March 7, 2001
MEMORANDUM FOR GRANTMAKING AGENCIES
On November 20, 1999, the President signed Public Law 106-107, the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act. The purposes of this law are to: improve the effectiveness and performance of Federal grant programs; simplify grant application and reporting requirements; improve the delivery of services to the public; and facilitate greater coordination among those responsible for delivering such services.
Section 5(a) of the Act requires agencies that administer grant programs to develop plans to simplify the application and reporting procedures used by their grantees. The plans should cut across agencies, discussing how differences between programs of similar purpose will be reduced. They should also address how agencies will provide a common electronic face, as an option, for grantees to use in administering awards. On January 17, 2001, 25 agencies published a joint notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on their draft implementation plans (see 66 FR 4584). Once these comments have been reviewed, the agencies will finalize their plans and submit them to Congress prior to the deadline required by the Act: May 20, 2001.
Section 6(d) of the Act provides authority for the Director of OMB to exempt any Federal agency if the agency does not have a significant number of financial assistance programs. OMB has determined that the following five agencies should be exempted under this authority, noting that their participation will not reduce administrative burden across grant programs:
As required by the Act, we have posted an electronic copy of this determination on the OMB home page (www.whitehouse.gov/omb) under the heading "Grants Management." If you have questions about this memo, please contact F. James Charney, in the Office of Federal Financial Management, at (202) 395-7582.