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Federal Grants Oversight

Listed here are significant pieces of legislation which govern and impact the administration of federal funds.

Cash Management Improvement Act


The Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA) provides the general rules and procedures for the efficient transfer of federal financial assistance between the federal government and the states (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Territories of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Virgin Island

Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977


Federal grants are defined and governed by the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, as incorporated in Title 31 Section 6304 of the U.S. Code.

Federal Grant is a " instrument reflecting the relationship between the United States Government and a State, a local government, or other entity when 1) the principal purpose of the relationship is to transfer a thing of value to the State or local government or other recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States instead of acquiring (by purchase, lease, or barter) property or services for the direct benefit or use of the United States Government; and 2) substantial involvement is not expected between the executive agency and the State, local government, or other recipient when carrying out the activity contemplated in the agreement." The relationship between the awarding agency to the grantee and the grantee to the subgrantee is usually more subjective with a grant and/or a cooperative agreement as both parties must work together in an effort for the project or program to be successful. Unlike a contract, the relationship is sometimes considered more of  a partnership for success.

Cooperative Agreement is used when an awarding agency expects to be substantially involved in a project (beyond routine monitoring and technical assistance). Then the law requires use of a cooperative agreement instead.

is used when the government is procuring goods or services for its own direct benefit, and not for a broader public purpose. In this case, the law requires use of a federal contract. Contracts are also usually time-limited and the relationship between the contracting agency and the vendor agency ceases when the good or service has been provided.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars for Federal Grants, Cooperative Agreements and Contracts


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