OMB Receives More than 200 Comments on Proposed Revisions

Jerry Ashworth
March 25, 2020 at 14:09:27 ET
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The people have spoken! When we checked the Regulations.gov site last Friday to determine how many comments the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had received to its proposed revisions to the uniform guidance, we were surprised to see that only 54 comments had been submitted, 11 of which were from one agency. We had fully expected to see many more than that, particularly knowing that this past Monday was the comment deadline date.

Well, we shouldn’t have worried. A check of the same site today shows us that OMB received 215 comments to the proposed revisions. That’s more in line as to what we had envisioned, knowing that about 300 comments were submitted when the uniform guidance itself was proposed back in 2013. The comments are being loaded onto the Regulations.gov site for public viewing but as of about 2 p.m. EDT, only about half of the 215 comments were available to read.

The comments we could inspect are far-reaching and cover all aspects of the proposal. Submissions came from various type of entities and organizations, from state government agencies to consulting firms, from industry organizations to federal agency offices. We here at Thompson Grants plan to go through these comments and provide some articles to give our subscribers an overview of some of the key concerns that the grants community had with the proposed revisions and their recommendations for improvements.

Now that the comment period is over, OMB will assess the comments and issue finalized revisions to the uniform guidance later this year. At that point, awarding agencies must adopt the revisions into their regulations, and then they will become effective for their grant programs. These comments have definitely given OMB some food for thought. We encourage you to take some time and glance at some of these comments to see what concerns your peers had with the proposal. In some cases, you may find some commonality. However, if you find a comment from an entity whose viewpoints to a revision are diametrically opposed to your own, you may be able gain a better understanding about the complexities facing OMB in making the long-awaited revisions.

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