October 15, 2003
MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
OMB Issues Grants.gov FIND Policy
The purposes of this memorandum are to announce the issuance of a new grants management policy on the requirement to post funding opportunity announcement synopses at Grants.gov and to provide the policy and its related data elements. This final policy notice, published in the Federal Register on October 8, 2003 [68 FR 58146], is available on OMB’s website at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/grants_docs.html.
1. Purpose. This policy directive establishes a government-wide requirement for Federal agencies to electronically post synopses of announcements of funding opportunities under financial assistance programs that award discretionary grants and cooperative agreements, using a standard set of data elements. The purpose of the synopsis is to provide potential applicants (1) enough information about the funding opportunity to decide whether they are interested in viewing the full announcement; (2) one or more ways (e.g., an Internet site, e-mail address or telephone number) to get the full announcement with the detailed information; and (3) one common website to search for all Federal grant opportunities by key word, date, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number, specific agency or across agencies. The attached data elements are the government-wide standard developed for Federal programs that award discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.
2. Authority. The policy directive is part of the implementation of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-107). This policy is also designed to further implement the Grants.gov initiative, one of the 24 electronic government (E-Gov) initiatives under the President's Management Agenda.
3. Background. Public Law 106-107, requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to direct, coordinate, and assist Executive Branch departments and agencies in establishing an interagency process to streamline and simplify Federal financial assistance procedures for non-Federal entities. The law also requires executive agencies to allow applicants to electronically apply for and report on the use of funds from any Federal financial assistance program administered by the agency.
The posting of standard synopses in an electronic environment provides government customers the opportunity to locate funding opportunities in one place and to decide whether or not to apply for the opportunity. Establishing data standards for the electronic format of the synopses and the posting of synopses on the Internet serve to implement Public Law 106-107 and the President's Management Agenda.
4. Policy. The data elements/format attached to this policy directive are the government-wide standard for posting synopses at http://www.Grants.gov or such website/Internet address that may be identified by OMB, for programs that award discretionary grants and cooperative agreements. Agencies should continue to post their full announcement at location(s) consistent with any applicable statutory requirements and policy. All Federal agencies are required to post synopses of announcements of funding opportunities for programs that award discretionary grants and cooperative agreements at the Grants.gov FIND module and are also encouraged to post other types of Federal funding opportunities at Grants.gov FIND. The synopsis shall be posted with universal resource locator (URL) links through which the full announcement can be obtained. A URL link from the synopsis to the full announcement is not necessary for full announcements posted to Grants.gov because the synopsis and full announcement share the same URL. However, in this event the synopsis must indicate that the full announcement can be found at Grants.gov FIND.
Applicability. All Federal agencies will be required to
post synopses of their discretionary grant and cooperative agreement
funding opportunity announcements and modifications to the announcements
at Grants.gov or a website/Internet address identified by OMB, using
the standard data elements/format, except for:
- Programs that only publish funding opportunities in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).
- Announcements of funding opportunities for awards less than $25,000 for which 100 percent of eligible applicants live outside of the United States.
- Single source announcements of funding opportunities
issued by an agency which are specifically directed to a known
- Effective Date. This policy directive is effective on November
7, 2003, thirty days from date of publication in the Federal Register
[68 FR 58146]. All agencies shall post announcement synopses at the
Grants.gov FIND module beginning November 7, 2003. A synopsis of the
Federal funding opportunity shall be posted at Grants.gov FIND no later
than three business days after release of the full announcement.
- Exemptions. Requests for exemptions must be directed to OMB, Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM).
5. Agency Responsibilities.
- Issue any needed direction to offices that award discretionary
grants and cooperative agreements on the requirement to post a synopsis
at the Grants.gov FIND module, including the standard data elements/format.
Synopses must follow the format to ensure all required data elements
- Ensure the synopsis posted at the Grants.gov FIND Module
will have full instructions regarding where to obtain the full announcement
for the funding opportunity. To further satisfy statutory, regulatory,
or the agency's policy requirements, some agencies may need to announce
the funding opportunity in the Federal Register.
- Obtain a Catalog of Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for all programs that post a synopsis at Grants.gov. For those programs that do not have an assigned CFDA number, the program office or agency must contact the Grants.gov Program Management Office to obtain an alternate identifier to be used in the synopsis posted at the Grants.gov FIND module.
6. Information Contact. Direct any requests for exemption or questions about the policy to the Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM), 202-395-3993.