Notes from the NGP Meeting, March 11

I managed to get the NGP meeting today and took some notes, which I thought by be useful to a few readers. (Click the link below for more.) Topics and speakers were:

  • OMB Update — Marguerite Pridgen
  • Mandatory Grants Panel — Sheldon Edner (DOT), Marguerite Pridgen (OMB), Mary Tutman (
  • Update — Mike Pellegrino
  • Transparency Act Update — Terry Hurst, HHS
  • FFATA Subaward Pilot — Andrea Brandon, USDA
  • State Response on Subaward Pilot — Denise Francis, State of Texas
  • Update: NGP and Sectio 501(3)c — Peter Wathen-Dunn and Stacia LeBlanc
  • Data Mining of FFATA Awards Data Base — Bill Levis, Janet Rosenzweig

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OMB Update — Marguerite Pridgen

GPC Strategic Plan

• Grants streamlining will, under the GPC, encompass more streamlining initiatives beyond the remit of P.L. 106–107: looking at a greater range of streamlining opportunities versus 106–107

• GPC will be hosting a Webcast on March 18th (2pm‑3.30pm)


• Performance Progress Report format has been finalized, and will be discussed on the next GPC Webcast. Intending to pilot its use throughout the government, to see how well it works for certain ages and programs. A consolidated policy will be issued at a later date to mandate the format’s use. HHS/ACF is the host of this form.

• Tangible Personal Property and Real Property forms: Formats have been published in the Federal Register and comments are being received. GSA is hosting these government-wide forms.

• Federal Financial Report Form: The second (final) notice went out on this, and comments are being reviewed now. Forms SF-269, 269A, 272, and 272A will all be replaced by this new form.

• Real Performance Progress Report (applies only to research): Also out for comment now. Form is hosted by the NSF.


• OMB has an earmarks Web site that hosts all the earmarks data.

FY08 data being worked on now.

Audit Quality

  • Numerous GAO reports (including one at the end of last year) pointed out problems with audit quality. There are several workgroups working on improving the A‑133 process. This covers grants, contracts, and other areas.

Tax Compliance

  • Other GAO reports have looked at this issue. Focus has shifted from contracts to grantees, and OMB must look at those grantees who are delinquent in paying Federal taxes. The task force is assessing whether agencies need to assess grantees’ currency with tax payments.

Human Trafficking

  • OMB is moving a lot of guidance to Title 2 of the CFR. This is one example of such a move. The guidance says that there has to be a standard award term on grant awards that states the grant can be canceled if federal funds have been used for human trafficking. Final guidance should be issued in the next few months.

Drug-free Workplace Requirements

  • Nothing new on this. It is an existing guideline that is move to Title 2.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

  • The CFDA programs Web site hasn’t changed…on the outside. On the inside, the catalog has changed significantly, with a change control board now in place to guide current and future plans for the Web site. OMB wants feedback on the site to help define future requirements.

Questions & Answers:

Q: How can people get involved in the Performance Progress Reports pilot?

A: Only a few agencies will be using it in the pilot phase, so suggest contacting Diana King of HHS/ACF.

Q: How often is the CFDA going to be updated?

A: That’s unclear.

Mandatory Grants Panel — Sheldon Edner (DOT), Marguerite Pridgen (OMB), Mary Tutman (

[Sheldon] Workgroup last produced the SF424-Mandatory and since then we’ve talked to and others to determine what other streamlining initiatives could be undertaken. The Panel would like some input on some broad topic areas that might improve the grants process for mandatory grants. To provide that input, contact Sheldon Edner and/or participate in the GPC Webcast on March 18th.

[Marguerite] Everything is on the table right now, so all input is welcome.

[Mary] We have 200–300 packages which are not searchable (because they’re mandatory grants) on So we already receive applications for mandatory grants through Anything is possible on — it can be built, it can be changed.

Suggestions from the audience:

  1. Some of the mandatory grants require plans from states and others that may stretch out for years. A way to submit these is needed.
  2. should offer a way of posting non-regulatory guidance and reminders for mandatory grants.
  3. As the Transparency Act site gets built, lots of people are checking to see where grant money is going. It would be good to publish information about mandatory grants being awarded and the availability of funds. This would enable other authorities to identify and plan for the availability of those funds.

Tony Cavataio suggested that the NGP pull together comments and suggestions from members and submit them to the Panel for further consideration. All suggestions should be sent to and Merril Oliver will compile a synopsis. Update — Mike Pellegrino

Applicant System-to-System (S2S)

  • The Web site has a whole section specifically for this topic. It was developed for organizations that already have their own grants management system.
  • 7,368 submissions in FY08 have been received through this method (8.8% of all submissions received in FY08).
  • If a state is submitting over 100 applications, it would probably be more efficient to set up a S2S interface.
  • Officially, every state has a S2S interface. But how many are actively using that interface is not information available right now (Mike will report back on this). Status — Transition to Adobe

  • Currently running parallel systems — 2006 System (PureEdge), and Adobe forms.
  • June 1, 2008 — Agencies should no longer post PureEdge opportunities
  • September 30, 2008 — Target date to cut off receipt of PureEdge submissions
  • March 31, 2009 — Retire the PureEdge system (because keeps 6 months of archived information in the system)
  • For those agencies who cannot meet these target dates, an exception can be requested such that PureEdge applications can be received through December 31, 2008

Mike provided a set of statistics about how many PureEdge and Adobe opportunities are available right now, and how many agencies are posting in PureEdge, Adobe, or some combination.

Scheduled build is coming up ( Build 2008-01); will be testing on March 14 (which agencies will have access to). Four rounds of testing will occur. Should be deployed into production on April 12th. Update Listserv (link here and at provides information about system updates to the user community.

Quarterly stakeholder Webcasts: Next Webcast is April 16th. Agenda will include review of the changes in the new system build.

Further questions should be sent to and they’ll get passed to Mike.

Transparency Act Update — Terry Hurst, HHS

“FFATA” is now a past term of art, apparently: “Transparency Act” it is!

New guidance for submission of data from agencies was issued March 6, 2008. FY07 data was uploaded by November 30, 2007. The accuracy of the data is high but we’ll know more when we can compared FAADS data against USASpending

The system’s architecture is evolving, moving toward a federated data warehouse model. Agencies currently submit their grants and loans data directly to (in FAADS+ format). FPDS will continue to be the source for contract data.

FFATA Subaward Pilot — Andrea Brandon, USDA

More pilot participants are needed! Send your information to to volunteer.

The pilot is scheduled for June 23-August 23, 2008. Implementation target is January 2009. The pilot will be open to states and universities prior to the non-profits. Only have 53 pilot participants right now: 10 government/local government, 18 non-profits, 25 colleges and universities, zero tribal governments. Target is to have 200 pilot participants.

At least one pilot participant should have the full range of subawardees because it’s important to test the full range. Anyone interested in this should contact Andrea.

Now that the schedule is approved, the Subaward Workgroup will be meeting to issue additional regulations/guidance to detail the subaward reporting requirements. These will hopefully be issued by the end of March, 2008, with a 30-day turnaround time for comments. This will also discuss the process for subaward submissions as well as the data requirements. Lots going on right now, and the OMB E‑Gov office is trying to identify the technology solution that will be used for the pilot (which must allow manual and system-to-system data entry).

I had to leave the meeting at this point. The other topics were:

  • State Response on Subaward Pilot — Denise Francis, State of Texas
  • Update: NGP and Sectio 501(3)c — Peter Wathen-Dunn and Stacia LeBlanc
  • Data Mining of FFATA Awards Data Base — Bill Levis, Janet Rosenzweig