OMB has proposed a set of administrative reforms for the more than $600 billion awarded annually for grants and other types of federal financial assistance.
The proposal, "Proposed Uniform Guidance: Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards," combines multiple federal regulations currently governing grants administration into a single policy guide with the intention of eliminating unnecessary and duplicative requirements among other benefits.
Measures in the proposal include:
* Harmonizing and streamlining all OMB guidance on grants from eight documents into one, while clarifying key differences for different entities;
* Simplifying the reporting requirements that grantees must adhere to in justifying salaries and wages charged to grants;
* Ensuring that federal agencies better review financial risk posed by applicants and merits of an application before providing a grant;
* Providing guidance to ensure robust oversight of sub-recipients;
* Focusing more audit resources on preventing waste, fraud, and abuse; and,
* Holding agencies accountable for getting results and addressing weaknesses among grant recipients.
The proposal in part reflects comments OMB received after publishing potential grant reform ideas in the Federal Register a year ago. It is soliciting additional feedback at regulsations.gov (reference: docket OMB-2013-0001).