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.”
This post was originally published on May 1, 2017 and updated on July 23, 2019.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is an Executive Branch office that oversees the implementation of the President of the United States’ vision across government agencies (WhiteHouse.gov – OMB). This relates to the grant programs implemented by federal agencies and affects how they are managed, their budgets, and the forms applicants complete when applying for a grant.
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.
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.
“While the topics focus primarily on fiscal issues, there are important concepts included in the trainings that are applicable to anyone involved in grants activities, either programmatic or fiscal,” reads a description of the resource.
“The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initially developed its Grants 101 Training for federal government employees, but now these eLearning modules are available as a resource for you.” Read More >
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.
Below, we highlight a few of the key takeaways relevant to the federal grants community:
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.
Do you want the grants training for federal grant managers? The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initially developed the Grants 101 Training for federal government employees, but now these eLearning modules are available as a resource for you.
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.