Let’s look at the term “Award” for the purposes of federal grant recipients.
A federal “award” means grants, cooperative agreements, cost reimbursement contracts and other agreements between the federal government and a non-federal entity such as a:
- State Government
- Local Government
- Indian Tribal Government
- Non-profit Organization
- Institution of Higher Education (IHE)
Here is the definition from 2 CFR Part 200 (also known as the Uniform Guidance) with emphasis added:
Federal award has the meaning, depending on the context, in either paragraph (a) or (b) of this section:
(a)(1) The Federal financial assistance that a non-Federal entity receives directly from a Federal awarding agency or indirectly from a pass-through entity, as described in §200.101 Applicability; or
(2) The cost-reimbursement contract under the Federal Acquisition Regulations that a non-Federal entity receives directly from a Federal awarding agency or indirectly from a pass-through entity, as described in §200.101 Applicability.
(b) The instrument setting forth the terms and conditions. The instrument is the grant agreement, cooperative agreement, other agreement for assistance covered in paragraph (b) of §200.40 Federal financial assistance, or the cost-reimbursement contract awarded under the Federal Acquisition Regulations.
(c) Federal award does not include other contracts that a Federal agency uses to buy goods or services from a contractor or a contract to operate Federal Government-owned, contractor-operated facilities (GOCOs).
(d) See also definitions of Federal financial assistance, grant agreement, and cooperative agreement.2 CFR Part 200 (aka the Uniform Guidance” Definitions in §200.38 Federal award.
Watch Out for These Award Criteria
Financial assistance means that there is a financial component that provides support or stimulation to accomplish a public purpose.
Awards include grants and other agreements in the form of money or property in lieu of money, by the Federal Government to an eligible recipient.
The term “award” does NOT include:
- Technical assistance, which provides services or advice instead of money
- Other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance
- Direct payments of any kind to individuals
- Contracts which are required to be entered into and administered under procurement laws and regulations.
If you find the terms grants, awards, contracts, subawards, subrecipients, and vendors confusing, check out my article and infographics at: What’s in a Name: 5 Tips to Spot Subrecipients
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Lucy Morgan CPA, MBA
CEO, Compliance Warrior