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Reform of Federal Policies Relating to Grants and Cooperative Agreements: OMB Seeks Public Comment
Feb 1, 2013

OMB has published a notice in today's FEDERAL REGISTER:

Reform of Federal Policies Relating to Grants and Cooperative Agreements; Cost Principles and Administrative Requirements (Including Single Audit Act)

To be assured of consideration, comments on these reforms relating to Federal grant policy in today's notice must be received by OMB electronically through no later than midnight Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.) on May 2, 2013.


To deliver on President Obama's promise of a 21st-Century government that is more efficient, transparent, and creative, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is seeking to adjust the Federal government's partnership with non-Federal stakeholders to best achieve program outcomes while we ensure the financial integrity of the dollars we spend. The goal of this effort is to transform our Federal financial assistance framework so that it meets a higher standard of performance on behalf of the American people.

OMB proposes these reforms to the guidance for Federal policies relating to grants in order to ensure that Federal grants meet the high standards of a 21st-Century government. Federal grant-making must be streamlined to make the most of taxpayer dollars and ensure financial integrity while delivering the right program outcomes. This proposal provides this opportunity for the Federal government and its partners: state, local, tribal governments, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations, to rethink and reform the rules that govern our stewardship of Federal dollars.

This proposed guidance would supersede and streamline requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122 (which have been placed in 2 CFR Parts 220, 225, 215, and 230); Circulars A-89, A-102, and A-133; the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up; and pending further review, the Cost Principles for Hospitals at 45 CFR Part 74, Appendix E. The proposal consolidates the guidance previously contained in the aforementioned citations into a streamlined and consolidated format that aims to improve both the clarity and accessibility of the guidance. If and when this proposal is finalized, OMB will integrate this guidance into Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Similar to existing guidance that this proposal would supersede, the new guidance would be applicable to grants and cooperative agreements that involve state, local, and tribal governments as well as institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations. Parts of it may also apply to for-profit entities in limited circumstances as described in section .101 Applicability and the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Single Audit Act requirements will continue to apply to all Federal awards, including contracts, though cost-reimbursement contracts may continue to be subject to additional audit requirements. This guidance does not supersede any existing authority under law or by Executive Order or the Federal Acquisition Regulation.