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Frequently Asked Questions for Research Administration

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) – Stimulus Funds

Is there a federal website for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)?

Yes. http://www.recovery.gov/

Are there websites for the various federal agencies with information on their programmatic priorities under ARRA?

Yes. Each federal agency was directed to create a website with program information and links to the main ARRA website. The agency websites can be found by following this link.

The legislation is long and complicated. Are summaries available?

Yes. A summary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, including searchable indices and two briefing documents can be found at this site, under the Overview heading.

How can I find funding opportunities associated with the stimulus funds?

All opportunities are to be posted to grants.gov and/or FedBizOpps and carry the word “recovery” in the title or other appropriate flag.

  • Grants.gov has posted a link to ARRA opportunities from its main home page.
  • FedsBizOpps has contract opportunities posted, just search on the keyword "recovery"

Are there any special terms and conditions associated with GRANT awards made under ARRA?

Agencies are expected to comply with existing administrative grant requirements, including OMB

Circular A???110. Specifically agencies must:

  • Use standard award terms and conditions on award notices unless they conflict with the requirements of the Recovery Act.
  • Ensure receipt of funds is made contingent on recipients meeting the reporting requirements per Section 1512 of the Act.
  • Ensure there is an award term or condition requiring first tier subawardees to begin planning activities, including obtaining a DUNS number and CCR registration.
  • In the case of a conflict between agency standard terms and conditions and Recovery Act requirements, the agency should modify its terms and conditions.
  • Make clear that any funding provided through the Recovery Act that is supplemental to an existing grant is one???time funding.
  • Include the requirement that each grantee or sub???grantee awarded Recovery Act funds shall promptly refer to an appropriate inspector general any credible evidence that a principal, employee, agent, contractor, sub???grantee, subcontractor, or other person has submitted a false claim under the False Claims Act or has committed a criminal or civil violation of laws pertaining to fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, gratuity, or similar misconduct involving Recovery Act funds. (See section 5.9 pages 10???11 of briefing document #2)

Are there any special terms and conditions associated with CONTRACTS made under ARRA?

Yes. A Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) case is in process that will accommodate the special requirements anticipated by the Recovery Act, some of which include:

  • Reporting on first???tier subcontract awards
  • Special Buy American Act requirements
  • Additional requirements for contractor reporting
  • Expanded GAO/OIG access to contractor records

More information on the FAR case will be issued soon.

(See section 6.4 page 15 of briefing document #2)

Are there special reporting requirements for grants received under ARRA funding?

Yes. Special reporting at the Federal and State levels will be required. In particular, financial accounts established under ARRA funding must be distinguishable from all other accounts and provide for discrete accounting and reporting.

Federal reporting: Reporting is required for any non???federal entity receiving ARRA funds as a prime recipient and the subawards made by the prime recipients through discretionary appropriates. Each recipient is required to report the following information to the federal agency providing the award 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter, starting July 10th. Reporting dates will be July 10th, October 10th, January 10th and March 10th annually. These reports will include the following data elements:

  1. Total amount of recovery funds received from that agency
  2. The amount of recovery funds received that were obligated and expended to projects or activities. This reporting will also include unobligated Allotment balances to facilitate reconciliation
  3. A detailed list of all projects or activities for which recovery funds were obligated and expended, including:
    1. Name of the project or activity
    2. Description of the project or activity
    3. An evaluation of the completion status of the project or activity
    4. As estimate of the number of jobs created and the number of jobs retained by the project or activity; and
  4. For infrastructure grants made by State and local governments, the purpose, total cost, and rationale of the agency for funding the infrastructure investment with funds made available under this Act, and name of the person to contact at the agency if there are concerns with the infrastructure investment.
  5. Detailed information on any subcontracts or subgrants awarded by the recipient to include the data elements required to comply with the Federal funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (P.L 109???282), allowing aggregate reporting on awards below $25,000 or to individuals, as prescribed by OMB.

See section 2.9, pages 5???7 of briefing document #2.

State of North Carolina reporting: For each preliminary notice of award and each proposal submitted or award received from ARRA funding, the following information should be reported to UNC???GA via email attachment by close of business each Thursday – limit to one page per award:

  • Project title and grant amount
  • Granting agency, program and CFDA number
  • Short summary of the project including economic or societal impact, particularly as it impacts North Carolina

Governor Beverly Perdue expects the Office of North Carolina Economic Recovery and Investment, under the direction of Mr. Dempsey Benton, to be aware of ALL stimulus grants, including research grants, awarded to any University of North Carolina campus or affiliated entity.

Significant proposals or awards (>$500K) should be reported immediately. The weekly email with attached report for the total campus activity should be sent to Sarah Smith and Courtney Thornton.

Will there be additional compliance monitoring by federal agencies awarding ARRA funds?

Yes. North Carolina is one of a core group of 16 states selected that will be followed by the U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the next few years to provide an ongoing longitudinal analysis of the use of funds under the Recovery Act.

Agencies must take steps beyond standard practice to initiative additional oversight mechanisms. At a minimum, agencies must be prepared to evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of standard monitoring and oversight practices. Agencies are directed to adapt current performance evaluation and review processes to include the ability to report on completion status of the program or activity, and program and economic outcomes. Agencies will also consult with the Inspectors General to establish procedures to validate the accuracy of information submitted using statistical or risk???based approach.

Agencies are also directed to use appropriate internal control assessments to assess the risk of program waste, fraud, and/or abuse.

The GAO will conduct bimonthly reviews of selected States’ to examine how Recovery Act funds are being used and whether they are achieving the stated purposes of the Act. The purposes include:

  • To preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery
  • To assist those most impacted by the recession
  • To invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long???term economic benefits; and
  • To stabilize state and local government budgets in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases

The GAO will be reaching out to the respective governors’ and state auditors’ offices to begin the work needed for the first bimonthly review to be completed April 2009. Further, federal agencies will perform a risk analysis of Recovery Act programs and request OMB to designate as high risk programs as Single Audit major programs, i.e. programs which must be tested in a particular year and OIG’s will perform audits and inspections of their respective agencies awarding, disbursing, and monitoring of Recovery Act funds.

The full GAO report “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: GAO’s Role in Helping to Ensure Accountability and Transparency” is available online.

Is UNC???GA collecting information from campuses on applications for and awards received from ARRA?

Yes. UNC???GA will collect information from all campuses on applications for grants and contracts funded by ARRA and subsequent awards.

A flag/check box is being added to the RAMSeS, SPARC and RADAR (NCSU) Systems to allow faculty and campus sponsored programs offices to identify relevant applications and awards in their systems. The systems will also require a brief text entry for economic or societal impact, particularly as it impacts North Carolina. We are working towards functionalities in these three reporting systems that will allow UNC???GA personnel to directly receive or extract the needed information. Until these adjustments are fully implemented, campuses will be asked to submit information on applications and awards as prescribed above under State Reporting. UNC???GA will be responsible for submitting all sponsored programs contract and grant activity for the UNC System to the North Carolina Recovery Office headed by Dempsey Benton.