New Policy on Federal Funding Opportunity Notices
On November 29, 2010, the Department’s Office of General Counsel, Chief Counsel for Regulation, announced that the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulation (L&R) has discontinued its long-standing policy requiring publication in the Federal Register of Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) and other similar notices soliciting proposals for grants and cooperative agreements. Since Federal agencies are already required to post all details regarding grant opportunities on the website Grants.gov, this change eliminates duplication of the posting requirements and promotes efficiency and cost effectiveness with the Department’s grant programs.
As the Federal Register is still the Government's official method of providing legal notice to the public, there is the possibility, although very small, that an agency may be exposed to litigation for failing to provide adequate legal notice if it chooses to discontinue publishing NOFAs. The Department’s agencies are therefore advised to carefully consider the impact of discontinuing the publication of NOFAs, and to seek legal counsel from the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulation or the Federal Assistance Law Division if there are any concerns or questions regarding this change in policy relative to a specific grant action.
Additional details are contained in the memorandum that can be accessed at the link below.