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Standard Data Elements for Federal Grant Applications

Federal Register, April 8, 2003, Page 17090


Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM), Office of Management and Budget (OMB).


Notice of proposed requirement to establish standard data elements.


OMB proposes (1) to establish a standard set of data elements and definitions as found on the SF-424, plus five additional data elements for Federal agencies and grant applicants to use on both paper and electronic applications for discretionary grants, and (2) to require a new assurance statement to replace the current assurances found on the SF-424. The Federal E-Grants initiative calls for the development of a one-stop, electronic grant portal where potential grant recipients will receive full service electronic grant administration as part of the implementation of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-107).

The grantee community is familiar with most of the data elements, which have been required by Standard Form (SF) 424, ``Application for Federal Assistance,'' SF-424A, Budget Information Non-Construction; SF-424B, Assurances--Non-Construction Programs; SF-424C, Budget Information Construction Programs, and SF-424D, Assurances--Construction Programs. OMB is adding the following five new standard data elements to those already appearing on the current SF-424 and will revise the form accordingly. The five new standard data elements being added are:

(1) Requesting entity's universal identifier (see proposal to use the Duns Universal Numbering System (DUNS) in the October 30, 2002 Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 210, pp. 66177-66178;
(2) Requesting entity's e-mail address;
(3) Requesting entity's country location for address purposes;
(4) Requesting entity's facsimile (Fax) number; and
(5) Requesting entity's indictor for ``Not-For-Profit'' under ``Type of Applicant'' based upon how the entity is classified with the Internal Revenue Service.

The use of government-wide standard data elements by grant applicants and the Federal agencies that award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements establishes the data standard for grant applications submitted via the E-Grants portal grant application software known as E-Apply. In order to establish data standards, this Notice also identifies how the data will be transmitted for E-Apply. The proposed electronic transmission of the data set is to use the conventions established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 194 Data Transaction Set. These data elements will be incorporated into the first version of E-Apply, scheduled for release in October 2003, which will permit applicants to apply electronically for Federal grants.

The consolidated assurance statement, which is being proposed to replace the current assurances found on the SF-424B and SF-424D, is designed to provide a streamlined way for Federal agencies to obtain assurance about compliance with applicable requirements. OMB believes the addition of the consolidated assurance statement will allow applicants to proceed through the application process in a more efficient manner. Only at time of award would the grantee address any specific agency assurances that are incorporated in the award and are above and beyond the standard assurances.


Comments on the proposed data elements, definitions and consolidated assurance statement must be submitted by June 9, 2003.


Due to potential delays in OMB's receipt and processing of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, we encourage respondents to submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt. We cannot guarantee that comments mailed will be received before the comment closing date. Electronic mail comments may be submitted to: Please include ''Standard Data Elements Comments'' in the subject line and put the full body of your comments in the text of the electronic message and as an attachment. Please include your name, title, organization, postal address, telephone number, and E-mail address in the text of the message. Comments may also be submitted via facsimile to 202-395-3952. Comments may be mailed to Sandra Swab, Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, Room 6025, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

Further Information

Sandra Swab, Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, telephone 202-395-3993, and E-mail: