Payments to NASA Centers and Other Federal Agencies will be made directly by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center via interagency transfers of funds. Payments to all other Recipients will be made by SAO, and the specifics are addressed below.

A. Processes

SAO will pay funds upon receipt of an invoice/request to draw funds (invoice). Recipient Institutions should use their institution's computer generated invoices. Individual invoices are required for each award. Electronic Funds Transfer [EFT] is the preferred method of payment.

Note: SAO tracks all payments by the SAO Grant Award Number and is unable to track payments using the Recipient Institution's internal tracking/accounting information, should this information be included on the invoice/drawdown request.

It is critical that all information contained on the invoice be correct in order to ensure that payments are accurate and are made from and applied to the correct Award. It is the Recipient Institution's responsibility to ensure the request for funds is correct. Requests for funds that appear to have errors or are missing information will be returned to the Recipient Institution for correction and resubmission.

If an institution has not received payment on an invoice, the institution should notify the Subawards Section to have the issue researched and resolved. Do not re-invoice for the amount not received as this may result in a duplicate payment being issued.

The invoice may be submitted via e-mail or hard copy via U.S. mail.

  1. E-Mail:

    The completed invoice may be scanned into the pdf format and sent via e-mail to: The subject line of the e-mail must state Chandra Invoice, the Chandra Grant Award number [found in block 2 of the award documents], and invoice number as follows:

    Example: Chandra Invoice, GO0-11263X, #34-1207

    Note that failure to follow the instructions may result in the invoice being misdirected and payment will be delayed until the issue is resolved. When submitting the request via e-mail, do not send a hard copy as this may result in a duplicate payment.

  2. U.S. Mail: The original invoice may be sent via U.S. mail to:

    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    ATTN: Subawards Section
    60 Garden Street, Mail Stop 22
    Cambridge, MA 02138-1516

    Questions regarding payment should be directed to the Grant Officer shown in Block 14 of the Award.

C. Standards

Standards governing the use of banks and other institutions as depositories of funds advanced under Awards are:

  • Advances of Federal funds shall be deposited and maintained in insured accounts whenever possible; and
  • in accordance with 2 CFR §200.305, Award Recipients shall maintain advances in interest-bearing accounts and any interest earned on Federal advances shall be remitted annually in accordance with Article XIII of both the General Observer and Postdoctoral Fellowhsip Terms and Conditions; and
  • up to $500 per year in interest earned may be retained by the Award Recipient for administrative expenses.

D. Advances

SAO may advance funds to Award Recipients for the anticipated expenditure of project costs provided Award Recipients maintain or demonstrate the willingness to maintain:

  • Written procedures that minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds and disbursement by the Award Recipient; and
  • Financial management systems that meet the standards for fund control and accountability as established in 2 CFR §200.302.

Advance payments for up to a 90-day period may be requested.

E. Reimbursement

Reimbursement is the preferred method of payment when the requirements for advances cannot be met. When the reimbursement method of payment is used, SAO will make payment within 30 days after receipt of the billing, unless the billing is improper.

F. Working Capital

If an Award Recipient cannot meet the criteria for advance payments and SAO has determined that reimbursement is not feasible because the Recipient lacks sufficient working capital, SAO may provide cash on a working capital advance basis. Under this procedure, SAO will advance cash to the Award Recipient to cover its estimated disbursement needs for an initial period. Thereafter, SAO will reimburse the Recipient for its actual cash disbursements.

G. Recourse for Non-Compliance

Unless otherwise required by law, statute or contractual agreement, SAO will not withhold payments for proper charges made by Award Recipients at any time during the project period unless:

  • the Recipient has failed to comply with the project objectives, the Terms and Conditions of the Award, including the reporting requirements; or
  • the Recipient is delinquent in a debt to the United States, as defined in the OMB Circular A-129.

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