Washington Update

OMB Finalizes Uniform Grants Guidance

By: Naomi Charalambakis
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
On April 4, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its updated Uniform Grants Guidance, the government-wide framework that outlines the rules and requirements for federal awards. Overall, the revisions seek to reduce unnecessary burden, streamline requirements across federal agencies, and improve accessibility of funding opportunities.

OMB increased several monetary thresholds in the final guidance. For example, the new threshold for determining items considered to be equipment increased from $5,000 to $10,000. Additionally, the single audit threshold increased from $750,000 to $1,000,000. FASEB supported both of these revisions in its comments to the agency, noting that such changes can reduce administrative burdens for non-federal entities that have a limited number of grants. Other changes that also aligned with FASEB’s recommendation can be seen in section 200.461 on publication and printing costs, which includes updated language to reflect more commonly used terminology, such as “article publishing charges” rather than “article processing charges.”

One of the more substantive changes to the final guidance is the requirement for agencies to make grant announcements clearer and more concise. The revised template for drafting Notices of Funding Opportunities emphasizes using plain language and simplifying announcements to only the necessary information potential applicants need to understand program objectives. These revisions are intended to increase accessibility to a broader range of applicants, including underserved communities.

Federal agencies are directed to implement these revisions by October 1. To facilitate implementation, OMB published an implementation memorandum with additional tools and instructions.