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COFAR Releases FAQ Document on the OMB's Uniform Grant Guidance with Tribal Concerns Included

September 8, 2014

Over the past year, the NAFOA Financial Management Advisory Committee has been meeting with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss common concerns from Indian tribes and professionals to request clarification from the Uniform Grant Guidance known as the "Final Guidance". The Final Guidance significantly impacts how tribal governments and non-profits manage federal grants.

 

On August 29, 2014, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) released a second set offrequently asked questions on implementing the Uniform Grant Guidance in response to stakeholder questions. Many of these assessments included items that needed clarification from the NAFOA Financial Management Advisory Committee and others in Indian Country.

 

The FAQ document provides additional context and background for the Final Guidance on important policy changes effecting tribes, including:

 

Indian Tribes Removed from the Definition of State

Several sections of the guidance refer to state law, does this include tribal law? How will this impact the application process for funds reserved for states?

  • The Uniform Guidance will have technical edits that will include tribal law where explicitly intended. This should have no impact on the application process for funds reserved for states.

Indian Tribes Opting out of Report Publication

In section 200.512 regarding Report Submission, tribes have the option to opt out. If they choose to exercise this option, they are responsible for providing their audit reports to any pass-through entities. When do 'tribal entities' meet the requirements as an Indian tribe and become eligible to opt out? Does this apply to all entities of the tribe? For example, hospitals, clinics, housing authorities, and tribal economic development entities?

  • This determination is dependent on how the tribal entity is organized and reports under Subpart F of the Uniform Guidance. If the entity is established as part of an Indian tribe that meets the definition of 200.54, accountable to tribal governance, and included with the Indian tribe's reporting under Subpart F; then the Indian tribe's election to opt out under 200.212(b)(2) would include the tribal entity.

Salaries and Wages for Tribal Councils

The guidance now includes language that up to 50% of the salaries and expenses for the tribal council can be included in the indirect cost calculation without documentation. Does this include the Chairman or equivalent?
  • Yes it includes the Chairman or Tribal Council provided these expenses are allocable to managing and operating Federal programs.

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