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Getting a DUNS Number – OMB Requirement

In order to improve the statistical reporting of federal grants and cooperative agreements, the Office of Management and Budget has directed federal agencies to require all applicants to provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. The DUNS number will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper or an electronic application, and whether an applicant is applying for a new award or renewal of a current award. While the current directive does not cover non-competing continuations, Phase II of the project, which begins in FY 2004, will cover these continuations. Therefore, we encourage all grantees and potential applicants to obtain a DUNS number.

Use of the DUNS number government-wide will provide a cost-effective means to identify entities receiving those awards and their business relationships. The identifier will be used for tracking purposes, and to validate address and point of contact information. The DUNS number already is in use by the federal government to identify entities receiving federal contracts, and by some agencies in their grant and cooperative agreement processes.

Organizations should verify that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one as soon as possible if there is a possibility that they will be applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-866-705-5711. Individuals who would personally receive a grant or cooperative agreement award from the federal government apart from any business or non-profit organization they may operate, and foreign entities are exempt from this requirement.

If your organization does not have a DUNS number, and you anticipate that your organization will apply for a grant or cooperative agreement on or after October 1, 2003, you should take steps to obtain a DUNS number in advance of the application deadline. If your organization does not have a DUNS number, you may not be able to apply for Federal grants or cooperative agreements after that time. Future potential applicants should also consider requesting a DUNS number now if there is any intention of applying for a federal grant in the future.

Further information can be found in the Federal Register, located at: