What’s New with Grant Policies? DATA Act & OMB Memos

The 2017 fiscal year has been an important one for federal government grants. Milestones include the completion of a Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) pilot program and the release of the OMB M-17-26 Reducing Burden for Federal Agencies by Rescinding and Modifying OMB Memorandum.

For seasoned grant professionals, you have probably heard about the DATA Act and are familiar with memos from OMB that provide new guidance on how to better manage and implement grants.

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Shared Services in Federal Government & Grants.gov

Many federal agencies conduct similar types of work, such as awarding federal grants. While the mission and specific goals of each grant program vary, many of the processes for posting, applying for, managing, and reporting on federal grants are the same. This is where federal shared services come in. Rather than each agency developing & maintaining the same services, the costs and benefits are shared. In this role, Grants.gov serves its purpose—to be a shared service for both the public and federal agencies.

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How the Government Prepares Grant Application Forms – Part 1

In recent years, a lot has changed about the Grants.gov federal grant application process. The arrival of Workspace in 2015 gave applicants the ability to reuse forms and collaborate more easily. Grants.gov’s latest release, meanwhile, gave applicants the ability to forego the PDF and complete forms within a web browser.

The data requested on the forms also continues to evolve. The process for updating and creating new grant application forms is a complex one involving a range of government entities, including the grant-making agency, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as well as the Federal Register and Grants.gov, among others.

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What Is the Office of Management and Budget? (And How Does It Relate to Grants?)

What is blog series logoThe Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is an Executive Branch office that oversees the implementation of the President of the United States’ vision across government agencies (WhiteHouse.gov – OMB).

This relates to the grant programs implemented by federal agencies, how they are managed, their budgets, and the forms applicants complete when applying for a grant.
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What Is the OMB’s ‘Uniform Guidance’ for Grants?

With a name like Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (commonly called “Uniform Guidance”), you’re unlikely to mistake this government publication for a comic book or romance novel. But, unless you’re a federal grants expert, you may have some difficulty pinning down the Uniform Guidance’s main goal.

What is blog series logo

In plain English, the Uniform Guidance is simply a set of authoritative rules and regulations about federal grants from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This “guidance” is designed to keep everyone in the federal grants community – Congress, grant-making agencies, and applicants – on the same page.

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Infographic: How Federal Grant Application Forms Are Developed

The forms in your federal grant application take quite a journey before getting to your computer.

Every form requires input and coordination from four key stakeholders: the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the federal agency that posted the grant, the Federal Register, and Grants.gov.

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Federal Grant Policy Update: Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act

Illustration of a congressional buildingIt’s easy to see the Notice of Award, the official, legally binding issuance of a grant, as the beginning of something – for instance, a program, study, or project that will benefit the greater public.

In fact, before the awarding of a grant, an incredible amount of time and effort has gone into shaping it.

Between the halls of Congress and the hands of award recipients, there is a complex web of laws, regulations, policies, and guidance.

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