OMB Proposed Reform
Gregory Bedell, Joe Taylor, Jennifer Hubert
On February 28, 2012, The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published several Reform Ideas for Comment of federal grants policies in the Federal Register. These ideas could affect all types of federal grantee entities, with an emphasis on institutions of higher education. The ideas address current federal administrative and audit requirements as well as the different sets of cost principles applicable to colleges and universities, state and local governments, and non-profit organizations. Numerous ideas have been suggested, and OMB has requested public input on a range of ideas for reforming the requirements that govern the management of federal awards. All grantee institutions should carefully read and study the proposed ideas and make their opinions known, advised professionals from Huron Education on a recent webinar.
The Office of Management and Budget has extended the comment period on the rules changes until April 30, 2012. The OMB expects to use the input later in 2012 when it expects to propose specific revisions to existing requirements.
Huron Education, which has a long history of helping universities and other federal grantee institutions to effectively and efficiently manage their research administration enterprise, summarized the most important rule change ideas and analyzed their potential impact. The proposed changes in the rules were spurred by what the administration called a greater need for federal accountability and transparency. The new rules would provide administrative flexibility that is results-oriented, reduces administrative burdens, and shifts the focus from monitoring compliance to monitoring results. As part of the proposed changes, the president directed the Office of Management and Budget to partner with state and local government to combat waste, fraud and abuse.
The Huron webinar, presented by Jennifer Hubert, a director, focused on specific changes most likely to affect large research institutions. These ideas for change include cost principles that govern such areas as the development and negotiation of Facilities and Administrative (indirect cost) rates, the Utility Cost Adjustments factor, and certain allowable administrative support. The changes also seek to reduce duplicative rules and potentially reduce required paperwork. During the webinar, the presenters analyzed many of the changes, and also answered questions from attendees.Read More