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Compliance - Fiscal Accountability

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) works cooperatively with federal grant-making agencies and the grantee community to establish government-wide grants management policies and guidelines to assure that grants are managed properly and that federal dollars are spent in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.1  These policies and guidelines are outlined in OMB circulars and common rules which are incorporated into each federal grant-making agencies’ respective sets of regulations.

  • OMB Circular A-21: Cost Principles for Educational Institutions. This circular establishes principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements with educational institutions.   The principles are designed to provide that the Federal Government bear its fair share of total costs, determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, except where restricted or prohibited by law.

University of Maine System and University of Maine policies regarding fiscal accountability for sponsored projects proceed from these federal regulations. Principle Investigators (PI) are responsible for understanding and fulfilling their fiscal obligations accordingly and are expected to exercise proper fiscal oversight for each sponsored project they are awarded.  This includes, but is not limited to performing monthly reviews of project budgets, addressing budget discrepancies and errors promptly, and filing time and effort reports in a timely manner.  In addition, PIs are responsible for ensuring that only costs which are allowable (i.e., allocable, collectible, consistent and reasonable) are charged to projects.  All other charges, whether made willfully, or through ignorance or negligence, are violations of federal law which could result in penalties to the University and individual PI.

Guidance on proper fiscal management of sponsored projects is available through training modules ORSP 103: The Post-Award Process and ORSP 104: Allowable Costs & Cost Transfers.

Resources

1 [http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_default]. Retrieved 8/22/2012.

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