National Grants Partnership Announcements July 2011
I. Webinar: A recording of the July 13 webinar is posted at http://thengp.org/ (click on “Click here for the recorded webcast” in upper right hand corner).
The National Grants Partnership just posted a webinar with the most up-to-date information on potential changes to federal grants reporting as envisioned in a recent Presidential Executive Order and Congressional legislation now under consideration known as the DATA Act. The Office of Management and Budget (Karen Lee), Grants.gov (Boris DeSouza), and the Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board (Nancy DiPaolo) all discussed the status of negotiations between the Obama Administration and Congress, what the impact could be going forward on federal grant reporting (including for sub-recipients), and how the current grant reporting system in effect for Recovery Act funds could be extended for all federal grants. The Federal Demonstration Partnership (Susan Sedwick) presented information on a recent study quantifying the cost of Recovery Act compliance to the research community, which is relevant to the wider grants community if the future reporting requirements for all grants evolve into something similar to the ARRA model.
The webinar was sponsored by David Cassidy/TCG; the direct link to the webinar (bypassing the homepage) is: http://tcg.adobeconnect.com/p89fqehyrdt/
We invite you to join us for out next webinar, which will be November 15, 2011 from 1:30-3:30 EST.
II. Call for Volunteers: Candidate Assessment Tool for Grants Managers
Association of Government Accountants’ (AGA) Partnership for Intergovernmental Management and Accountability (Partnership) is looking for up to 12 volunteers to develop a “Candidate Assessment Tool” for use by managers at all levels of government in screening candidates for grants management jobs. The project is explained in more detail, below. If you are interested in participating please contact AGA's Director of Intergovernmental Relations Helena Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 18, 2011.
Background: According to the Office of Management and Budget, federal outlays for grants to state and local governments exceeded $600 billion in FY 2010 and accounted for almost one-fifth of the federal budget. GAO testimony before a Congressional subcommittee on June 23, 2011, indicated that, while federal grant funding has been increasing, long-standing concerns remain about the federal government’s grants management and the lack of effective oversight tools to reasonably assure that grants are used for their intended purposes and that risks of fraud, waste and abuse are minimized. Just as grants management is getting increased scrutiny in Washington, AGA is launching a new project to help identify accomplished grants managers. AGA just issued a call for volunteers to develop a “Candidate Assessment Tool” for use by managers at all levels of government in screening candidates for grants management jobs.
To view the call for volunteers, click on: http://www.agacgfm.org/intergovernmental/downloads/Vols_GrantsCandidateAssessmentTool.pdf
III. Federal Funds Information for States releases Summary on House and Senate Bills Overhaul Federal Reporting, Repeal FFATA
Issue Brief 11-27
July 1, 2011
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA, P.L. 109-282), which included new reporting requirements for recipients of federal grants and contracts, was fully implemented on October 1, 2010 (see Issue Brief 10-40). Since then, bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would repeal FFATA and overhaul recipient reporting requirements.
The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2011 (H.R. 2146, DATA Act) was introduced in the House on June 13, 2011, and it passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform a week later. It would mandate full multi-tier recipient reporting and require recipients to report on the use of funds. The bill also establishes the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board (FAST Board), mirrored after the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, to coordinate and oversee grant and contracts reporting; create common data elements and data standards for use across all federal spending information systems; and focus on reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. The FAST Board would create at least one new website for federal spending data. In addition, the bill would eliminate USAspending.gov and the Census Bureau’s Consolidated Federal Funds Report, and require that the new website(s) contain the information reported by these systems. The House bill would sunset on September 30, 2018.
On the same day that the House bill was introduced, the administration issued an executive order that establishes a new oversight board to monitor all government spending, focusing on transparency of federal spending and efforts to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. In addition, on June 16, 2011, a companion bill to House bill was introduced in the Senate, although no further action on that bill has been taken. This Issue Brief focuses on the House committee-passed bill.
IV. Become a Member of NGP
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