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Posted by on Dec 13, 2011

GRANT Bill Focuses on Preaward Issues, Single Audits

There has been a lot of talk in Congress about grants accountability, but mostly in the realm of post-award administration. Now comes a bill that addresses those topics before an award is made. HR 3433, the s-called GRANT Act, would call for some rather dramatic shifts in the way discretionary grants are awarded.

For example, federal agencies would have to establish and publish merit-based selection criteria. And before an award is made, agencies would have to evaluate whether the applicant is capable of properly managing federal awards and successfully completing the project. This seems fairly noncontroversial to me and aligns with current OMB circulars and administrative requirements.

But the legislation would make all of the preaward information available to the public — everything from the applicant’s proposal to the award notice and the final award decision and applicant rankings.

Further, agencies would post each recipient’s final report on a public website, along with any other information that could be useful to “future researchers or the public.”

As for A-133 single audits, the proposed legislation would require OMB to report on how the process could be made more useful and efficient, something OMB has been working on for years.

This legislation, which you can read here, is just now beginning to make its way through Congress, but I thought some of the above points are very interesting and show lawmakers’ continued interest in grants. Do you see anything else in the bill that you find interesting?

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