OMB provides guidance on flexibility for federal grant funding

March 26, 2020

Just days after the first reported US death from COVID-19, federal grant recipients capable of performing essential research and services related to COVID-19 were provided with additional flexibilities to the terms of their contracts and supplied with additional administrative resources to pivot their efforts towards combatting the virus. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and disrupt all sectors of the economy, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has now issued guidance to the heads of all federal grant-making agencies, offering short-term emergency flexibilities and administrative relief.

Some of the measures provided by OMB include:

  • Providing flexibility on application deadlines;
  • Allowing agencies to issue short-term Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs);
  • Extending awards for projects expiring within 2020 without additional costs for up to 12 months;
  • Allowing awardees to continue charging salaries and benefits;
  • Extending financial, performance, and other reporting deadlines;
  • Allowing grantees to continue using currently approved indirect cost rates; and more.

Although OMB is authorized to provide such relief, agency leaders are not required to implement any of the available measures.

grants, coronavirus