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Uniform Guidance
2 CFR Part 200
Replaces A-21, A-110, and A-133
Effective 12/26/14
Presented by:
John Hanold
Debbie Meder
A-110 has been in
place since 1970.
It expires December
25, 2014.
A-21 has been in
place since 1973.
It expires December
25, 2014.
A-133 has been in
place since 1990.
It expires (for us)
June 30, 2015.
Don’t Panic!
1. None of the federal agencies have issued
implementation guidelines yet, except for NSF.
2. OMB is still issuing FAQs and clarifications.
3. Many of the most significant changes in the Guidance
won’t impact YOU (unless your name is Beverly Lipski,
Joyce Haney, or Jody Murawski).
Uniform Guidance Structure
Subpart A – Acronyms and Definitions
Subpart B – General Provisions
Subpart C – Pre-award Requirements & Contents of Federal Awards
Subpart D – Post Federal Award Requirements
Subpart E – Cost Principles
Subpart F – Audit Requirements
Appendices –
I Funding Opportunities
II Contract Provisions
III Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate
Determination for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)
Subpart A – Acronyms and Definitions
A few definitions are particularly important:
200.67 (Micro-purchase) – Purchase of supplies or services ≤ $3,000
200.68 (MTDC) – Participant Support Costs added to the list of costs
excluded from MTDC
200.80 (Program Income) – See also 200.307
200.88 (Simplified Acquisition Threshold) – $150,000
200.94 (Supplies) – Includes computing devices < $5,000
(See also 200.453, which identify the cost principles for materials and
Subpart B – General Provisions
200.100, Purpose:
Establishes uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit
requirements for all types of non-Federal entities
• “Federal awarding agencies must not impose additional or inconsistent
requirements,” unless
• Requirement based on Federal statute, regulation, Executive Order,
• OMB permits an exception in accordance with 200.102, or
• OMB approves information in the Federal award in accordance with
• IMPORTANT terminology:
• “Must” means “required”
• “Should” indicates best practices or recommended approach
Subpart B – General Provisions
200.100(c): “The principles are designed to provide that Federal awards
bear their fair share of cost recognized under these principles except where
restricted or prohibited by statute.”
(This sentence was formerly in the introduction to A-21.)
Subpart B defines applicability of the UG.
Grants and Cooperative
Contracts Contracts
Subpart A (Definitions)
Subpart B (General)
Subpart C (Pre-award)
Subpart D (Post-award) - except
for sub stuff
Subpart D (Post-award) - sub stuff
Subpart E (Cost principles)
Subpart F (Audit)
Subpart B – General Provisions
200.112 Conflict of interest
• Requires all Federal awarding agencies to establish a conflict of interest
policy for Federal awards
COGR has indicated that additional guidance will be forthcoming, clarifying
that this requirement applies to procurement integrity (i.e., not purchasing
items from companies in which we have a financial interest).
This is different from the conflict of interest rules implemented by NIH to
maintain academic integrity.
Subpart C – Pre-Award
A few key sections include:
200.201 – Provides guidance on when to issue fixed price awards and
200.205 – Provides guidance on how to evaluate risk (which is relevant to us
when issuing subawards)
200.207 – Identifies special requirements that can be imposed on high risk
awardees and subawardees, e.g., requiring more detailed financial reports
Subpart D – Post Award
(Reminder: Most of these apply only to grants, not to contracts.)
Key Sections:
Financial Management and Internal Controls (200.301-200.303)
Payment (200.305)
Cost Sharing (200.306)
Program Income (200.307)
Budget Revisions, Extensions, Carry Forward (200.308)
Equipment (200.313)
Procurement Standards (200.318-200.324)
Reporting (200.327-200.329)
Subrecipient Monitoring (200.330-200.332)*
Record Retention (200.333-200.337)
Suspension and Termination (200.338-200.342)
Closeout (200.343-200.345)
*These sections apply to grants and contracts.
200.301 Performance measurement
• Requires the recipient to use OMB-approved government-wide standard
information collections when providing financial and performance
• Must provide cost information to demonstrate cost effective practices
(e.g. unit cost data)
• Concern: Raises concern over how the “must” language will be
interpreted and implemented by the Agencies
• Goal is to improve program outcomes, share lessons learned, and spread
the adoption of promising practices.
200.303 Internal controls
For Federal awards Non-Federal entities must:
• Establish and maintain effective internal controls
• Comply with Federal statutes, regulations, & terms and conditions
• Evaluate and monitor compliance
• Take prompt action on audit findings
• Safeguard protected personally identifiable information
Key Area of Focus:
• EFFORT (200.430) – controls are key rather than certification, but is
perhaps effort certification a good control?
200.305 Payment
We must spend program income first before requesting additional payments
The government does not have to pay our invoices if we fail to comply with
program objectives or the terms and conditions of the award (b)(6).
Interest earned on advance payments must be returned to Government
when greater than $500/year (b)(9).
200.306 Cost Sharing
Voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected under Federal research
proposals and cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of the
Cost sharing may only be considered when required by regulation and
transparent in the notice of funding opportunity.
Valuation of cost sharing remains largely unchanged from A-110.
200.313 Equipment
Title of equipment (> $5K) is only “conditional.” In the absence of additional
guidance (e.g., Research Terms and Conditions), we may have to reimburse
the Government for continued use of the equipment once the project is over
(313(a), 313(e)).
During the life of the project: When the equipment is not being used, we
may make use of it for other projects in the following order of priority:
a) other projects funded by the same agency,
b) other projects funded by other federal agencies,
c) projects funded by non-federal sponsors.
User fees should be developed when appropriate (313(c)).
Earning program income is encouraged, but we may not use equipment
acquired with Federal funds to provide services for a fee that is less than
private companies charge for equivalent services (313(c)(3)).
200.313 Equipment
Property records must contain “percentage of Federal participation in the
project costs for the Federal award under which the property was acquired.”
Records must contain “use” of the equipment.
• Concern: These changes are not clear and raise a number of
Creates added burden to keep additional data elements and additional cost
to modify systems to capture those data elements
• Do we need to modify our systems to capture data?
200.320 Procurement Standards
The non-Federal entity must use one of the following:
• Micro-purchases for acquisition of supplies or services if aggregate amount does
not exceed $3,000 (or $2,000 if subject to Davis-Bacon Act) – New method
• Small purchase procedures
• Sealed bids (formal advertising)
• Competitive proposals
• Noncompetitive proposals – revised to clarify that solicitation of a proposal from
only one source may be used only when one or more of the following apply:
• The item is available only from a single source
• The public exigency or emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay
resulting from competitive solicitation
• The Federal awarding agency (or pass-through entity) expressly authorizes in
response to a written request from the non-Federal entity
• After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined
MAJOR ISSUE: All purchases over $3,000 require competition?
(Note: We expect to receive a one year delay in implementing this.)
200.330-332 Subrecipient Monitoring
Sponsors (agency and pass-through) are obligated to honor the subrecipient’s
negotiated F&A rate. Subrecipients without a negotiated rate are entitled to an 10%
MTDC F&A rate.
We anticipate that continuations will stay with the old rules, while new subawards
will be issued under the new rules.
We plan to issue a new subrecipient monitoring guideline effective December 2014
to implement the new monitoring requirements.
Fixed price subs require agency prior approval and cannot exceed $150,000.
200.343 Closeout
OMB is emphasizing a strict closeout requirement of 90 days.
It is sometimes difficult to get subrecipients paid within 90 days of close, thus we
may need to consider establishing earlier end dates for subrecipients.
Subpart E – Cost Principles
(Reminder: This applies to grants and CR contracts, but not FFP contracts.)
200.407 Prior Written Approval
“Under any given Federal award, the reasonableness and allocability of certain items
of costs may be difficult to determine. In order to avoid subsequent disallowance or
dispute based on unreasonableness or nonallocability, the non-Federal entity may
seek the prior written approval of the cognizant agency for indirect costs or the
Federal awarding agency in advance of the incurrence of special or unusual costs.”
• Identifies those “sensitive” areas where institution may not feel 100% comfortable
• Written approval may help justification
• Provides a one-stop comprehensive list of the circumstances under which nonFederal entities should seek prior approval from the Federal awarding agency.
200.413(c) Direct Costs – Clerical and Administrative Salaries
“The salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as
indirect (F&A) costs. Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate only if all of
the following conditions are met:
1. Administrative or clerical services are integral to a project or activity;
2. Individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity;
3. Such costs are explicitly included in the budget or have the prior written
approval of the Federal awarding agency; and
4. The costs are not also recovered as indirect costs.”
• Removal of “major project” requirement
• Recognition of administrative workload
• Need to make the case based on duties, not title
Do we need to establish a threshold?
Some peer institutions are considering a threshold of 10% or 15% to prevent
minimal charges that are better handled via F&A.
200.453 Materials and Supplies
“In the specific case of computing devices, charging as direct costs is allowable for
devices that are essential and allocable, but not solely dedicated, to the performance
of a Federal award.”
Note: The NSF IG is particularly interested in reviewing justification that computing
devices are truly “essential and allocable” to the project. Good documentation will
be key. It probably isn’t good enough to just have something from the PI saying,
“Please charge the laptop to Project X.” We need something specifically tying the
computing device to the project, e.g., “We need the graduate students to carry
laptops into the marshes to record data on local insect populations.”
200.456 Participant Support Costs
Term defined at 200.75
Participant support costs are now excluded from MTDC as defined in 200.68
and Appendix IV.
Best practice may be to establish a separate account at 0% F&A, since there
is no special object code for all of the different things that might be coded as
participant support costs.
200.474 Travel Costs
Two significant changes:
“Documentation must justify that . . . participation of the individual is
necessary to the Federal award.” (This might be particularly challenging if
the individual doesn’t have salary or stipend charged to the Federal award.)
“Temporary dependent care costs” might be allowable under certain
circumstances. (PSU will have to determine whether to address this in its
own policy.)
Subpart F – Audit Requirements
(Reminder: This applies to all grants and contracts.)
Targeting Audit Requirements on Risk of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
• The final guidance right-sizes the footprint of oversight and Single Audit
requirements to strengthen oversight and focus audits where there is
greatest risk of waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.
• It improves transparency and accountability by making single audit
reports available to the public online, and encourages Federal agencies to
take a more cooperative approach to audit resolution in order to more
conclusively resolve underlying weaknesses in internal controls.
Penn State Response
• Opportunity to revamp all Research Administration Policies (complete
reorganization and rewrite planned)
• Working Groups around key policy topics/issues
• Internal Controls
• Conflict of Interest
• Sub-Recipient Monitoring
• Performance Measurement
• Property
• Procurement
• Cost Sharing
• Compensation and Effort Reporting
• Indirect costs
• Participant Support Costs
• Audits
Link to best online version of the UG:
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