Industry Insights

Reporting Requirements Under FFATA

December 2011
Author:  Christopher Telli

Christopher Telli


Not-for-Profit & Government

111 S. Tejon Street, Suite 800
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2286

Colorado Springs

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA) imposes new reporting requirements on direct recipients of federal grants or cooperative agreements who make first-tier subawards, as well as contractors awarding first-tier subcontracts. It’s important to know these new reporting requirements, along with some additional information to help determine how the act may affect your organization.

Reporting Requirements

FFATA requires direct recipients and contractors of non-ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) federal grants and cooperative agreements to report certain first-tier subawards and subcontracts. FFATA currently applies to grants and cooperative agreements, but does not apply to loans from federal agencies.

A subaward is defined as a legal instrument providing support for the performance of any portion of a substantive project or program for which a recipient received a grant or cooperative agreement award and which is awarded to an eligible subrecipient. A first-tier subcontract is a subcontract awarded directly by a contractor to furnish supplies or services for performance of a prime contract. It excludes supplier agreements with vendors that would normally be applied to a contractor’s general and administrative expenses or indirect cost.

In general, FFATA applies to non-ARRA awards. Subawards made with ARRA funds must still be reported in compliance with ARRA Section 1512. If a subaward is made using both non-ARRA and ARRA funds, the ARRA funding will be reported under Section 1512, and the non-ARRA funds will follow the FFATA requirements. 

The reporting requirements, effective for awards made after October 1, 2010, require the direct recipient to report each first-tier subaward obligating action equal to or greater than $25,000 made with a new Federal Award Identification Number (FAIN). An example in the 2011 A-133 Compliance Supplement is a good illustration of the reporting requirements for a large subaward made in smaller increments and explains the differences between reporting for subcontracts and subawards.  

The concept of a “new” FAIN is a key piece of information in determining the applicability of FFATA, and it will not always be easy to determine the FAIN or whether an award has a new number. The FAIN is a unique award number assigned by a federal agency to a specific grant or cooperative agreement and is not the same as the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number. In some cases, a new number will be used every year even if the grant is a multiyear program, while in other cases the same identifying number is used and a suffix, such as -01 or -02, is added. Where a suffix is used, this would not be considered a new FAIN.

Information that must be reported under FFATA is similar to that required under Section 1512, although not identical, and includes pertinent information on the subaward, such as the name and location of the recipient, subaward amount, CFDA number, funding agency, Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and, under certain conditions, names and total compensation for the five highest-compensated executives for both direct recipients and subrecipients.

Method & Timing of Reporting

Reporting is completed through the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Subaward Reporting System (FSRS). Direct recipients also must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and must actively maintain that registration. It's important to note that the public will be able to view the information entered through FSRS at a special government website.

Reports related to the subaward should be submitted by the end of the month following the month in which the subaward was made. For example, a first-tier subaward made on November 1, 2011, must be reported by December 31, 2011. Many more examples of reporting timing are included in the Compliance Supplement.

Additional Guidance & Information

The requirements under FFATA are contained in Part III of the March 2011 A-133 Compliance Supplement under Section L:  Reporting. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also has issued several documents providing additional guidance, and the FSRS website provides more information on the act.

If your organization is subject to FFATA requirements, be sure to review the additional information mentioned above to learn more about the act. Auditors will be testing FFATA compliance, so it is important for direct recipients to be aware of these requirements and to establish or enhance internal reporting controls.

For more information on FFATA and how it could affect your organization, contact your BKD advisor.

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