Debarment and suspension, non-procurement transactions, termination of funds
HHS regulations published in 2 CFR Part 376 implement the government-wide debarment and suspension system guidance (2 CFR Part 180) for HHS' non-procurement programs and activities. "Non-procurement transactions" include, among other things, grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, and loans. NIH implements the HHS Debarment and Suspension regulations as a term and condition of award. Accordingly, recipients of NIH grants ("primary covered transactions"), including sponsoring institutions for Kirschstein-NRSA individual fellowships, are required to determine whether it or any of its principals (as defined in 2 CFR Part 180.995 and 2 CFR Part 376.995) is excluded or disqualified from participating in a covered transaction (i.e., grant or cooperative agreement) prior to entering into the covered transaction, i.e., prior to the drawdown of funds which signals acceptance of the grant award. Recipients may decide the method and frequency by which this determination is made and may check excluded parties in SAM, although checking SAM is not required.
Prior to the drawdown of funds for each grant award, recipients must report to the funding IC The NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. if the recipient or any of its principals:
- Are presently excluded or disqualified;
- Have been convicted within the preceding three years of any of the offenses listed in 2 CFR Part 180.800(a) or had a civil judgment for one of those offenses within that time period;
- Are presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity (Federal, State, or local) with commission of any of the offenses listed in 2 CFR Part 180.800(a); or
- Have had one or more public transactions (Federal, State, or local) terminated within the preceding three years or default.
Disclosure of unfavorable information by recipients under this requirement will not necessarily cause NIH to deny participation in the grant. NIH will consider the information when determining whether to enter into the covered transaction. NIH will also consider any additional information or explanation that recipients elect to submit with the disclosed information. However, if it is later determined that a recipient failed to disclose information that it knew at the time it accepted the NIH grant award, NIH may (a) terminate the transaction for material failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the award or (b) pursue any other available remedies, including suspension and debarment.
Recipients must immediately report to the NIH funding IC The NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. if at any time during the project period, including periods of no-cost extension, they discover that they (a) failed to disclose information prior to the drawdown of funds or (b) due to changed circumstances the recipient or any of its principals for the grant now meet the reporting criteria.
"Lower tier" transactions (e.g., consortiums, subcontracts, consultants, collaborators, and contractors that require the provision of goods or services that will equal or exceed $25,000) also are subject to the HHS regulations. Prior to entering into a lower tier covered transaction with a participant (as defined in 2 CFR Part 180.980), recipients must verify that the person (as defined in 2 CFR Part 180.985) is not excluded or disqualified. Recipients may not enter into any transaction with a person who is disqualified from that transaction unless an exception under the disqualifying statue, Executive Order, or regulation has been obtained from HHS.
Recipients must require participants at the next lower tier to (a) comply with the HHS Debarment and Suspension regulations as a condition of participation in the transaction and (b) pass the requirement to comply with the HHS Debarment and Suspension regulations to each person involved in the covered transaction at the next lower tier. Likewise, before entering into such a transaction lower tier participants and contractors under grants (where the contract requires the provision of goods or services that will equal or exceed $25,000) must report to the recipient if it or any participants are presently excluded or disqualified.
Recipients also are required to assure compliance for each trainee under a Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant, or other similar NIH-supported institutional training grant, before their appointment.
Organizations or individuals that are suspended, debarred, or voluntarily excluded from eligibility cannot receive NIH grants, be paid from NIH grant funds, whether under a primary or lower-tier transaction (including trainees on NIH-supported training grants), or otherwise participate during the period of suspension, debarment, or exclusion. Because individuals who have been debarred, suspended, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions may not receive Federal funds for a specified period, charges made to NIH grants for such individuals (e.g., salary) are unallowable.