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The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is announcing the availability of guidance entitled “National Institute of Food and Agriculture Federal Assistance Policy Statement.” While we are making the document available for your use, we will continue to solicit stakeholders’ input and make changes to address stakeholder’s comments, etc.  We need assistance from everyone, stakeholders included, particularly in these early stages of the document.

The guidance discusses the statutory and regulatory responsibilities of recipients of Federal funds distributed by the NIFA. Specifically, the Policy Statement includes NIFA application processes, application review procedures, award notification and administration, applicable cost principles and other cost considerations, prior approval requirements, administrative requirements, Capacity Grant administration and associated requirements, specific Capacity Grant program requirements, terms and conditions of all NIFA awards (Competitive and Capacity), public policy requirements, special award conditions and enforcement actions, and closeout procedures. The NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide updates and compiles into a single document all previously published Administrative Manuals for the grantee community.

The NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide also addresses procedures and policies followed by NIFA in the administration of Federal assistance.

The statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements contained in the Policy Guide provide general guidance to all NIFA grant recipients. If there is a conflict with this Policy Guide and the terms and conditions of a specific award, the terms and conditions associated with the award should be followed.

A Notice of Availability of the DRAFT NIFA Policy Guide for comment was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 40706; Monday, July 14, 2014). NIFA updated the NIFA Policy Guide to address most of the stakeholder comments. Some comments require more substantive changes in order to address. Such comments are not to correct information but rather to improve the readability of the document. NIFA will work towards improving the document.

NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide - October 1, 2014

NIFA views the guide as a “living document.” Changes will be necessary on an on-going basis whether the result of legislation, policies and procedures, to improve readability, correct info, etc. While the document will continue to undergo changes, NIFA will include a summary of the changes in the front of the document to assist users in identifying the modifications since the release of the previous version. NIFA also will work to make changes to the document to implement the Agricultural Act of 2014 and USDA’s implementation of the Office of Management and Budget “OMB Uniform Guidance: Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards”.

COMMENTS: NIFA continues to welcome input to improve the NIFA Policy Guide. You may submit comments via E-mail: policyguide@nifa.usda.gov. Include “NIFA Policy Guide” in the subject line of the message.