OMB Issues Version 1 of the Standard Grants Management Data Elements

The Office of Management and Budget recently issued Version 1.0 of the Standard Grants Management Data Elements. The data elements had previously been made available for public comment from November 2018 to February 2019.

As part of the announcement, OMB, on behalf of the Cross-Agency Priority Goal: Results-Oriented Accountability for Grants Executive Steering Committee (ESC), also published an infosheet explaining how the  Standard Grants Management Data Elements fits within the broader federal government goal of “maximizing the value of grant funding by applying a risk-based, data-driven framework that balances compliance requirements with demonstrating successful results for the American taxpayer.”

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Resource: GSA Publishes Q&A About Upcoming Entity ID Rollout

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently published a set of questions fielded from users, along with answers, about upcoming changes to the unique entity identifier used to do business with the government.

Beginning in December 2020, the D-U-N-S® number will be replaced by a “new, non-proprietary identifier” requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management. This new identifier is being called the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), or the Entity ID.

Q&A Resource

Learn more about the Entity ID rolloutBelow are some examples from the new GSA Q&A resource:

Q: Will the GSA automatically assign the new UEI or does the vendor have to take action to register?
A: Existing registrants will be automatically assigned a new UEI. New registrants will be assigned a UEI as part of their SAM registration.

Q: For entities that receive a subgrant from a recipient of a federal award, will they be required to obtain a unique identifier from SAM.gov?
A: Yes. Sub-awardees will need to obtain a UEI to adhere to regulations. Instead of going to D&B for a DUNS number like they do today, the sub-awardee would go to SAM.gov to request a UEI. They will not be required to complete the full entity registration process.

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GSA Provides Projected Timeline for Implementation of New Unique Entity Identifier Replacing D-U-N-S® Number

The time is coming to say goodbye to the D-U-N-S® number.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently published a resource page that outlines upcoming changes to the unique entity identifier used to do business with the government.

Beginning in December 2020, the D-U-N-S® number will be replaced by a “new, non-proprietary identifier” requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). This new identifier is being called the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), or the Entity ID.

Learn more about the Entity ID rollout

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HHS Conference Affords Glimpse Into ‘Reinvention’ of Federal Grants Management

As federal agencies continue their move towards a more data-centric approach to grants management, areas like grantee risk assessment and performance evaluation are positioned to reap the early benefits of the ongoing data revolution in government.

On June 6, attendees at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grants Management Conference in Shady Grove, MD were given glimpses of how data can be leveraged to help achieve mission objectives more effectively and efficiently.

Imagine creating efficiencies and reducing administrative burden by 1% annually and utilizing those funds for mission objectives.At HHS, improving efficiency by even a single percentage point can mean billions of dollars saved, said Michael Peckham, who heads up the Reinvent Grants Management initiative at HHS.

In fiscal year 2018, for example, about 67% of all federal grants came from HHS, totaling about $509 billion. Peckham, citing a study by the Federal Demonstration Partnership, said that an estimated 44% of awarded grant funds are spent on grantor and grantee overhead.

“Imagine creating efficiencies and reducing administrative burden by 1% annually” and utilizing those funds for mission objectives, he said.

In fact, a range of data-related reforms are already being rolled out and tested within HHS. These efforts are laying the foundation for the more efficient and effective use of federal grant funds in the coming years.

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Public Feedback on Federal Grants Management Draft Data Standards Open Until January 15

On November 15, the Results-Oriented Accountability for Grants Cross Agency Priority Goal Team began collecting feedback on the Federal Grants Management Draft Data Standards via a dedicated website.

In developing the data standards and soliciting public input, the Federal Government aims to “… contribute to a future state where grants data are inter-operable, [where] there are fewer internal and public-facing grants management systems, and [where] Federal awarding agencies and recipients leverage data to successfully implement a risk-based, data-driven approach to managing Federal grants.”

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The Team notes on https://grantsfeedback.cfo.gov that “these data standards are a pre-decisional draft and should not be interpreted as setting policy or official guidance.”

 

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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:

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Gil Tran on What Is Coming Up for the OMB Uniform Guidance in 2018

While telling a story about a vacation to Venice, Italy, Gil Tran, Senior Policy Analyst for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), described Venice as a beautiful and unique city where, “you’re always going to get lost when you’re in it.” Despite its layout, he said, “When you get lost, that’s when you discover all the gems.”

According to Tran, this is how grant professionals ought to dive into and enjoy the OMB Uniform Guidance (or the “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” for those who prefer its full name). Immerse yourselves and get lost, only to discover the wonderful “nuggets” of regulations governing your federal award experience.

While many of you may have a less enchanted, more pragmatic approach to grant administration, you nonetheless need to know the latest about the Uniform Guidance.

OMB's Gil Tran, Senior Policy Advisor, presenting at the OGAPA Grants Management Conference

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What’s New with Grant Policies? DATA Act & OMB Memos

The 2017 fiscal year has been an important one for federal government grants. Milestones include the completion of a Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) pilot program and the release of the OMB M-17-26 Reducing Burden for Federal Agencies by Rescinding and Modifying OMB Memorandum.

For seasoned grant professionals, you have probably heard about the DATA Act and are familiar with memos from OMB that provide new guidance on how to better manage and implement grants.

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Shared Services in Federal Government & Grants.gov

Many federal agencies conduct similar types of work, such as awarding federal grants. While the mission and specific goals of each grant program vary, many of the processes for posting, applying for, managing, and reporting on federal grants are the same. This is where federal shared services come in. Rather than each agency developing & maintaining the same services, the costs and benefits are shared. In this role, Grants.gov serves its purpose—to be a shared service for both the public and federal agencies.

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‘Harmonizing’ U.S. Federal Grant Terminology

The U.S. federal government is in the midst of an effort to fix inconsistencies in the terminology used across federal financial assistance application forms. The home for the newly “harmonized” terms is the Common Data Element Repository Library, or CDER Library.

CDER Library logo

Over the years, synonymous data elements on federal grant forms have sometimes been used interchangeably. For example, forms from different systems and applications have listed “address” as “Street 1”, as “Address Line 1” or as “Street Address Line 1”.

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