DATE: March 16, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations

SOURCE: Federal Register, March 16, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 52, page 14405

AGENCIES: Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Service, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, and Transportation, and the Agency for International Development, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Archives and Records Administration

ACTION: Interim Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: The agencies affected by OMB Circular A-110 are revising their regulations to codify changes made by OMB to Circular A-110 on October 8, 1999, to comply with the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (Public Law 105-277). Public Law 105-277 directed OMB to amend OMB Circular A-110, Section ___.36, Intangible Property, "to require federal awarding agencies to ensure that all data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act." The agencies' interim final rules will provide uniform administrative requirements for all grants and cooperative agreements to institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations.

EDITORS'S NOTE: OMB's final revision of October 8, 1999, was in a "common rule" format, which allows each agency to insert the text into its regulations verbatim merely by adding its appropriate Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section number. For example, the Department of Agriculture's regulations at 7 CFR 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations, contain the regulations for implementing OMB Circular A-110. With this interim final rule, the Department of Agriculture is revising 7 CFR 3019.36, Intangible Property, to incorporate the text of OMB's change to Section ___.36 of Circular A-110.

Also, under the provisions of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act, any Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed or interim final rule that is to be issued for public comment to be presented for Congressional review for a period of 15 days before publication. Therefore, HUD will be adopting the common amendments in a separate rulemaking.

DATES: The interim final rule is effective April 17, 2000. Comments must be received on or before May 15, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the interim final rule should be addressed to Charles Gale, Director, Office of Grants Management, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 517-D, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201.

The full text of OMB Circular A-110 and the text of the October 8, 1999, final revision is available on OMB's home page at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb under "Grants Management."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general issues regarding the interim final rule, contact Charles Gale, Director, Office of Grants Management, Department of Health and Human Services, 202-690-6377. For agency-specific issues, contact the agency.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: On October 8, 1999, after reviewing 9,000 comments on the February 4, 1999, proposed revision, and the 3,000 comments on the August 11, 1999, clarification, OMB published its final revision of Circular A-110, Section ___.36, Intangible Property, which revised paragraph (c), redesignated paragraph (d) as paragraph (e), and added new paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) to direct the "federal awarding agency" to request, and the researcher to provide, the research data requested under the Freedom of Information Act. Since OMB Circular A-110 is in the "common rule" format, all agencies are to revise their regulations and insert OMB's final revision virtually verbatim. However, many agencies did substitute their names or abbreviations for the term "federal awarding agency." Also, several agencies stated that "OMB's notices for public comment regarding this subject did not address the potential applicability to commercial organizations. Since the applicability of OMB Circular A-110 to commercial organizations is optional...we have decided not to apply the new provision to commercial organizations." These agencies have accomplished this by adding a paragraph (d)(3), which states, "The requirements set forth in paragraph (d)(1) of this section do not apply to commercial organizations."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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