Uniform Guidance

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance
OSP will provide timely updates as new information becomes available from
OMB and Federal Agencies.

On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. The Uniform Guidance (UG) simplifies and supersedes guidance that was previously provided in eight different OMB Circulars, including A-110, A-21, and A-133. Provided within the UG are new definitions, uniform administrative requirements for pre and post award, cost principles, and audit requirements. Federal agencies are currently developing their implementation plans under this guidance and these new regulations will become effective on December 26, 2014.

Federal agencies (NIH, HRSA, Dept of Education, etc.) must develop their own agency-specific policies that conform to the Uniform Guidance. Non-federal institutions, such as CDU must examine internal policies to ensure consistency with the Uniform Guidance and with agency-specific policies.

The UG administrative requirements and cost principles will apply to new and incremental Federal funding awarded after December 26, 2014. It is important to note that existing Federal awards will continue to be governed by the terms and conditions under which they were awarded until amended. Further, subpart F, concerning audit requirements, will apply to audits of non-Federal entity fiscal years beginning on or after December 26, 2014 effective July 1, 2015. Please note that Procurement mandates will go into effect the following year, July 1, 2016.

December 26, 2013

OMB issued the final rule of the Uniform Guidance.

June 26, 2014

Due date for federal agencies to submit proposed implementation plans to OMB to allow for review and public comment.

December 26, 2014

Uniform Guidance goes into effect. It will apply to new awards or additional funding to existing awards made after this date. For existing federal awards received prior to December 26, 2014, CDU will adhere to the stated terms and conditions of the award.

July 1, 2015

Uniform Guidance audit requirements are applicable to CDU awards.

July 1, 2016

Uniform Guidance procurement requirements are applicable to CDU awards.

How will CDU policies and procedures be impacted by the UG?
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is committed to making the transition to the new Uniform Guidance as seamless as possible for our research community. We are working diligently to ensure that CDU is ready to implement the new guidelines. OSP has assembled a UG Task Force.andnbsp; The Task Force members are reviewing and assessing the new guidelines and their effect on CDU administration of sponsored awards.andnbsp;The Task Force will work together to modify and implement new or revised policies, procedures and business processes.andnbsp; New or revised policies in alignment with the uniform guidance will be available prior to July 1, 2015.andnbsp; Trainings will be required for individuals that are involved in sponsored research.andnbsp;

Below is a summary of some "important changes" already identified in the new regulations.

  • The UG went into effect on 12/26/14, as mentioned above. It will apply to new awards and additional funding (funding increments) to existing awards, when the increments are made after 12/26/14. Existing awards will continue under the current rules. However, for a period of time, funded grants at CDU will be managed under two different sets of regulations.
  • Under the UG, federal agencies must accept a universityandrsquo;s negotiated indirect cost rate. Exceptions can be made, but the agency must have federal agency head approval and OMB must be notified. This should result in fewer federal programs that restrict Fandamp;A recovery (and thus fewer proposals without full Fandamp;A).
  • Federal agencies must post funding opportunities at least 60 days prior to a deadline. No postings less than 30 days will be allowed which should allow faculty more time to respond to posted opportunities.
  • Voluntary committed cost share is not expected under Federal research proposals and cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of the proposal. This means that agencies cannot state in an RFA that andldquo;cost share is not required but is preferred.andrdquo; It must be required (mandatory cost share) or not considered.
  • Some changes to the language in UG about procurement on grants could prove to be challenging. COGR is focusing on a requirement for andldquo;procurement historyandrdquo;, which could create a new administrative burden. In addition, UG mandates five procurement methods with dollar thresholds which could make sole source procurement a little more difficult than it was in the past.
  • There are significant changes to the language on subrecipient monitoring
  • The pass-through entity (i.e., the institution receiving the direct award from the federal government) is responsible for determining whether the relationship between themselves and a third party should be that of a subaward or a vendor/contractor. There is an additional administrative burden requirement that requires documentation of how and why this determination was made. Additional clarification is required from OMB. This decision impacts Fandamp;A recovery, as subaward recovery is limited to the first $25K of the award, while Fandamp;A is charged on the full amount of a vendorandrsquo;s payment.
  • Pass-through entities must now honor a subrecipientandrsquo;s negotiated indirect cost rate, if they have one; if the entity does not have a negotiated indirect cost rate, the subrecipient may use the 10% MTDC de minimus rate established by the UG.
  • Pass-through entities must also now perform a risk assessment on each subrecipient, and use this assessment to determine appropriate monitoring. UG also specifies that subrecipient monitoring should include financial and programmatic reports.
  • Clerical and administrative salaries can be directly charged if they are directly allocable to the project and necessary and reasonable to conduct the work, and provided that the costs are explicitly explained in the budget and/or have prior approval from the sponsor. NIH is currently considering how to handle this on projects with modular budgets, since those projects do not have line item budget justifications.
  • In the section on personnel compensation in the UG, there is an acknowledgement of the institutional base salary concept at universities. In addition, the requirements for effort reporting changed and language was removed that required andldquo;certificationandrdquo; and andldquo;independent internal evaluationandrdquo;; there is a, however, a continued focus on andldquo;review after the factandrdquo;.
  • Computers and computing devices can now be directly charged to grants if they are allocable and necessary to complete the project work. Most computing devices fall well below the federal equipment threshold ($5,000), and thus are considered supplies in a budget. There is no longer a requirement that they be solely used for the project at hand. This will make it much easier to purchase computers, tablets, and other devices needed for projects.
  • Participant support costs are now a standard exemption from Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC, which is part of the Fandamp;A calculation). Prior to the UG, only NSF exempted participant support from Fandamp;A; now all sponsors will do so.

Got questions, contact OSP at uniformguidance

Links to additional resources, documents, and reference tools are provided below.

Brief YouTube Videos from NCURA

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Navigating the Uniform Guidance
Information can be found more easily by understanding that the Uniform Guidance is broken down into Subparts. The preamble also provides a useful framework and discussion of how certain guidelines were ultimately determined.

* OMB Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement 2014
Other Federal Resources

Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)

Agency Implementation Plans