Grant Certification, Representation Functions Move to SAM.gov

Jerry Ashworth
February 5, 2019 at 06:49:37 ET
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By now, most grant applicants are familiar with the requirement to register with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) prior to applying for a federal grant application. Applicants should now be aware that SAM has amended its registration process in an effort to make it less burdensome for both those applying for federal financial assistance and for federal awarding agencies.

Last Saturday, SAM implemented a new process to enable financial assistance applicants to submit common federal governmentwide certifications and representations. (The procurement certifications and representations have not changed.) Nonfederal entities establishing new registrations and existing entities completing their annual registration renewals will be required to review financial assistance certifications and representations before their registration can be activated.

As entities renew and re-register their accounts, the data collected will make SAM.gov the federal repository for this information. “By completing the certifications and representations in SAM, the grantee administrative processes will be significantly streamlined, making it easier to do business with the federal government,” according to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Integrated Award Environment (IAE), which manages SAM.gov.

This development was the next step in the process. When OMB released OMB memorandum M-18-24, Strategies to Reduce Grant Recipient Reporting Burden, last September, it had discussed the plan for federal agencies to phase out use of the Standard Form 424B, effective Jan. 1, in notices of funding opportunity announcements. SF 424B is generally a list of representations and certifications, also known as assurances, for nonconstruction programs that applicants must read and agree to uphold.

The memorandum stated that effective Jan. 1, 2020, OMB will require that SAM become the central repository for common governmentwide certifications and representations required of federal grant recipients. Hopefully this process will allow for some of the burden reductions they expect. Those stakeholders that seek more information on this development can contact IAE at iaeoutreach@gsa.gov.