Dec. 10 Webinar to Offer Overview of OMB Circular A-21 for Research Staff

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Federal grants expert Bob Lloyd will provide research staff with the right level of knowledge about the federal cost principles contained in OMB Circular A-21 in a Dec. 10 webinar sponsored by Federal Fund Management Advisor.

Acceptance of a federal research grant means that the organizational staff members who will work on the substance of the project are plunging into an accountability atmosphere that is loaded with administrative risks. The upcoming Dec. 10 webinar from Federal Fund Management Advisor, “Federal Cost Allowability for Principal Investigators and Other Research Staff — An Awareness Course on OMB Circular A-21,” has been crafted to provide research staff with the right level of knowledge about the federal cost principles, to enable them to steer their project clear of allowability pitfalls that too often plague otherwise well-managed research projects.

In the college and university environment, the cost allowability policies are contained in an arcane document commonly known as OMB Circular A-21. While the budget of the approved award provides general structure to cost charging, many of the actual decisions about whether to charge something to a grant are going to be made at the project level by researchers and other program staff, hopefully relying on the text of Circular A-21. That may be the last time anyone scrutinizes the charge until the transaction is reviewed by auditors, and possibly questioned and recommended for disallowance. When that scenario gets labeled with the words “noncompliance” or as being indicative of “internal control deficiencies,” very little good can come out of it, and future grantseeking success is likely to be harder to come by.

Offering a broad overview of cost allowability policies, this Dec. 10 webinar will address:

  • The interpretive nature of the cost principles
  • The federal government’s commitment to pay its fair share of award costs
  • The types of federal awards and subawards covered by the principles
  • The proper distinctions between direct costs, and facility and administrative costs
  • The general tests of allowability that apply to all costs charged
  • The allowability of specific costs common to research projects
  • Documentation requirements for effort reporting and other charges
  • Audit readiness steps related to vulnerable charges

Visit for more details and registration information.

The webinar will be presented by Bob Lloyd, a respected authority on policies and practices affecting the award, administration and oversight of federal grants, contracts and subawards. Mr. Lloyd has more than 40 years of experience in federal award implementation. Prior to starting his management consulting practice in Washington, D.C., in 1982, he served as the executive director of the Grants Management Advisory Service and held staff positions in two large federally funded organizations. Since then, he has been a consultant, trainer or advisor to award and audit units in 16 federal award-making departments and agencies, and to recipient and subrecipient organizations and their professional advisors located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, several U.S. territories and 18 foreign countries. He is the principal author of several reference works on federal grants management and audits, and currently serves as contributing editor to Federal Grants News and Federal Auditing News, published jointly by Atlantic Information Services and NACUBO. He also is a Charter Life Member of the National Grants Management Association and served on its Board of Directors for five years.

Attendees of the Live Webinar Can Earn Up to 1.5 CPE Credits
Federal Fund Management Advisor is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

About Federal Fund Management Advisor
Federal Fund Management Advisor is an organization that sponsors Federal Funding webinars and delivers free Federal Funding E-Strategies. Go to to read the latest E-Strategy, “Tips for Managing FEMA Disaster Assistance Funds.”

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Shelly Beaird-Francois
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