Federal Grants Policy: 5 Highlights from OMB Memo M-18-24

A memorandum released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on September 5, 2018, outlined a range of steps that the Federal Government is taking to reduce grant recipient reporting burden. You can read the memo in full here.

Office of Management and Budget

Below, we highlight a few of the key takeaways relevant to the federal grants community:

40,000 grant recipients annually

“The Federal Government spends about $700 billion on grants and cooperative agreements annually for approximately 1,800 different funding opportunities/categories covered in the Assistance Listings. OMB estimates that more than 40,000 grant recipients receive Federal funding annually, which includes State and local governments, universities, non-profits, tribes, and small businesses.”

More Sharing of Systems & Services

Agencies are to “work with other agencies and OMB to reduce the number of existing legacy systems and grant recipient burden via sharing quality services and systems.”

SF-424B Form Phase-Out

Beginning January 1, 2019, “the SF-424B will become optional and agencies shall make plans to phase out use in Funding Opportunity Announcements.” The SF-424B covers assurances for Non-Construction Programs.

Evolution of SAM.gov

The System for Award Management (SAM) continues to evolve. On January 1, 2020, SAM.gov “will become the central repository for common government-wide certifications and representations required of Federal grants recipients. … Federal agencies will use SAM information to comply with award requirements and avoid increased burden and costs of separate requests for such information.”

Integrating New Data Standards

The memo states that “government-wide core grants management data standards are expected to be finalized by the Grants Management Federal Integrated Business Framework (FIBF) by September 30, 2018. And by April 30, 2019, “agencies must submit a plan to OMB that describes their strategy for integrating the new data standards into current and/or future grant systems.”

Read the full OMB Memo M-18-24 here. For more information about federal grants, review the Grant Policies section of the Grants Learning Center.

3 thoughts on “Federal Grants Policy: 5 Highlights from OMB Memo M-18-24

  1. Wow! I think $700 billion on grants and cooperative agreements annually is a ridiculous amount of money and needs to be cut down by at least one third within the next five years. There’s so much waste that most of this money probably only goes to administration.


    1. Lonnie Smalley: I agree with Michelle Miller-Galaz in the main, but I will disagree with her assertion that most grants allow 8% to be used on administration. In my world, we usually cannot spend more than 5% on administration and infrastructure improvements. That said, your assertion that most of this money probably “only goes to administration” is totally wrong. At the state level, we would not let that happen, even if we had the latitude to do so; we truly want to use the money for services, to help the residents of our state. Lonnie, please educate yourself so that you do not contaminate your fellow citizens with hurtful untruths. Thanks.


  2. I see you are very misinformed. Most grants only allow a 8% to be used on administration. This $700 billion includes grants to law enforcement, education, mental health, roads, emergency preparedness. I am not sure what you want to give up? What 1/3 do you want to see gone. 1/3 of road repairs? 1/3 of k-12 education? 30% of hurricane community prevention and repair? Please identify what 30% of basic and emergency services you are willing to give up


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