Sneak Preview: FTA Revises Circular on Award Management

March 17, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has revised its “Award Management Requirements” circular (FTA Circular 5010.1E) to incorporate DOT regulations under the Office of Management and Budget’s uniform guidance and to include terms for using FTA’s new electronic Transit Award Management System (TrAMS).

The circular, formerly called “Grants Management Requirements” (FTA Circular 5010.1D), also incorporates changes to FTA’s programs resulting from the enactment of the agency’s most recent authorizing legislation, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. 114-94), as well as changes stemming from the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141), which authorized FTA programs from federal fiscal year (FY) 2012 to FY 2015.

FTA issues guidance, often in the form of circulars, to provide award recipients with direction on program-specific issues and statutory requirements. Circular 5010.1E addresses provisions applicable to recipients of awards received on or after Dec. 26, 2014, which must comply with provisions in the uniform guidance at 2 C.F.R. Part 200 and with DOT regulations at 2 C.F.R. Part 1201. It also includes provisions for older awards under prior OMB circulars and DOT regulations. DOT has adopted the uniform guidance, with a few DOT-specific provisions.

In keeping with prior FTA regulations, 2 C.F.R. Part 1201 has specific provisions for certain state control of the administration of equipment, procurement and financial management, which are addressed in detail in the circular. State requirements apply to those programs in which states are recipients, as well as to states that receive federal assistance under other FTA programs for which both state and non-state entities are eligible. In addition, subrecipients of states will follow such policies and procedures allowed by the state with respect to disposition of equipment acquired under an FTA award.

For awards made prior to Dec. 26, 2014, the recipient must not use property acquired with federal assistance to provide services to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent services. For awards made on or after that date, the recipient must not use equipment acquired with the federal award to provide services for a fee that is less than private companies charge for equivalent services unless specifically authorized by federal statute for as long as the federal government retains an interest in the equipment (§200.313(c)(3)). Nontransit use of FTA-assisted property is acceptable as long as it is incidental, does not interfere with transit use and income generated is retained by the recipient for transit use. Recipients also need to be aware that the provision of charter service is prohibited under 49 U.S.C. § 5323(d), the circular adds.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

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