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GEARS: How Payments Work

The payment process starts with signed contracts

The GEARS payment process must begin with a signed contract. DHS program units prepare, negotiate, and eventually sign contracts with providers or local governments for services via DocuSign. Bureau of Procurement and Contracting staff route the fully executed contracts to the GEARS Unit for activation in the GEARS system at least one month before the first payment to a provider.

Contract information is entered into the GEARS system

The GEARS Unit processes information on grant agreement contracts totaling almost $1.2 Billion (500+ providers) in GEARS annually. Most of these contracts are calendar year contracts. The GEARS Unit reviews, keys and proofs information quickly, to ensure timely and accurate payments. See Time Lines for Processing CARS Contracts for additional information.

Expenditure reports trigger reimbursements

Providers must report costs incurred on signed expenditure reporting forms. The providers generally submit the forms to the GEARS Unit. Reports are normally due one month after the end of the month for which the report is being submitted (e.g., January's report is due March 1st). The GEARS Unit reviews, keys and proofs the information. Then GEARS staff monitors the monthly payment processing jobs. After the payment processing jobs complete, the GEARS transmits STAR voucher data files to DOA to process payments through STAR. DOA processes the payments via the payment method set up in STAR for the agency.

The monthly DES-GEARS 603 reports provide detailed information on what is being paid on a particular voucher. Refer questions about payments to staff on the GEARS Contact list. The GEARS Processing Schedule is a supplement to DHS APP Section 15 - Fiscal Administration of Grants and Contracts 4.0. Find the APP here:

Reconciliation of payments and reported expenditures

Providers should reconcile costs recorded on their books to the expenditure reports at least quarterly, but monthly is recommended. The amount due will be collected against subsequent expenditure reimbursements. When payments and expenditures have been reconciled and all amounts due are collected, the contract is closed on the CARS system.

Last revised November 13, 2023