Governor's Grants Office News
Martin O'Malley Anthony Brown
|View of the opening session at the 2014 Grants Conference |Governor's Grants Conference 2014,
a Smashing Success!
"The Times, They Are A-Changing" was this year's theme
a wrap for this year's annual conference! 600 professionals in
state and local government and nonprofits convened on November 13th at
the Marriott Conference Center in College Park to discuss the latest
trends in federal and state grants opportunities and federal grants
Approximately 40 speakers from the
state and federal government presented throughout the day and at lunch
we were treated to an update on The Open Data Act on the federal side,
by Hudson Hollister, director of the Data Transparency Coalition, and
State Senator Bill Ferguson, the author of Maryland's Open Data Act. The
largest and most intense session was the afternoon Uniform Guidance
training conducted by Victoria Collin of the U.S. Office of Management
and Budget, accompanied by Terry Ramsey, of U.S. Health and Human
Services. Their session was moderated by James Ha, president of
ecivis, a sponsor of this year's conference who declared that no one
else (other than Maryland) is doing this training. That's why
delegates from a dozen different states - as far away as Hawaii -
attended the Maryland Governor's Grants Conference. The attendees from
Hawaii Department of Defense are hoping Hawaii will pattern a
centralized grants office for their state after Maryland's. They
said they went home and "bragged to the adjutant general of the
Department of Defense" about how good the Maryland conference was.
Victoria Garcia wrote, "It was very helpful in reinforcing for us how a
good office can pull together resources efficiently. Thank you for your
enthusiasm and energy in setting up this very important conference."
Knott, executive director of the Somerset County (Maryland) Local
Management Board wrote in to say, "it was a wonderful conference.
Thank you for all you do to assist those of us who subsist on grant
funding." (Thanks to those of you who took the time to write in
about the conference. Your kudos are much appreciated!)
Our thanks to the many invaluable speakers, moderators, facilitators, registrars and videographer
who volunteered their time and talents to ensure a successful
conference experience for all. Several colleagues have helped out
numerous times over the years. A special shout out goes to our good
friends and colleagues Lynne Kelleher of the Maryland Judiciary and Tom
French of the Maryland Department of Environment for helping us every
year for the past decade. Thanks to our other sponsors this year - SB
& Company, (a perennial sponsor) and GovLoop for their contributions
that helped keep the price tag incredibly low. So low, if fact, we sold
out a month in advance with the Early Bird rate! (You might keep that
in mind for next time!)
The conference Powerpoint presentations
are posted to our homepage along with a videotape of the Uniform
Guidance training. Visit us often for these and many resources to
help you find, win and manage grants: www.grants.maryland.gov.
A recent GGO workshop at MFRI
NON PROFIT PROFESSIONALS: YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND
"Basic Grants Training for Small Nonprofit Organizations"This
session is back by popular demand and will feature grants professionals
Jennifer Jones and Pat Pasqual offering their insight and tips on
finding and winning grants for small nonprofit organizations.
a News Year resolution to boost your organization's success in 2015!
Join us on January 6, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. - noon at the Maryland Fire
and Rescue Institute in College Park on January 6, 2015. (IMPORTANT: Snow date will be Thursday, Jan. 8th.) This course is free of charge, and there is ample free parking on site. The seating is limited to 100, and you must pre-register online. We're almost full already, so if you really need this training, don't hesitate to register. CLICK HERE.
Federal Grant Reform: A Call For Internal Controls
OMB's New Guidance: Challenges and Impacts Chart
- The U.S. Treasury and Office of
Management and Budget invite input from the grants community on
federal spending data elements. Click here
to view the list of 49 existing data elements under the Federal Funding
Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) currently displayed at
USASpending.gov and the 10 additional elements to be posted to comply
with the DATA Act. To encourage open collaboration, interested
stakeholders can directly comment through the website and in response to
questions posed there.
- The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
held a hearing December 3 on the status of DATA Act implementation. This
Federal Times news article summarizes the hearing. A video recording of the hearing can be found here.
- December 18 marked the culmination of a three-year
collaborative effort on grant reform across Federal agencies . The rule,
released by the cross-agency Council on Financial Assistance Reform
(COFAR), will effectively implement OMB guidance on grant-making across
Federal agencies. These measures will reduce the total volume of
financial management regulations for Federal grants and other assistance
by 75%, and reduce administrative burdens and risk of waste, fraud, and
abuse for the approximately $600 billion in Federal grants expended
- Last December 2013, based on extensive
public input, OMB published the guidance, Uniform Administrative
Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
("Uniform Guidance"), to agencies in the Federal Register that
would streamline eight Federal regulations into a single, comprehensive
policy guide (2 CFR 200). OMB set a one-year timeline for the Uniform
Guidance to take effect, allowing enough time for Federal grant-making
agencies and award recipients to update their policies to fully realize
the benefits of the Uniform Guidance. The action taken on December
18 implements the Uniform Guidance across Federal grant-making agencies
through an interim final rule, which will allow for additional feedback
on the rule during a 60-day public comment period. The interim
final rule will be effective for new awards made on or after December
26, 2014. Key policy reforms in the Uniform Guidance will:
- Allow state, local, and tribal governments to work in
partnership with universities and non-profits to design the programs
that best meet their local communities' needs and obtain flexibility and
enhanced coordination from the Federal government.
universities to hire staff to do the administrative work that directly
benefits grants so that scientists can focus on science.
nonprofits and other organizations that have never been reimbursed for
indirect costs to use a standard minimum rate that supports the
fundamental operations of the organization; removing a key barrier to
entry and opening up competition for Federal awards.
Single Audit reports online, eliminating a burdensome paper-chase for
reporting and providing the public with key information to strengthen
oversight of Federal tax dollars.
- Raise the threshold for
required audits from $500,000 to $750,000 in Federal awards expended per
year, maintaining oversight for 99% of dollars audited now, but
focusing the resources to reduce risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.
the long-standing requirement for non-Federal entities to have strong
internal controls that are appropriate to the organization, while
relaxing overly prescriptive and obsolete procedural requirements.
Taken as a whole, this historic reform
will transform the landscape for financial assistance for generations to
come. To realize today's actions, the COFAR in coordination with
OMB, engaged the larger public for direct input and worked directly with
stakeholders to navigate between competing priorities, facilitate
implementation, evaluate effectiveness, and push this important reform
The COFAR has already begun work with
Federal agencies and non-Federal stakeholders to evaluate the impact of
this guidance based on key metrics. Join the conversation at
cfo.gov/COFAR to support smooth implementation of the guidance and
identify further opportunities for improvement.
- Earlier this month Pew Trusts released an analysis,
called "Federal Spending in the States, 2004-2013." This anaylsis
is part of its Fiscal Federalism initiative, which combines public data
sources to show the state-by-state distribution of federal spending.
This is Pew's effort to replace the Census Bureau's discontinued
Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR). This is good news for the
Governor's Grants Office, because we used to rely on data in the CCFR
report to include in our Annual Report on Federal Funding in
Have you tried "AskUsNow!"?
is a new interactive information service that uses the expertise of
librarians to provide answers to your questions, research guidance, and
help navigating the internet. AskUsNow! is a cooperative service
of Maryland libraries available for any Maryland resident or
student. Go online from your computer or your mobile device and
choose a library to be connected to an information expert!
Available for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Go to www.askusnow.info
and check it out for your grants applications.
REMINDER to renew your Sam.gov registration if you want to apply for a Federal grant!
There are two
things you must do to be ready to apply for a federal grant. First, you
must register for a D-U-N-S number from Dun and Bradstreet and also,
you must register at SAM.gov, the federal government' s System for Award Management. And, you must renew your SAM.gov registration annually!
have some great how-to information on our homepage. Under "Quick
Reference," you will find a "Quick-Start Guide for Sam.gov
Registration." Under "Recorded Webinars," you will find several
presentations to assist you like, "All About Sam Registration," "A
Federal Grants Primer," and "The D-U-N-S number in the Federal Grant
Process." It's all free - so please avail yourselves of this great
Happy Holidays from Annapolis, Maryland. Wishing you a happy, healthy and lucrative New Year!