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Posted by on Mar 20, 2013

OMB Officials Discuss the Proposed Uniform Guidance

OMB officials discussed the proposed “Super Circular” today at the monthly National Grant Management Association (NGMA) training luncheon held in Washington, D.C. The officials discussed some of the proposed changes that would affect grants management, with one official labeling the entire process Extreme Makeover: OMB Edition.

The “Super Circular,” known formally as the Uniform Guidance: Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards, is a proposal to consolidate all current regulations for grants management into a single location that would apply uniformly to all recipient entities. The purpose of the proposal is to streamline grants management by reducing administrative burdens on recipients.

During the presentation at the training luncheon, OMB officials discussed some of the more than 30 regulation changes found in the Guidance. The presentation primarily focused on the proposed changes to the Cost Principles, specifically the ability for select entities to choose a flat 10% modified total direct cost standard rate and the reduction in administrative burdens, and to audit requirements, with a significant amount of time devoted to discussing changes to compliance requirements.

The officials stressed the Guidance is only a set of proposals and that public comment will be critical in shaping the provisions and language used in the final rule. The presenters urged the attendees to submit comments to help advise OMB in developing the final regulations. To provide additional opportunity for the grants community to have a role in the process, OMB announced the deadline for public comments has been extended to June 2nd. To comment on the Guidance, visit the Regulations.gov docket here.

OMB released the proposed Guidance on February 1st in the Federal Register and plans to publish the final rule by the end of this year. The final rule will be published simultaneously in the Federal Register and 2 CFR. Agencies will adopt the regulations, by reference, in 2 CFR. According to OMB, the final rule should be fully implemented by mid-2014 and recipients with continuing awards will be required to adhere to the regulations at the beginning of the following fiscal year, which starts October 2014.

The Uniform Guidance is a major topic in Management Concept’s one-day Federal Grants Update 2013 seminar.  The seminar provides students with a detailed explanation of the structure of the Uniform Guidance and of all the proposed changes that will affect federal agencies, grant recipients, and pass-through entities. In addition, the seminar also includes other topics such as the increased emphasis on program assessments and performance measurements in grants management, recent legislative and regulatory changes affecting grants administration, and the latest developments regarding the federal budget and sequestration. To register for the course, visit the Federal Grants Update 2013 seminar’s webpage located here.

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