Highlight: What You Need to Know About EDA Grant Process and Regulation Changes
January 2015 Newsletter
Submitting a grant application to EDA? Toying with the idea of applying for funding at some point? There are some important changes to our processes that you need to know.
You may remember that EDA had requested comments a while back on ways to improve its regulations. Our stakeholders submitted 170 comments which shaped a proposed rule. EDA considered all of the feedback in developing the final rule, which appeared in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014. The new regulations will take effect on January 20, 2015. The final rule clarifies EDA’s policies and definitions, streamlines regulations, and facilitates coordination among federal investment opportunities. Some key changes include:
- Removing the requirement that RLF recipients request that EDA subordinate its interest when seeking approval to sell or securitize its portfolio.
- Streamlining CEDS requirements by replacing the long list of CEDS elements with four essential planning elements.
- Authorizing a grant rate of up to 80 percent to incentivize projects that encourage broad, innovative regional planning or demonstrate effective leveraging of other federal resources.
- Eliminating membership thresholds and quotas for Economic Development Districts.
A complete summary of the key provisions is posted on EDA.gov, and the final rule provides detailed information about all of the changes as well as response to the 120 comments EDA received on the proposed rule.
But it isn’t just EDA that has made changes. As part of an effort to reform and strengthen federal grant making, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published new guidance for the Federal award programs, OMB Uniform Guidance: Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, referred to as the Omni Circular. By streamlining eight Federal regulations into a single, comprehensive policy guide, the government can better administer grants and other types of financial assistance by decreasing the administrative burden for recipients and reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse. The new guidance, published on December 26, 2013, went into effect December 26, 2014.
There are other changes on the horizon as well. EDA is in the process of refining our grants processing. In May 2014, EDA issued a customer service survey. We received a lot of feedback about our forms and application processes, and we are in the process of improving them while making the process more efficient for applicants. The changes we are working toward will also help us give you, our customers, better service. Keep watching for more information.