COFAR

Message From the Chairs

Important Alert: Over the past few months, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) has received inquiries and complaints from persons targeted by a fraudulent grants scheme. Please read more here: COFAR Grants Alert.

Welcome to the webpage for the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR). We are committed to using this platform to provide current and ongoing information about our important work for the Federal financial assistance community as part of the President’s commitment to openness in Government. Since its creation in October 2011, the COFAR has led several efforts to improve delivery, management, coordination, and accountability of Federal grants and cooperative agreements. The COFAR continues to engage with stakeholders including Congress, Federal Agencies, state, local, and tribal governments, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, Federal Councils including the Government Accountability and Transparency Board, and other groups to foster more efficient Federal financial management, ultimately for better outcomes for Federal grants.

We invite you to learn more about our work on these priority areas.  We look forward to receiving your input as we strive to realize better policies and practices for the assistance community.

You can contact us at cofar@omb.eop.gov and sign up for the mailing list at COFAR mailing list.

Uniform Guidance: Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

COFAR Releases Frequently Asked Questions

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, COFAR released the first set of FAQs in support of 2 C.F.R 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.  Over two hundred thoughtful questions and comments have been received from grantors, grantees, and grant management and oversight professionals throughout country.  Additional FAQ releases will parallel Federal agency submission of implementing regulations.  If you have additional questions or comments please send them to cofar@omb.eop.gov.

2 C.F.R. 200 FAQs 2-12-2014

Uniform Guidance 1-27-14 Training Webcast

On Monday, January 27th, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR), held a training webcast for more than 5,000 registered viewers, on the major updates to OMB’s recently reformed guidance on Administrative Requirements, Audit Requirements and Cost Principles for Federal Financial Assistance (2 C.F.R. 200). The presenters provided the public with a comprehensive overview of the guidance, insight into the COFAR’s deliberative process during the two year development process, and addressed frequently asked questions. The Uniform Guidance will be implemented one year from publication on December 26, 2014. OMB and the COFAR will continue to engage Federal and Non-Federal stakeholders over the next year to facilitate a smooth implementation process. Please submit any comments or questions to cofar@omb.eop.gov.

Participants Included:

  • Norman Dong, Interim Controller Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • Kathy Bialas, Assistant General Counsel, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Jean Feldman, Head Policy Officer, Division of Institution & Award Support, National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Stephen Daniels, Director of the Division of Policy, Review and Resolution, Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Terry Ramsey, Senior Technical Advisor, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Laura Watson, Associate Deputy Administrator, Department of Labor (DOL)

Links to the Uniform Guidance 1-27-14 Training Webcast

COFAR Training Intro 1-27-14
http://youtu.be/SOET4b-7my8

COFAR Training Administrative Requirements 1-27-14
http://youtu.be/BP3l3PjI1JQ

COFAR Training Cost Principles 1-27-14
http://youtu.be/q0rWXdy2ICM

COFAR Training Audit Requirements 1-27-14
http://youtu.be/g-U8HGbbC-Y

Links to the Training Webcast Presentation Slides

COFAR Training Administrative Requirements 1-27-14 Slides
COFAR Training Cost Principles 1-27-14 Slides
COFAR Training Audit Requirements 1-27-14 Slides

Uniform Grant Guidance Links:

 Proposed Guidance:

On Friday February 8, 2013, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) and members of the grants community held a roundtable discussion on OMB’s proposed uniform guidance on grants. To view a recorded version of the discussion, please visit: http://youtu.be/dlZfb9ALBck

Participants Included:

  • Norman Dong, Office of Management and Budget (OMB, co-chair of COFAR)
  • Ellen Murray, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, co-chair of COFAR)
  • Alison Lerner, Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency and National Science Foundation Inspector General (CIGIE and NSF IG)
  • Kitcki Carroll, United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc (USET)
  • Tony DeCrappeo, Council on Government Relations (COGR)
  • David Thompson, The National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits)
  • Kinney Poynter, National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers (NASACT)
  • Mary Foelster, American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)

Danny Werfel, Co-Chair
Ellen Murray, Co-Chair

About the COFAR

The COFAR, established by OMB Memorandum M-12-01, is comprised of an interagency group of Executive Branch officials to coordinate financial assistance. Council activities include providing recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on policies and actions necessary to effectively deliver, oversee, and report on grants and cooperative agreements, as well as sharing with executive departments and agencies (agencies) best practices and innovative ideas for transforming the delivery of this assistance. In addition, the Council will engage relevant stakeholders across Government on key issues to foster more efficient and effective Federal management by coordinating the development and implementation of standardized business processes, data standards, metrics, and information technology. This Council replaces two Federal boards – the Grants Policy Council and the Grants Executive Board to create a more streamlined, flexible, and strategic structure. The Council’s work builds in part on grants streamlining activities under Public Law (P.L.) 106-107, the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999.  COFAR and CFOC efforts are supported partly by the Financial Management Line of Business.

Agency Members

The membership of the Council on Financial Assistance Reform consists of the:
Controller of the Office of Management and Budget and senior policy officials from eight Federal agencies that provide the largest amounts of financial grants assistance and one additional agency that serves a two-year term to represent the perspective of other agencies that administer grants and cooperative agreements:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Transportation

Two-year Term Agency

  • National Science Foundation, FY12 – FY14
  • Department of State, FY 14 – FY 16

COFAR Priority Focus Areas

 

https://cfo.gov/cofar-reform-grants/ https://cfo.gov/cofar-grants-data/ https://cfo.gov/cofar-federal-spending-transparency/ https://cfo.gov/cofar-grants-workforce-development/ http://cio.gov/ http://cao.gov/ https://cfo.gov/cofar-program-oversight/ http://www.federaltransparency.gov/about/Pages/gatb.aspx Image Map

 

 

Council Reports and Documents

Effective Management of Federal Grant Dollars: Council On Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) Priorities for FY13-15 (PDF)
Improving Management of Federal Grant Dollars: Council on Financial Assistance Reform Priorities for FY13-15 COFAR Priorities for FY13-15 1-28-13 (PDF)
OMB Memorandum M-12-01 establishing the COFAR

Council Minutes

December 10, 2012 (PDF)
November 13, 2012 (PDF)
August 27, 2012 (PDF)

Related Links

OMBlog
www.grants.gov
www.cfda.gov
www.usaspending.gov
www.sam.gov