December 19, 2007

Congress Approves Disappointing FY 2008 Budget

Congress has approved the final 2008 budget appropriations in an omnibus bill that, combined with the Defense Department appropriations bill enacted earlier, provides only approximately one percent more funding for basic and applied research than federal agencies were budgeted in 2007, according to American Association for the Advancement of Science analysis.

On December 19, Congress approved the omnibus bill that includes the remaining 11 of the 12 appropriations to fund federal agencies for fiscal year 2008. The bill now goes to President Bush for signature. The federal fiscal year began on October 1.

In November, a separate appropriations bill for Defense Department spending was approved. That bill included a controversial provision to cap overhead on DOD-funded basic research grants and contracts at 35 percent.

For more information and detailed analysis see:

American Association for the Advancement of Science R&D Budget and Policy Program: Congress Wraps Up Another Disappointing Year for Federal R&D Funding

ScienceNOW Daily News article: A Budget Too Small

Association of American Universities: FY 2008 Budget & Appropriations Information

December 13, 2007

OMB Requests Final Comments on New Federal Financial Report

The federal Office of Management and Budget is consolidating and replacing four existing financial reporting forms (SF–269, SF–269A, SF–272, and SF–272A) with a single new Federal Financial Report (FFR), to give recipients of grants and cooperative agreements a standard format for reporting the financial status of their awards.

OMB published a final request for comments in the December 7 Federal Register on the new Federal Financial Report, including a copy of the proposed form (beginning on the 14th page of the PDF). Comments are due to OMB by January 7, 2008.

The announcement states that the “FFR standardizes reporting information by providing a pool of data elements from which agencies can choose to use for reporting purposes.” Federal agencies will not be not required to collect all of the information included in the FFR. Instead, agencies will identify, before or at the time the award is made, the data elements that recipients must complete, the reporting frequency, the periods covered by each report, report due dates, and where reports are to be submitted.