While telling a story about a vacation to Venice, Italy, Gil Tran, Senior Policy Analyst for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), described Venice as a beautiful and unique city where, “you’re always going to get lost when you’re in it.” Despite its layout, he said, “When you get lost, that’s when you discover all the gems.”
According to Tran, this is how grant professionals ought to dive into and enjoy the OMB Uniform Guidance (or the “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” for those who prefer its full name). Immerse yourselves and get lost, only to discover the wonderful “nuggets” of regulations governing your federal award experience.
While many of you may have a less enchanted, more pragmatic approach to grant administration, you nonetheless need to know the latest about the Uniform Guidance.
If you need the basics before going into possible updates in 2018, check out the What Is the OMB’s ‘Uniform Guidance’ for Grants? blog post first.
What’s Ahead for the OMB Uniform Guidance?
Tran provided brief statements on how the following bills, laws, and executive orders may affect the OMB Uniform Guidance in 2018.
Note: These are not official changes to the OMB Uniform Guidance, but rather a notice of what may happen this year per the “OMB Update” presentation by Gil Tran at the HHS OGAPA Grants Management Conference on January 9, 2018.
- The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire America (BAHA) – Currently, NDAA and BAHA primarily affect contracts, but these are likely to be applied to federal grants as well.
- Never Contract with the Enemy – Currently, this applies to contracts, but this will also apply to never awarding grants to any country declared an enemy of the United States of America.
- Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 68 and Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) – Synchronizing the two sets of standard definitions.
- Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act – A law about reporting and managing expired accounts (i.e., grant closeouts) was signed into law January 28, 2016, and its implementation will continue to have an impact.
- Performance Focus – In the FY 2019 budget and in updates to the Uniform Guidance, expect a significant focus on performance. The emphasis will not just be spending money, but the outcome of the spending. Grant programs will need to demonstrate results and outcomes.
- Research Policy Workgroups – The 21st Century Cures Act (CURE Act) and American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA) include measures for improving research administration that will affect the OMB Uniform Guidance.
- OMB Publishes Free Online Grants Management Training
Want to hear more from the OGAPA Grants Management Conference? Check out this blog post: Grants Management: Bringing Insight from the HHS Conference to You