Sean Barrett, Financial Management Specialist U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration
David Miller, Financial Management Specialist U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration
Uniform Guidance and Internal Controls
Uniform Guidance (2 C.F.R. part 200)
Understanding the Requirements
Developing and Implementing Internal Controls
Lessons from the Field
3.The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, codified in 2 C.F.R. part 200 (Uniform Guidance) became effective for awards issued on or after December 26, 2014.
4.§ 200.100, Purpose: 2 C.F.R. part 200 establishes, for all types of non-Federal entities:
Uniform administrative requirements;
Federal award requirements;
Cost principles; and
The Uniform Guidance is designed to streamline the requirements (previously issued in OMB Circulars) for using Federal grant funds, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of those funds, and increase accountability for the use of those funds.
In receipt of Federal funds, grantees are required to ensure they meet all applicable requirements. The Uniform Guidance is one source of compliance requirements. Others include:
Terms and conditions of Federal awards;
Federal program statute, regulations, guidance; and
State statutes and regulations.
6.Overview: How the Uniform Guidance is Organized
Subparts A, B, and C - Acronyms and Definitions, General Provisions, and Pre-Award Requirements
7.Overview: How the Uniform Guidance is Organized (cont.)
Subpart D – Post Federal Award Requirements
Property and Procurement Standards
Period of Performance
Monitoring and Reporting
Record Retention and Access
Remedies for Noncompliance
8.Overview: How the Uniform Guidance is Organized (cont.)
Subpart E – Cost Principles including:
Allowable, Reasonable, Allocable Costs
Direct and Indirect Costs
General Provisions for Selected Items of Cost
9.Overview: How the Uniform Guidance is Organized (cont.)
Subpart F – Audit Requirements
Appendices to part 200 (I through XI)
10.Overview: State and Non-Federal Entity
The Uniform Guidance uses the terms “State” and “non-Federal entity.” It is important to remember that the term “non-Federal entity” includes States.
§ 200.69 Non-Federal entity. Non-Federal entity means a state, local government, Indian tribe, institution of higher education (IHE), or nonprofit organization that carries out a Federal award as a recipient or subrecipient.
11.Understanding the Requirements
It’s all in the details.
For example, the term “personnel activity report” is not in the Uniform Guidance; however the requirements include standards to be met for documentation to support the distribution of employee salary and wages among specific activities or cost objectives. Without reading the Uniform Guidance, grantees run the risk of not meeting all Federal requirements.
12.Understanding the Requirements (c0nt.)
2 C.F.R § 200.430(i)(1) Compensation - personal services requires non-Federal entities to maintain records that “accurately reflect the work performed.” These records must:
Be supported by a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that the time being charged is accurate, allowable, and properly allocated;
Be incorporated in the official records, such as payroll records;
Reasonably reflect the employee’s total activity;
Provide a time or percentage breakdown on all activities, both Federally funded and non-Federally funded, for the employee;
Comply with the non-Federal entity’s pre-established accounting practices and procedures; and
Support the distribution of the employee’s salary or wages among specific activities or cost objectives if the employee works on more than one Federal award or cost activity.
13.§ 200.430(i) Compensation—personal services (cont.)
Budget estimates alone do not qualify as support for charges to awards, but they may be used for interim accounting purposes, provided that:
Budget estimates produce reasonable approximations of the activity actually performed.
Significant changes in the corresponding work activity are identified and entered into the payroll distribution system in a timely manner.
The internal control system has processes to review the interim charges after the fact and make any needed adjustments
When using budget estimates on an interim basis, grantees must regularly reconcile estimates to ensure that they conform to actual staff activity. Grantees must make adjustments in the payroll distribution to align with actual time usage.
14.§ 200.430(i) Compensation—personal services
Although personnel activity reports, per se, are not required, the specific requirements described above must be an active and accurate part of an agency’s internal controls.
If agencies wish to use a substitute system that does not meet the requirements in 2 C.F.R. § 200.430(i)(1), it must be approved by the cognizant agency and meet additional requirements in 2 C.F.R. § 200.430(i)(5)(i).
15.Understanding the Requirements (cont.)
Remember - make sure you understand the details related to the requirements before you make changes to your systems.
16.Understanding the Requirements (cont.)
Don’t overlook the Appendices.
The Appendices contain some important information. For example, Appendix II to part 200—“Contract Provisions for Non-Federal Entity Contracts Under Federal Awards” contains the Federal provisions that must be included in State/agency contracts.
§ 200.22 Contract. Contract means a legal instrument by which a non-Federal entity purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program under a Federal award.
17.Understanding the Requirements (cont.)
Focus on systems and how they support one another in ensuring compliance with requirements.
Subpart D—Post Federal Award Requirements2 C.F.R. § 200.302 Financial management.
Each State must expend and account for the Federal award in accordance with State laws and procedures for expending and accounting for the State's own funds. In addition, the… financial management systems… must be sufficient to permit the preparation of reports…, and the tracing of funds to a level of expenditures adequate to establish that such funds have been used according to the Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award.
§ 200.302 Financial management.
The financial management system must:
Identify all Federal awards received and expended and the Federal programs under which they were received;
Provide accurate, current, and complete disclosure of the financial results of each Federal award;
Identify the source and application of funds. These records must contain authorizations, obligations, unobligated balances, assets, expenditures, income and interest and be supported by source documentation;
19.Internal Controls (cont.)
§ 200.302 Financial management
Provide effective control over, and accountability for, all funds, property, and other assets, and assure they are used solely for authorized purposes (see § 200.303 Internal controls); and
Include written procedures for payment processes and allowability of costs in accordance with the Cost Principles.
20.Internal Controls (cont.)
2 C.F.R. § 200.303 Internal controls. The non-Federal entity must:
Establish and maintain effective internal controls that provides reasonable assurance that the non-Federal entity is managing the award in compliance with all requirements;
Comply with Federal statutes, regulations, & terms and conditions of the award;
Evaluate and monitor the non-Federal entity’s compliance;
Take prompt action when issuance of non-compliance are identified, including from audit findings; and
Safeguard protected personally identifiable information.
21.Internal Controls - Requirements
2 C.F.R. § 200.61 - Internal controls means a process, implemented by a non-Federal entity, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in the following categories:
(a) Effectiveness and efficiency of operations;
(b) Reliability of reporting for internal and external use; and
(c) Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Risk assessment is the organizations process of identification and analysis of relevant risks in agencies efforts to achieve agency goals.
This assessment forms the basis for determining how the risks should be managed, i.e. internal controls.
Commitment to effective risk management is key to creating efficient and effective internal controls.
Once the risks have been identified, control activities are implemented to mitigate identified risk. Those additional controls are called compensating controls. Compensating controls are a type of control used to discover, prevent, or mitigate mistakes and other types of risk.
Separation of duties is a compensating control.
Separate employees are responsible for authorizing services, receiving and validating invoices, and issuing payments
24.Internal Controls (cont.)
The following are several examples of areas in which written procedures are required:
Implementation of payment system (2 C.F.R. § 200.302(b)(6));
Procedures for determining the allowability of costs in accordance with Subpart E (Cost Principles) and the award terms and conditions (2 C.F.R. § 200,302(b)(7));
This includes, but is not limited to compensation for personnel staff, cost incurred by advisory councils, equipment costs, participant support costs, maintenance and repair costs, advertising costs, etc.
The nature and scope of each service provided (34 C.F.R. § 361.50(a));
25.Internal Controls (cont.)
Standards for procurement transactions (2 C.F.R. § 200.317); and
Standards for conduct covering conflicts of interest governing performance of employees engaged in the administration of contracts (2 C.F.R. § 200.318(c)(1)).
26.Developing and Integrating Internal Controls
There is no standardized set of internal controls as they will differ based on each agency’s structure, processes and State requirements.
RSA’s review of internal controls is to determine whether the agency’s internal controls meet the requirements at § 200.303.
The State is authorized to adopt any set of internal controls that meets the requirements at § 200.303.
27.Five Components of an Internal Control System:
28.Types and Examples of Internal Controls
Preventive controls are designed to keep errors or irregularities from occurring in the first place. Example: Locks to a secure area.
Detective controls are designed to find problems within an agency’s processes. Example: Security cameras
Corrective controls are designed to detect and notify management of problems occurring within the agency’s processes. Example: Backing up data.
29.Examples of Internal Control Procedures
Separation of Duties
30.Example: RSA/VR Award Internal Control Processes
Separation of Duties: Different people generate the award amounts, enter the award allocations, and obligate the funds.
Access Controls: Staff are limited to their specific roles within the grants management system.
Physical Audits: RSA receives yearly external audits of the award process to ensure procedures were followed and awards were issued correctly.
Standardized Documentation: Process is documented among staff and in detailed Standard Operating Procedures approved by Risk Management Services.
31.Example: RSA/VR Award Internal Control Processes (cont.)
Trial Balances/Periodic Reconciliation: After each step of the process staff check to ensure grant totals match. Process stops if figures don’t reconcile.
Approval Authority: Awards are obligated only after all the procedures have been completed and authority from the Commissioner of RSA has been received in writing.
32.A Closer Look at the Internal Controls Diagram
33.GAO Green Book for Internal Controls
Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, known as the "Green Book," sets the standards for an effective internal control system for Federal agencies
For more information, please the Department’s page on Internal Controls at:
34.Agency Monitoring of Internal Controls
Establish a process to monitor compliance with requirements and written processes (2 C.F.R. § 200.303(c)); and
Take prompt action when instances of non-compliance are identified (§ 200.303(c)).
35.Agency Monitoring of Internal Controls
Exercise: Identifying Risk and Designing Controls
What are the specific risks?
What type of controls can be implemented to mitigate these risks?
What outcomes can the agency expect from these efforts?
36.Critical Areas for Internal Control Policies
The following examples are a few of the areas of internal controls that have the most potential for risk or are often the components of the onsite visit with the most findings
Ensuring all obligations occur within the appropriate period of performance and are liquidated against the appropriate grant award within the period of performance (2 C.F.R. §§ 200.71,200.77,200.302(b)(3), & Section 19(a)(1) and (b) of the Rehab Act)
Reporting allowable and accurate expenditures, and submitting timely and accurate SF-425s (§§ 200.328 & 200.403)
Requirements and responsibilities for non-Federal share requirements (§ 200.307)
Counselors authorizing services and equipment (§ 200.302(b)(3))
Contract monitoring (for all contracts, not just vendors) (§ 200.328)
37.Situation Specific Examples:
38.Situation Specific Examples:
39.Situation Specific Examples:
40.Situation Specific Examples:
41.Situation Specific Examples:
42.Lessons From the Field
Procedures exist but are not well documented
Example: Many grantees can describe great contract monitoring processes, but those processes are not written down
Having no risk assessment or a weak risk assessment.
Example: Grantees have written contract monitoring processes, but do not have a way to demonstrate those processes work
Training is not sufficient or frequent enough for staff to remember their respective responsibilities
Example: Central office staff can articulate contract monitoring processes, but field staff are not implementing processes in line with requirements
43.Does Your Agency Have Internal Controls For?
Separation of duties
Payment processes (approval/authorization)
Compliance requirements (e.g., period of performance, determining allowability of costs, etc.)
If you have any additional questions after the presentation, please email them to RSAfiscal@ed.gov.