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Subawards and Procurement Contracts under OJP Awards

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has developed the following guidance documents to help clarify the differences between subawards and procurement contracts under an OJP award and outline the compliance and reporting requirements for each.

Please contact your grant manager if you have any questions regarding subawards and procurement contracts under an OJP award.

This detailed guidance is designed to help recipients of OJP grants and cooperative agreements better understand how OJP will categorize an agreement by an OJP award recipient with an outside entity for purposes of the federal grants administrative requirements. It is important that each OJP recipient have a full understanding which (if any) of its actions (for purposes of OJP and other federal grants administrative requirements) are "subawards", and which are "procurement contracts under an award." The substance of the relationship should be given greater consideration than the form of agreement between the recipient and the outside entity.

Whether an action – for federal grants administrative purposes – is a subaward or procurement contract is a critical distinction as significantly different rules apply to subawards and procurement contracts. If a recipient enters into an agreement that is a subaward of an OJP award, specific rules apply – many of which are set by federal statutes and DOJ regulations; others by award conditions. These rules place particular responsibilities on an OJP recipient for any subawards the OJP recipient may make. The rules determine much of what the written subaward agreement itself must require or provide. The rules also determine much of what an OJP recipient must do both before and after it makes a subaward. If a recipient enters into an agreement that is a procurement contract under an OJP award, a substantially different set of federal rules applies.

For grant recipients with subawards, key compliance requirements include the following:

  • Having specific federal authorization prior to entering into any subaward under the award.
  • Requiring subawardee compliance with 2 C.F.R. Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
  • Requiring progress and financial reporting.
  • Collection of performance data from the subawardee
  • Monitoring subawardees
  • Reporting subawards (over $25,000) as required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA).

Post-Award Requests for Subaward Authorization

Important to Know: If a particular subaward is not authorized by federal statute or regulation, or is not clearly identified in the Budget Detail Worksheet and/or Budget Detail Narrative in the application as approved by OJP, the recipient must request and obtain written authorization from OJP before it may make the subaward. Any such post-award request for authorization to make a subaward must be submitted via OJP's Grants Management System ("GMS"), as a "Change of Scope" Grant Adjustment Notice ("GAN"). Unless and until OJP authorizes the subaward by approving the requested Change of Scope GAN, the recipient may not obligate, expend, or draw down award funds for the proposed subaward.

For grant recipients with procurement contracts, key compliance requirements include the following:

  • The recipient must comply with the Procurement Standards of 2 C.F.R. Part 200 and provide for full and open competition.
  • A procurement contract must include all applicable contract provisions set out in Appendix II of 2 C.F.R. Part 200.
  • All noncompetitive (sole source) procurements must comply with the requirements outlined in 2 C.F.R. 200.
    • Sole source procurements that do not exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (currently $250,000) must have written justification for the noncompetitive procurement action maintained in the procurement file. If a procurement file does not have the documentation that meets the criteria outlined in 2 C.F.R. 200, the procurement expenditures may not be allowable.
    • Sole source procurement over the $250,000 Simplified Acquisition Threshold must have prior approval from OJP using a Sole Source Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN). Written documentation justifying the noncompetitive procurement must be submitted with the GAN and maintained in the procurement file.
Date Published: January 6, 2020