Flexibilities Guidance for Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance
CDC is committed to working closely with recipients to reduce administrative burden when necessary, particularly as the need arises during public health emergencies. As appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, CDC can provide flexibilities to help recipients manage administrative, financial management, and audit requirements during a public health emergency. These flexibilities apply to awards from CDC and ATSDR.
Most of the flexibilities listed below are addressed on a collaborative, case-by-case approach (recipients contact their assigned grants management specialist/program official to request the flexibility). This is to ensure that CDC and recipients work together to consider the potential impact of the flexibility on their grant or cooperative agreement. When contacting CDC, recipients should state if their request was due to a public health emergency or another reason to support the flexibility request. Flexibilities 1 and 7 are broadly adopted at this time and do not require approval from CDC.
This guidance references Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, which are applicable to CDC recipients.
There are other resources regarding administrative relief and public health emergencies listed below. Please contact your respective grants management specialist/program official listed in your notice of award if you have questions.
- CDC’s Temporary Reassignment of Personnel Webpage provides information about how to request temporary reassignment of personnel, and how temporary reassignment is contingent upon an active, public health emergency declaration.
- Expanded Authority Fact Sheet provides information about expanded authority for carryover and the use of unobligated funds in subsequent budget periods.
- Flexibility with SAM registration/recertification (2 CFR Part 25.110(c)(2)(iii))
On a case-by-case basis, CDC may make a determination that there are exigent circumstances prohibiting an applicant from completing SAM registration (which includes receiving a unique entity identifier), prior to receiving a federal award. In these instances, the recipient must complete SAM registration within 30 days of the federal award date. Failure to complete SAM registration within 30 days of the award may result in an enforcement action, including termination of the award. If Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) applicants are not able to register in SAM.gov, they should discuss this with the Grants Management Specialist (GMS) indicated in the NOFO.
- Waiver for Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) Publication (45 CFR § 75.203)
CDC will make every effort to provide applicants with adequate time to submit quality applications, should additional funding become available for competitive NOFOs. However, applicants should be aware that CDC may publish emergency and competitive NOFOs on a case-by-case basis for less than 30 days, if CDC needs to expedite the process to make funds available more quickly.
Applicants may search for applicable funding opportunities at Grants.gov.
- Pre-award costs (45 CFR § 75.458) On a case-by-case basis, CDC may authorize costs incurred prior to the effective date of a federal award, if within the scope of the award. Recipients should reach out to their assigned grants management specialist/program official with questions about the ability to incur pre-award costs.
- No-cost extensions on expiring awards (45 CFR § 75.309) On a case-by-case basis, CDC may grant no-cost extensions at the request of a recipient if specific conditions are met. Recipients should reach out to their assigned grants management specialist/program official if they anticipate needing a no-cost extension.
- Abbreviated non-competitive continuation requests (45 CFR § 75.309). On a case-by-case basis, CDC may accept a brief statement from recipients for continuation requests. CDC will use the brief statements to verify that recipients are in a position to 1) resume or restore their project activities and 2) accept a planned continuation award. Recipients should reach out to their assigned grants management specialist/program official if they anticipate the need for an abbreviated non-competitive continuation.
- Waivers from prior approval requirements (45 CFR § 75.407) On a case-by-case basis, CDC may waive prior approval requirements. All costs charged to federal awards must be consistent with federal cost policy guidelines and the terms of the award. If a recipient anticipates needing a waiver, they should reach out to their assigned grants management specialist/program official.
- Exemption of certain procurement requirements (45 CFR § 75.328(b), 45 CFR § 75.330) CDC waives the procurement requirements contained in 45 CFR § 75.328(b) regarding geographical preferences and 45 CFR § 75.330 regarding contracting with small and minority businesses, women's business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms. This exemption is limited to these specific procurement requirements. Recipients will still need to otherwise follow their agency procurement process. Recipients must document all procurement actions and maintain appropriate documents and records to support the charges against their federal awards. Recipients may be asked to provide that documentation for review.
- Extension of financial and other reporting (45 CFR § 75.341, 45 CFR § 75.342) On a case-by-case basis, CDC may allow recipients to delay submission of financial or other reports. A recipient should reach out to their assigned grants management specialist/program official if they anticipate needing an extension. Determinations will be made based on recipient need and assessment of recipient’s previous progress reports, and any potential impacts on future funding amounts and awards. If CDC allows such a delay, recipients may continue to draw down federal funds without the timely submission of these reports. However, these reports must be submitted at the end of the extension period.
- Flexibility with application deadlines. (45 CFR § 75.202, 45 CFR § 75.203) When necessary, CDC may consider extending the application due date beyond the date specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grants Policy Statement “Submitting an Application,” Part I-25-26. Please submit your request to extend the NOFO deadline to the assigned grants management specialist/program official noted in the NOFO under Agency Contacts prior to the NOFO closing date. Your request should include detail about the delay. CDC will consider your request and other potential impacts of an extended deadline such as risk to award, current fiscal year funds, and additional burden on recipients by placing multiple NOFO deadlines at the same time.
- Extension of closeout (45 CFR§ 45.381) On a case-by-case basis, CDC may allow the recipient to delay submission of any pending financial, performance, or other reports required by the terms of the award for the closeout of expired projects, provided that proper notice about the reporting delay is given by the recipient to the agency. This delay in submitting closeout reports may not exceed one year after the award expires. A recipient should reach out to their assigned grants management specialist/program official if they anticipate needing an extension.
- Management Requirement related to Physical Inventories (45 CFR § 75.320 (d) (2)) On a case-by-case basis, CDC may provide recipients up to a 12-month extension for the biennial physical inventory of equipment purchased under a federal award. A recipient should reach out to their assigned grants management specialist/program official if they anticipate needing an extension.