Welcome New NPC Executive Director
Congratulations on your appointment as the executive director of a VA-affiliated nonprofit research and/or education foundation, also known as a nonprofit research and education corporation (NPC). If you have previous nonprofit experience, you will quickly learn that the challenges of running an NPC are somewhat different from those you encountered in your previous nonprofit work. You can use the NPPO's "18 Things To-Do-List" as a starting guide to your new position.
Orientation to Your NPC
After your appointment to a VA-affiliated NPC, you will need to get to know your NPC. To do this, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the following documents:
In addition, please take the time to become familiar with these fundamental NPC documents:
- 38 USC 7361-7366. This is the federal statute that allows the VA secretary to authorize the establishment of an NPC at any VAMC and provides details of its purpose, board composition and general powers as well as various operational matters and reporting requirements.
- VHA Handbook 1200.17. This contains VA’s interpretation of the NPC authorizing statute and VA guidance on a number of operational matters.
- Sample of a master NPC Schedule. Although many NPCs run on different fiscal years, this document list general administrative duties that most NPCs must do.
General Executive Director Responsibilities
- Support organization’s mission and purpose
- Day-to-day management of the organization including finances, human resources, and operational management
- Provides leadership for the organization
- Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability
- Ensure effective organization planning
- Enhance the organization’s public standing
- Determine, monitor and strengthen the organization’s programs and services
- Providing information, advice and counsel to the Board Chair, Board Committes and Board of Directors in the creation of policies, programs and strategic direction of the corporation
- Supporting all activities associated with the Board of Directors, including staffing for all Board and Committee meetings, meeting schedules, locations, development of agenda and meeting materials, and if delegated
Conflicts of Interest training and disclosure requirement
By statute, NPC officers, directors and employees are subject to a conflict of interest policy established by the NPC. As a result, your NPC must have a board-approved NPC conflict of interest policy and the statute requires all directors, officers and employees to undergo training within 90 days of appointment as well as additional annual disclosure requirements.
Internal Controls training requirements
The statute also requires officers and directors to undergo Internal Controls Training. Please refer to the VA Nonprofit Program Office (NPPO) for this training as it is continuously being updated.
NPC Specific Reports
Besides the normal filings and reports that any nonprofit organization would need to file, NPCs have a few additional reporting requirements that you should be aware of:
- Annual Report to VA: By statute, each NPC must submit an annual report to VA by June 1 of each year. This deadline is not flexible. To ensure that NPCs meet the statutory deadline, make sure that your annual audit and 990 are completed in time for the board to review and approvel these materials before the June 1 deadline. Annual Reports to VA are collected and compiled by the VA Nonprofit Program Office (NPPO). Click here for additional information
- CRADA Report: Each fiscal year, the Office of Technology Transfer collects information on CRADA revenues. Click here for additional information.
- RDIS Report: Shortly after the end of each fiscal year, facility Research Service personnel ask NPC staff to report their research project expenditures so they can be entered into the Research and Development Information Service (RDIS) annual report to VA Central Office.
Accurate NPC reporting is important because this database is the source of information used to determine the annual research allocation to VAMCs under the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation (VERA) system. This element of VERA provides medical services appropriated funding to facilities for salaries for clinical staff who conduct research and for facility-support research infrastructure, such as IRB and compliance staffing. Each facility receives VERA funding proportionate to its share of the nationwide aggregated VA research expenditures.
Reporting accurate NPC research project expenditures is double important becuase medical centers receive more VERA research credit for the NPC-administered studies than for those research projects administered by other entities, namely an affiliated university.
To ensure that NPC administered studies are correctly captured, NPCs are encourage to ask their Research Service staff to provide them with an ePROMISe-Project Report printout at the earliest possible opportunity so the NPC may verify that all NPC-administered studies have been correctly coded as "Admin Code 06" and that all NPC expenditures in support of research at the facility have been captured. (The RDIS code number for NPCs is "06 - VA Prival Research Corporation.") On an ongoing basis, NPCs should be sure that NPC studies are correctly coded at the time of R&D Committee approval. After the Research Service compiles its total expenditures, NPCs should also verify that an accurate amount is being reported to the VHA Office of Research and Development.
Each dollar spent on VA research is to be reported to RDIS. When entering the information into RDIS, there are two factors that are critical for research dollars to be categorized correctly. The first factor is the entity (i.e., VA and Non VA) that administers the funds [Admin_Code: 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08]. Under the attached methodology, the VA-affiliated NPCs are considered “VA Administered” and are listed under Admin Code 06 – VA (Private Research Corporations). The second factor is the source of the funds (i.e., VA, NIH, Other Fed Agency, Academic Inst, Private Company, Voluntary Agency or Foundation).
As an example, if the NPC administers [Admin_Code: 06] an NIH grant [Fund_Code: 91] for $1,000,000 then the entire $1,000,000 would be added to the total for VERA allocation purposes. If, however, the same NIH grant [Fund_Code: 91] were to be administered by the affiliated University [Admin_Code: 07], then only $750,000 (or 75%) would be added to the total for the VERA allocation purposes.
The same process would apply for Non-Peer Reviewed research. Therefore, if an NPC administers [Admin_Code: 06] an industry sponsored study [Fund_Code: 97] for $100,000 then the entire $100,000 would be added to the total for VERA allocation purposes. If the same industry sponsored study [Fund_Code: 97] were administered by the affiliated University [Admin_Code: 07], then only $25,000 (25%) would be added to the total for VERA allocation purposes.
The facility totals are then rolled up into the national totals. Then VERA dollars are distributed to each VISN based on percent of research dollars [at all the facilities within the VISN] over total (national) research dollars.
How Can NAVREF Help?
Established in 1992, the National Association of Veterans' Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF), is the membership organization of the VA-affiliated nonprofit research and education foundations. Our mission is to promote high quality management and communication among the VA-affiliated nonprofit research and education corporations, and to pursue issues at the government level that are of interest to our members. We encourage you to browse our website, attend our Annual Conference, subscribe to the NAVREF Member Forum, follow us on twitter @NAVREF, and participate in webinar discussions. We invite you to contact the NAVREF office when you begin your tenure as an NPC executive director and any time you have questions. Click here for more about NAVREF.