Initiative To Address Reporting Compliance Burdens

April 8, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

abstract-shape-1178168-mStakeholders in the grant and contract communities are encouraged to participate in a two-year online initiative to share their ideas and reactions to proposals to reduce the costs associated with reporting compliance under federal awards.

Through a “national dialog,” the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the General Services Administration (GSA) are seeking ways to reduce reporting compliance costs under grants, subgrants, contracts, subcontracts and cooperative agreements. The initiative aims to “to improve the economy and efficiency of the federal award system by identifying impactful steps that can be taken to streamline reporting, reduce burden and reduce costs.”

From May 30, 2015, to May 30, 2017, interested parties may submit their ideas and suggestions, comment on other suggestions, respond to questions posed by the moderators and vote on ideas they think are most promising and impactful. Information on the initiative, and the dates for participating in the dialog, will be posted at http://www.cao.gov.

The dialog seeks to meet the goals of the President’s Management Agenda and the requirements in the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act)(Pub. L. 113-101) to better understand the costs of complying with federal contracting and grants awards, as well as recommendations to standardize data, eliminate unnecessary duplication and reduce compliance costs.

Managing federal grants and contracts often requires multiple layers of reporting across multiple agencies. Lack of standardization can result in reporting variations that create additional administrative and burdensome requirements for awardees, some of which may be easily rectified. The Chief Acquisition Officers Council, HHS and GSA are launching the initiative in May to expand a national dialog that started last year on federal procurement to now cover federal grants.

The online dialog focuses on three topics, called “campaigns,” which are:

  • Campaign 1 — reporting compliance requirements shared by pass-through recipients and subawardees of federal procurements and grants;
  • Campaign 2 — procurement practices, processes and reporting; and
  • Campaign 3 — grants practices and procedures.
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