NIH/HHS Contingency Plans for the Grants Administration Process Given a Potential Lapse in Funding

Notice Number: NOT-OD-15-164

Key Dates
Release Date:  September 28, 2015 

Related Announcements
None    

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

As you are aware, the Government Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 ends on September 30, 2015 and an Appropriation Act for FY2016 has not been passed.  The Administration strongly believes that a lapse in appropriations should not occur, and that there is enough time for Congress to act to prevent a lapse.  However, prudent management requires that we prepare for an orderly execution of contingency plans in the unfortunate event of a lapse.  In the event a continuing resolution or a FY2016 budget is not passed and a lapse of funding occurs, NIH wanted to provide you with information related to our grant administration processes.

Non-Excepted Programs:
Should a lapse in funding occur, HHS’ National Institutes of Health (NIH) staff will not be available to provide routine administrative support services.  HHS will, however, maintain the Payment Management System in an operational status to continue processing grant drawdown requests, so that payments can be made for excepted programs.  The robust internal controls that currently exist would continue to ensure the integrity of grant drawdown requests and payments.  For awards received prior to the gap in funding, you may also be able to continue drawing funds from prior awards during an appropriations lapse.  If you received your notice of grant award with restrictive terms and conditions, or if your drawdown request triggers one of the Payment Management System edit checks and or the drawdown limit controls, you will not be able to drawdown funds. 

Excepted Programs:
If your particular grant program is funded by appropriations that are not affected by the government shutdown, a minimal number of federal staff supporting these excepted programs will be available to provide routine administrative support services.  In addition, HHS will maintain the Payment Management System in an operational status to continue processing grant drawdown requests, so that payments can be made for excepted programs.  The robust internal controls that currently exist would continue to ensure the integrity of grant drawdown requests and payments.

Submitting an Application during a Shutdown:
If you are considering submitting an application for additional HHS federal assistance funding, please be advised, that the Grants.gov system will be operational and will be accepting applications from prospective grantees.  HHS will take action on those applications for fully funded and excepted programs.  For those programs which are non-excepted, the Grants.gov system will accept and store applications until such time as the responsible Department has the authority and funding to return to normal business operations.

In the event of a lapse in appropriations, NIH will issue very specific guidance for NIH applicants and grantees

Please check our website https://grants.nih.gov/grants/oer.htm and www.hhs.gov for updates.  Thank you for your assistance with this period of a potential government shut-down and your ongoing support of the NIH.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Office of Extramural Research
Telephone: 301-435-0949
Email: grantspolicy@od.nih.gov  



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