The Clock Is Ticking

March 7, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

They’re gonna need more time! That’s the mantra I keep saying to myself after seeing a couple of major items come across my desk.

First and foremost, I simply don’t see how the Office of Management and Budget expects grant recipients and other stakeholders to submit well-developed comments by March 29 to its recent advance notice of proposed guidance, which we’ve covered extensively in recent blog posts. I understand the typical federal comment period is 30 days, but there are many facets to this proposal that affect the administration of federal grants and the procedures required for a single audit. A major organization covering multiple institutions, such as the Council on Government Reform, may have an easier time submitting comments on the proposal since it has been calling for reforms for quite some time now. But smaller grantees that are new to the process, yet just as affected, may have something important to say but are not as much in the loop of federal reform efforts.

I would hope the OMB has a plan to extend the comment period or find a way to accept other comments before it makes more-official proposed amendments to the OMB circulars later this year.

Secondly, the National Grant Partnership will host its latest webinar March 13 from 1:30-3 p.m. The agenda is chock full of interesting speakers and topics. Cornelia Chebinou of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers will speak on congressional activity concerning the DATA Act and other related issues. Then, Victoria Collin of the OMB will discuss issues under review by the Council on Financial Assistance Reform and other OMB announcements (which obviously will include the proposed guidance). Finally, Kimberly Elliott, chief of grants management for the state of Nevada, will discuss why the Nevada legislature and governor created a state grants management office.

Each of these topics is very important and each could involve an extensive discussion and Q&A period. How they plan to limit the meeting on these critical issues to an hour and a half is beyond me. NGP Co-chair Eric Brenner has a big challenge ahead of him to keep this from going long. Again I say, they’re gonna need more time!

Let us know what questions or issues you may have that could be brought forth during the NGP webinar.  Let’s get these concerns out in the open now!

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