New Federal Rules Intend to Streamline
Effective Dec. 26, 2014, the research administration guidelines for accepting and
administering federal awards have changed. Institutions of higher education, the
federal government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), its other non-federal partners (state, local governments and nonprofit organizations) and the
audit community have been working together to streamline federal awards guidance on administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements.
These modifications are a key component of a larger federal effort to improve
performance and outcomes while ensuring the financial integrity of taxpayer
dollars. The federal government refers to this effort as Uniform Guidance (UG).
Understanding the UG
Uniform Guidance is the biggest change in federal regulations in 50 years. It consol-
idates eight OMB circulars into one document, with three circulars applicable to
A-21 Cost Principles for Educational Institutions;
A-110 Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements; and
A-133 Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.
The image below depicts the integration of the old circulars into the various sections
of the UG, along with clarifications and communications from the UG and various
agencies. The graphic also integrates Purdue’s internal reference tools, collectively
referred to as Purdue University Guidance (available for reference at https://www.
“After evaluating the UG, we believe that it as a whole is less prescriptive and more
lenient with a greater emphasis on internal controls. What hasn’t changed is the
Areas of changes
UG changes that affect direct cost,
and are effective December 26,
» administrative and clerical
» computing devices,
» participant support costs,
» publication and printing costs,
» fixed amount subawards, and
» cost sharing or matching.
Other changes to administrative
guidelines, also effective December
» conflict of interest,
» sub-recipient and contractor
» requirements for pass-through
» indirect costs,
» cost accounting standards and
» travel costs — temporary dependent care
» recruitment costs, and
» required certifications.
Other changes being
implemented over time
» method for collection and storage of
» terms and conditions
of the federal award,
» procurement, and
QRC CAS SPS Handbook Websites
PURDUE UNIVERSI TY GUIDANCE (PUG)
2 CFR 200
Research and Partnerships Announcements