2017 Uniform Guidance Survey on Federal Grants Management

Federal grant recipients have been dealing with some major regulatory changes lately, especially those related to the Uniform Guidance procurement standards.

Here at Vendor Centric, we wanted to know how thousands of federal grant recipients were accommodating these new, expansive regulations.
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Background on the Uniform Guidance
In December 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, commonly referred to as the Uniform Guidance. This new guidance provides a government wide framework for federal grant management designed to reduce the administrative burden for non-Federal entities receiving Federal awards, while also reducing the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.

The Uniform Guidance establishes requirements and responsibilities for all Federal agencies that award Federal financial assistance and all non-Federal entities that receive Federal awards. In developing the Uniform Guidance, OMB consolidated existing OMB circulars into a single set of requirements. OMB circulars consolidated and superseded by the Uniform Guidance include:

  • A-21, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions”;
  • A-87, “Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments”;
  • A-102, “Grant Awards and Cooperative Agreements with State and Local Governments”;
  • A-110, “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Awards and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations”; and
  • A-133, “Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations”.
The Uniform Guidance also replaces provisions of OMB circulars that relate to Single Audit Act audits. OMB’s consolidation of prior guidance was aimed at eliminating duplicative or nearly duplicative language in order to clarify existing guidance. The Uniform Guidance does not broaden the scope of applicability of the guidance superseded.

The policy reforms brought about by the Uniform Guidance include:
  • Eliminating duplicative/conflicting guidance;
  • Focusing on performance over compliance for accountability;
  • Encouraging efficient use of information technology (IT)/shared services;
  • Providing for consistent treatment of costs;
  • Limiting allowable costs for the best use of Federal resources;
  • Incorporating standard business processes using data definitions;
  • Strengthening oversight; and
  • Targeting audit requirements on risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.
The Uniform Guidance also streamlines audit procedures by:

  • Raising the Single Audit threshold from $500,000 to $750,000;
  • Raising the questioned cost limit in Single Audits from $10,000 to $25,000; and
  • Requiring assessment of Government wide audit quality to be conducted every 6 years (beginning in 2018).
About Vendor Centric’s 2017 Uniform Guidance Survey of Federal Grant Recipients
With so much change required under the new guidance, we wanted to know how federal grant recipients were accommodating these new, expansive regulations.

We were especially interested in how grant recipients were coming along with the Uniform Guidance procurement standards as those were the most sweeping changes of all. So much so that OMB has deferred the implementation of the Uniform Guidance procurement standards three times.

So in March and April 2017, we surveyed a national audience of federal grant recipients. Nearly 150 organizations responded, representing a wide variety of sectors including human and social services, education and research, state and local governments, international NGOs, housing and health.

We compared responses by organization size, sector and amount of federal funding, and summarized our insights and analysis into this 20+ page report. In it you’ll not only gain practical insights on how your peers are coming along with the Uniform Guidance, but you’ll also be able to dig into the data to evaluate your own progress in complying with these new standards.

The 2017 Uniform Guidance Survey of Federal Grant Recipients will help you gain insight into:
  • the biggest challenges grant recipients are facing as they implement the Uniform Guidance;
  • how ready they are to implement the big changes required under the new procurement standards;
  • whether implementing the Uniform Guidance has required them to expand internal resources; and
  • the top priorities they’ll be focusing on in the near term.
If your organization receives federal funding, this is a report you’ll want to read!

And if you want to learn more about the new procurement requirements under the Uniform Guidance you can check out our blog post that breaks down all 10 sections of the procurement standards.
Tom Rogers

Job Title: CEO
Organization: Vendor Centric

Tom is a trusted advisor on procurement and third-party management to organizations across the United States. Having worked with over 120 organizations over his 30-year career, he has a unique ability to bring both creativity and discipline to finding solutions for even the most complex challenges his clients face.