While OMB Promises, RATB Gets a GRIP

July 20, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

Ever install a computer software program and follow the bar across the screen as it downloads and wonder why when it says “100 percent downloaded” it still takes a while before it’s completed? That drives me crazy. I feel like we’re in a similar mode with the Office of Management and Budget and the long-delayed final version of the 2012 Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement (note our friend the snail again).

Victoria Collin of the OMB spoke yesterday during a National Grants Partnership webinar and said many things to give us all hope that we’ll see it soon. She uttered the following phrases: “absolute most final stages;” “it’ll be out any minute now;” “almost certainly next week;” and my favorite, “we’re doing everything we can to expedite it.” And here we are, another week gone by with it THIS close to coming out, only to find we must continue to wait. We don’t want to hear any more promises that it we’ll see it soon, we want OMB to release it already. (I am soooo ready to post the fireworks picture.)

On a more promising matter from the webinar, Sandra Swab of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (and Thompson grants publications editorial advisory board member) discussed its Grant Reporting Information Project (GRIP) pilot, which RATB is launching with a few select agencies and recipients. The GRIP pilot could be a major step in determining if the federal government can handle centralized financial reporting, now only done by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act recipients, from all federal assistance recipients.

Could expanding Recovery Act and Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act data meet standard financial reporting and basic performance reporting requirements? What are the most common data elements and what is the best method for pre-population? These are questions that the pilot seeks to answer. Swab told the NGP that two of the goals of the pilot are to reduce the recipient cost of reporting rather than doing agency-by-agency reporting, and to reduce the time it takes for agencies to receive reports. It will be interesting to see the findings of this pilot, and I look forward to a future RATB update on this.

Meanwhile, we wait and wait.

Let us know if there is something you’d like to learn from the GRIP pilot. We could pass that along to RATB members.

 

 

 

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