On February 28, OMB published a Federal Register notice requesting comments on a collection of ideas for potential reforms to OMB circulars, including A-21, A-133, and A-110. The list includes ideas that would standardize information collection across agencies, adopt a risk-based model for single audits, and provide new administrative approaches for determining and monitoring fund allocation.
Based on feedback, OMB plans to develop a set of proposed amendments to publish for public comment later this year. OMB is also considering implementing reforms through the development of one integrated set of guidelines issued as one consolidated circular, with limited variations by type of entity.
Additional key proposed reforms include:
- For indirect (“facilities and administrative”) costs, using flat rates instead of negotiated rates
- Exploring alternatives to time-and-effort reporting requirements for salaries and wages
- Charging directly allocable administrative support as a direct cost
- Including the cost of certain computing devices as allowable direct cost supplies
- Requiring agencies to provide 90-day notice of funding opportunities
- Providing a standard format for announcements of funding opportunities
March 23 update: OMB has extended the comment period to April 30, 2012.
- Federal Register Advance Notice of Proposed Guidance (2/28/2012): Reform of Federal Policies Relating to Grants and Cooperative Agreements; Cost Principles and Administrative Requirements (Including Single Audit Act)
- Federal Register Extension Of Comment Period (3/26/2012): Reform of Federal Policies...
- OMB Blog (3/1/2012): Partnering to Reform Federal Grants
- NIH OER “Rock Talk” Blog (2/28/2012): OMB Asks for Comments on Potential Reforms to Federal Grant Policies