Could This Be Our Chance for Some Real News?

January 17, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

Maybe, just maybe, we might get a clearer idea later this month about what’s in store for the future of grants management. At least, one can hope. Here, let me explain.

The Federal Demonstration Partnership, an association of federal agencies, academic research institutions and research policy organizations working to streamline the administration of federally sponsored research, meets about three times a year to discuss research administration concerns and efforts for change. Details about this organization its accomplishments are available to readers of the Federal Grants Management Handbook. During its next meeting slated for Jan. 28-29 in Washington, D.C., the FDP’s plenary session is a presentation on the Council on Financial Assistance Reform. Victoria Collin and Gil Tran of the Office of Management and Budget are the scheduled speakers.

As part of this presentation, one would hope that they address the latest on the upcoming proposed rule on grants management reform concerning the “supercircular.” The grants community has been in a holding pattern since it submitted comments to the advanced notice of reform back last spring. There was some inkling a couple of months ago that maybe OMB would issue its proposal then – even prompting the National Grants Partnership to call off its November webinar in hopes that OMB would provide details on the proposal during a postponed webinar  – yet no news emerged. The NGP has yet to reschedule the webinar.

Maybe the FDP presentation will give us the news we’ve been waiting for. Or it could just be an update on the history and makeup of the COFAR. The actual presentation remains to be seen and heard. I would assume that the audience of university administrators will be clamoring to know what’s going on with the proposal, so surely some details, however minor, may be forthcoming.

If nothing comes from this event, perhaps we can learn something during the Association of Government Accountants’ National Leadership Conference Feb. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. OMB Controller Danny Werfel is one of the scheduled speakers, although one would hope that we would be a little closer to knowing more about this proposal by then. Either way, we here at Thompson are staying on top of it and will provide our subscribers with the latest news when it is released. Stay tuned!

Let us know your feelings about where you think grants management is headed under this pending proposal.


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