Uniform Guidance & American Rescue Plan Act Funding
By: Phil Saucier & Amanda Methot
Did you know reporting is not the only requirement for use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds? Federal Uniform Guidance rules apply as well.
Uniform Guidance? Never heard of it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
What You Should Know
Uniform Guidance can be found at 2 CFR Part 200, and it establishes uniform administrative, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards to non-federal entities. Below we have included an overview of the requirements for financial management, procurement, and contracting for non-federal entities.
The financial management system of a non-federal awardee must provide:
- Identification in its system that the account is a federal award, including award identification number, year, and name of federal agency
- Records that identify the source and application of the funds for federally funded programs and projects (e.g., receipts, invoices, and contracts are common source documentation)
- Written procedures that describe how the awardee will minimize the time between receipt of funds from the federal agency and the disbursement of funds to applicable activities
In addition, each awardee must maintain internal control of funds and must report any deviations from program budgets that were submitted on the Treasury Portal.
The table below describes the types of procurements that awardees must undertake using ARPA funds. Note: all bids/RFP’s must be open and competitive.
Non-competitive bids are allowed if:
- the contract is less than $10,000,
- the item is only available from a single source,
- the public emergency will not permit a delay resulting from a public competitive bid process,
- the awarding agency expressly authorizes a non-competitive procurement process
- after solicitation competition is determined to be inadequate.
All federally funded contracts that the non-federal entity enters into will need to contain the following provisions:
- Contracts for more than $10,000 must address termination for cause or convenience
- Contracts for more than $250,000 must address administrative, contractual, or legal remedies in instances where contractors breach contract terms, and provide for penalties as appropriate
- Construction contracts must contain the “Equal Employment Opportunity” clause found at 41 CFR 60-1.4(b)
Contracts over $100,000 will require an anti-lobbying amendment, see sample amendment here
Local governments should review the requirements, compare them to their current policies and procedures, and consult with legal counsel to evaluate. In addition, we recommend that all ARPA awardees review 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart D, as this section describes the requirements most applicable to local governments.