Uniform Guidance Proposed Revisions Deadline Less Than a Week Away

Jerry Ashworth
March 17, 2020 at 08:39:56 ET
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Time is running out for stakeholders to comment on the Office of Management and Budget’s proposed revisions to the uniform grant guidance. We now are less than a week away from the Monday, March 23 comment deadline.

A quick check of the comment portal at Regulations.gov this morning shows us that OMB has received 52 comments on the proposed revisions. However, this number is somewhat skewed in that one particular nonfederal entity submitted 11 of these comments. In addition, certain other comments cannot be classified as usable as they do not actually pertain to the uniform guidance itself, while others simply request an extension of the comment period. However, those comments that do apply appear to address concerns on a range of issues.

OMB has shown no interest in extending the comment period. The reason could be that OMB is running up against requirements under federal law. During a recent webinar hosted by the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, an OMB official highlighted one statutory requirement that places a critical time element for implementation of the proposed revisions.

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (Pub. L. 115-232) section 899, which became law on Aug. 13, 2018, requires that federal agencies, within two years, may not obligate or expend loan or grant funds to procure or obtain, extend or renew a contract to specific covered technology vendors. To comply with this, OMB’s proposed revisions include a new uniform guidance provision at §200.216, Prohibition on certain telecommunications and video surveillance services or equipment, which states “grant, cooperative agreement and loan recipients are prohibited from using government funds to enter into contracts (or extend or renew contracts) with entities that use covered technology.” To meet the requirements under section 889, OMB must finalize the proposed revisions by Aug. 13, 2020.

Bottom line, submit your comments now!

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