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FFATA / SF424 Update

 

In September of 2006, the President signed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) requiring OMB to develop a publicly available, free-of-charge, searchable website on federal funding. Federal funding includes grants, subgrants, loans, awards, cooperative agreements, and other forms of financial assistance. Contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, task orders, and delivery orders are also included. All individual transactions below $25,000 and any credit card transactions made before October 1, 2008 are exempt.

The website is to contain the name of the entity receiving the award, amount of the award, transaction type, funding agency, CFDA number, program source, and descriptive award title. It additionally requires the location of entity, unique identifier(s) of both the entity and parent entity, and other information OMB deems “relevant”. The Act further requires that the data be made available within 30 days of the award.

The first phase of the new reporting system became available to the public via the Internet as of January 2008 and can be accessed at www.usaspending.gov . Sub award information will need to be captured and reported by January 2009.

While the federal government is currently in the beginning stages of conducting a pilot with the grantee community to identify the increased reporting burden and associated obstacles, it is important to note that on January 01, 2009 recipients of federal grant funds will be required to provide information on sub-awards. Please note the federal government is relying on the grantee to:

  • Ensure information pertaining to the organization is accurate.
  • Be prepared to meet reporting requirements as a condition of the award.
  • Be prepared for heightened public scrutiny of dealings with the federal government relating to grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.

There is an opportunity through March 7, 2008 to comment on proposed changes to the mandatory SF-424 form which is the data collection form for applications for federal assistance. This is important because the revised form will assist agencies with collecting the required data elements for the FFATA database. See Federal Register Vol_73, No.4, Page 1224 for additional information or click on this link to go directly to the Federal Register page http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E7-25431.pdf