, and amount, name of person performing research.
- Extraordinary postage (i.e., bulk or certified mail) (date and amount).
Claims for travel-related expenses must be made using the Travel Voucher (refer to Section 6.7) and should be in accordance with the FDICs General Travel Regulations.
Example of Itemized Expenses
|Photocopy||(46@ .20 pp)||$9.20|
|Extraordinary Postage -
-- Expert Witness
|02/19/2018 - 02/25/2018||$10,500.00|
|Travel for J. Cox
Washington, DC to Boston, MA
|02/5 - 06/05
6.7 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.
Eligibility for Reimbursement
To be entitled for travel reimbursement, the expert or LSS provider must be on a temporary assignment that is at least 50 miles in distance from either the experts or LSS providers office or residence. If a temporary assignment concludes during the workday and is located within 100 miles of the office or residence, it is expected that the expert or LSS provider return to the residence, rather than remain at the temporary location overnight.
All travel on behalf of the FDIC must be necessary and approved by the Oversight Attorney.
Air travel should be in coach class only, unless the expert or LSS provider bears 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 a change is required, a reasonable exchange fee may be claimed. Special approval is required for international air travel.
Generally, 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. Original receipts must support claims for rental car gasoline. The FDIC will not reimburse for Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) or Personal Effects Coverage (PEC). The cost of Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage is allowed if the expert or LSS provider does not have insurance coverage for collision damage.
The expert or LSS provider should make use of government rates whenever possible. Any hotel expenses considered excessive or unreasonable will not be reimbursed.
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 - Word. 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.
If you leave your office/residence between:
|Prorated Per Diem Rates|
|12 Midnight to 5:59 AM||100%|
|6:00 AM to 11.59 AM||75%|
|12 Noon to 5:59 PM||50%|
|6:00 PM to 11:59 PM||25%|
If you leave your office/residence between:
|Prorated Per Diem Rates|
|12 Midnight to 5:59 AM||25%|
|6:00 AM to 11.59 AM||50%|
|12 Noon to 5:59 PM||75%|
|6:00 PM to 11:59 PM||100%|
If you depart from and/or 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. Traveler 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 the expert or LSS provider is in non-overnight travel status and is away from his/her residence for at least 11 consecutive hours excluding mealtime, the expert or LSS provider may be reimbursed on an actual expense incurred basis with the meal costs limited to a $10 charge (receipt required) or $6.00 without a receipt.
Long Distance Personal Calls
While on an overnight travel assignment, there may be a claim for 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 the call(s) on the Travel Voucher.
Use of Privately-Owned Vehicle
There may be reimbursement for use of a privately-owned vehicle while on FDIC-related business. The maximum reimbursement rate will be the rate stipulated by the IRS.
If a vehicle is used 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.
|Note: FDIC does not insure privately-owned vehicles for liability.|
The use of taxicabs is permitted while on official travel for FDIC. Reimbursement for taxicab fares (plus the customary 15% tip) will be made only if an appropriate receipt is submitted.
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 conveyances;
- Traveling between transportation terminals and a residence, hotel or office while on official travel status; or for
- Traveling from a residence to the office to depart on assignment requiring at least one nights lodging and from the expert or LSS provider's office to the expert or LSS provider's residence upon returning from the trip.
Taxi 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 following; unless specifically agreed upon in writing in the expert or LSS providers agreement with the FDIC:
- Alcoholic beverages, entertainment;
- Laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing (covered by per diem reimbursement);
- Travel insurance;
- Parking fines;
- Gratuities and tips paid to service staff inside the lodging facility (covered by per diem reimbursement); or
- 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 preference;
- Premature departure for personal reasons from a temporary location; or
- Extending a stay for personal reasons.
Travel Voucher Completion
After completion of travel, a travel voucher - Word must be submitted with the Invoice Package for reimbursement. 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 travel voucher.
Except for per diem expenses, valid original receipts must be submitted with the 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 travel voucher will justify the expense.
Receipts submitted with the 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 submitted with the Travel Voucher.
|WARNING: The penalty for submitting a Travel Voucher that knowingly falsifies any item in the claim 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.|
6.8 Expert Invoice For Fees and Expenses (EIF&E) Form and LSS
Provider Invoice For Fees and Expenses (IF&E) Form
The following provides guidance when completing the Expert Invoice For Fees and Expenses (EIF&E - PDF) Form or the LSS Provider Invoice For Fees and Expenses (IF&E - PDF) Form.
- Each invoice must have an invoice number unique to the expert or LSS provider's firm/business that is submitting the invoice.
|Note: If the expert or LSS provider is submitting multiple Invoice Packages, ensure a separate EIF&E Form or the IF&E Form for each Invoice Package is included.|
The invoice number can be no longer than 20 characters. Omit any dashes, slashes, spaces, leading zeros, or other special characters.
- The business and financial institution involved with the matter must be the same as identified in the retention letter or as identified in the written agreement with the FDIC.
- The billing period should be monthly. For example: FROM: 12/01/05 THROUGH: 12/30/05.
- The billing period should be quarterly when monthly fees and expenses are less than $500. For example: FROM: 01/01/05 THROUGH: 03/31/05.
- If there are expenses incurred for anything other than the present billing period or the immediately preceding billing period, ensure that the expenses have not been previously reimbursed.
- Sign at the bottom to certify that the EIF&E Form or the IF&E Form is true and correct. An original signature is required on the EIF&E Form and the IF&E Form.
|Note: If the Invoice Grand Total (plus all prior Invoice Package payments for that matter) exceeds the Total of the approved budget for the matter, an approved amended budget is required before FDIC can process the Invoice Package.|
6.9 FDIC Invoice Package Review
The Invoice Package should be submitted in a timely manner and as directed in the retention letter or by the Oversight Attorney. Upon receipt, the FDIC Legal Information Technician reviews the package and does one of three things:
a. Forwards it to the Oversight Attorney for review and/or approval;
b. Rejects it. If the Invoice Package is rejected, the Oversight Attorney or the Legal Information Technician will notify the expert or LSS provider of the deficiencies to be corrected; or
c. The Oversight Attorney performs a substantive review of the invoice. If any amounts are disallowed, the expert or LSS provider will be notified at the time of payment; such information appears on the check stub or EFT remittance form.
invoice processing time is a minimum of thirty (30) days
after receipt of a correct or proper Invoice Package.
Payment in generally not made in less than thirty (30 days).
The FDIC is required by statute to make payments by electronic funds transfer (wire transfer) absent a waiver.
6.10 Reconsideration of Disallowances
The expert or LSS provider must submit all requests for reconsideration of disallowances within 90 days from receipt of notice of disallowance. The request must include matter number, invoice number, and the amount disputed, along with justification for reconsideration (e.g., copies of missing documentation, narrative rationale).
|Note: (1) The submission of erroneous bills or requests for reimbursement of inappropriate charges may result in civil or criminal sanctions. (2) Under no circumstances may the expert or LSS provider 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 rendered.|
6.11 Audit and Records Retention
Experts and LSS providers must permit the FDIC, the FDIC Office of Inspector General, the FDIC Legal Divisions Internal Review Group and the Government Accountability Office, or their representatives, to conduct audits or reviews of the FDIC billings, including previously paid Invoice Packages.
For purposes of subsequent audits, experts and LSS providers must retain the following:
- Copies of all Invoice Packages;
- Original underlying support documentation not submitted with the Invoice Package; and
- Original time sheets, and time and expense adjustment records. Example of adjustment records includes documentation explaining differences between time sheet hours and invoice hours for billable individuals.
See Electronic Billing for record keeping and time keeping system requirements.
The FDIC reserves the right to obtain additional information upon audit or review of any itemized fee bill or support documentation.
Below are answers to questions often raised when submitting Invoice Packages.
When should an expert or LSS provider submit an Invoice Package?
On a monthly basis, if the total equals $500.00 or more. If the total is less than $500.00, submit the Invoice Packages quarterly, unless this causes undue hardship or is superseded by a written agreement with the FDIC.
Can clerical or secretarial overtime be billed?
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 the matter must approve, in writing, clerical or secretarial overtime.
The FDIC allows billing for extraordinary postage (e.g. bulk or certified mail). Can ordinary postage also be claimed?
What common mistakes should be avoided when submitting an Invoice Package?
Experts or LSS providers should:
Make sure each invoice has a different invoice number for each Invoice Package submitted.
Ensure the totals on the Invoice Package equal the totals on the EIF&E Form or the IF&E Form.
Submit all necessary receipts.
Make sure the billing from and billing through dates do not overlap. For example, if an Invoice Package covers the period from January 2 to January 16, a subsequent Invoice Package should not cover the period from January 10 to January 29.
Be sure to itemize experts and non-experts (including LSS providers) fees separately.
If a business charges $0.30 per page for in-house photocopying, can it bill the FDIC for this amount?
No, the allowable charge is $0.20 per page.
What information is required when fax and phone charges are being claimed?
The expert or LSS provider needs to include the date, phone number, and charge for each call. The bill from the carrier must be retained for three years after final payment for audit purposes.
What happens if there is something wrong with the Invoice Package?
An FDIC Legal Information Technician will notify the expert or LSS provider via telephone or fax. However, if certain fees and expenses are disallowed, the expert or LSS provider will be notified on the check stub or EFT remittance form.