Fiscal Accountability

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) works cooperatively with federal grant-making agencies and the grantee community to establish government-wide grant management policies and guidelines. Such regulations 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’s recently-consolidated and updated guidance, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Part 200), went into effect on December 26, 2014, and replaces numerous OMB Circulars including those applicable to institutions of higher education, A-21, A-110, and A-133 (PDF). The ‘Uniform Guidance’ administrative requirements and cost principles apply to new and incremental funding issued on or after December 26, 2014 while audit requirements apply to recipient and subrecipient audits of fiscal years beginning on or after December 26, 2014.  Awards issued prior to December 26, 2014 remain subject to the old guidance noted above. OMB’s Policy Statement webpage contains extensive resources to help administrators navigate the new guidance.  A short list of those resources can be found below under ‘Resources‘.

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; 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 ORA 103: The Post-Award Process and ORA 104: Allowable Costs & Cost Transfers.

Resources:

Uniform Guidance

Old Guidance

General

 

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

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