All cash disbursement checks from the OBS system will be printed using only approved blank check stock on a printer that uses MICR toner cartridges.
Blank Check Stock
Blank check stock should be loaded in the tray of the dedicated printers and not fed to the printer using the pullout tray on top. It is important the printer tray is used for blank check stock to keep the printer from incorrectly printing the MICR line too low on the check. Check stock should be loaded in the printer drawer face down with the check portion at the top (back) of the drawer. When not in use facility staff should remove the check stock drawer and store it in a secure location.
All blank check stock is issued to a facility by central office Finance and Accounting. Blank check stock will have a unique check stock number preprinted on the top of the check. Check stock numbers are not check numbers. Check numbers are printed by OBS and are unique to each printed check and are displayed both at the top right of the check and on the MICR line. Central office and facility business staff will ensure blank warrant stock is properly secured at all times.
Facility managers will keep a list of all check stock numbers issued to their facility and account for the usage of the issued check stock daily. Check stock usage will be separately identify OBS and Express Check system use.
The Print Check screen is used to print checks and enter JE payments. When specific fund types are withdrawn from an offender’s account, a pending check entry is created. These pending entries are cleared when checks are printed using the Print Check screen. When a check is cancelled after printing, all transactions included in the check are returned back to pending status.
Cancelling or voiding a check does not reverse a withdrawal. To void the associated withdrawal, the related withdrawal must be voided using the Void / Re-enter Offender Withdrawal screen.
Only one OBS user can access the Print Check screen at the same time. Users will quickly review all printed checks and confirm that the checks have correctly printed prior to selecting the "yes" button. If the "no" button is inadvertently selected after a check is printed the check number will be voided by the system and not reused. Incorrectly printed checks are to be retained by the facility until such time as all check stock has been accounted for. Users must be careful not to mail out incorrectly printed checks.
In order to allow the OBS system to generate sequential check numbers only one user is allowed to access the Print Check screen at a time. System users should be sensitive to the time they are tying up the Print Check screen. Staff should not leave their computer once they start printing checks and have confirmed the checks printed correctly and exited the Print Check screen.
Central Office versus Facility Checks
Central Office Checks (ADM)
• Defined by withdrawal type as a ‘central’ check.
• Withdrawals entered into OBS at ADM using the Multiple Inmate Withdrawal Entry screen to a common payee.
• Withdrawals entered at ADM but have a withdrawal check type maintenance screen value of institution.
• Used primarily to pay court obligations.
Journal Entries Payments
• Payments that are remitted electronically are printed as a journal entry. Printing a journal entry withdraws the cash and creates OSF extract report expenditure.
On-Hold Victims Checks
• A single check payable to the Crime Victims Compensation Board to transfer unclaimed victims compensation. The check will be made up of all withdrawals which are more than 3 years old towards the victims who are on "hold" – including unknown victim funds.)
• Withdrawal payments to victims that are not on hold.
Institution / Facility Checks
• Withdrawals entered into OBS at an institution or facility using the Multiple Inmate Withdrawal Entry screen to a common payee.
• Withdrawals entered at a facility or institution but have a withdrawal check type maintenance screen value of institution.
• Amounts paid to a vendor as defined by the canteen purchasing and receiving process. Pending check records are accumulated in the nightly process and are based on the receiving documents entered that day.
All OBS checks require two Office of State Treasure (OST) approved signatures. The Chief Financial Officer and facility Wardens/District Supervisors are jointly responsible for ensuring only appropriate staff have check signature authority. Under no circumstances will Trust Fund Officers, Cashiers, Unit Managers or Case Managers be one of the authorized signatures submitted to the Chief Financial Officer for signature review, approval and forwarding to OST. At the facility level at least one signature must be someone other than the business manager/accountant.
Monthly 700 Fund Reconciliation
The Chief Financial Officer will ensure 700 fund deposits and withdrawals recorded in the State’s CORE financial system are reconciled with OBS recorded transactions monthly using the OBS Bank Reconciliation screen and CORE extract files for importation into OBS of OSF and OST financial data. All discrepancies will be researched and resolved before completion of the reconciliation process.
Cancelled by Statute Checks
O.S. 62, section 263 State Checks or Vouchers Unpaid After 90 Days – Cancellation" states:
"All depository checks or vouchers issued after June 30, 1980, by any state officer, department, board, commission, institution or agency in payment of any obligation of the state which shall for any cause remain unpaid and outstanding for a period of ninety (90) days shall be canceled."
After completion of the monthly reconciliation process, the Chief Financial Officer will provide facility business managers a list of those checks written at their facility which are no longer valid financial instruments of the state.
Facility business managers when given this list will:
1. Void the expired check using the Check Information screen of OBS and selecting the "cancel check" button for the check number entered.
2. Immediately restore the funds to the offender’s OBS account by voiding the offender’s withdrawal using the Void / Re-enter Offender Withdrawal screen.
Reconciled 700 Fund Correction
When a deposit in OBS has already gone through the reconciliation process both the offender receipt number and CORE deposit number associated with that receipt cannot be reversed or cancelled. Therefore, as far as OBS is concerned, the deposit is considered valid because it has been reconciled. Unfortunately, there are instances where the OST has; after CORE and OBS reconciliation processes are completed, does a 700 fund deposit reversal to void a once valid deposit because of a delayed error discovery. When this occurs, both the offender whose account received the erroneous deposit and trust account cash must be adjusted to reflect the OST 700 fund deposit reversal. This adjustment is a non-check withdrawal and will be using the "Offender Buy Back Entry" screen. A check will not be printed when this type of buy back correction is made.
Only central office staff is authorized to make these corrections. The use of this correction may cause an offender’s account to go negative balance. When a negative balance condition is identified, the offender will be notified of the cause of the negative balance situation and be held responsible for bringing their OBS account balance back to zero balance. All future deposits will first be used to restore the account back to zero balance before being any income is credited to the offender’s account for any other purpose.