Oregon State University

211: Personnel Activity Effort Reporting (PAR)

Grant, Contract & Gift Accounting Manual
Section 211: Personnel Activity Effort Reporting (PAR)
Effective: 12/01/1998
Revised: 10/20/2008


To explain the Personnel Activity Reporting (PAR) system. 


Background Information

The Personnel Activity Reporting (PAR) system is the method used by Oregon State University to reasonably substantiate the activities (effort) of employees who are compensated in any part by restricted funds or cost share funds as required by OMB Circular A-21.  The PAR system is only an effort tracking system that recognizes where an employee’s effort is applied.

This system DOES NOT alter the indexes from which salaries and wages are paid.  The information accumulated on the PAR system is subject to audit verification and, if found to be inaccurate by federal auditors, disallowance of both direct and indirect costs can be assessed.

Requirements of OMB Circular A-21, Section J.8:

  1. Payroll system will reasonably reflect the activity for the employee.
  2. Method must recognize the principle of after-the-fact confirmation.
  3. Practices vary as to activity constituting a full workload.  Therefore, the payroll system may reflect categories expressed as percent of total distribution.
  4. Payroll charges may be made initially to sponsored agreements on basis of estimates made before services are performed. When such estimates are used, significant changes in the work activity must be identified and entered into the payroll distribution system. Short-term fluctuations need not be considered as long as the distribution is reasonable over the longer term, such as an academic period (school term).
  5. Confirmation of effort (activity reports) will be reported on a percentage basis and reasonably reflect the activities for which employees are compensated by the institution.
  6. Effort confirmation will be signed by the employee, principal investigator, or responsible official using means of verification that the work was performed; i.e., person with first-hand knowledge.
  7. Reports will be prepared each academic term for all academic, professional faculty, or classified employees who are paid either totally or in any part by restricted funds or by cost sharing funds. For other employees (students and temporary), no effort reports are generated.
  8. Time cards or other forms of after-the-fact payroll documents should be signed by the principal investigator as original documentation for payroll charges.  Copies of these forms should be kept at the department and will then serve as documentation for effort reporting purposes.

System Approval:

  1. The PAR system is approved by our cognizant audit agency DHHS.
  2. Method of meeting effort reporting requirement is in our CASB Disclosure Statement DS-2.

Uses for Effort Reports (current PAR Forms):

  1. The OMB A-21 requirements are fulfilled.
  2. State, federal compliance auditors, and other agency auditors review these documents.  There could be possible dollar disallowance's if the PAR forms are not completed and signed.
  3. The forms should be used by departments to properly classify the use of individual offices (research or instruction) in the university’s space inventory. The space inventory is used for many purposes, including the F&A Rate Proposal.
  4. When effort is expended on a sponsored agreement and not charged to the sponsor, PAR forms can be used to document the effort as university cost share.



At the end of each quarter, PAR forms are produced from the HRIS payroll system.  Parameters are selected to identify the calendar year and quarter to be reported.  Selection is limited to only those individuals who have been paid either in full or in part during the quarter from restricted grant funds or cost sharing funds.  The PAR form has been designed to list all the indexes from which the individual is paid, the amount paid from each index, and the percentage of total pay for the quarter that amount represents.

PAR forms will be sorted by home organization.  The Office of Post Award Administration will send the forms to the designated PAR coordinator for each department.



Responsible Party Action

Office of Post Award Administration

  1. Sends PAR forms to the designated PAR coordinator for each department.
PAR Coordinator
  1. Responsible for review with the employee (or other individual having first-hand knowledge of the employee’s efforts) the information printed on the PAR forms. The person with first-hand knowledge should be either the employee’s direct supervisor or the principal investigator for the grant or contract on which the employee is working.
  2. If the information is found to be accurate, the originals are signed by the employee or appropriate other party. They should not be signed by the PAR coordinator or by the department head unless that person has directly supervised the individual for whom the PAR form has been generated.
  3. If the employee has left the university or moved to another department, the form should be returned to the Office of Post Award Administration with a note of explanation as to why the form was not signed.
  4. If substantial changes are necessary (in excess of plus/minus 5 percent), corrections should be made to the form before signature.  A labor distribution must be completed and a copy must be attached which indicates that the Payroll Office has been notified of the necessary changes.
  5. Return original signed PAR forms to the Office of Post Award Administration where they are checked off in a log and reviewed for signatures and any manual changes.  All PAR forms must be returned to the Office of Post Award Administration.
  1. A copy of each PAR form should be kept at the department for use in space inventory designation or in case revisions are subsequently required.
  2. A revised PAR form (with new signature) must be completed and submitted to the Office of Post Award Administration whenever there is a retroactive payroll redistribution that affects the prior quarter’s reporting period(s).

Office of Post Award Administration

  1. Completed PAR forms are retained in the Office of Post Award Administration for eight years for immediate access for audits.


Contact Info

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