Uniform Guidance (UG!) University of New Hampshire Uniform Guidance Team Jan Nisbet, Project Sponsor, Senior Vice Provost for Research David Browning, Project Manager, Financial Research Administration, SPA Jo Beth Dudley, Director of Finance and Administration, EOS Vicki Escalera, Director of Internal Audit, USNH Louise Griffin, Director of Administration, SVPR Nancy Hamer, Director of Administration and Financial Services, AA Karen Jensen, Manager, Research Administration, SPA Carol Mitchell, Controller, USNH Francine Ndayisaba, Accounting Manager, USNH Lisa Pollard, Purchasing Manager, USNH Kate Roberts, Director of Financial Services, CEPS Kerry Scala, Finance Director, VPFA Office Denise Smith, Director of Purchasing, USNH Victor Sosa, Director, Sponsored Programs Administration Scott Towle, Manager Cost Analysis, VPFA Office What is Uniform Guidance A-87 A-122 A-50 A-89 2 CFR 200 A-102 A-110 A-21 A-133 Uniform Guidance (UG) is a combined, simplified, version of 8 circulars. Replaces Existing Circulars: Applies to: Institutions of Higher Ed (IHE) All included in 2 CFR 200 States Non-Profits Tribal Nations Effective Date: Guidance for Federal and NonFederal Entities that applies to: December 2014 26 Grants Co-op Agreements Contracts* *Federal contracts follow the FAR, plus UG for cost principles. Uniform Guidance Themes Making the most efficient use of federal funds More flexibility in the direct cost category, as long as purchases meet the same direct cost standard (allowable, allocable and reasonable) and follow Internal Controls Internal Controls references throughout the document; require clear roles and responsibilities; and monitoring to ensure compliance Closeouts: Not new BUT more pressure from agencies for 90 day close outs. Subawards will need to close in 45 – 60 days Only NSF has issued implementation guidelines, other agencies yet to weigh in The Good, The Bad and the ??? What the guidance is and what (we think) it means Much depends on the agency implementations, which with the exception of NSF, remain unknown. Pre-Award – Good!!! Standard Information Funding Opportunities need to include standard info – not a change but good to know Prescribed Elements Prescribed format, review criteria, cost share requirements, due dates, deviations in standard terms and conditions, additional reports 60 Days Lead Time Generally, 60 days lead time for funding announcements, unless shorter notice is specifically approved by agency head – minimum of 30 days lead time. Pre-Award – Good! Pre-Approved Terms & Conditions Agencies must use pre-approved terms and conditions, or describe deviations at proposal stage Approval of Exceptions Any exception to terms and conditions (e.g., limits on F&A) must be approved by the agency head and posted on the OMB website Tracking of Exceptions OMB will be tracking exceptions to policies, evaluating the effectiveness of the UG through metrics Subrecipient Monitoring – Do you want to hear the good news first? F&A Improvement F&A rate agreement must be honored if one exists Subrecipient (e.g., foreign, small businesses, etc.) without a negotiated rate can get an automatic 10% MTDC F&A rate. Increased burden for vendor vs. subrecipient classification Prime recipient makes the determination between Subrecipient vs. Professional Services/Vendor and we need to document how we make the decision each time Fixed Price Sub Awards Agency must grant prior approval for issuing fixed price subawards New maximum limit for fixed price subawards $150K Potentially more risk assessment burden for OSP as audit threshold increases to $750K, time will tell Subrecipient Monitoring ‐ +/‐ Fully documented risk assessment for each sub prior to issuance. New obligation to be able to prove that UNH (the PI!) received and reviewed the subrecipient’s performance and financial reports Cost Share – All Good! Voluntary committed cost sharing is NOT expected, could be basis for exclusion (NSF) Cost sharing requirements must be included in the funding announcement Cost sharing may not be used as a factor in reviewing proposals or as merit criteria Changes in F&A Cost Rulings - Good Federal agencies are expected to honor negotiated F&A Rates • • • Participant Support Costs Must be excluded from F&A (similar to NSF Model) Class or single award exceptions only when required by Federal statue or regulation, or approved by an agency head or delegate Exceptions must be reported to OMB Policies, procedures and general decision making criteria for making exceptions must be published Award Notices – Good! All federal awards must include clear terms and conditions (for the entire award period), including: • • • • Reporting requirements Format Due Date Any deviations from agency policy Provide a basis for objecting when agency layers on additional requirements (e.g., prior approvals, reporting) during the life of an award Award Terms – More Good! WORKING OFF-SITE Recognition that technology allows a PI to be away from campus and still be engaged in the project “Disengagement” from the project for more than three months, rather than “absence” from the project. Document Retention - Good! 200.335 – Electronic Record states that there is no need to create a paper record for a record that was originally electronic and cannot be altered .pdf May convert paper to electronic, provided the records are: 1. Subject to periodic quality control reviews 2. Provide reasonable safeguards against alteration, and 3. Remain Readable Still a conflict between UG and FAR which states that paper records must be kept for a year after paper records are converted to an electronic form. Direct Costs – Good! Publication Costs (Page Charges) Page charges are still allowable costs after award end date but before closeout (in essence, adoption of the NSF model); costs must be consistently charged as a direct cost. Admin and Clerical Salaries Eliminated “major project” reference May be direct charged when services provided are: Integral to the award Specifically identified with the activity Included in the budget or have prior written approval of the Federal Agency Computing Devices Considered supply costs (if it’s under $5K); can be charged as a direct cost when devices are “essential and allocable to a project”, but not “solely dedicated” to the performance of the award; need standards for documentation Other Cost Items Conference Costs Travel Costs Requires conference hosts to exercise discretion and judgment to ensure that conference costs are appropriate, necessary and managed in a way that minimizes cost to the federal award (remember the notion of waste and abuse) Temporary dependent care costs above and beyond regular dependent care that directly results from travel to conferences, is allowable provided: Cost is direct result of individual’s travel for the federal award, Cost is consistent with non-federal entity’s travel policy for all travel (not just sponsored), and Cost is only temporary during the travel period ‘As needed, the costs of identifying, but not providing, locally available dependent-care resources are allowable’ Recruitment Costs Clarification is made that now allows short term travel visas (but not longer term immigration visas) University travel policies will be evaluated for current and future practices, as the Uniform Guidance requires consistent treatment between federally funded programs and non-federal programs. Time & Effort Reporting Strengthening of Internal Controls Examples that used to be provided have now been removed. These prior examples had been interpreted by auditors to be the prescription The term ‘Effort Reports’ is no longer explicitly mentioned Note: While the prescriptive language has changed, and examples removed, there is still a strong focus on accountability and internal controls regarding compensation on federal awards. UNH will review the guidance carefully and evaluate current and future processes for effort reporting. Purchasing – Some challenges All procurement between the micro-purchase level ($3K) and the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($150K) must be competitive – how will we implement? We do have some time – non federal entities will be given up to one full fiscal year after the effective date of the Uniform Guidance – for UNH – July 1, 2016. Also stresses Small and Minority Owned Business Issues Internal Controls – More Scrutiny Requires us to have strong, internal controls. Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) offers the following source documents to be used as best practice, but are not prescriptively required “Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government” (Green Book) issued by the Comptroller General. “Internal Control Framework” issued by the Committee on Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) Could lead to: Stronger audit scrutiny and emphasis on documentation! Expect efforts to limit cost transfers and late salary transfers. Spending at the End of Award – More Scrutiny No more than $5K in materials remaining at the end of the grant Implies closer scrutiny on overall spending in the last few months of the award – may need closer financial monitoring Performance Reporting Continued pressure from agencies to relate research progress to financial information and other “data” (e.g., number of students, publications, patents) Guidance provides for research sponsors to use standard Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) format – depends on agency implementation (NSF is on board!) Financial Reporting – Didn’t see this coming New certification for financial reports – statutory penalties for false certifications I certify to the best of my knowledge and belief that the report is true, complete, and accurate and the expenditures, disbursements and cash receipts are for the purposes and objectives set forth in the terms and conditions of the Federal award. I am aware that any false, fictitious, or fraudulent information, or the omission of any material fact, may subject me to criminal, civil or administrative penalties for fraud, false statements, false claims or otherwise. Closeouts – More Pressure on 90 Days No change in federal requirements, but agencies are becoming more stringent All reports are due “no later than 90 calendar days after the end date of the period of performance” Why? Pressure on agencies – memo from OMB July 2012 New sub-accounting – NSF, NIH, others to come No cash draws on awards after 90 days, except in exceptional cases, as approved by the agency Applies to all reports – PIs get ready Focus on more timely financial review Top Issues To Be Aware Of 1.Many good things in the UG 2.Still waiting for agencies to weigh in 3.Documenting and monitoring internal controls – where we have gaps 4.Price competition is key 5.Closeouts – in 90 days, for real! Next Steps • Working group is continuing to determine full implications and impact of UG • Web page has been developed and updates will be posted • http://www.unh.edu/research/2-cfr-200-uniform-guidance • Training for the UNH community • Timing is an issue – dependent on agency implementations • Communicating • Ideas?