The following is a list of open issues - regulations in the guidance that are being questioned by COGR or are otherwise not yet resolved.
Research Terms and Conditions (RTC) to address and implement the UG, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards was issued 3/14/17 (link is external). Each agency’s implementation statements can be found here (external link).
General Procurement Standards (200.318-320). UG standards represent a potential administrative burden for IHE’s (Institutions of Higher Education). (See the changes related to procurement.) The University of Maryland College Park will continue to follow the procurement requirement of OMB Circular A-110 and will utilize the grace period allowed in the Uniform Guidance and as extended by the Office of Management and Budget technical corrections. For more information on UMCP’s procurement policies, go to http://www.purchase.umd.edu (link is external)
Effective Dates for Procurement (Section 200.110). Per COFAR published FAQ 200.110-6 (link is external), the federal government provided a grace period for non-Federal entities to comply with the procurement standards in the Uniform Guidance. The grace period is for one full fiscal year that begins on or after December 26, 2014. The grace period has since been extended for additional years (See rule), providing additional time for non-Federal entities to implement changes to their procurement policies and procedures in accordance with guidance on procurement standards. For the latest information on this issue, see the General Procurement Standards under Open Issues.
General Procurement Standards must be followed when procuring property and services under a Federal award (i.e. costs that are charged directly to an award). These standards do not apply to procurements made in indirect cost areas. Section 200.318 (link is external) includes the following provisions:
- .318(d): The non-Federal entity’s procedures must avoid acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. No specific equipment screening procedures are required (FAQ 200.318-1 (link is external)).
- .318(f): The non-Federal entity is encouraged to use Federal excess and surplus property in lieu of purchasing new equipment and property whenever such use is feasible and reduces project cost.
- .318(i): The non-Federal entity must maintain records sufficient to detail the history of procurement. May include: rationale for method of procurement, selection of contract type, contractor selection/rejection, and basis for the contract price.
Methods of Procurement (Section 200.320 (link is external)) divides procurement into one of 5 types. See also OMB Procurement Claw (link is external).
- Micro-Purchase: Acquisitions not to exceed $3,000. Micro-purchases must be distributed equitably among qualified suppliers. Competitive quotes are not required if price is considered reasonable.
- Small Purchase: Acquisitions costing $3,001-$150,000 (Simplified Acquisition Threshold). Rate quotes must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources. Cost or price analysis is not required.
- Sealed Bids: Acquisitions costing $150,001 or more (Simplified Acquisition Threshold) where price is the most important determining factor. Procurement results in a firm fixed price contract to the lowest bidder who conforms to all terms and conditions. Preferred for construction projects.
- Competitive Proposals: Acquisitions costing $150,001 or more (Simplified Acquisition Threshold) where contract is awarded through technical evaluation of proposals. Procurement can result in a fixed price or cost reimbursement contract.
- Sole Source: Use of sole source procurement is limited to certain circumstances. See Section 200.320 (link is external)(f). Researchers may acquire items through sole source for scientific reasons, as long as it complies with the General Procurement Standards (200.318), particularly the documentation requirements (200.318(i)). (FAQ 200.320-2 (link is external))
Impact at the University of Maryland:
- The University of Maryland College Park will continue to follow the procurement requirement of OMB Circular A-110 and will utilize the grace period allowed in the Uniform Guidance and as extended by the Office of Management and Budget technical corrections. The procurement standards in the Uniform Guidance become effective at the University on July 1, 2018.
- For more information on purchasing with sponsored funds, go to: http://www.purchase.umd.edu/sponsored_funds_guidelines.html (link is external)
Contact your ORA contract administrator for technical questions or SPAC for financial matters.