FFATA needs subaward pilot help

I got this from the NGP a few days ago and just now have time to post it here. If anyone’s interested in helping think through subaward reporting for FATA, contact Tyson Whitney or Barbara Dorf.

The federal government working group addressing the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency act of 2006 is seeking volunteers to participate in a pilot for obtaining sub-recipient information. This is a great opportunity to help shape the way the program will be conducted and to point out issues that you as a recipient of federal funds will face. Information on participation is below.

As you know FFATA requires the Federal government to establish a single searchable website accessible by the public which would cover direct grants, cooperative agreements, loans, awards, contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, task orders and delivery orders, and other forms of financial assistance. The law requires the site to include the following elements:

(A) The name of the entity receiving the award;

(B) The amount of the award;

© Information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, the North American Industry Classification System code or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number, program source, and an award descriptive of the purpose of each funding action;

(D) The location of the entity receiving the award, and the primary location of performance under the award, including the city, state, congressional district, and country;

(E) Unique identifier of the entity receiving the award and the parent entity of the recipient, should the entity be owned by another entity; and

(F) Any other relevant information specified by the Office of Management and Budget.

The interagency work group tackling the issue of subaward data and how it would link to the parent award data via the website is seeking your assistance as the federal government is required to have subaward website information available by January 1, 2009.

Individual transactions below $25,000 and credit card transactions prior to October 1, 2008 are excluded from the law.

The group is seeking volunteer organizations that represent a variety of states, local governments, Public Housing Agencies, Indian Tribes, universities and colleges, non-profit organizations, including resident management organizations and community-based organizations as they work through issues regarding the best way to collect this data as well as the frequency and timing of collections to meet the requirements of the law. They would like to get a representative sample of recipients who receive other types of Federal financial assistance where they make further subawards. The group is also interested in how they can meet the requirements of the law without placing an undue burden on funding recipients. Volunteers would be meeting with the workgroup informally. While not fully worked through, it is assumed that volunteers could participate in person or via conference call. Volunteers would also be expected to participate in a pilot test of the website in which they would expected to provide data to the agencies for use on the federal website portal. How this would be done is part of the discussion. The pilot is expected to last anywhere from 3–6 months with feedback being provided by the participants. The period of participation in this effort would be approximately from August 2007 to December 2008.

In seeking this assistance the group would like large and small states, local governments, non profits, as well as financial and programmatic staff. The group is also seeking a variety of award types so that they could ensure input from the broad spectrum of folks that received Federal funds each year. The organizations participating would have to give out subawards as the focus of this group is to work through any issues that would arise as the federal government and their subrecipients would have to do to comply with the law. There is no compensation for helping think through this effort.

The group would like to have the names of the volunteers no later than mid August so that we can proceed in time to meet the statutory deadline.

If you are interested in participating in this effort please contact Tyson Whitney at Tyson.whitney@usda.gov or Barbara Dorf at Barbara.dorf@hud.gov.