Other Conduct of Research Issues
11.1.1 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars
Three OMB Circulars exist to provide standards and principles for grants, contracts,
cooperative agreements and other agreements. The following explanations come from
OMB A-21 establishes principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements with educational institutions. The principles are designed to provide that the Federal Government bear its fair share of total costs, determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, except where restricted or prohibited by law.
OMB A-110 sets forth standards for obtaining consistency and uniformity among Federal agencies in the administration of grants to and agreements with institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations.
OMB issues uniform audit requirements in Circular OMB A-133 (PDF), Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations. All federal awards received by the University are included within the annual State of Utah A-133, Single Audit Report. The Federal Government reviews the University's internal controls and tests for compliance with federal laws and regulations using statistical sampling.
The Federal contracting and procurement regulations are combined in a regulation called the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The FAR establishes the rules for government contracting.
The FAR was established to codify uniform policies for acquisition of supplies and services by executive federal agencies. It is issued and maintained jointly, pursuant to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Reauthorization Act, under the statutory authorities granted to the Secretary of Defense (DOD), Administrator of General Services (GSA) and the Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Each agency establishes its own rules and guidelines based on the OMB circulars and FAR. Also, specific requests for proposal (RFP's) may have additional guidelines. The Office of Sponsored Projects will assist you in finding, interpreting and advising on governing regulations. Advanced contact with your Sponsored Projects Officer is highly recommended during the proposal process. As issues arise during the course of a project, the Sponsored Projects Officer is the appropriate contact for issues associated with the rules, policies and guidelines.