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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Duvall

OMB Previews Upcoming Changes to Uniform Guidance with Pre-Publication Document and Reference Guide

On April 4, 2024, the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") published its pre-publication update to the Uniform Guidance for federal grants and issued an accompanying implementation memorandum and reference guides (also available here). This regulatory update comes after OMB published in October 2023 its proposed rule and notification of proposed guidance to amend its Guidance for Grants and Agreements.

OMB's memorandum, Reducing Burden in the Administration of Federal Financial Assistance, states that the Biden-Harris Administration is "making it possible for recipients of Federal funding to focus more on the people they serve and to deliver results for their communities." In so doing, the memorandum builds on previous efforts "to streamline, simplify, and make more accessible the processes, systems, and data standards associated with Federal financial assistance to reduce burden on Federal agencies, applicants, and recipients." In furtherance of that effort, the Administration published, in pre-publication (or non-final) format, its revised guidance to federal agencies on administering and managing federal awards under Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations ("CFR"). The new guidance is called OMB Guidance for Federal Financial Assistance.

As shown in the pre-publication document, the amendments to Title 2 are comprehensive and cover 2 CFR Parts 1, 25, 170, 175, 180, 182, 183, 184, and 200. Notwithstanding the changes, the document also states that OMB specifically "sought to maintain the existing structure of the 2 CFR guidance," which it says "remains generally intact and mostly consistent with earlier iterations of the guidance in this final version." Indeed, while OMB endeavored to maintain the existing content and structure under Title 2, OMB, in many instances, revised the guidance with plain language to "simplify the guidance text, avoid or reduce technical jargon where feasible, provide greater consistency, and make the text more succinct."

A final rule is expected in the coming days or weeks. According to the pre-publication draft, the effective date for the final rule (unless OMB changes it) will be on October 1, 2024. Notably, however, the pre-publication document also makes clear that "agencies may elect to apply the final guidance to Federal awards issued prior to October 1, 2024, but they are not required to do so."

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