No Rest After #GPAConf18

This was going to be a post about how wonderful the 2018 Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Annual Conference in Chicago was – meeting up with friends, finding Url the Squirrel, introducing my colleagues Vera and Lahaja to the grants community, Hamilton… but instead it’s back to regular order.

Tuesday, I attended the National Grants Management Association (NGMA) monthly luncheon in DC featuring speakers from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Great, I thought. I’ll be able to make a few updates to my GPA presentation. It shouldn’t be that much different from any of the events I’d attended in the past 30 days.

Instead, I was met with some surprises — here are my top 3.

400 Data Standards will be available for review.

Data standardization is part of the long-term efforts. Think of it as the DATA Act train staying on the track. I was expecting a confirmation that the 400 data standards would be posted to the Federal Register on or about November 15.

Instead, those in attendance were told that the standards would be posted to GitHub. Which made sense because the current administration rarely uses the Federal Register. What did I see this morning (after I updated my presentation and registered on GitHub)? The Public Inspection document for the Federal Register Notice.



Agencies are supposed to implement M-18-18.

You know when you’re met with good news, and month’s later, you’re met with a caveat? That happened to me and a few others in the room. OMB Memorandum 18-18 increases the micro-purchase and simplified acquisition thresholds in advance of the Federal Acquisition Regulation update for grantees.

I missed that agencies are supposed to implement the changes in the terms and conditions of award. If your organization has moved to these new thresholds, make sure that you get something in writing from your grants officer if your award terms and conditions haven’t been updated.


Streamlining of audit requirements.

You know you’re in a room of in-the-know grant professionals when there’s a gasp following, “twelve to six requirements.” From my point of view, it was well known that significant updates to the Annual Compliance Supplement (2 CFR 200 Appendix XI) are coming in 2019. That’s why OMB issued the 2018 “Skinny” Supplement. Any potential shifts in the number of Single Audit requirements was news to the room.


To be fair, the OMB representatives were not the staff working directly with the CAP Goal 8 Audit Workgroup. Therefore, I’m not going to speculate what the exact parameters are on the changes to these requirements. What I am going to do is start checking for updates on this subject frequently.

And the bonus surprise?

I might be splitting my time tomorrow sifting through the new standards and shoveling snow. I must’ve brought winter home from Chicago.


Written by:
Erica Preston
Grants & Assistance
Media Type:

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