[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 17 (Friday, January 25, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4563-4567]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-1262]


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OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY


National Science and Technology Council; Research Business Models 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Science

ACTION: Final Notice of Standard Terms and Conditions for Research 
Grants.

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SUMMARY: Effective with publication of this Notice in the Federal 
Register, research agencies will be able to utilize a new standard core 
set of administrative terms and conditions on research and research-
related awards that are subject to OMB Circular A-110, ``Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions 
of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations'' (2 
CFR part 215).
    This resulted from an initiative of the Research Business Models 
(RBM) Subcommittee of the Committee on Science (CoS), a committee of 
the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). One of the RBM 
Subcommittee's priority areas is to create greater consistency in the 
administration of Federal research awards. Given the increasing 
complexity of interdisciplinary and interagency research, it has become 
increasingly important for Federal agencies to manage awards in a 
similar fashion.
    In 2000, the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), a cooperative 
initiative among 10 Federal agencies and 98 institutional recipients of 
research funds, developed Standard Terms and Conditions as a model 
implementation of OMB Circular A-110. It was demonstrated that these 
terms were an effective set of requirements for many agency research 
awards. In 2005, following public and agency comment on the original 
FDP terms, final standard terms and conditions were developed by RBM.
    With this final notice, research agencies and awarding offices that 
participate in the FDP, must use the core set of administrative 
requirements, to the maximum practicable extent, in research and 
research-related grant awards to organizations that are subject to 2 
CFR part 215. Likewise, agencies that have not participated in the FDP 
may elect to use these terms on selective awards to their research 
recipients.
    The Government-wide core set of administrative requirements are 
posted on the NSF Web site at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rtc/index.jsp. As changes are made in the future, NSF will maintain both 
the current version and an archive of earlier versions. Research 
agencies will post their plans for implementing the administrative 
requirements either on the RBM subcommittee Web site, http://rbm.nih.gov, or on their own Web site, in which case the RBM 
subcommittee will provide a link from its site to the agency's 
location.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the Research Terms 
and Conditions, contact Jean Feldman, Head, Policy Office, Division of 
Institution & Support, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd, 
Arlington, VA 22230, e-mail: jfeldman@nsf.gov; telephone (703) 292-
8243; FAX: (703) 292-9171. For further information on the NSTC RBM 
Subcommittee, contact Diane DiEuliis, at the Office of Science and 
Technology Policy, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503; e-mail: 
ddieuliis@ostp.eop.gov; telephone 202-456-6059; FAX 202-456-6027. See 
also the RBM Subcommittee's Web site: http://rbm.nih.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Purpose of Today's Federal Register Notice

    This proposal is an initiative of the Research Business Models 
(RBM) Subcommittee of the Committee on Science (CoS), a committee of 
the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). One of RBM 
Subcommittee's priority areas is greater consistency in the 
administration of Federal research awards. Given the increasing 
complexity of interdisciplinary and interagency research, it has become 
increasingly important for Federal agencies to manage awards in a 
similar fashion.
    Federal agencies' awarding offices currently include different 
award requirements, use different language to state the same 
requirements, and organize the award content differently. The variation 
in format and content of these terms and conditions of awards increases 
both administrative effort and costs for recipients. Because 
requirements arise from common government-wide statutes and 
regulations, as well as OMB circulars, their standardization is 
possible.
    In 2000, the ten Federal agencies and awarding offices and 98 
research

[[Page 4564]]

institutions that participate in the Federal Demonstration Partnership 
(FDP) developed a core set of terms and conditions for research grants. 
Those terms and conditions modeled administrative requirements 
implementing Government-wide requirements in 2 CFR part 215, ``Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions 
of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations'' 
(OMB Circular A-110). They also included supplementary documents for 
national policy requirements and requirements that flow down to sub-
awards.
    In 2003, the RBM Subcommittee asked for public comments on Federal 
policies and procedures related to business practices that could be 
changed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of 
the nation's research enterprise. One issue raised was inconsistency in 
the terms and conditions for different agencies' research grants, as 
described above. Increased use of the previously developed core set of 
FDP terms and conditions was suggested as one way to address the issue. 
The RBM Subcommittee, with the approval of the CoS, therefore undertook 
an initiative to refine the administrative requirements developed by 
FDP for Government-wide use. The subcommittee proposed the 
administrative requirements for comment in the Federal Register [70 FR 
4159, January 28, 2005].
    Public comments were received from a wide variety of respondents, 
including twelve institutions of higher education; two non-profit 
organizations; two associations of academic and nonprofit institutions; 
components of six Federal agencies; and a group of universities that 
participate in FDP. All comments were considered in developing a final 
version of standardized administrative terms and conditions. Sixteen of 
the seventeen public comments strongly supported the overall proposal 
to create a government-wide standard core set of terms and conditions, 
citing the advantages of increased consistency in Federal agencies' 
award terms and reduced administrative burdens and costs. A number of 
specific issues were raised, and those comments and responses are 
summarized in Section II. In addition to the changes described, other 
editorial changes were made to correct typographical errors, to update 
references to sections of OMB Circulars A-21 and A-122, to conform with 
recent amendments to those circulars, and to increase readability.
    Research agencies and awarding offices participating in the FDP 
should use this final core set of administrative requirements, to the 
maximum practicable extent, in research and research-related grant 
awards to organizations that are subject to 2 CFR part 215. Those 
agencies and awarding offices may supplement the core set with agency 
specific, program specific, or award specific administrative 
requirements, but should limit supplemental requirements to those that 
are: (1) Consistent with 2 CFR part 215 or required by a statute that 
supersedes that part; and (2) necessary for programmatic purposes or 
good stewardship of Federal funds. Other agencies and awarding offices 
that are not participating in the FDP are encouraged to replace 
administrative requirements in awards to organizations that are subject 
to 2 CFR part 215 with the core set of standard requirements that the 
RBM subcommittee developed and similarly limit their supplementation of 
those standard requirements. Research agencies also are encouraged to 
apply the administrative requirements to cooperative agreements.
    In addition to the standard terms and conditions, two additional 
documents have been developed: Sub-award flow-down requirements and a 
matrix that contains national policy requirements. These documents are 
available electronically on the NSF Web site at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rtc/index.jsp. Federal agencies' are encouraged to use 
these documents as tools to precisely set forth which national policy 
laws and regulations apply to their recipients, and what requirements 
flow down to sub-recipients in their research grants. Each agency also 
is encouraged to use the documents that the FDP maintains for national 
policy requirements and requirements that flow down to sub-recipients. 
An agency may revise the FDP documents as needed for currency, 
completeness, and applicability to the agency's programs. See section 
below for implementation guidance issued to agencies.

II. Comments and Responses

    Comment: One Federal organization suggested that the RBM 
Subcommittee should work with the Pre-Award Work Group, an interagency 
group working to implement the Federal Financial Assistance Management 
Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-107) by developing standard terms 
and conditions, and restructuring current OMB circulars.
    Response: Leaders and members of the Pre-Award Work Group were 
active participants in conceiving and developing the RBM Subcommittee 
proposal as the first of two linked initiatives on terms and 
conditions. The second of the two initiatives, led by the Pre-Award 
Work Group, ultimately should yield a better solution to standardizing 
the format and content of all Federal grants and cooperative 
agreements, including awards for research activities. The second 
initiative, when completed, would replace the guidance currently in OMB 
Circulars A-102 and A-110 with standard award terms and OMB guidance to 
Federal agencies on the use of those award terms. Standard award terms 
would communicate administrative requirements more clearly to 
recipients than the current language in the circulars, which often 
speaks simultaneously to recipients, agency grants policy officials, 
and/or agency officials who award and administer grants; thus it is not 
always clear which audience(s) is being addressed. The Pre-Award Work 
Group's initiative understandably is a longer-term solution because it 
entails a major restructuring of the current OMB guidance in the 
circulars.
    The RBM proposal cannot realize all of the advantages of the 
longer-term Pre-Award Work Group initiative because it must operate 
within the current structure of OMB Circulars A-102 and A-110. 
Nonetheless, agency staff determined that broadening use of the FDP 
terms and conditions is worthwhile as an interim approach, pending 
completion of the Pre-Award Work Group's effort. That judgment was also 
supported by public comments received in response to the January 2005 
Federal Register notice. Commenters strongly supported interim use of 
FDP terms and conditions as a way to increase consistency and reduce 
unnecessary burdens for the research community. Given that the research 
community also is an important part of the broader recipient community 
that ultimately will benefit from the Pre-Award Work Group's 
initiative, it is notable that commenters also expressed support for 
completing that longer-term initiative.
    Comment: A number of commenters offered different perspectives on 
the following question in the January 2005 Federal Register notice: 
``Are the terms and conditions easy to use and understand?'' Six 
universities affirmed that they were easy to use and understand. One of 
the six, however, attributed this to the fact that they were a long-
term FDP participant and therefore very familiar with the terms and 
conditions. It was suggested that accommodation may need to be made for 
institutions that were not yet familiar with them. Implicit support for

[[Page 4565]]

that suggestion was provided by comments from two Federal organizations 
and a nonprofit research organization that are not FDP participants. 
Uncertainty regarding the interrelationship between the FDP terms and 
conditions and OMB Circular A-110 was also noted. The nonprofit 
organization stated that the administrative requirements would be 
cumbersome to use because they cross-reference OMB Circular A-110 with 
some ``clarifications,'' rather than maintaining the integrity of the 
circular and creating a ``generic'' set of supplemental terms. One 
Federal organization stated that inconsistent wording of the terms and 
conditions used to incorporate or refer to sections of OMB Circular A-
110 could cause confusion about which requirements in the circular 
applied and which were modified by the terms and conditions. Another 
Federal agency was unsure how the terms and conditions related to its 
regulation implementing OMB Circular A-110.
    Response: New articles 60 and 70 were added and the language that 
refers to OMB Circular A-110 was revised in Articles 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 
23, 24, 30, 35, 40, 50, 52, 61, and 62 of the terms and conditions, in 
order to state more clearly how each article implements, rather than 
clarifies, the corresponding section of the circular. No article in the 
terms and conditions includes any deviations from OMB Circular A-110. 
Agencies are bound by their regulations (or other form of 
implementation) that codified OMB Circular A-110, so there is no 
potential for the terms and conditions to deviate from an agency's 
regulation implementing the circular as long as the regulation provides 
the agency with the same flexibility that is in the circular.
    Comment: Three comments questioned how the government-wide standard 
core set of terms and conditions will be maintained after they are 
established. One commenter urged that a stringent review process in 
consultation with stakeholders and public comment be developed prior to 
finalizing changes to the terms and conditions. Two other commenters 
suggested that the FDP continue to manage the process for future 
changes.
    Response: OSTP will review agency implementation plans to ensure a 
well-managed and disciplined process for maintaining the core set of 
terms and conditions.
    Comment: One commenter asked if the general terms and conditions 
that were in effect on the effective date of an award would be 
applicable throughout the full term of the award. Noting that the terms 
of an award could otherwise be changed unilaterally by the awarding 
agency, without the recipient's knowledge, the commenter further stated 
that any change in award terms should require a bilateral agreement 
between the agency and the recipient.
    Response: In establishing a standard core set of terms and 
conditions available for use by the research agencies, there is no 
intention to alter good business procedures that agencies use to make 
awards or amend their terms. To the best of our knowledge, no agency 
applies new terms and conditions retroactively to existing awards 
unless they are required to do so by a Federal statute, Executive 
Order, or other external requirement. Similarly, at the time of award, 
or when notified of a prospective amendment to the terms and conditions 
of an existing award, a recipient can negotiate with the awarding 
agency. If the agency has no flexibility to alter an award term imposed 
by an external requirement, or is not otherwise willing to modify the 
award term, the recipient may elect to decline a new award or terminate 
an existing one without accepting the amendment. In no case should an 
agency amend award terms and conditions without a recipient's 
knowledge.
    Comment: One commenter recommended adding language in the 
administrative requirements to Article 4, ``Deviations,'' to require an 
agency to respond in a reasonable time frame to a recipient's request 
for a waiver or deviation from a provision of the award terms and 
conditions.
    Response: Agree. Two sentences were added to Article 4 to require 
an agency to notify the recipient within 30 calendar days of receiving 
a request for waiver or deviation. The notification would inform the 
recipient whether the request is approved or, if the agency still is 
considering the request, when the recipient may expect a decision.
    Comment: One Federal organization recommended revising the 
definition of ``equipment'' in Article 2 to clarify what requirements 
apply to an item of property with an acquisition cost that is less than 
$5,000, should a recipient establish a lower dollar threshold than the 
Federally mandated threshold for distinguishing between equipment and 
supplies. The commenter noted that the proposed definition improperly 
exempted the item from all of the requirements in Articles 33 and 34 of 
the award and pointed out that an agency rarely, if ever, has the 
authority to waive requirements in Article 33 for Federally owned 
property. The commenter further suggested that an agency should not 
waive the requirement in Article 34 for a recipient to account for 
equipment purchased with Federal funds to ensure that (1) it is not 
later included as a contribution toward cost sharing under another 
Federal award; or (2)depreciation or use charges for the item are not 
included later in a proposal for indirect or Facilities and 
Administration costs under OMB Circular A-122 or A-21.
    Response: Agree. The definition of ``equipment'' was revised to 
clarify that the two requirements apply, as noted by the commenter.
    Comment: One Federal organization recommended deleting paragraph 
(a) in the proposed Article 23, ``Cost sharing or matching.'', as it 
appeared to have been included in anticipation of an amendment to OMB 
Circular A-110 that was not made. The commenter suggested an 
appropriate reference would be to a memorandum issued by OMB in lieu of 
amending the circular (OMB Memorandum M-01-06; ``Clarification of OMB 
A-21 Treatment of Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing and Tuition 
Remission Costs;'' January 5, 2001; available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/m01-06.html.)
    Response: Agree. The paragraph was deleted and a reference was 
added to the memorandum. We made a conforming change to paragraph (a) 
of Article 25 by adding a reference to the same OMB memorandum.
    Comment: Two Federal organizations recommended that paragraph 
(b)(3) of the proposed Article 25, ``Revision of budget and program 
plans,'' did not adequately state limits on Federal agency liability 
related to funding amounts that the recipient and the agency anticipate 
being available in the future under an award.
    Response: Agree. The paragraph was revised as recommended.
    Comment: A Federal organization recommended deleting paragraph 
(c)(5) in the proposed Article 25, ``Revision of budget and program 
plans.'' The commenter suggested that the proposed language in the 
paragraph appeared to waive all prior approval requirements in the cost 
principles for institutions of higher education, OMB Circular A-21, 
which contradicted other provisions in Articles 25 and 27 of the terms 
and conditions.
    Response: Agree. Paragraph (c)(5) of Article 25 was deleted, the 
substance of which was addressed elsewhere in Articles 25 and 27.
    Comment: A Federal organization recommended including in Article 
25, ``Revision of budget and program plans,'' the requirement contained 
in paragraph (k) of section ---- .25 of OMB

[[Page 4566]]

Circular A-110 for a recipient to promptly notify the awarding agency 
if it learns that it will not need all of the funds planned for a 
project.
    Response: Agree. A new paragraph (e) to Article 25 was added to 
implement that paragraph of OMB Circular A-110.
    Comment: One commenter recommended replacing the word ``phenomena'' 
in the proposed paragraph (a)(2) of Article 27, ``Allowable costs,'' 
with ``field of study'' or ``scientific or technical area under 
study.'' Paragraph (a)(2) contains a clarification to supplement 
language in OMB Circular A-21, the cost principles for institutions of 
higher education, that provides guidance for allocation of costs by 
principal investigators among interrelated research projects. The 
commenter suggested that ``phenomena'' connoted an end product of a 
project.
    Response: No change. Being in the same field of study or scientific 
or technical area is not sufficiently specific to describe interrelated 
projects for allocation of costs. The proposed language referring to 
study of the same ``phenomena,'' or different ``phenomena'' using the 
same techniques, is appropriate.
    Comment: One nonprofit organization asked if the intent in the 
proposed Article 28 was to allow costs associated with production of a 
final report for a project, even if those costs were incurred after the 
end of the project period. A Federal organization suggested replacing 
the phrase ``costs incidental to the production of the final report'' 
in Article 28 with the phrase ``costs allocable to the production of 
the final report,'' to be clear that ability to allocate is a condition 
for the allowance of the costs.
    Response: In response to the first commenter's question, the intent 
is to allow the costs for producing a final report that a Federal 
agency requires under an award. A recipient may incur costs for that 
purpose after the end of the project period since final reports 
generally are not due until 90 days thereafter. The wording change 
suggested by the second commenter was not made.
    Comment: A nonprofit organization asked that we refer to the 
appropriate sections of OMB Circular A-122, the cost principles for 
nonprofit organizations, in Article 32 on real property and in 
paragraph (c) of Article 34 on equipment. Those articles only referred 
to OMB Circular A-21, the cost principles for institutions of higher 
education.
    Response: The recommended change was made because the 
administrative requirements are intended for use in awards to nonprofit 
organizations, as well as institutions of higher education. For the 
same reason, in each paragraph that used the term ``Facilities and 
Administrative costs,'' the term was replaced with ``indirect and 
Facilities and Administrative costs'' if the paragraph applies to both 
nonprofit organizations (for which the term ``indirect costs'' is used) 
and institutions of higher education (for which the term ``Facilities 
and Administrative costs'' is used).
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the meaning of ``encumber'' 
was not clear in the following requirement in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of 
Article 34: ``The recipient may not encumber the equipment without the 
approval of the Federal awarding agency.'' The commenter offered that 
the language in OMB Circular A-110, which also uses ``encumber,'' is 
clearer.
    Response: No change. ``Encumber'' also is used in the commercial 
sector to refer to burdening property with obligations (e.g., through 
assigning, pledging, leasing, or accepting liens against property, or 
using it as security). The wording of the requirement in Article 34 is 
almost identical to the language used in OMB Circular A-110.
    Comment: A Federal organization recommended dropping paragraph (a) 
of Article 35, ``Supplies,'' because it appeared to contradict the 
initial sentence of that Article. The initial sentence said that the 
requirements in section ---- .35 of OMB Circular A-110 applied to 
supplies acquired under an award. Paragraph (a) then stated that title 
to supplies would vest unconditionally in the recipient unless agency-
specific requirements provided otherwise, which appears to mean that 
the requirements in section ---- .35 do not apply.
    Response: Agree. Paragraph (a) was deleted.
    Comment: Two commenters recommended changes to paragraph (e) of 
Article 40, ``Procurement,'' which concerns reviews of recipients' 
procurement systems conducted by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). 
One nonprofit organization suggested broadening the paragraph to 
recognize other known agency relationships with recipients than just 
those of ONR, so as not to conflict with the intent of the Single Audit 
Act. A Federal organization recommended revising the requirement for a 
recipient to notify ONR of any major change(s) to its procurement 
system, if the system had been approved previously by ONR. The 
commenter noted that the wording permitted a recipient to wait to 
notify ONR until after it made a change and recommended we instead 
require the recipient to notify ONR of any proposed major change.
    Response: The change recommended by the second commenter was made, 
but not the change suggested by the first commenter because the 
requirement as written only applies if a recipient's procurement system 
was reviewed and approved by ONR. Staff are not aware of other 
cognizant agencies that currently perform reviews of procurement 
systems of nonprofit research institutions and are aware of other 
agencies (and research institutions under other agencies' cognizance) 
having asked ONR to conduct reviews for them.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that we replace the language on 
publication of research results in paragraph (a) of Article 51 with 
language that the National Science Foundation (NSF) includes in its 
awards. The commenter suggested that the NSF language more clearly 
defines the recipient's obligations concerning publications, factoring 
in intellectual property rights, publication costs, and researchers' 
interests.
    Response: No change to the core set of terms and conditions. The 
NSF award term covering publications and data is based on a policy of 
the National Science Board, the NSF's policy and oversight body. Other 
agencies have policies that vary from the NSF policy and some have a 
statutory basis. Therefore, the NSF policy appropriately belongs in an 
agency-specific award term that supplements the core set of 
administrative terms and conditions.
    Comment: One nonprofit and one Federal organization noted that 
Article 52, ``Financial reporting,'' only informs a recipient about the 
reporting requirement that applies if payments are made in advance. The 
nonprofit organization asked if we intended to discontinue requirements 
that previously applied when a recipient did not request advance 
payments. The Federal organization recommended adding language about 
the requirement that applies if payments are made using the 
reimbursement method.
    Response: A sentence was added to Article 52 to refer a recipient 
to the agency-specific terms and conditions for financial reporting 
requirements that apply if payments are made using the reimbursement 
method.
    Comment: A Federal organization recommended removing the last 
sentence of paragraph (a) in Article 53, ``Retention and access 
requirements for records,'' from the core set of terms and conditions 
because it contained a

[[Page 4567]]

clarification of the requirement for records retention that applied 
only to NSF awards.
    Response: Agree. The sentence was removed and NSF will include in 
its agency-specific terms and conditions that supplement the core set 
of administrative requirements.
    Comment: A Federal organization suggested adding a reference in 
Article 54 to National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189, 
``National Policy on the Transfer of Scientific, Technical and 
Engineering Information,'' as recommended by the National Academies in 
a Congressionally requested report.
    Response: Article 54 has been revised to a more streamlined form, 
however, the suggested reference to NSDD-189 was not added.
    Comment: A Federal organization recommended deleting paragraph (b) 
of Article 72 ``Subsequent adjustments and continuing 
responsibilities.'' The commenter noted that paragraph (b) of Article 
72 was redundant because it restated one of the requirements in section 
---- .72 of OMB Circular A-110, all of which already were incorporated 
by Paragraph (a) of Article 72.
    Response: Agree. Paragraph (b) of Article 72 was deleted.

III. Final Administrative Requirements and Future Steps

    The final version of the standard research terms and conditions 
which incorporate the changes discussed in the preceding Sections I and 
II of Supplementary Information, may be viewed at http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rtc/index.jsp. Agencies will post their plans for 
implementing the administrative requirements either at the RBM 
subcommittee Web site at: http://rbm.nih.gov, or at its own Web site 
(in which case the RBM subcommittee will provide a link from its site 
to the agency's location).
    To the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies:
    Subject: Policy on Terms and Conditions for Research Grants
    1. Purpose: This policy allows all research agencies to utilize a 
new standard core set of administrative terms and conditions on 
research and research-related awards.
    2. Authority: This policy is an implementation of OMB Circular A-
110, ``Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements 
With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit 
Organizations'' (2 CFR part 215).
    3. Background: This policy resulted from an initiative of the 
Research Business Models (RBM) Subcommittee of the Committee on Science 
(CoS), a committee of the National Science and Technology Council 
(NSTC). One of the RBM Subcommittee's priority areas is to create 
greater consistency in the administration of Federal research awards. 
Given the increasing complexity of interdisciplinary and interagency 
research, it has become increasingly important for Federal agencies to 
manage awards in a similar fashion.
    4. Policy:
    a. Use of Government-wide core set of administrative requirements. 
Research agencies and awarding offices participating in the FDP must 
use the core set of administrative requirements, to the maximum 
practicable extent, in research and research-related grant awards to 
organizations that are subject to 2 CFR part 215. Those agencies and 
awarding offices may supplement the core set with agency specific, 
program specific, or award specific administrative requirements, but 
should limit supplemental requirements to those that are: (1) 
Consistent with 2 CFR part 215 or required by a statute that supersedes 
that part; and (2) necessary for programmatic purposes or good 
stewardship of Federal funds. Other agencies and awarding offices that 
are not participating in the FDP are encouraged to replace 
administrative requirements in awards to organizations that are subject 
to 2 CFR part 215 with the core set of standard requirements that the 
RBM subcommittee developed and similarly limit their supplementation of 
those standard requirements.
    b. Use of FDP national policy and subaward requirements. Each 
agency also is encouraged to use the documents that the FDP maintains 
for national policy requirements and requirements that flow down to 
subrecipients. An agency may revise the FDP documents as needed for 
currency, completeness, and applicability to the agency's programs. The 
documents are available at the FDP site maintained by the National 
Science Foundation (NSF): http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rtc/index.jsp.
    c. Maintenance of the administrative requirements. As Federal 
requirements evolve, the RBM subcommittee will update the core set of 
administrative requirements as needed to maintain it as a standard 
implementation of 2 CFR Part 215. Significant changes will be 
coordinated with the Office of Management and Budget, approved by the 
Grants Policy Committee of the Chief Financial Officers Council, and 
adopted after opportunity for public comment.
    d. Posting of the administrative requirements. NSF will post the 
Government-wide core set of administrative requirements on the NSF Web 
site: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rtc/index.jsp. As changes are 
made in the future, NSF will maintain both the current version and an 
archive of earlier versions.
    e. Agency implementation plans. Each CoS member agency will post 
its plan for implementing the administrative requirements either at the 
RBM subcommittee site, http://rbm.nih.gov, or at its own Web site (in 
which case the RBM subcommittee will provide a link from its site to 
the agency's location).
    f. Effective dates. This policy is effective with publication of 
this notice in the Federal Register. It remains in effect as long as 
the core set of requirements is consistent with Government-wide 
administrative requirements, which currently are in 2 CFR part 215. The 
core set will be superseded when Government-wide terms and conditions 
are established for all Federal grants and cooperative agreements, due 
to an initiative currently under way as part of the implementation of 
the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 
(Pub. L. 106-107). Agencies shall post their implementation plans as 
noted in ``e'' above, no later than July 2008.

M. David Hodge,
Operations Manager, Office of Science and Technology Policy.
 [FR Doc. E8-1262 Filed 1-24-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3170-W8-P