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Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act

Federal Register, January 17, 2001, Page 4584

Agency

Multiple Agencies

Action

Request for Comment

Summary

This notice is a request for comments, intended to help the Federal agencies satisfy the provisions of Public Law 106-107, the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (henceforth ``the Act''), which requires each agency to develop and implement a plan that streamlines and simplifies the application, administrative, and reporting procedures for Federal financial assistance programs. The Act also requires the agencies to consult with representatives of non-Federal entities during the development and implementation of their plans.

This notice and interim/draft plan of action reflect the joint effort of the Federal grant-making agencies listed in Section X, below, to meet the requirements of the Act. The plan is being published for public comment in the Federal Register and on the Internet at the U.S. Chief Financial Officers Council's Grants Management Committee home page (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.financenet.gov/fed/cfo/grants/grants.htm), pursuant to Section 5 of the Act. One intent of the agencies is to use the information gathered through this notice to identify additional areas of the grant life cycle which lend themselves to common practices and implementation.

The Federal departments and agencies will refine this plan as the interagency, consultative effort identifies additional specific Federal Government actions needed to achieve the purposes of the Act. The initial plan will be submitted in May, 2001. As this plan evolves into more specific actions, the Federal agencies, after consultations with affected constituencies, will submit updated information to Congress in the annual implementation reports required by the Act.

Desired Focus of Comments

The participating agencies request your comments on the Federal grantmaking process and the objectives outlined in this plan, particularly on the following questions. To the maximum extent possible, please provide specific information in your responses. For example, the name of the Federal program or the number of a particular form. This information will assist the agencies in their efforts to reform these programs.

I. Application and Reporting Forms

  1. Please identify application and reporting forms you believe could be improved or streamlined.
  2. Please identify specific data elements on these forms that you believe could be eliminated or combined to reduce reporting burden while still providing the Federal agency enough information to manage the program.
  3. What programs do you think could share common application and reporting forms that currently do not? Do not limit your response to programs within the same agency. For example, if there are programs administered by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services that you believe should share common forms because they share a similar purpose, please identify them.
  4. How do you obtain copies of the forms you need for your grant? Are they readily available over the Internet, or are they provided in materials you received from your awarding agency, such as a funding notice or handbook? What forms have been difficult to locate in updated formats?

II. Terms and Conditions

  1. What terms and conditions are attached to your grants that you believe are not treated consistently from program to program, and across the various Federal agencies?
  2. How would you suggest the agencies create more uniformity in these terms and conditions?

III. Payment Systems

  1. What payment systems are you currently required to use to receive grant payments?
  2. Which of these systems offer on-line services?
  3. Does the use of multiple payment systems by Federal agencies cause a burden on your financial system?

IV. Audit Issues

  1. What could the Federal agencies do to improve your understanding of the Single Audit process?
  2. Have you used the Single Audit Clearinghouse to obtain information on subrecipient audits?
  3. Do you believe that single audits provide appropriate audit coverage for your programs and the programs where you are a pass- through entity?

V. Electronic Processing

  1. What electronic processing systems do you currently use for your Federal grants? Please note any systems you use due to Federal agency requirements, as well as any systems or technologies your organization uses for other activities.
  2. What is the likelihood that your organization would utilize an on-line application or financial reporting system?
  3. How can the agencies best prepare your organization for the future use of electronic processing option for your grants?

Addresses

General comments on this notice, and those relating to more than one Federal agency, should be addressed to: Attn: PL 106-107 Comments, Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 517-D, Washington, DC 20201. Comments may also be transmitted by E-mail (PL106107@os.dhhs.gov) or by fax, (202) 690-8772.

Further Information

For general questions regarding this notice, please contact Rodd Clay, Office of Grants Management, Department of Health and Human Services by E-mail (rclay@os.dhhs.gov) or phone at (202) 690-8723

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