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Procurement Standards of the Uniform Guidance

The next video I want to share from our OMB Uniform Guidance training series covers the five methods of procurement standards and their general standards. Modeled on A-102 language, the procurement standards under the Uniform Guidance do not look much different for state and local governments. But for universities and nonprofits, there are some changes to note. The following nine-minute video covers these methods: micropurchases (1:50), small purchases (2:44), sealed bids (3:39), competitive proposals (3:58), and sole source (4:19). To help you visualize these standards, the OMB has presented a nifty "bear claw" to frame things. Office of Management and Budget Senior Policy Analyst Victoria Collin, who led this training, also covers the general standards that apply.

What Will I Recognize in the Uniform Guidance?

That's the question that leads this next video from our 10-part OMB Uniform Guidance training series. Last week we brought you a clip from OMB senior policy analyst Victoria Collin discussing how the first year of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) is a bit like the first year of marriage, where ideals and practical considerations meet. Now here's an overview of the changes in the OMB's Uniform Guidance and how they affect government, higher education, and nonprofit entities. This 22-minute video covers acronyms, applicability, pre-award requirements and agreements (11:05), the theme of "performance over compliance," post-award performance management (14:12), place-based initiatives (18:38), and much more. Without further ado, here's part 5 of 10. You can access the complete set of videos at the bottom of this page.

The First Year of the Uniform Guidance: Like the First Year of Marriage

So, here we are with the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) after more than three years of "dating." Hear me out with the metaphor. We had ideas of what this "super circular" should look like, we shared opinions from multiple sides, and we discussed what the guidance should include or exclude. (Should we do more or less auditing? Is the indirect cost rate too burdensome? And so on.)

OMB Uniform Guidance Training Videos Are Here

With the new fiscal year starting in July for most state and local governments, many rolling grant programs and re-solicited grant opportunities will fall under the new administrative, cost principle, and reporting guidelines of the Uniform Guidance. Operationalizing the new guidance will require a solid understanding of the changes and their intent. It's critical that collaboration and information sharing improve and that local governments find more ways to share their training resources and best practices.

Performance Measurement: What the Uniform Guidance Means for Data Gathering

Performance Measurement, Evaluation Strategy, Outcomes and Benchmarks – do these terms mean anything to you or are they just grant industry lingo? By now I’m sure you are aware of two important concepts: 1) measuring the progress of your project or program is important, and 2) maintaining and collecting accurate data is essential to any grant-seeking organization/agency. 

Uniform Guidance: How Grantees Can Prepare for the Change

As most grant professionals whose work is impacted by federal grants during the pre-award or post-award management phases are aware, the Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Guidance (previously known as the "Omni-Circular" and "Super Circular") has modified specific administrative and cost requirements pertaining to federal grants and contracts. While a number of articles and blog posts have focused on the crosswalk between the new guidance (prior to December 26, 2014) and the previous guidance,1 and its potential impact on grantees and sub-grantees, there has been minimal information pertaining to best practices and applicability in the real world. Based on my research, this information is still in progress as grantees and sub-grantees begin to implement measures to adhere to the Uniform Guidance. However I have identified some steps that grantees and sub-grantees can do to prepare for the change.

1For those who received awards prior to the December 26, 2014, adoption of the Uniform Guidance, note that you are still held responsible to adhere to the previous OMB circulars. Make sure you check your notice of grant award to confirm.

COFAR Seeks Feedback on Uniform Guidance

It's important to look up from the grindstone and see that you're aligned with your goals. And when you're a council effecting the most drastic grant reform in decades, it's key that you check in to see that your stakeholders are all onboard. The Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR), the body that helped deliver the Uniform Guidance in late 2014 after collecting years of feedback, is now calling for voluntary feedback on the Uniform Guidance's overall impact on burden and waste, fraud, and abuse, and adequacy of opportuntities to engage in the process.

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