March 06, 2012

From NIH OER: OMB Asks for Comments on Potential Reforms to Federal Grant Policies

The Office of Management and Budget just published a notice in the Federal Register asking for public comment on potential reforms to federal grant policies contained in OMB circulars such as A-21, A-133, and A-122. These include ideas that would standardize information collection across agencies, adopt a risk-based model for single audits, and provide new administrative approaches for determining and monitoring the allocation of federal funds. These ideas reflect the input of a number of groups that have been considering these issues over the past few months, including the A-21 Task Force, which I have mentioned here before.

I encourage you to read the notice in full. To give you an idea of the scope of the proposed reform, here are some of the ideas discussed:
  • Exploring alternatives to time-and-effort reporting requirements for salaries and wages 
  • Charging directly allocable administrative support as a direct cost Including the cost of certain computing devices as allowable direct cost supplies 
  • Consolidating the cost principles into a single document, with limited variations by type of entity 
  • For indirect (“facilities and administrative”) costs, using flat rates instead of negotiated rates 
As you can see, some of these changes, if implemented, will have a broad, long-lasting effect on how federal grants are administered. Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this opportunity to provide input to OMB as they consider the proposed reforms.

You can submit comments at The comment period closes on March 29, 2012.

Read the original post on the Extramural Nexus Rock Talk here.

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