OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
OFFICE OF FEDERAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Proposed Policy on Use of a Universal Identifier
by Grant Applicants
AGENCY: Office of Management and Budget
ACTION: Notice of Proposed Requirement
for Use of a Universal Identifier by Grant Applicants
SUMMARY: The Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) seeks to establish a standard means for tracking Federal
grant recipients throughout the entire grant life cycle and to provide
the public with a uniform business practice. Currently Federal agencies
use multiple and different identifiers for the entities which apply for
and receive Federal grant funds, while a single identifier is used by
entities which apply for and receive Federal contracts.
The Federal Government is in the process of developing
an electronic standard grant application capability, known as E-APPLY,
under an E-Grants system which will require each applicant to be uniquely
identified. This notice seeks comments on the proposal by OMB's Office
of Federal Financial Management (OFFM) to establish a requirement for
applicants to register for a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal
Numbering System (DUNS) number for use as the Universal Identifier needed
to respond to Federal agency grant or cooperative agreement announcements.
The DUNS is already in use by those entities seeking Federal contracts.
DATES: All comments on this proposal
should be in writing, and must be received by December 30, 2002.
ADDRESSES: Due to potential delays in
OMB's receipt and processing of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service,
we encourage respondents to submit comments electronically to ensure timely
receipt. We cannot guarantee that comments mailed will be received before
the comment closing date.
Electronic mail comments may be submitted to email@example.com.
Please include "DUNS Comments" in the subject line of the message.
If including the comments as an attachment to the e-mail, identify the
attachment with "DUNS Comments." Please include your name, title,
organization, postal address, telephone number, and e-mail address in
the text of the e-mail message. Comments may also be submitted via facsimile
to (202) 395-4915.
Comments may be mailed to Sandra R. Swab, Office of Federal
Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, Room 6025, New
Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandra R. Swab, Office
of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, at 202
395-5642 (direct), 202-395-3993 (main office), or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Federal Government is in the process of developing
a government-wide electronic portal that will include grant opportunity
announcement (E-FIND) and electronic application (E-APPLY) capabilities.
This new system is referred to as E-Grants and is one of the 24 cross-agency
electronic government (E-Gov) initiatives referred to in the President's
The E-Grants system will require that a Universal Identifier
be used to verify each applicant. The identifier will be used for grant
status tracking purposes, as well as by the Federal agencies as a source
of other business information pertaining to the applicant.
OMB expects that with the use of a Universal Identifier,
the need for organizations to submit redundant data with each application
and report will be significantly reduced. Agencies will be able to use
the Universal Identifier to obtain the standard legal name and address
of the organization doing business with the government. The use of the
Universal Identifier will also make it possible to create a unified, simplified,
government-wide grant application and report submission mechanism.
Use of the DUNS number as the Universal Identifier for
grants-related business transactions will provide the public with a uniform
business practice since the DUNS is already in use by those entities seeking
Federal contracts. Furthermore, use of a Universal Identifier will enable
applicants and grantees to carry out authenticated and secure electronic
interactions with the Federal Government. For Federal agencies, grantee
use of the Universal Identifier can facilitate an analysis of grant applications
and awards across agencies.
The E-Grants system will be one means of implementing
the requirement for a DUNS number for the Federal grant process. Applicants
submitting paper applications will also be required to include a DUNS
OMB is working to ensure that the Federal Assistance Awards Data System
(FAADS) database, the government-wide grant payment systems, and the Federal
Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) database will incorporate the Universal Identifier
and make grant information more accessible and usable for the public.
OMB plans to require use of a Universal Identifier by October 1, 2003
(which is the planned implementation date of the E-Grants Application
process, E-APPLY), contingent on the results of our review of the public
comments received in connection with this proposed policy.
already hold a D&B DUNS number. For those organizations that do not
already have a DUNS number, the number is easily obtained by telephone
or via the Internet (http://www.dunandbradstreet.com).
The DUNS number will be assigned by D&B upon request at no charge
to the requestor. About 10-12 data elements are required for D&B to
assign a DUNS number. Data elements include business name(s), address,
telephone numbers, ownership information, legal structure of business,
primary line of business, and the number of employees.
comment from the affected public on the proposal to require use of the
DUNS number to conduct grants business with the Federal Government. Questions
that you should address include: Are there any barriers that preclude
organizations or entities from obtaining a DUNS number by the planned
October 1, 2003, implementation date of the E-Grants application process
(E-APPLY)? When this requirement is adopted, what outreach and education
for the applicant community will be necessary to increase awareness of
the requirement for DUNS numbers? What additional barriers or problems
could result, if the proposed DUNS number requirement is expanded to require
sub-recipients to obtain a DUNS number? Does the policy statement which
follows provide sufficient information about the requirement to use a
Proposed OMB Policy Directive
THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
Requirement for Use of a Universal Identifier by Grant Applicants
Purpose. This policy directive establishes the requirement for
any applicant for Federal funds under a grant program to obtain a Dun
and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
for use as the applicant’s Universal Identifier.
Authority. This policy directive is part of the implementation
of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999
(Public Law 106-107).
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.
It also requires each executive agency to develop, submit to the Congress,
and implement a plan for the streamlining and simplification effort that
“allows applicants to electronically apply for, and report on the
use of, funds from the Federal financial assistance program administered
by the agency…”.
to that requirement, the Federal Government is in the process of developing
an electronic standard grant application process under an E-Grants system,
which requires each applicant to be uniquely identified by a Universal
Identifier. The identifier will be used for grant status tracking purposes
and as a source of business information pertaining to the applicant. Use
of the Universal Identifier will enable applicants and grantees to carry
out authenticated and secure electronic interactions with the Federal
Government. Use of the DUNS number as the Universal Identifier for grants-related
business transactions will provide the public with a uniform business
practice since the DUNS is already in use by those entities seeking Federal
Policy. Applicants for Federal funds under any grant program
administered by Federal agencies shall seek and obtain a Dun and Bradstreet
(D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number for use as the
Universal Identifier. A DUNS number is required for any applicant to make
use of the E-Grants system. Applicants submitting paper applications are
also required to include a DUNS number as their Universal Identifier.
The policy does not apply to individuals applying for direct assistance
under Federal programs.
Agency Responsibilities. Executive Branch departments and agencies:
issue any needed direction to offices that award grants and cooperative
agreements to implement this policy.
also direct recipients to initiate actions to obtain a DUNS number. The
number is easily obtained by telephone or via the Internet (http://www.dunandbradstreet.com).
OMB Responsibilities. The Office of Management and Budget will
update this policy letter as needed, based on recommendations from interagency
Information Contact. Direct any questions regarding this policy
directive to Sandra Swab, OFFM, 202-395-5642 (direct) or 202-395-3993
Effective Date. The policy directive is effective 30 days after
issuance. All implementing actions other than regulatory revisions must
be completed by the Executive departments and agencies within 6 months
of issuance, and no later than October 1, 2003, when applicants and grantees
must begin using the Universal Identifier.