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

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Jul 8, 2015 4:00:00 AM

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.)

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Topics: OMB, eCivis Resources, Grants Management Best Practices, Uniform Guidance

OMB Uniform Guidance Training Videos Are Here

Posted by James Ha on Jul 7, 2015 4:00:00 AM

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.

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Topics: OMB, eCivis Resources, Uniform Guidance

Performance Measurement: What the Uniform Guidance Means for Data Gathering

Posted by Rachel Werner on May 20, 2015 6:00:00 AM

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. 

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Topics: OMB, Grants Management Best Practices, Uniform Guidance

Indirect Costs: Deconstructing the “Overhead Myth” in the Uniform Guidance

Posted by Rachel Werner on Apr 6, 2015 8:24:00 AM

In the summer of 2014, almost everyone either participated in or knew someone who participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was a win/win situation – The ALS Association gained exposure through various social media outlets, and experienced a near 1,000 percent increase in donations from the previous year at that time. However, people started to look a little deeper and wonder, Where is my money going? Is it really supporting research? They are shocked to discover that some of the donation funds actually go toward administrative costs and overhead. While those unfamiliar with a nonprofit budget might find this disenchanting, this is actually common and accepted practice, and must be understood in more detail to clarify some misconceptions. 

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Topics: Nonprofits, Local Government, Indirect Costs, Uniform Guidance

Uniform Guidance: How Grantees Can Prepare for the Change

Posted by Rachel Werner on Mar 3, 2015 3:00:00 AM

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.

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Topics: OMB, Grants Management Best Practices, Uniform Guidance

COFAR Seeks Feedback on Uniform Guidance

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Feb 25, 2015 5:00:00 AM

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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Topics: OMB, Uniform Guidance

Los Angeles and Houston to Host OMB Uniform Grant Guidance Training

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Feb 19, 2015 12:02:00 PM

2000px-US-OfficeOfManagementAndBudget-Seal.svg

UPDATE September 7th, 2016

We have 2016 trainings in Denver, Los Angeles and Houson.  More may be announced later.  Just click on the button below for further information.

2016 Dates

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eCivis is proud to announce a unique and affordable opportunity for grant administrators in and around the Los Angeles and Houston regions. On March 11 and March 13, the City of Los Angeles and the City of Houston will respectively host Uniform Guidance grant training with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Senior Policy Analyst Victoria Collin. Collin, who has been instrumental in developing the OMB’s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, will speak about the new regulations that affect prime and sub-recipients of federal funding. 

The eCivis-sponsored event will guide you through changes to federal grant guidance as they relate to:

  • New emphasis on performance over compliance and administrative flexibility
  • Implications for indirect costs
  • Overview of federal and pass-through agencies’ responsibilities
  • Reformed policies and procedures for enhanced internal controls

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Topics: OMB, eCivis Resources, Uniform Guidance

Grants Management 2015: A New Era of Uniform Guidance

Posted by James Ha on Dec 23, 2014 5:23:00 AM


Grant reform is here for the holidays and beyond. The most sweeping grant reform in decades culminates with the OMB’s Uniform Guidance, which takes effect this Friday and begins a new era in grants management. Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Maryland Governor’s Grants Office conference with some of the major players in federal grant reform. Appropriately titled “The Times, They Are a Changing,” the conference included presentations by representatives from the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Department of Justice, and USASpending.gov, among many others, on the changes that will affect federal grant-making agencies, grantees, and subgrantees.

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Topics: Federal Grants, OMB, Grants Management Best Practices, Uniform Guidance

Federal Grant Reform: A Call for Internal Controls

Posted by Jennie Larry Johnson on Nov 19, 2014 5:00:00 AM

Rumors and whispers concerning federal grant reform became real with the release of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) on December 26 of last year. Commonly known as the Super Circular or Omni-Circular, the Uniform Guidance takes effect the same date this year. The new regulations are intended to improve the federal grant award process by providing a framework that focuses on performance over compliance; ensuring financial integrity and enhancing existing or future federal award guidelines; streamlining the administrative, costing principles, and audit administrative for federal awards; and strengthening federal grant oversight to better protect against “waste, fraud, and abuse.” The overarching goal is to provide “a backbone for sound financial federal award management.”

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Topics: Single Audit, Internal Controls, Grants Management Best Practices, Uniform Guidance

OMB Super Circular Arrives

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Dec 24, 2013 1:41:00 PM

It was some two years in the making, a culmination of collaborative efforts by state and local governments, tribes, research and higher education institutions, nonprofits, and the audit community. The Office of Management and Budget’s “Super Circular,” whose guidance will be released this Thursday, December 26, through the Federal Register, consolidates eight OMB circulars into one to reform how we steward federal funding.

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Topics: OMB, Single Audit, Uniform Guidance