Performance Progress Reporting
The Post-Award Work Group under P.L. 106-107 has drafted a standard format, the Performance Progress Report ( PPR ). This report will be used government-wide to collect performance information from recipients of Federal grants and cooperative agreements, other than those for research. The PPR can be used for narrative reports, as well as providing options to collect information on achievement of performance measures, and expenditures under activity-based budgets. The standard reporting format will allow uniformity, and support systematic collection and submission of electronic information, while allowing agencies a great deal of flexibility to collect the information required by programs. These forms and a policy related to their use are expected to be issued in the Federal Register for public comment in the near future. The Research Business Models Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Science is developing the reporting format for research grants.
OMB Memoranda to the Agencies
OMB has issued several memoranda (M-04-05, January 7, 2004 and M-04-14, June 8, 2004), signed by the Controller and the Assistant Administrator for IT and E-Gov, that confirm OMB's commitment to continued funding and improvement of the capabilities of Grants.gov FIND and APPLY.
Cost Principle Changes
On May 10, 2004, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued in the Federal Register [69 FR 25970], a final set of changes to conform language in the three different sets of OMB cost principles, OMB Circulars A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, A-87, Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments, and A-122, Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations. These changes are intended to simplify the cost principles, making the description of similar items consistent and reducing the possibility of misunderstanding. Details of the changes are available at the OMB website.
Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations
The Office of Management and Budget has undertaken an initiative to establish title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as the location where the public can find both OMB guidance for grants and agreements and the associated Federal agency implementing regulations. The initiative provides a good foundation for streamlining and simplifying the policy framework for grants and agreements under P.L. 106-107. The primary benefit is that OMB guidance and agency rules will be available in a single place making it more accessible by the public. Initially, OMB is relocating its current OMB circulars pertaining to grants and agreements in title 2. When several of those circulars are changed, as anticipated, based on the interagency work under P.L. 106-107, OMB will issue that revised guidance in title 2 and the agencies that issue rules will issue their implementing rules in their respective parts of title 2. The Federal Register document that established title 2 CFR [69 FR 26276, May 11, 2004] describes this initiative in greater detail.
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Grants Streamlining Initiative Web Site
This new website is designed to provide the public and the Federal grant-making agencies current information about the various interagency grants streamlining and simplification activities — their purpose and objectives, timing, and other pertinent details. These activities include those under P.L. 106-107 and the related activities of the Grants.gov and the Grants Management Line of Business initiatives.
Grants Management Line of Business
Grants Management Line of Business initiative is a government-wide effort begun in the spring of 2004 that seeks to develop a government-wide solution to support end-to-end grants management activities that promote citizen access, customer service, and agency financial and technical stewardship. The Line of Business objectives, which cover the life cycle of grants and cooperative agreements, include improved customer access to grant opportunities; increased efficiency of the application submission process; improved decision making; and improved efficiency of the reporting procedures in order to increase the usable information content.
Grants.gov FIND and APPLY
Grants.gov, which is intended as a government-wide portal for the public to learn about Federal grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities (Grants.gov FIND) and, if eligible, to apply for those in which they have an interest (Grants.gov APPLY), has been operational since October 2003. Since the policy requiring posting of synopses of Federal grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities (with a link to or inclusion of the full announcement) became effective, more than 3,000 funding opportunities have been synopsized in the Find grant opportunities page. Programs are being made available for application on an incremental basis. Several hundred programs have received applications through the Apply for grants portal, resulting in over 1,000 applications. The numbers of programs and applications will increase in fiscal year 2005.
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