Posts Tagged ‘2 CFR’
Just a quick note: OMB is extending the deadline for submitting comments on its “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” relating to the grants management requirements overhaul. The new comment deadline is April 30.
To read the original February 29 Federal Register notice describing OMB’s ideas for reforming grants management, click here.
We’ve just posted information about our annual Federal Grants Update course to the Management Concepts web site. This one-day seminar is a great way to keep track of the latest developments in grants management and to learn about pending changes that may impact your day-to-day grants work.
This year we’ll be discussing OMB’s plans for consolidating and revising the grants management circulars, new grants oversight boards, A-133 audits, suspension and debarment, and much more.
Classes start the first week in April and run throughout the summer in cities around the country. We can also bring the course to your location. Visit the web page here for additional information about the topics that will be covered, locations and dates, and registration information. And if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.
Federal agencies are asking for your help in finding ways to reduce the administrative burdens and costs associated with cost principles compliance in federally sponsored research projects. Colleges, universities, grants offices, associations, and others involved in research have until July 28 to offer their ideas.
For several years, a federal interagency task force has been looking at 2 CFR 220 (Circular A-21) with respect to its application in federally sponsored research at educational institutions. That task force has gathered preliminary information on areas that could be improved, and is now inviting the public to offer their comments on these issues. Specifically, the task force is seeking input in the following areas:
- effort reporting,
- recovery of direct costs associated with administrative and project management support for investigators,
- institutional eligibility for the Utility Cost Adjustment,
- consistency among agencies that establish governmentwide
- programs with F&A reimbursement at other than governmentwide rates,
- rationalization between agencies of regulations and reporting requirements
- audits of research institutions and awards, and
- definitions of general and research equipment
All comments must be submitted electronically to:
You can read the full request for information here.
The task force plans to produce a summary of the suggestions by September, and will then begin to draft a set of recommendations that it will forward to OMB for review.
It seems it is not a matter of whether, but when, the federal government will impose new reporting requirements on recipients of federal financial assistance. On the same day, President Obama issued a new executive order on the matter while a key member of Congress introduced legislation that could have a drastic impact on grants management.
Both the executive order and the legislation have the ultimate goals of increasing transparency (read increasing reporting) and reducing waste. And both are based largely on the lessons learned through the Recovery Act. So the impetus for the changes in transparency, accountability, and reporting is strong. The only questions that remain are how to reach those goals.
Obama’s initiative, which is being spearheaded by Vice President Biden, creates a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board to “provide strategic direction for enhancing the transparency of federal spending and advance efforts to detect and remediate fraud, waste, and abuse.”
Obama’s order goes to say that the board will “apply the approaches developed by the [Recovery Act Board] across government spending.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, introduced the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act. His legislation would also create a permanent governmentwide accountability board, and would go further.
The DATA Act would require the new accountability board to establish common identifiers and consistent reporting standards for all federally collected data. It would also require all recipients of federal grants, contracts, and loans to report on their receipt and use of federal funds at least quarterly. Compliance would be a condition of receiving funds. And agencies could impose penalties of up to $250,000 on those that don’t report. (Does this mean OMB would need to amend the administrative requirements in Circular A-102 and 2 CFR 215?)
Finally, the legislation would repeal the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act.
President Obama recently issued a memo to federal agencies that, in my opinion, could have a significant impact on grants management practices and policies.
In the memo, entitled Administrative Flexibility , Obama focused on two areas: coordination and collaboration efforts lead by OMB, and agency streamlining.
Two of the directives to OMB could be especially significant for entities involved in grants management. Obama directs the office to “review and where appropriate revise guidance concerning cost principles, burden minimizations, and audits for state, local, and tribal governments” in order to eliminate unnecessary, unduly burdensome, duplicative, or low-priority recordkeeping requirements.
OMB is also directed to work with agencies that administer overlapping programs and collaborate with state, local, and tribal governments to standardize, streamline, and reduce reporting and planning requirements.
Agencies’ efforts must focus on identifying regulatory and administrative requirements that can be streamlined, reduced, or eliminated, and specifying where and how increased flexibility could be provided to produce the same or better program outcomes at lower cost.
There are no timeframes established in the memo, so we don’t know when agencies or OMB will undertake these efforts.
But I think it will be interesting to see the final results.
What do you think?
If you purchase goods or services using federal grant funds, you might be interested in this: the simplified acquisition threshold for procurements under grants has not changed, even though the FAR level was recently increased to $150,000.
The threshold for grants – which is detailed in OMB’s grants management circulars – is based on the FAR’s underlying statute, not the FAR itself. According to OMB’s Office of Federal Financial Management, an interagency workgroup is looking into whether OMB should change the grants threshold to $150,000 for consistency with the FAR. However, they want to consider what impact this would have on the various grants communities before they make any change.
So for now, the simplified acquisition threshold for grants remains at $100,000.
Information about Management Concepts’ annual Federal Grants Update seminar is now available. This one-day course is a great way to keep track of the latest developments in grants management and to learn about pending changes that may impact your day-to-day grants work.
This year we’ll be discussing GPRA, subaward reporting, transparency and accountability, audit guidance, presidential and congressional priorities, and more.
Classes start the first week in April and run throughout the summer in cities around the country. We can also bring the course to your location. Click here to see dates, locations, topics, and registration options.
Today the Office of Management and Budget issued regulations requiring federal agencies to include new award terms in their grants and cooperative agreements.
First, agencies must now include language requiring applicants to have DUNS numbers and to maintain current registration in the CCR. The term will be included in awards for grants and cooperative agreements effective Oct. 1 2010, while the deadline for other assistance recipients – such as those receiving loans, subsidies, insurance, food, and “direct appropriations” – is Oct. 1, 2011. The actual award term is included in the appendix to the regulation.
The new DUNS/CCR regulation is located in 2 CFR Part 25.
OMB also published an interim final regulation regarding the new award term for the Transparency Act subaward reporting requirement. This new term is located in 2 CFR Part 170 (Note: this location is different than the one originally proposed by OMB in 2008: Part 33. Under the revised Title 2 structure, Part 33 is now preaward, so the new Transparency Act term will be located in Part 170, which is the national policy section.)
OMB notes that this new CFR part provides standard wording for an award term (also included as an appendix) that each agency must include in grant and cooperative agreement awards it makes on or after Oct. 1, 2010. There is a distinction between this and the operational details on what and how to report. That format and information proposal was issued as an information collection request by the General Services Administration on July 23. This current regulation is simply the award term that notifies recipients of their responsibilities for reporting information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation.
The Transparency Act’s definition of ‘‘federal award’’ includes multiple types of financial assistance awards, but only subawards under grants and cooperative agreements need to be reported at this time. Subawards under all types of financial assistance will need to be reported at a later date, which OMB will explain in future memoranda, according to the notice.
You can view the OMB notices here.
The Office of Management and Budget is accepting comments on a set of proposed regulations that would impact several parts of the governmentwide grants administration process.
While the impetus for the proposed new rules is a legislative mandate to create a governmentwide database of information about large, potentially high-risk grantees, OMB’s proposal also addresses other areas, especially preaward. It represents the office’s ongoing efforts to relocate governmentwide guidance into one central location – Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
In many cases OMB’s proposal would simply codify existing policy. For example, a proposed new 2 CFR Part 25 would implement existing OMB guidance regarding the use of DUNS numbers. This guidance is currently in two separate OMB policy memoranda. This is just one example of what is included in the proposed regulations; there are many others.
The proposal would create or amend 2 CFR Part 25, DUNS/CCR registration; 2 CFR Part 27, program announcements; 2 CFR Part 35 postaward responsibilities; 2 CFR Part 77, termination; and 2 CFR Part 180, suspension and debarment.
As for the new database (mandated by the 2009 Defense Authorization Act) it would include information about grantees and subgrantees that receive more than $10 million in federal assistance. Those recipients would have to provide information about any criminal convictions, civil penalties, or administrative actions against them. Self-reporting of that information would be included as a term and condition in grant awards.
Comments are due April 19. To read the full OMB announcment, click here.
The proposed changes, along with other Title 2 developments, will be covered in our upcoming Federal Grants Update 2010 seminar. For dates and locations, click here.
Information about Management Concepts’ annual Federal Grants Update seminar is now available.
This year we’ll be discussing transparency and accountability, audits, standard forms, and more.
These one-day classes start the first week in April and run throughout the summer in cities around the country. Click here to see dates, locations, topics, and registration options.