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Posted by on Apr 25, 2014

NGMA: Embracing Change and Preparing for the Future

ConferenceThe National Grants Management Association (NGMA) held its Annual Grants Training Program last week in Arlington, VA. This year’s theme, “Embracing Change: Grants Management in Transition,” focused on how the grants community can best prepare for regulatory changes associated with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) grants reform initiative.

OMB Officials provided updated information on recent activities from the Council of Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) and outlined the process for agency implementation of the Uniform Guidance (the “Supercircular”). Gil Tran explained that agencies have until June 26 to submit draft implementing regulations to OMB. OMB expects most agencies will implement the Supercircular by reference.

Many of the breakout sessions also focused on the Supercircular, such as how recipients should update their procedures to comply with new procurement and audit requirements. Additional breakout sessions highlighted other recent changes to grants management, including recent Congressional and agency actions. Officials from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and OMB explained how their agencies are using the Do Not Pay List to reduce the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse to federal funds.

The conclusion from this year’s conference was that this is an exciting, but challenging, time for the grants community.

Congress Poised to Approve the DATA Act

Congress returns from its spring recess this week. Among the bills the House may consider is the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act. On April 10, the Senate unanimously approved a compromise version of the bill that was agreed to by members in both chambers. The House is expected to easily approve the bill and send it to President Obama.

The DATA Act will require all federal funding, including grant awards, be published on USASpending.gov. The bill is designed to increase the transparency of federal spending and allow the public to identify how, and who, is spending federal funds. Additional information about the DATA Act can be found here.

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