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.
The Maryland Governor’s Grants Office has done a superb job gathering a wealth of resources on grant reform, as has COFAR. As one of the sponsors of the event, eCivis is proud to be a part of an effort to increase accountability and transparency of federal funding while streamlining regulatory processes. The core of all our efforts is to effect positive outcomes in the communities that state, local, and tribal governments serve, and this grant reform can help us accomplish our goals in a way that is both efficient and fiscally sound.
The resounding message among the presentations was the shared vision of increased transparency and accountability in the grants management process, while reducing administrative burden and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse for the nearly $600 billion in federal grants and cooperatives agreements distributed annually.
A joint interim final rule was published in the Federal Register on December 19. (A plain-text version can be found at the U.S. Government Publishing Office.) If you’re a grant administrator for a nonfederal entity and wondering what will happen after December 26, note: You are not required to implement the final guidance until you have received a federal award with terms and conditions that incorporate the Uniform Guidance on or after December 26, 2014. Still, now is the time to understand how grant reform affects you. Also note that this interim final rule is still open for public comment during a 60-day period—visit www.regulations.gov to comment.
I look forward to assisting current and future clients as we enter a more efficient grants management era together.
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