Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200

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Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200

The new Omni Circular impacts all Federal agencies and non-Federal entities (states, local governments, Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations) that receive Federal awards as a recipient or subrecipient and their auditors. It combines eight (8) previously separate sets of OMB guidance into one (1). It also co-locates all related OMB guidance into Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). And, the CFR has the force and effect of law.

Information about the new Circular can be found below. It is also the subject of the NCJA webinar Getting to Know the New Omni Circular 2 CFR Part 200 (this webinar is free to NCJA members; non-members can access it for a fee).

Uniform Grant Guidance Crosswalks and Side-by-Sides

The Uniform Grant Guidance crosswalks and side-by-sides are an excellent resource to compare the new 2 CFR Part 200 to existing guidance in the OMB Circulars and Federal regulations.

History of Uniform Guidance Reform

  • February 2011 — Presidential Memo: Reduce Administrative Burden
  • February 2012 — Advanced Notice of Proposed Guidance
  • February 2013 — Notice of Proposed Guidance
  • December 2013 — Publication of Final Uniform Guidance
  • December 26, 2014 — On or after this date for New Awards and Supplemental Awards

Impact of Grant Reform

The new Omni Circular impacts all Federal agencies and non-Federal entities (states, local governments, Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations) that receive Federal awards as a recipient or subrecipient and their auditors. It combines eight (8) previously separate sets of OMB guidance into one (1). It also co-locates all related OMB guidance into Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). And, the CFR has the force and effect of law.

What is the COFAR?

The Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) is an interagency council of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the eight (8) largest Federal grant-making agencies and one rotating small grant-making agency.  On January 27, 2014, the COFAR hosted public webcast on reforms and highlighted significant changes in new Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200. Webcasts are available at www.cfo.gov/COFAR

Omni Circular Effective Dates

All Federal agencies must codify or formally adopt these new requirements into regulations by December 26, 2014. OMB must approve more restrictive regulations proposed by a Federal agency. This is a short time frame; therefore, federal agencies may accept new guidance into their regulations as is. All draft regulations were due to OMB in June. OMB is currently reviewing the draft regulations for approval and or amendment.

Layout of 2 CFR Part 200

  • 6 Subparts A through F
  • Subpart A, 200.XX – Acronyms & Definitions
  • Subpart B, 200.1XX — General
  • Subpart C, 200.2XX — Pre Award - Federal
  • Subpart D, 200.3XX — Post Award - Recipients
  • Subpart E, 200.4XX — Cost Principles
  • Subpart F, 200.5XX — Audit
  • 11 Appendices – I through XI

News and Current Activities

OMB Evaluating Agency Drafts For Implementing Uniform Guidance (Aug, 2014)

The Office of Management and Budget plans to issue a document as of Dec. 26 that will contain each federal agency’s final regulations adopting the uniform grant guidance, with special attention paid to each agency’s exceptions to the guidance, according to a key OMB official. The document, once published, will be posted at the OMB website. Gil Tran of OMB’s Office of Federal Financial Management told attendees at the recent American Institute of Certified Public Accountants National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update EAST conference that OMB currently was reviewing draft implementation regulations submitted by federal agencies this June.

GAO Tells OMB, Treasury To Address USAspending.gov (Aug, 2014)

Concerned about the widespread inconsistencies in data reported on USAspending.gov, the Government Accountability Office recommended that the Office of Management and Budget work with the Department of the Treasury, now managing the site, to clarify guidance on federal agency responsibilities in overseeing the recipient submission of award data and to implement a process to regularly assess the consistency of the information reported on the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about the new Omni Circular 2 CFR Part 200 as provided by the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR):

COFAR FAQ #1  [Published Feb 12, 2014] The COFAR released the first set of FAQs in support of 2 C.F.R 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.  Over 200 thoughtful questions and comments have been received from grantors, grantees, and grant management and oversight professionals throughout country. Additional FAQ releases will parallel Federal agency submission of implementing regulations.

COFAR FAQ #2  [Published Aug 29, 2014] This second set of frequently asked questions presented by the COFAR on OMB’s Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR 200. Please note that in case of any discrepancy, the actual guidance at 2 CFR 200 governs. If there is a question pertaining to the application of the guidance to a particular Federal award, that question should be addressed to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity in the case of a subrecipient. 

COFAR Updated FAQ #2  [Published November, 2014] COFAR has made revisions and updates to the following FAQs: 110-3 Effective Dates and Disclosure Statements (DS-2s); 110-5 Effective Dates, Applications, and DS-2s; and 431-1 Fringe Benefits and Indirect Costs. In addition, they have made an edit to the lead-in paragraph to the FAQs.The updated FAQs can be found here.

COFAR Updated FAQ #3  (Published Sept. 9, 2015) The Office of Management and Budget released the latest Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR Part 200, on September 9, 2015. Four (4) updates to the new regulations are included: 1)  Extension of the Procurement Grace Period to Two (2) Years; 2) The Method to Send Excess Interest Earned on Federal Funds; 3) Tuition Benefits for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE’s) and others; and, 4) Items to Include in an Allocated Central Services Plan. Click here to view the updated FAQs.

For additional questions, consider signing up for the COFAR listserv, or send questions to COFAR@omb.eop.gov.