A-21 Update from the Office of Management and Budget

We are receiving an update right now on the planned reform to the A-21 guidelines from the OMB. The federal government lists 3000 programs on the CFDA, and funds 600 billion in awards. The planned reforms reflect the smaller nature of the federal government ( more work is outsourced).Universities reflect 7% of the federal government’s budget for grants and contract.

ARRA awards: Using a very funny Twilight (vampire)metaphor,  the speaker stated that all ARRA awards were like vampires, and any awards that received ARRA supplemental funding are considered high risk and will be targeted for audits. It’s as if the ARRA “bit” the parent award and turned it into a vampire making all the funds high risk.

A-21 Update on review and reform:

  1. Period of comment on language in the federal register is extended until April 30.
  2. Single audit threshold – streamlined audit requirements.
    • Sub recipient monitoring will change because the threshold for  audits will change. (under 1m recipients will not be audited -eliminating a vast number of audits for the federal government).
    • Compliance requirements – streamline and identify most important.
      • Allowable and allocable costs
      • Eligibility
      • Period of availability
      • Procurement
      • Reporting
      • Subrecipient monitoring
      • Special testing and monitoring
  3. Cost Principles Recommendations
    • Combine all cost principle circulars into one.
    • Create a uniform flat rate for indirect costs.
  4. Time and Effort Reporting
    • Looking and testing three alternative effort systems to see which will work to give them adequate data.
  • There are additional aspects of financial program management that they hope to address as well (read the federal announcement for more information).

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