Getting Ready for the DATA Act
This week on GrantChat we talked about the ways the DATA Act and OMB’s new Uniform Guidance has and will impact the grant profession and our organizations/clients. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was passed by Congress and signed into law on May 4, 2014 and goes into effect for new grantees on December 26, 2014. Within the Grantchat community, we are optimistic about the ways the DATA Act will impact our organizations’ policies, proposals, financial process and grants management.
The DATA Act significantly overhauls and strengthens Federal grant-making regulations to improve outcomes for government agencies, grant funded programs and citizens. As part of this effort, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) implemented new OMB guidance on grant-making across all Federal agencies that:
- Reduces the total volume of financial management regulation for Federal grants and other assistance.
- Reduces administrative burdens and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.
These changes to the financial management of Federal grant resources focus on improving performance and outcomes while ensuring the financial integrity of taxpayer dollars. Last December 2013, OMB published the guidance,Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”), which streamlines eight Federal regulations into a single, comprehensive policy guide.
Why is this important to most, if not ALL, Grant Professionals? These guidelines, policies, procedures, data requirements, etc. will impact grantees receiving federal funds, including those who receive pass-through funds. In other words, if your organization will be applying for grants from any government agency or will apply to be a sub-recipient/sub-grantee of a government grant you will , in most cases, need to comply with the new Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Since the DATA Act and OMB guidance training and information have been targeted to federal agencies and their current direct grantees, there is a need for more education and outreach to organizations and agencies who receive federal pass-through funds.
OMB set a one-year timeline for the Uniform Guidance to take effect, allowing enough time for Federal grant-making agencies and award recipients to update their policies to fully realize the benefits of the Uniform Guidance. Today’s action implements the Uniform Guidance across Federal grant-making agencies through an interim final rule, which will allow for additional feedback on the rule during a 60-day public comment period. The interim final rule will be effective for new awards made on or after December 26, 2014. Read more here on the OMB Blog (Yes, OMB has a blog.)
We will provide more information, training resources, and tools throughout 2015.
- Gilbert Tran’s Grant Professionals Association Conference Plenary Session Presentation: Are You Ready for This? The New Uniform Guidance
- For a quick overview of the Federal Grant Reform, check out Jo Miller’s post: Federal Grant Reform and her 2013 presentation, ‘ How Will Federal Grant Reform Impact the Grant Professi0nal – DATA Act” and
- Dr. Judy Riffle’s OMB Super Circular – Are You Ready – Checklist
- Council on Financial Assistance and Reform: Checklists, webinars, background and more.
Are you ready for federal grant reform? Do you have questions you would like our community to answer? Leave your questions in our comments or post them on Twitter using the hashtag #Grantchat.
If you have blog posts, tools, or resources you would like to share with the Grantchat community please share them in the comments below and we will post them on this list.