A project is considered completed when the tasks outlined in the approved work plan have been satisfied, all deliverables noted in the contracted proposal are received by IRIS, and the final invoice has been processed.
5.4.1 PROJECT DELIVERABLES
Deliverables of a project shall be clearly defined in the proposal. All required reports referenced in this manual are considered project deliverables. The Principal Investigator must deliver to IRIS, or IRIS’s designee(s), all defined project deliverables by the contractual completion date, unless otherwise arranged by IRIS. Failure to provide all stated deliverables will result in the contracting agency being considered in noncompliance with the contract (see Section 5.2.4).
5.4.2 FINAL REPORT
Unless otherwise stated in the contract, a total of five (5) copies of the approved final report and five (5) copies of the approved executive summary must be provided to IRIS by the contract completion date. A CD containing a “PDF” and “DOC” version of both approved documents must also be provided to IRIS by the contract completion date. The electronic versions must be identical to the hard copy in content and format. Reports will be made accessible to the public from the IRIS website.
5.4.3 FINAL INVOICE
At the completion of a project, a final invoice that includes all applicable charges must be submitted to IRIS for review and processing within ninety (90) days from the contract completion date. The words "Final Invoice" must appear on the original invoice page to signify the total completion of all contractual and financial obligations associated with the research project. The same formatting and documentation requirements for general invoices apply to the final invoice. In addition to these guidelines, final invoices must include service dates for all charges. This is to ensure all activities occurred before the project's completion date.
Twenty percent (20%) of the original contract amount will be withheld by IRIS pending delivery and approval of all deliverables noted in the contract. The project will not be closed and the final invoice will not be paid until the final deliverables, including required reports, are submitted and approved by IRIS.
Once a final invoice has been processed, the encumbrance/purchase order for the project will be closed and no further requests for payments will be considered.
At any time, ODOT, FHWA, or any authorized representative of the State of Ohio or Federal Government may choose to conduct an audit of a research project. The contracting agency is expected to maintain accounting records, in a manner consistent with generally accepted accounting procedures, and produce those records, along with other evidence pertaining to the costs incurred on a project, upon request. Inspection of records may occur at any time during the contract period and for three years after the date of final payment.
5.4.5 DISPOSITION OF EQUIPMENT
Upon completion of a study, IRIS will contact the research agency regarding the project's pending closeout and the final disposition of equipment. If an item of equipment is no longer necessary for a project's successful completion, the equipment may be removed from the project before its completion (see Section 126.96.36.199). Equipment disposition scenarios include:
- Item transferred to another study.
- ODOT retains the item.
- Researcher purchases the item at the calculated salvage value.
- Item offered to other public agencies at calculated salvage value.
- Item offered for sale by auction.
- Item disposed of, if of no value.
Without actual market salvage value, the salvage value of an item will be calculated as follows:
Salvage Value = [(original cost) * (value %)] - [(1% of original cost) * (project life, in years)]
Where (value %) is assigned by the researcher, based on the following scale:
||76 - 100|
||75 - 51|
||50 - 21|
||20 - 1|
||0 (no value)|
||0 (no value, police report required)|
In the event ODOT retains possession of an item, the office receiving that item will be required to place it on their inventory listing. If an item is transferred to another research project, a copy of the disposition form is placed in the new project file for consideration at the end of that study. In each case, IRIS will initiate the transfer of equipment in the ODOT inventory system.
Should the item be offered to the researcher for purchase and the agency decides to accept, an invoice for the market salvage value or calculated salvage value will be issued by ODOT's Office of Accounting. Upon receipt of payment, the item(s) will be removed from ODOT's inventory and the funds deposited into the research account to be used on future projects.
5.4.6 - RESEARCH RESULTS PRESENTATIONS
Research results presentations are a platform for the Principal Investigator to provide a final presentation on a research project. An overview of the project will be provided with detailed discussions on the findings and recommendations. These presentations will possess strong technical components and in-depth discussions that focus primarily on the research with minimal details on administrative matters.
IRIS coordinates the scheduling of research results presentations with the Ohio LTAP Center to encourage participation of local transportation officials and aid in nationwide technology transfer of the results through LTAP centers across the county via webinars. Therefore, the target audience for research results presentations is broad. Certificates of attendance are made available upon request to those who are physically present at a results presentation. Results presentations are typically scheduled for 1.5 hours, including the question/answer period.
Research results presentations will be lead by the Principal Investigator and must include discussions on the following categories:
- Introduction – A brief discussion of the research problem.
- Research Objectives – A brief discussion of the specific tasks that were to be accomplished during the study.
- Research Approach – A technical discussion of the approach taken and the methods utilized to conduct the study.
- Results – A comprehensive discussion of the findings of the research effort.
- Conclusions and Recommendations – A detailed discussion of the substantiated research conclusions and practical recommendations.
Implementation – A detailed discussion on recommendations for implementation including the following:
- steps needed to implement
- suggested time frame
- expected benefits
- potential risks and obstacles
- strategies for overcoming potential risks and obstacles
- potential users and other organizations that may be affected
- estimated costs
- Question/Answer Period
The emphasis of the presentation should be placed on the sections dealing with results, conclusions and recommendations, and implementation. Additional information on research review session, including the current schedule and preparatory information for researchers, is available on the IRIS website.
5.4.7 – PROJECT CLOSE-OUT MEETING
Once the work on a project has concluded, the final report published, and the research results presentation held, a project close-out meeting will take place. The purpose of the close-out meeting is to finalize all administrative and contractual matters concerning the project and initiate formal implementation of the research results.
Close-out meetings are scheduled by IRIS and include the Subject Matter Experts. Items that will be discussed during the close-out meeting include the following:
- Review of contractual obligations to confirm receipt of all project deliverables, disposition of project equipment, and review the project expenditures.
- Evaluate the performance of the researcher in terms of managerial and technical competencies
- Assess the overall performance of the project to determine if the project was worth the investment (in terms of both the financial and time commitments).
- Indicate what was gained from conducting the study
- Determine the need, or lack thereof, for additional research in this area
- Evaluate the research process and identify areas for improvement
- Discuss implementation of research results in detail.
Shortly after the close-out meeting, IRIS will provide the Subject Matter Experts with a draft implementation plan for the project. The draft plan will be based on the discussions that occurred during the close-out meeting. The Subject Matter Experts will be responsible for reviewing, modifying, and finalizing the implementation plan. For additional information on project implementation, refer to Chapter 6.