Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
This joint interim final rule implements for all Federal award-making agencies the final guidance Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on December 26, 2013. This rule is necessary in order to incorporate into regulation and thus bring into effect the Uniform Guidance as required by OMB. Implementation of this guidance will reduce administrative burden and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse for the approximately $600 billion per year awarded in Federal financial assistance. The result will be more Federal dollars reprogrammed to support the mission, new entities able to compete and win awards, and ultimately a stronger framework to provide key services to American citizens and support the basic research that underpins the United States economy.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
This rule implements changes to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) as required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), including changes to eligible crops, provisions governing eligibility of native sod acreage, additional coverage levels, and waivers of service fees and premium reductions for beginning, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged producers. This rule also clarifies requirements for eligible types and causes of loss and expands coverage for eligible mollusk and other aquaculture losses. This rule clarifies that the Farm Service Agency (FSA) may set separate market prices for organic crops and for direct to consumer sales. The changes are relatively minor and do not change the core purpose of NAP, which is to provide financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yield, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occurs due to a natural disaster.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
This interim rule with request for comment amends the existing Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) regulation to incorporate programmatic changes as authorized by amendments in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Act).
Clarification of Bales Made Available for Shipment by CCC-Approved Warehouses
This rule amends the regulations that specify the requirements for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)-approved warehouses storing cotton, which are administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA is changing the definition of Bales Made Available for Shipment (BMAS). CCC-approved cotton warehouses are currently required to report BMAS, among other data, to FSA every week. FSA is clarifying that bales made available, but not picked up by the shipper, can only be reported by the warehouse operator as BMAS for no longer than the first 2 weeks that such bales have been made available for delivery but have not yet been picked up. This rule change includes whether bales not picked up are reported by the warehouse operator to FSA in the weekly report; it does not change any warehouse tariffs, late fees, or restocking fees. The quality of reported information about bales made available for shipment will improve, which will benefit both FSA and the cotton industry.