OMB Has Finalized the Uniform Guidance

Wondering what’s changed? Us too. Specifically, we wondered what had changed between the proposed changes and the final changes to the Uniform Guidance.

Final Changes

Reading OMB’s explanation of the changes to 2 CFR 25, 2 CFR 170, 2 CFR 183, and 2 CFR 200 in the Federal Register (13 August 2020) was helpful, but seeing the actual changes is even more helpful. Thankfully, OMB provided a redlined (aka tracked changes) document showing the final changes at If you’re only interested in the final changes, this is the document for you, or you can access the changed guidance on the eCFR website at after it takes effect on 12 November 2020.

The primary changes to the guidance include:

  • Clarification and standardization of definitions across parts
  • New sections
  • Significant revisions

Proposed vs. Final Changes

However, we were curious about changes between proposed and final, so we took the original redline of the proposed changes, compared it to the final redline, and highlighted the differences. You can see the full document with OMB’s redline and our highlights here:

The differences highlighted in our comparison, and the Federal Register notice fall into the following broad categories:

  • Renumbering to reflect the addition or removal of topics
  • Clarification of proposed language
  • Rejection of some of the proposed changes
  • Editorial changes

Summary of Changes to 2 CFR 25

  • Proposed application of this part to recipients was reverted to “agencies,” clarifying them as “Federal awarding” agencies
  • Applicability changed from “entities” to “applicants or recipients”
  • Language reverted to the original threshold for foreign awards ($25,000)
  • Clarification of timing instructions on System for Award Management (SAM) registration and Universal Entity Identifier (UEI) where exigent circumstances apply and other exceptions
  • Added Subpart C, Recipient requirements of subrecipients, 25.300, Requirement for recipients to ensure subrecipients have a UEI and renumbered subsequent sections
  • Defined federal financial assistance and recipient differently from coverage in other parts

Summary of Changes to 2 CFR 170

  • Applicability changes from “entities” to “recipients”
  • Coverage of “Deviations” deleted and “Exceptions” added
  • Removed reference to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds

Summary of Changes to 2 CFR 183

  • Added a third option to void awards that provide funds to a covered person or entity
  • Changes proposed “non-Federal entities” to “recipients”
  • Requirement to include the substance of Term 1 in any subawards valued over $50,000 that will be performed outside the United States

Summary of Changes to 2 CFR 200

  • Removed explanatory titles accompanying all internal cross-references
  • 200.1 Added a definition for improper payment within 2 CFR 200.1 rather than referring to the definition given in A-123
  • 200.1 Expanded definition of Notice of Funding Opportunity by listing commonly used alternative terms
  • 200.1 Revised definition of Period of Performance
  • 200.1 Revised definition of Recipient from “non-Federal entity” to “usually but not limited to non-Federal entities”
  • 200.1 Expanded definition of Renewal Award
  • 200.1 Definition of Telecommunications Cost added
  • 200.105 Added new paragraph on Imposition of Requirements on Recipients
  • 200.202 Program Planning and Design significantly rewritten
  • 200.203 Requirement to Provide Public Notice of Federal Financial Assistance Programs
  • 200.203 Changed “Assistance listings” to “Federal Assistance Listings”
  • 200.205 Now requires Federal agencies to “periodically review its merit review process”
  • 200.211 Changed the paragraph that lists what Federal award performance goals should include
  • 200.216 Prohibition on certain telecommunications and video surveillance services or equipment significantly rewritten
  • 200.301 Performance measurement significantly rewritten
  • 200.309 Modifications to Period of Performance rewritten
  • 200.320 Methods of procurement to be followed significantly revised
  • 200.329 Monitoring and reporting program performance were significantly rewritten
  • 200.403 Factors affecting allowability of costs adds a new paragraph (h)
  • 200.414 References to indirect cost rate modified in several locations throughout part 200 to align with 200.414 Changes
  • 200.471 Telecommunications and video surveillance costs added
  • 200.515 Paragraph (a) Financial statements revised

For more about the changes to 2 CFR and other changes in federal grants in the past year, register for Federal Grants Update 2020 at

Written by:
Ruth Famojuro
Grants & Assistance
Media Type:
uniform guidance  

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