Agency Officials Offer Little Info on Uniform Guidance Implementation Plans

September 12, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

say-what-1108003-mWhile attending the Federal Demonstration Partnership meeting on Thursday here in Washington, a certain song kept coming to mind — the old Paul Simon hit “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” Now, if that seems odd, it’s really not the whole song that needs mentioning, just one short lyric — “Don’t need to be coy, Roy.” If there is any particular word that described the federal government officials when providing their updates at the meeting, that word would definitely be “coy.”

The FDP hosted its best-attended meeting ever with more than 450 registrants, mostly coming from research colleges and universities from across the nation, along with participants from other research institutions and federal agencies. Representatives from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, National Space and Aeronautics Administration, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and other grant oversight agencies presented the latest information of interest coming from their agencies related to grants payment systems and management.

After many of the agency representatives’ updates, the attendees were allowed to ask questions. Often, someone would ask when the agency would be putting out its regulations incorporating the Office of Management and Budget’s uniform grant guidance. That’s when things got, well, coy. All the agency official who were asked this question found a way to avoid the question and would not provide a definitive answer. After a few “hems” and “haws,” and a little throat clearing and skittish smiles, they all said that they would definitely be issued by Dec. 26. Well, that does us little good, since we already know that federal agencies are required under the guidance to implement their regulations incorporating the guidance as of Dec. 26.

If the attendees were seeking clues as to possible agency deviations from the guidance, it was not forthcoming (sort of like the pictured empty word balloon). The agencies are playing this one really close to the vest for now. It will really be interesting to see whether they are more open over the course of this fall, or if we all will have to wait until Dec. 26 to see what the agency regulations entail.

Stay tuned. When the agencies do provide any information on what is in their regulations, we here at Thompson will let you know.

Is there any deviation in particular that you would like to see from a federal agency? Let us know.  

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