On December 26, 2013 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in conjunction with the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR), published policy changes in the Federal Register regarding federal agencies’ interactions with contractors and vendors on federal grants, contracts and cooperative agreements. The long-awaited OMB guidance titled, “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,” replaces rules in OMB Circulars A-21, A-50, A-87, A-102, A-89, A-110, A-122, and A-133.
The latest OMB guidance, which consolidates several OMB circulars to standardize and streamline applications and reporting, is designed to improve the delivery, management, coordination and accountability of federal awards, while reducing the administrative burden on non-federal entities that receive federal awards. The goal of these changes is to improve performance and outcomes by eliminating duplicative and conflicting guidance, while promoting stronger oversight and accountability for taxpayer dollars. The changes should also hopefully reduce waste, fraud and abuse in the process.