Uniform Guidance procurement standards: The time is now!
On Dec. 26, 2013 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, which is also referred to as the Uniform Guidance (UG). With the publication of UG, OMB essentially combined the existing cost circulars (A-87, A-122, etc), administrative circulars (A-102, A-110 etc) and Circular A-133 into one document and streamlined the rules surrounding the administration and spending of federal funds.
In the process of streamlining all administrative and cost circulars that existed prior to UG, there were several significant changes that were introduced which we have covered in our publication called Grants Reform Guidebook.
The most significant change introduced by UG related to the “procurement standards.” Unlike all the other administrative requirements, which were effective for any new awards made on or after Dec. 26, 2014, non-federal entities were given the option to defer the adoption of the procurement standards for up to two years. This meant that a non-federal entity with a 12/31 year-end could defer the adoption of these standards until Jan. 1, 2017, and a June year-end could defer adoption until July 1, 2017.
[If] your organization opted to defer the implementation of these procurement standards, it is critical for your organization to address them now.
Given this, for many entities, the two year deferment is now up or will be shortly. Therefore, if your organization opted to defer the implementation of these procurement standards, it is critical for your organization to address them now.
Follow these steps to ensure that your organization is in full compliance with these procurement standards:
- Have you read Subpart D, Post-Award Requirements, paragraphs 200.317 through 200.326?
- Is my organization using the five procurement methods outlined in Section 200.320?
- Does my organization have the required conflict of interest policies in place (Section 200.318)? All organizations should have the employee conflict of interest policy. In addition, Section 200.318 outlines an organizational conflict of interest policy that is only required if the non-federal entity has a parent, affiliate or subsidiary organization that is not a state government, local government or Indian tribe.
- Does my organization have the appropriate procurement documentation? An organization must maintain records to sufficiently detail the history of the procurement. At a minimum, this includes:
- The rationale for the method of procurement
- Selection of the contract type
- Contractor selection or rejection, and
- Basis for the contract price
- Does my organization’s contracts include all the required specifications as outlined in Appendix II?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, you are likely in pretty good shape! If not, as you further consider your organization’s compliance with these new standards, we would be happy to assist you in thinking through any implementation questions you might have.